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How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Scott Giaquinto (---.buffalo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 01, 2019 12:48PM

Newbie here again. I have built maybe 10 or 15 fly rods and have been thinking of getting a power wrapper. How many of you guys use one? How long does it take to get the hang of?
Was looking at the Alps Forecast model to be specific.

Thanks again.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 01:42PM

Scott,
Many years ago, I was introduced to rod building and I built one ice rod by hand.

I am an engineer by profession. After the one rod that I wrapped by hand, I made a vow that I would never ever wrap a rod by hand ever again.

I have built literally hundreds of rods over the years and I have never ever wrapped a single one of those by hand.

Having said that, I did a lot of trying to find the perfect power head to use when wrapping.

I wanted the following in a power wrapper>

Infinite speed control from 0 rpm to 800 rotating speed on the rod.
The ability to reverse the rod under the same power.
A chuck that would reliably hold the rod in place without having the rod walk out of the chuck.

Finally, rod rests that allow one to get under and around the rod rests for the time that one needs to have a rod rest near a wrap when wrapping that particular guide.

So, do your research, figure out what you want and purchase accordingly.

----------------
Also realize that from my background, I enjoy making the machines to do the rod building as much or more than doing the actual rod construction.

Best wishes.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Robert Ford (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 01:59PM

I use a pac bay power wrapper with the upgraded alps chuck and love it. I am sure the alps wrapper is top shelf.
I also just use a large bobbin to wrap with. I did not care for the thread tensioner device that I got with the thread carriage.
It's a work in progress as the more I build the more I figure out what works for me. IMO you really can't go wrong and
as your skill improves wrapping guides is just way quicker and easier with a wrapper.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 02:00PM

I do all my wrapping by hand. I like sitting in one place and moving the rod as I wrap, rather than having the rod in one place and me moving as I wrap. I own a top of the line power wrapper and have found I wrap faster by hand than I do using power. I also enjoy the hands on satisfaction I get wrapping this way. Many powerwrappers feed the thread from the front with the rod turning away from you. The Renzetti on the other hand feeds the thread from behind the rod with the rod turning towards you. So think about where you like the thread and the direction the rod turns if you get a power wrapper. I have found that for the types of rods I do, a power wrapper gives me no real advantage, in fact it slows me down. But that’s just me!
Norm

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 01, 2019 03:02PM

The length and breadth of most wraps on fly rods hardly warrant a power wrapper. I know that even though I have a power wrapper, I find that on such small and short wraps I can complete the wrap by hand turning nearly as fast as by power wrapping anyway. But power wrappers have some other benefits. They typically have good rod supports that evenly and centrally located the rod. They tend to have good thread carriages and tensioners that help, even when hand wrapping. And, they do give you option to do some light cork and EVA turning work.

..............

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 05:10PM

I'm with Tom regarding a power wrapper for fly rods. As he said generally the wraps are so short you would barely get started with a power wrapper and you have to shut down.

As you get experience wrapping by hand can be very quick, especially on single foot guides. Some wraps on light weight fly rods are not much more ten 1/4-3/8 of an inch.

Additionally most fly fishermen do not care for long decorative wraps, so no use for power there either.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 01, 2019 05:37PM

I have the same set up that Robert mentioned having, I've only built 3 rods since getting it, so I'm still pretty much in the infant stage when it comes to doing guide wraps on it. I need to use the down time from fishing that winter here affords, and do some practicing with it. For me the main benefits for wrapping guides that it has over my hand wrapper, is the rod supports. For me it makes it much easier to wrap the guides in the upper third of the rod blank. I can position them to control the flex in that area much better than I could prior to getting it.

As far as whether I am faster with it, than I was with my hand wrapper, At this point it's probably a wash. I actually find myself just removing the drive belt and wrapping the guides in the fatter sections of the blank by hand, Then reconnect it to wrap the guides in the thinner portions of the blank. If it were easier to turn the blank by hand in the skinnier portion of it, I'd probably wrap all the guides by hand. Where I really love the power wrapper is in having the ability to cut, turn, and work on grips. That and being able to apply finish as a speed faster than 18 RPM (that's the speed of my rod dryer) are the main reasons I bought it.

