I want to start doing my own rods from blanks , mainly Bamboo . I know the basic tools needed to wrap a rod. What I need to know is , what is the best type of thread for wrapping silk , nylon and what is the pro and cons of each . Also what is a good epoxy , varnish etc to use . I have a couple of old rods from yrs ago that I will practice on just to get the hang of all the little details and such . On order for my first rod build is a, Payne , 100 . 7 1/2 ft 4 wt blank . Another question I have is there some place I can find out size of guides need for a specific rod blank . Any help much appreciated . Also looking for a supplier of rod building equipment and such near Boston mass . If anyone knows of a place sure could use a heads up . Guess that's enough of my questions for now .
Silk: As long as you use a slik for rod building, they are all about the same. Threads made for rod building are usually a bit smoother and don't have as many fuzzies. Persall's, Fish Hawk, YLI are all good threads.
Nylon: Again get with a rod building thread if you can. Nylon is a little more forgiving than silk as nylon will stretch. If you go with an embroidrery thread such as a Maderia of Sulky you will have to try a test wrap and apply your finish as the embroidery thread often have silicon in it for the embroidery machines. You can end up with fish eye on your finish due to the silicon.
Guides: I prefer Snake Brand guides. None to very very little foot prep required. Don't get the Universals for a bamboo blank. The Original guides lay flat on the bamboo blank.
Finish: A Spar varnish works great for a traditional bamboo finish. Any two part rod finish, such as Flex Coat, Pro Coat etc... will work fine for the guides and ferrule wraps if you opt for that finish. If you go the two part finish just make sure you have a good finish on the blank prior to wrapping the guides.
Guide sizing and placement: Do a Google search. There are a couple of programs online that allow you to punch in the rod parameters and will give you the rough spacing and guide sizes.
To pick up on what Petee wrote (he knows what he is talking about), definitely give Snake Brand Original guides a try. They will sit flat on the blank, look good, and are shaped so your thread will climb the feet very easily (saving headaches). You can order them directly from the site, but I get mine from Proof Fly Fishing, since I also get cork and other rod building tools and supplies there. The Golden Witch has great products as well, I've gotten nice sliding made reel seats there as well as ferrules for bamboo builds. Also like seats from Dave Winslow here in the Denver area. He turns them to order. All the companies are easy to work with, have good websites, prices clearly listed, etc. Don't know of one in Boston, maybe someone else will.
For bamboo personally I'd use silk thread and varnish. There isn't a reason you can't use nylon and 2 part epoxy finish other preference. Nylon is easier to wrap with though silk is beautiful. If you learn to wrap with silk, nylon will see so much easier down the road. Enjoy!
Ok , I`ve searched for 2 days and cant find what I`m looking for . I am trying to find the guide spacing for a Payne 100 , 7FT6" , 2 piece , 4WT rod . If anyone has any info on the guide placement I would greatly appreciate any help or lead in the right direction .
This is the spacing I use for the 7'6" 3-4 weight. Not a Payne taper, but it is what works for the taper I build. You can sub all the 1/0 guides out with 1's and it won't make a big difference. Check the static placement before you wrap them on for good.
Cote's Fly & Rod Building is in the Worcester area.
I've purchased a lot of supplies from them in the past, but always at shows. I've never been to the shop myself.
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If you're interested in building cane rods, then you should probably become familiar with Golden Witch Fly Fishing
I'm sure that they'll answer a lot of your questions
Cote's Fly Shop is in Leicester , MA. It is in a residential area. Ray is the man to talk to. It is one of the shops I frequent and I took the rod building class with him. Ray restores Bamboo but has a associate that builds custom in MA on bamboo. As Rip Tide says , I am sure he will be able to help you out and has a pretty large inventory.
Where did you learn to build on Bamboo ?
Also google Swift river rod company , he builds/restores high end boo rods and has a shop near the Swift. I have not been there yet.
I just build the low end stuff , that way there isn't a huge risk when I botch the job.