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todvan 07-10-2013 10:06 AM

Streamer Rod - First Build Planning
Hi all,

I am new to rod building, but have tied flies and fly-fished for a long time now. I live in the Lansing, Michigan area and fish primarily Michigan rivers for trout and smallmouth.

I am looking to build a rod for fishing large streamers. Right now I am using an entry level TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series 9', 7wt, IM6 graphite. It works alright, but I notice it is fairly heavy and has a bit more flex than I like for streamers. I think I got spoiled by my 9', 5wt Orvis Access which was a present and otherwise more than I would spend on a fly rod. The Access will be my primary dry fly and nymphing rod and maybe small streamers, but I would like to upgrade from the TFO Pro to get a little lighter and more responsive action - without spending $300 or more. This lead me to looking into rod building.

In the description Kelly Galloup gives in hid video for the streamer specific "Bank Robber", he says that this rod has a strong butt, moderate/fast middle, and a fast tip. So, I'm looking for blanks close to this - but I'm open to suggestions. Should I go 6 wt or 7 wt? I like the sound of a 6 wt for reducing the weight, but think I may want to stick with 7 wt to cast the big articulated streamers. What about a fast 6wt with a 7 wt line?

I see that Hook and Hackle has a deal on 2013 FTX "fast-tip" kits and this looks like it might work for big streamers. I am also looking at Batson RX8, or MHX from Mudhole. But I am open to any and all suggestions on building a rod that would be a nice upgrade for me without costing big bucks.


random user 07-10-2013 11:47 AM

Re: Streamer Rod - First Build Planning
If you are talking about the St Croix Bank robber, I can't say anything specific about that series rod. Can say with confidence I am a big fan of their rods in general.

I think St. Croix is often overlooked/under-rated in the fly fishing world, but that is just one biased opinion.

williamhj 07-10-2013 12:20 PM

Re: Streamer Rod - First Build Planning
I am a fan of batson blanks and finished an RX8 9wt for a friend. He uses it for salmon and steelhead fishing in Michigan. Personally I'd avoid a kit. It isn't too hard to get the right components (if you go batson they have pdfs on their website) primarily because I would skip the snake guides that come with the kit and get 'snake brand guides'. The feet of the universals sit wonderfully on the blank and wrap like a dream. I'm never going back :)

Between a 6wt and 7wt, I'd go 7wt. Doubt you'll notice a 'weight' different in the rod itself and it could help you turn over bigger flies etc. I might even do an 8wt since it would move you nicely into the salmon and steelhead category, though I'm not sure the 7wt would be a problem there.

The guy that got me into rod building is in West Michigan. He runs Proof Fly Fishing and sells components like snake brand guides and very nice cork to turn your own grip. He could probably answer some area specific questions for you if you contact him.

todvan 07-16-2013 01:32 PM

Re: Streamer Rod - First Build Planning
Is Rx 8 the same as IM 8 graphite? I'm leaning towards the Batson, any other builders with streamer rod blanks? Thanks.

swirlchaser 07-17-2013 01:39 PM

Re: Streamer Rod - First Build Planning
TFO discontinued the TiCr series and the blanks were very cheap. I bought two from Mudhole for $77 a piece. They sold out but my you can find another shop clearing them out.

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