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Thread: What do you need to start?

  1. #1
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    Default What do you need to start?

    What exactly is required to start out rod building, both in terms of money investment and equipment? I've thought about trying my hand at rod building but have no advanced tools and assume I might need some.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    If you're talking graphite or fiberglass it's actually not that bad. The rod wrapper can be made out of cheap/scrap wood and nuts, bolts, and springs from a hardware store. Some people use a cardboard box and a book for tension. Need razor blades, something smooth to pack wraps (I've used round plastic stir sticks but also have one made for rod building), cheap craft brushes and mixing cups. For turning the rod while the finish sets you can do it by hand but motors are free (people take them from some small appliances), I got mine on ebay for less than $20, with a stand and support from cheap wood. I probably forgot something, but it's really pretty basic. I use far more tools and such for fly tying.

    I do know bamboo is much more complex if you're starting from a culm. If you're starting from a ferruled blank it's basically the same as graphite though finish process can be different. If you're starting from an unferruled blank you'll need some other stuff to ferrule it.
    - William

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    Hmmm...doesn't sound too bad.

  6. #4
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    I turn my rods by hand. I don't think it's a big deal and I even have a motorized turner.
    As far as I'm concerned, the only "advanced tool" that you need is something to keep tension on the thread. A mouse trap works.
    I've wrapped a rod sitting in an arm chair with the thread spool next to me and the thread passing under my leg. You can do it that way, but when you cut the thread, then you have to locate the end again.

    The stem of your fly tying bobbin poked through your cardboard box works too.
    I did it that way last time I built a rod and was away from home.

    Like this

    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  7. #5
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    And how do self built rods compare to store bought? If you buy the same blanks, are the differences just cosmetic, or does the way you built it drastically effect its performance or change its characteristics?

  8. #6
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick k View Post
    And how do self built rods compare to store bought? If you buy the same blanks, are the differences just cosmetic, or does the way you built it drastically effect its performance or change its characteristics?
    Unless you epoxy the entire blank (bad idea) the action will be the same as a store bought rod.
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  9. #7

    Default What do you need to start?

    Changing the number, type and location of guides on a custom built rod would make the rod behave differently than a shelf rod built on the same blank. Differing grip and seat styles would also change the balance. I am not sure how significant the changes are, however.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    So it's safe to say that its more about saving money and making slight cosmetic changes than building a rod that performs differently?

  11. #9
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    Do you tie flies? If so, you already most of the tools needed: good scissors, bobins, bodkins...

    If you use a pre-formed or completed grip then the only special tool you would need is a rod turner to keep the epoxy level as it cures, or you can do it by hand like Rip suggested. You'll just have to baby-sit the rod for a couple-few hours rather than walk away and let it turn. They are about $50-75.

    You need a rat tail file or two to ream the grip to fit, a flat file to prep guide feet.

    Check out some websites: Mudhole or Angler's Workshop both sell building tools and you can price out rod turners. There are plenty of other sites, those two have lots of stuff.

  12. #10
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    Default Re: What do you need to start?

    I do tie my own flies and it seems then that I have the necessary tools. I can borrow the appropriate files from my father. I wouldn't mind hand turning the rod but may see how cheap I can find a motor.

    Thanks for the help here everyone.

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