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Stick in Mud

Rod Kits????

19 posts in this topic

Hello all. In an effort to save money, I'm trying to decide if rod kits are the way to go. They seem a bit cheaper than buying a pre-assembled rod, but are there any drawbacks that I don't know about?

Also, if any of you have any advice to a first-time poster and a first-time rod builder, I would be very thankful. smile.gif

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If you have the time and like doing little projects, it can become an ADDICTING thing. If you bought all your blanks and components, you can save a little bit of money. The biggest advantage is that you get to make exactly what you want. You can pick your reel seat, choose the handle type and get the guides you want. Example, I love the St. Croix SCV blanks, what they build the Legend Elite series on. However, I don't like the ugly brown reel seats. And I like to use REC recoil guides instead of the SIC's.

Do a seach for "Al Campbell Rod Building" online and you should find a website with every step to get you through. Or, you can always pick up a DVD. Well worth the $20 or so.

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Last week I built my first fishing rod. I'm already in the process of my 2nd one and have ordered blanks to make rods for the kids. rodbuilding.org has a ton of information on it. I met a rod builder named Rod Engel who helped me build my first rod. I believe you could find a rod builder in your area who would probably help you.

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Welcome to fm carmike, lots of info here!

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I've wondered about making my own rod too, but I am not sure what other equipment I really need to build it. I don't buy many rods, so just buying a drying motor and a rod wrapping tool negates the savings if I only use them once or twice. Can somebody tell me what tools are really needed to do a good job?

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Quster I've been doing rods for40 yrs. started as a kid I yet only do it no tools.I buy kits or mostly buy old rods and redo them.Just eyelets, rod, spools of nylon thread,I now use epoxy rather than varnish.I do use varnish only on bamboo fly rods.Its easy with practice, patience,Trial & error.Id suggest to get a old cheep rod cut all eyelets off clean blank,put it back together with all eyelets removed,its cheap and your trial & error wont ruin any costly equipment,if it does'nt meet your expatations Do another! TIP get a fly rod eyelet and tie in close to the rod base by the grip as a hook retainer!PS If you live in my area I'd be happy to help you.I even have old rods eyelets well everything on hand.

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Sparcebag:

Thank you for the good information. I have a pretty good rod that I'd like to improve and it seems like a perfect candidate. It's an old Quantum graphite rod that has a really good blank and grips, but terrible cheap guides that need to be replaced.

One more question: How do you dry the epoxy? I thought you needed a drying motor to keep it turning?

Thanks again.

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If you want to build a spinning or casting rod on name brand blanks and pay retail for the parts you won't save any money. If you build fly rods you will and can save a bundle. If you want to build spinning or casting rods on blanks from more obscure sources (or obtain parts at wholesale) then you can save some real coin. As for equipment it's not much. You need something (build or buy) for wrapping your rod and regulating thread tension and a drying motor comes in very handy.

The main reason to build your own is that you enjoy it and that you get exactly what you want. By taking extra care in selecting your guide spacing (determining the guide spacing for the specific blank) you can build a rod that will outperform it's factory counterpart.

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Don't build a rod because its cheaper because it really isnt after you factor in your time. Build one because you want the satisfaction of catching a fish on something you built. I have built several flyrods and the first couple arent much too look at but work great and I love them. Buying a kit is the way to go or better yet if you can find a class on rod building you will have a much easier time then trying to figure it all out yourself. Good Luck

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The cheap way:

Cut V shaped grooves in a cardboard box to set your blank on for wrapping. Thread the thread through a thick book rather than buy a thread tensioner. Adjust tension by adding pages on top of the thread. You don't have to have a rod drying motor. You can use the box you use to wrap making sure you turn the rod 90 degrees every 15 minutes so the epoxy doesn't drip. I've never done one this way, but all the books and online sites have mentioned these methods if you really don't want to spend a lot of money.

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Ive done the carboard box and book trick for making ice rods.. but I have never made a full rod... And I doubt I will make many more ice rods.

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My advice to anyone that wants to build their own rod is take a rod building class. Most communities offer classes through community ed. That's how I started. It's a good way to learn and if you take the class and decide rod building isn't for you, you don't have any stuff you won't use again. Anybody interested can contact me and I can give you info on classes available. I'm hoping to be set up to give personal classes by fall.

Rod building is a great hobby and I enjoy every minute I spend building rods. For me it's darn near therapy. The only problem I have is letting go of the rods I build for other people.

Thanks, Scotty

Scotty's Custom Rods

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All my stuff is homemade and works well. It don't need to be expensive to work out good. You can make wrapping jig by just cutting fairly deep v notches in a 1X6 and nailing it to another 1X6 for a platform. My tensioner is just 1 foot tall by 8 inches deep piece of plywood nailed to 1 foot by 1 foot base with a few holes and threaded rod jam nutted in place and spring directly on the spool, works great.

As a matter of fact here's a link from the fly fishing forum about wrapping jigs and tensioners with a few pics.

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=905811&page=4&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

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Questor I put a thin coat on with a artist stiff bristle brush,to cover the winding so there are no bubbles or voids,then right away a thick coat,I only do 2-3 at a time cause I learned to many at once could rub on you the table,or something and smear or ruin the pretty your lookin for.Then if it looks to gather (thick wont run) I rotate it 180 degrees.Also experiment with different finishes and thread The sewing shops have multi colors! The bamboo fly rod ive been doing I call bumble bee its inter laced yellow with black.The one before that was hornet the reverse of my bumble bee. HAVE FUN! if it gets boaring or frustrating put it down for a week or two.but I bet ya cant! laugh.gif

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FYI, you can make a great cork-turning lathe from the motors they sell at Axe-man. Just bolt it to a 2 by 6 and rig up casters to hold the blank.

I don't think you are going to save any money building rods, unless your rods would cost $400 or more factory-built, or unless you are going to build a lot of them. Between the cork (I can't stand foam grips) (.60 cents per cork ring, so maybe $12-$18 for cork), the guides (a good set of guides will cost you $12-$30), the reel seat ($10 for a cheapo), the thread (two colors, $6), and the rod finish ($10), epoxy for the grip ($3), it ends up costing around a hundred bucks a rod, using a cheap but quality $30 blank. You can use a cardboard box and a book for thread tension, and can build a drying motor for under $10 if you're handy. You can maybe rig up a lathe with an electric drill you have laying around. But you're going to spend a hundred bucks, and end up with a custom-built rod you can be proud of. You could get a decent rod for a lot less than that, pre-built.

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Thank you all for the wonderful advice. Man, this forum is great!

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You really don't need a motorized dryer, if anything you will get better results turning it by hand. If you shop around you can get some pretty good deals on rods blanks, epoxy, guides and threads. You can do some thread shopping at fabric stores but you really need to watch what you buy, no cotton, or rayon, or you believe me you will be unhappy with the results. Nylon or poly type threads in 40wt will work pretty good too and come a very wide variety of colors, just be sure to use color preserver.

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All of these guys are right. I built three ice rods and one fly rod this winter. I'm also in the process of picking out components for another fly rod. Search your local library for resources on rod building. I also know that you can do a google search using "mudhole rod building 101".

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Scotty,

Please keep us updated if you give any classes!!!

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