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Attempt 1 at Building a Rod

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Much of this is cross posted here. Putting all of this in a blog, becasue this is the kind of thing I was really looking for to push me over the edge to try it.

This is a revamp of an 5 weight, 8'6" rod I am not even sure how I ended up with. The reel seat was messed up, cork was damaged where the reel seat slips under it and the guides were spiraled around the blank. The plan is to replace what I need to and leave the rest alone.

What I have learned so far:
  • Rod building is NOT some unholy synthesis of voodoo, witchcraft and rocket surgery - regular human beings can do it too.
  • More light is better and 1.25 cheaters really help.
  • Embroidery thread is not for beginners.
  • Don't fight with the wrapping jig. Take the time to modify it to do what you need so you have one less thing to worry/think about/pay attention to.
  • Adjustable ends on the rod wrapper are a good thing because the guides tend to always seem to end up in the "V" to support the rod.
  • Working off center helps a lot with pulling the thread back onto the wrap and prevents having to thumbnail it tight so much.
  • Don't wrap guides when you are tired and not concentrating / focusing well.
  • Measuring out where you want the wrap to start and putting in a good couple of wraps of masking tape gives you something the snug the beginning of the wrap up against so it comes out consistent with the other wraps. It just makes it easier by decreasing the amount of measuring and check which needs to be done.

Materials Used so far:
Guides & Spacing:
Tip Top = 5.0 (5/64, yes a 4.5 is 4 and one-half/64 or 9/128)
Size 2 @ 4 from Tip Top
Size 2 @ 9 from Tip Top
Size 2 @ 15 from Tip Top
Size 3 @ 22 from Tip Top
Size 3 @ 30 from Tip Top
Size 4 @ 39 from Tip Top
Size 4 @ 49 from Tip Top
Size 10 @ 60 from Tip Top
Size 12 @ 71 from Tip Top
Hook Keeper just above winding check

Seat and Cork:
Pac Bay A5 reel seat, up-lock (not sure what the insert is, rose wood maybe?)
Bleached AAA cork rings

FishHawk "A" nylon thread
Flex Coat Color Preserver
Flex Coat 50/50 Mix / High Build Polymer Rod Wrap Finish
Flex Coat Epoxy Rod Builder's Glue

Progress is slow right now. Have most of the kinks worked out of my rather crude rod wrapper. Am still just wrapping on the two stripper guides and unwrapping them because I am not satisfied with wraps. Am finally able to get the trim bands on accurately and and the correct size without too much extra effort. Had a set back last night when I finished a wrap that I was really happy with. Without thinking I coated it with head cement. The neat little trim band I put it became much more subtle that it should be, as in mostly disappearing. Three wraps for the trim bands may not be enough and the color change may need to be a bit more vivid.

Waiting on an order from Hook&Hackle - Ron has been very helpful.

Hook&Hackle order arrived yesterday - quick, accurate and fast.

Did some more work last night. Re wrapped the #12 and #10 stripper guides again, this time with "A" nylon. The "A" nylon is much easier to work with, compared to the much fine and more delicate embroidery rayon thread.

I knew the wraps were not the best ones I had done, but decided to keep them because I was tired and lazy. Put the first coat of color preserver on them and the seemingly minor flaws really showed up, and I am going to live with them.

I realized that an easy 1/2 or more of the time I spend on a guide is just getting the trim bands symetrical and even. Wrapping a stripper guide has actually become rather easy, suprizingly easy.

Time to go get the second coat of color preserver on and make a final decision about which snake guides to use. Planning on match the smallest guides to the diameter of the tip top and working back down to the stripper guides from there.

This is the bottom half of the rod with the hook keeper, #12 stripper guide and the #14 stripper gides wrapped on and with 2 coats of color preserver applied.

They are far from perfect. Should have waited till I was less tired, but... I know what the flaws are and how to correct them, so they are staying. I'm looking for effective on this project. I need more practice and experience to get perfect wraps. Just racking in the time right now.

As a reference point, I have done maybe 20 stripper guides at this point. So, it's not hard to get effective wraps. Perfect wraps are just a lot of practice away for me. I can live with that.

Hook Keeper

#12 Stripper Guide

#14 Stripper Guide


Not the greatest of pics, but I am still figuring out the new camera.

18 MAY 13
Got so more time to work on it. Have teh ferrule wrapped, both #4's on, both #3's and one of the three #2's. Will post images when I get the upper half finished.

Funny thing is that as I am working up through the smaller snake guides, it is getting easier to wrap them on even though they smaller guides are harder to handle. Am still loosing count and miscounting wraps so my trim bands are still inconsistent.

Tip top is epoxied on and curing; still need to wrap it. First coat of color preserver is on the rest of the wraps. Suddenly realized I was really sloppy with my cuts on the tags of the thread. Oh well.

Have it all wrapped up. Coat two of color preserver drying on the tip section and doing the 5 minute 1/4 rotation with the wrap finish on the bottom section.

Did figure out a dremel, high speed cutter and fine sanding drums may not the best approach to carving out the receiver for the up-locking reel seat hood. Sure did make quick work of it though - almost too quick. Glad I am used to playing with those things.

Updated 05-19-2013 at 03:07 PM by random user