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dean_mt 05-14-2013 11:00 PM

So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Over the winter when I was working on the XP I was really geared up for building rods and bought a cheap blank from "Roger" on ebay. It's an 11' 3/4wt, I believe it's an Angler's Roost blank but he won't say where he gets them, no matter. I just wanted another blank to build on and thought I might as well go long for more practice and something different. I haven't started it yet.

Then I talked to my buddy from back home that I kinda helped get started on the fly some years ago, he went out for Lake Michigan run steelhead a couple times and is hooked. Now he wants a switch rod and I told him I build it for cost.

So I know it's just long fly rod but I don't know anything about grip lengths and options. I've gathered that 11" is pretty standard for the foregrip and 3-4" for the rear. I imagine the foregrip like a 7" wells and then with an extra 4" shaped in front of it?

I'd love to see some two handed grips for ideas.

I don't know if I should build the grips on the blank or a mandrel first then fit them. I'll definitely need a real reamer if I do the latter. I'll practice on my cheap blank first, but any advice or tips are welcome!

petee 05-15-2013 07:47 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...

I am by far no expert on Switch or Spey rods, but here are the two I have built....... so far;). Top one is my St. Croix Imperial 5 wt., 11' The bottom is my newly finished Sage "One" 7 wt., 11'6". Both the foregrips are between 10 1/2" and 11", the aft handles are between 4" and 4 1/4". Why those dimensions? Just the way the cork patterns worked out. Shaped them the way they felt good to the hand.

I built the handels on mandrels. Don't trust my shaping skills enough to build the handle on the rod. Plus the thru hole on my Sherline is only 3/8" in diameter. The Sage definately wouldn't fit thru it.

dean_mt 05-15-2013 08:33 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Thanks Pete, nice looking grips. A 3XL full wells, I like it.

williamhj 05-15-2013 09:12 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Nice! I'll watch your progress with interest. I've been thinking about building one as well. I've been leaning towards a 7wt for large trout and bass but haven't really looked into it. I have also wondered about grips and been tempted to just buy one since I turn grips on my drill and don't know how one that long would work. Look forward to updates!

dean_mt 05-15-2013 09:28 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
William, I'll keep you up to date but don't hold your breath. With summer nearly here and endless chores and fishing and the fact that my wife is obsessed with finding a new home this project will be in fits and spurts. My buddy wants the rod for the fall run of steelies out of Lake Michigan, so I've got a little time.

The full finished grips do look easy, and they are quite cheap. But I have a hard enough time reaming out a 7" grip with a ******* file. I certainly need to buy or make a couple tapered reamers.

williamhj 05-15-2013 09:32 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Yeah me too, right now I start with drill bits and move to spade bits to ream my grips, not sure how it would work with a 10 or 11 incher :)

petee 05-15-2013 09:48 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Buy the reamers. I use to use a rat tail file and spade bits. Bought the reamers, reamed one handle and kicked myself for not doing it sooner. Plus they will chuck up in your drill if you are in the gotta git it done now mode.

badfish creek 05-16-2013 05:10 AM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Here is the handle I made for my Batson 7wt switch rod(first rod I have ever built). It was not a scary to built as I thought.....

dean_mt 05-16-2013 11:25 AM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Great job on your first rod, badfish!

Guest1 05-16-2013 12:47 PM

Re: So I'm gonna build a switch rod (or 2)...
Nice job badfish, you obviously did some study before you jumped in. :thmbup:

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