I'm considering building a rod. Specifically a Sage TXL. I haven't cast one yet, but have really liked the ones I looked at in a local shop. I can't, however, bring myself to spend the money they go for. I did find a seller that I can get a kit from for the price of a blank. I'd have to look at the components to see if they are of a quality befitting this rod. What I want to know is this. Will there be any hidden surprises when building my own rod? Can I do it without plowing a bunch of money into special tools, then have nearly as much in the rod as if I'd just bought one. As one with very good skills at using my hands and anal attention to detail, I feel I can do this. I just don't want to build this rod only to be disappointed, or worse. I don't want to end up with a fair amount of money in something that looks and fishes poorly. I do like the idea/satisfaction that comes with using things I've made myself. Thanks for any and all help.
I would highly recommend that you cast any rod before buying/building one. It's kind of like buying a shiny new sports car without test driving it first, to only later find out that you should have bought the new f-250 because you can't haul anything in your sports car. Wierd analogy I know, but seriously you may not like the feel of the rod once you get to cast it, and different rods fit different applications.
To build a rod you can go all out and buy a rod wrapping tool which can run a $100.00 or into the hundreds of dollars. You could also go old school and do as many old timers did and use a phone book (thread tensioner) and a cardboard box with notches cutout to hold the rod. I would suggest you do buy a rod turner for your coats of epoxy as they will come out much more even & prettier than rotating each section by hand while sitting in front of the T.V.
There are many books out there that will help in your venture, try 'Googling' rod building or Dale Clemmons. You should be able to find some info going that route.
You can also buy some "unnamed" kits on Ebay for $40-50. They actually cast pretty well and it would be good practice. I wouldn't build up a Sage blank as my first rodbuilding project. I think that would be an expensive learning curve...
I still have the first rod I built (17yrs ago) it has great sentimental value because of the gentleman who walked me through my first build, but its not my best work...
The idea of building a rod is very intriguing to me also, and I as well am very capable with my hands and like the idea of creating/building things myself. However.....I wouldn't build a Sage. I almost did, but changed my mind. I just feel like with a rod of that quality I would like the guarantee and rod case as well! Also, their QC specs are so much tighter than my first attempt at a rod might be I just thought it wasn't worth it for me. Plus you really don't save all that much money.
Having said all that, I have been throwing around the idea of building a cheaper 10 foot 3-4 wt. rod for European nymphing techniques this next winter. Any ideas out there for a good/value blank for this aplication?
Hello pdq 5oh, yes to the first question, yes to part one of the next question and no to the second part. I agree with the poster and no way I would start with a Sage blank.
Here's the 'kit' I put together from a popular supplier for about 54$ less the reel seat, which was a gift.
I'm sure other builders are going to chime in with more info, so you'll be well armed before you ever start the process. Good luck !
Originally Posted by pdq 5oh
What I want to know is this. Will there be any hidden surprises when building my own rod? Can I do it without plowing a bunch of money into special tools, then have nearly as much in the rod as if I'd just bought one.
I would definately build a rod, maybe not a sage blank the first time as others have mentioned but i would definately build one. The first one i built is now my favorite rod. I had no experience with it and did the cardboard box and sit in front of the tv while turning it. It gets compliments allll the time.
These kits usually sell for around $50. Everything is prefitted, you will need:
2 V-blocks, or a cardboard box for the blank to rest on
a drying motor to dry your epoxy finish
a phonebook for thread tension
There is no reason why you shouldn't build a top notch rod your first time. I see the idea of building the first one cheap but my first rod build was my 10ft 6wt Sage Z-Axis and for me it was a great idea to start with that. It made me think that I should take my time and do everything right. If I did something wrong and noticed it then I back track and redo it. If it was a cheap rod I might have just moved on and forgot about it. I made sure I took the steps to do it right and then every rod I build from here on out is done right.
Build your own!
I haven't ventured into the highend rod blanks yet, but I will. Right now I am experimenting with color combinations, brands of reel seats, guides, etc. Besides flyfishing, flyrod building is a most enjoyable hobby. I would do the flytying too...if I could see them things!
My first build was with a FlyLogic blank I got off of Ebay. It is still my favorite rod. I've broken the tip twice, repaired it and I'm back in buisness. One of these days I'll get a new top end from FlyLogic. Right now my repairs are doing fine without a change of action on the rod.
I've built 20+ rods using various blanks. Some cheap (some real cheap) and some medium end blanks. All of them have turned out to be rather nice flying fishing rods. Even the really cheap blanks.
If you are handi build the turner yourself. You can find surplus motors on the net to build you a rod turner for drying. Go to the rodbuilding forums and you will find all the help you need.
Need help just ask.