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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
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    4,651

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    I have that 4 AAA battery powered Flex Coat turner...it works just fine. All you need is something that holds the rod butt and turns all night. I wouldn't worry about the RPM, 10 should be fine but 4 is fine too. In reality it could be 1 RPM and it would still do its job, which is keeping the epoxy from sagging during the long dry time, and helps make it flow to an even finish.

    I don't recommend using the turner to apply your epoxy, you should be turning the rod by hand during that part.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    Thanks for the feedback. Since I'm totally new to rod building, I was wondering the reason for your recommendation for turning the rod by hand when applying finish to the wraps. So far I've just watched the series of rod building videos on flyrodfanatic.com. On there they used their 6 rpm turner when applying the finish, so I figured that was the way it was normally done. To learn more I just ordered the book "Fly Rod Building Made Easy" by Art Scheck; this book seemed to get pretty good reviews and was recommended on a forum site.

    Any other recommendations on good sources of learning material. thanks

  3. #23

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    I can tell you that when I've tried applying epoxy while on the turner I've ended up with a thicker overall coat on the wraps. The epoxy looks like a football. When I just rotate it by hand as needed I can cover the wraps with less epoxy and I get a smoother finish. Also, I find it easier to get epoxy where the guide meets the blank and goes under the thread wraps. I do have a turner that's 21rpms, so maybe it's easier with a slower turner?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    4,651

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    Quote Originally Posted by auntrout View Post
    I was wondering the reason for your recommendation for turning the rod by hand when applying finish to the wraps.
    williamhj answered your question perfectly. This is how I feel about as well. I'm sure some people only use the turner and will tell you why it is the best way. You will find out for yourself which is best for you...just be sure to try different techniques.

    I find it just easier to control the application when you are turning the rod by hand. The turner actually slows me down a lot and once the pot life of your epoxy is done then you have to stop and mix more...which you should plan on anyway. Doing the the epoxy finish in a couple sections.

    But this is getting way ahead of yourself. The finish is the LAST step. You have a lot of stuff to do first. Ask question and be patient. It is a lot of fun. And there are some really experienced builders on the forum.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    There's a couple ways of doing epoxy. Using your thread wrapper (cardboard box, store bought or whatever) you can put the epoxy on and turn it by hand, then put it on the rod turner. Another way is if your rod turner is 24 rpm or faster you can apply the epoxy that way.
    The last two rods I did I used Threadmaster Lite. I really like TM but I love the Lite version. I think it's a lot better and easier to work with than Flex Coat brand.
    I put on two very thin coats. (McFly, you'll love it). One more trick I've used now and then is 3M Fineline tape. 3/16" or 1/4". Same stuff custom painters use to flame cars or bike tanks, fenders. You put it where you want the epoxy to end- just past the threads. Apply your epoxy, and when you're finished and put it on the rod turner, slowly peel off the tape. It'll leave you with perfect ends. There won't be any lines because the epoxy will blend in as it hardens.
    Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of ghost peppers. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    4,651

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    I've only used Flex Coat, but I agree with Mojo that using the Lite variety is best, especially for you first rod. There will undoubtedly be some bubbles, lint, dog hair in your first coat and some areas where the epoxy is too thin (at the foot and rod juncture) the first time you ever do it and will want to put on a second coat. Go with a "lite" of whichever brand you decide and use the first coat to cover everything and the second to make it all nice and even.

    I like the tape idea, Mojo. If I do a rod this winter I will certainly look for that.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    Thanks for all the help. On the same video I mentioned earlier they use what I thought was called an alcohol lamp to help remove the air bubbles in the finish on the thread wrap. Is something like this really needed? I think I read on another post not to use a lighter or something similar to heat the air around the wrap to remove the bubbles since the smoke will tend to discolor or cloud the finish. I'm trying to figure out exactly all the things I really need, i.e., things I really have to purchase. Since this is my first build, I'm trying to keep costs down, since I'm not sure if this might be my first and last rod. On the other hand, if there is something I really need to do a good job, I don't mind investing some money.

    I'm planning to build myself a thread wrapper, but might buy myself the Flex Coat thread tensioner. I think I need a a rod turner and have found a guy on eBay that sells the motor for about $14 and a rod chuck for another $5. I have most of the files and small hand tools required since I do quite a bit of wood working etc. Is there anything else that a really need to start this project. Also, do you think building a 3 wt would not be good for a first project, i.e., too hard to wrap the tip. I saw a kit on the J. Stockard site for a TFO Finesse 7' 9" 3 wt for about $135.

    thanks

  8. #28

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    I always find the tip hard. Build the rod you want and just be patient when you have to restart a wrap, the goal isn't speed. I've not had much issue with bubbles in my finish and have never needed a flame. I use Diamond II by Bullard and I mix very very slowly to keep bubbles out. I'm very happy with Diamond II, though I've never used another kind for comparison.

    As for other tools the ones I can think of are: razor blades (100 pack at Lowes), burnisher like this one to pack your wraps, and a lot of plastic cups and disposable brushes for your finish. Also if you want to seal your cork grip order some cork sealer. Don't forget that you attach the grip and reel seat with a two part epoxy (like the 5 minute one Stockard carries) that is different than your finish for your wraps.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    sycamore, illinois
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    4,587
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    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    great info guys...

    thanks!


    casey


    ARFE

  10. #30

    Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

    Thanks again. Can't really express how helpful you all have been. Have you ever purchased anything from the link you provided on the burnishing tool? That the same seller I was going to purchase the dryer motor and rod chuck from.

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