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Thread: First rod advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    2,457

    Default First rod advice

    I'm retiring soon. I'd like to build a fly rod or two. My first attempt at rod building.

    Should I start with cheap components - blank, reel seat, cork, etc.? This on the theory I'll likely have some things go wrong.

    Or, should I start with more expensive components on the theory that most mistakes are fixable?

    What say you, all?
    Today is always the first day of the rest of your life.
    Use it wisely.

    Paul

  2. #2

    Default Re: First rod advice

    At the top of this forum you'll find some pretty good reading (if I say so myself!!).

    After you've read it ... my advise is: GO FOR IT!!!!! Go slow. HAVE FUN!!! We're always here to run interfearence. (Yes, that's inter FEAR ence) We'll get you through the fear, so you can have fun!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    2,457

    Default Re: First rod advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Auntie Em View Post
    At the top of this forum you'll find some pretty good reading (if I say so myself!!).

    After you've read it ... my advise is: GO FOR IT!!!!! Go slow. HAVE FUN!!! We're always here to run interfearence. (Yes, that's inter FEAR ence) We'll get you through the fear, so you can have fun!!
    I've read through those threads. Lots of information.

    So, cheap components for the first effort, or not?
    Today is always the first day of the rest of your life.
    Use it wisely.

    Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: First rod advice

    Go big or stay home!!! I know, easy for me to say. I think if you have the least bit of know how, go for the nice kit. This way you are more likely to "measure twice and cut once". If you are a complete newb to hand eye coordination then go cheap. With this kind of advice on hand I think you would be pleased to have a real heirloom when you are done. Just my 2 cents though. Good luck
    "Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying

  5. #5

    Default Re: First rod advice

    Get something you'll like and use. And you will use it, especially once you get used to the way it shines in the sunlight, and knowing you did this yourself!!

    My first was a StCroix, bought all the parts separate, took my time, followed instructions (at least the ones I wanted to follow!), and had a ball. OK ... panic happened only a few times. That's when you walk away till your heart rate returns to normal ... then start again! NOTHING you put on is forever. You can change anything and everything however many times you feel the need to. All these many years later, I still use that rod, and love it! Have built scores since then, but always fall back to what I learned on that one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,502

    Default Re: First rod advice

    I'd get a kit, but not the cheapest one. Get something that you're going to want to use.
    My first 2 rods.... the 5wt I gave away, the 9wt gets little use.

    Hook & Hackle is always having sales.
    Today they've got the PacBay Rainforest kits on sale for not much over 100 bucks.. that's a nice rod IMO. I use my 8wt all the time.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Central Coast of Calif
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: First rod advice

    Might as well build something you will use. Either that or go cheap and either put the finished build in the closet to look back on as you improve or give it to a kid. They don't care what it looks like, they got a free rod.

    Most everything can be fixed if you screw it up. About the only thing you can't save when you take it off is the cork. Finished guide wraps can be removed, tip-tops and even seats will come off with a little effort.

    We won't tell you how to remove those unless you mess something up.

    Welcome to the addiction,
    Pete

  8. #8

    Default Re: First rod advice

    In some cases, spending less can mean more work. Snake guides are an example. You can find them for less than a buck each but the feet might require more prep to sit well on the blank, to clear off burrs, and to create a nice ramp for thread. I've found it worth it to spend the 2 or 3 bucks for Snake Brand guides (2 for bamboo as the feet are flat and 3 for graphite as the concave feet fit well on the round blank). They come out of the bag essentially ready to wrap. Another example can be pre-formed cork grips. I've bought some cheap ones that had the inlet cut already. Even though the reel seat 'fit' into the inlet the cork was so thin and dry that some cracks developed. I find it worth it to make my own and buy higher quality cork.

    You don't need to buy a $50 reel seat or a $300 blank but I wouldn't skimp too much. If you're fishing the rod 2 years from now you might wish you could go back and give yourself another $40 to get a nicer seat or better cork, etc. And a bit more money for components that are easier to work with can make your first build experience much more enjoyable.
    - William

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