I made a foam core, carbon fiber sleeved rear grip from scratch last year. It turned out great. I also top coated the same type of grip using my power wrapper. Once again it turned out great. I wouldn't have tried either of those without having my power wrapper.

If you're planning on doing any serious grip turning, I'd suggest getting the wrapper with the upgraded Alps chuck. The lesser quality one works, but it's not on the same level as the upgraded one. It is one sweet piece of equipment.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 06:28PM

I do use my power wrapper for turning grips and it does a great job. However, for the price of the power wrapper you could buy a very good midi lathe with all the needed accessories. You can easily set up a variable speed DC drying motor for both applying epoxy at high rpms and drying at low rpms. The one sold at MudHole rotates from 0 to 45 rpms with a turn of the knob. Can also get 100 rpm DC motors at many places cheap that work well with a rheostat.
Norm

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Tom Wewerka (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 06:45PM

X3 on the same setup as Robert. and it get used everyday. What I like about the power wrapper is you have the ability to do both, wrap by hand or under power. I also like the fact the blank is on rollers and very easy to turn by hand.

On small guides by the time you clamp down the rod and start its time to tie off and unclamp the rod so I just wrap by hand. If I put thread inlays in the wrap it is a must to do by hand. However, if you are doing an underwrap this is where at the power wrapper shines and saves a lot of time. Not to mention that your hand won't cramp.

For the small investment in the PB/American Tackle power wrapper costs and the addition of the Alps upgrade chuck you will be very happy.. The standard plastic chuck is rather poor. I also ordered it with one additional rod support . Not necessary just easier to work with.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Terry Bain (---.lightspeed.ltrkar.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 07:30PM

Scott.

As you can see from the above posts it's a personal matter. I started wrapping rods in the early 70's and after my first one I was hooked. I read a book, wrapped my first one using a box with V's cut into the ends and the thread being pulled through books for tension. I didn't know any better, but loved the finished product, as matter of fact I still have that rod and it work's great.

Wrappers have definitely evolved through the years, both hand wrappers and the power wrappers, however, so have the prices. I have both types of wrappers and each has their own benefits, so it boils down to a personal choice.

Turning grips with the power wrapper is a huge plus, so is using it to lay down the base wraps for butt wraps, as it definitely will save time. Having said that I still set the rod in the power wrapper and use both methods, mostly wrapping by hand. I upgraded to the Alps chuck and felt it was worth the price. It's very simple to switch between the wrapping motor and the drying motor when applying the finish. Also a simple process to remove the belt to turn the rod by hand.

Whatever way you choose, always keep the passion in building your rods.

TB

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 09:43PM

I used a hand wrapper that I made for many years and did fine with it. But when I got an American Tackle base, supports,and thread "carriage" (I think that's what it's called), it really made wrapping easier. The setup better supported the rod blanks, wraps at the limber ends of the blank were easier. Note that I didn't get a motor. I am with those who have no need for power for almost every wrap I make. The first guide or two on a spin rod might be exceptions where a power wrapper would be advantageous. And certainly, wrapping long lengths of wrap like holding down a decal would be a lot easier and less tedious. I'm fine with having no motor. I should mention that I don't make rods for a living and might think differently if I did.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 01, 2019 09:43PM

I used a hand wrapper that I made for many years and did fine with it. But when I got an American Tackle base, supports,and thread "carriage" (I think that's what it's called), it really made wrapping easier. The setup better supported the rod blanks, wraps at the limber ends of the blank were easier. Note that I didn't get a motor. I am with those who have no need for power for almost every wrap I make. The first guide or two on a spin rod might be exceptions where a power wrapper would be advantageous. And certainly, wrapping long lengths of wrap like holding down a decal would be a lot easier and less tedious. I'm fine with having no motor. I should mention that I don't make rods for a living and might think differently if I did.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: herb canter (77.111.246.---)
Date: January 01, 2019 11:39PM

I only build rods for myself so a power wrapper is NOT something i am interested in . If i built rods on a regular basis throughout the year i think it would be a wise purchase especially if you deal with grip shaping , i never deal with grip shaping as i only build surf rods.

The wraps on my surf rods are also exceedingly short , around an 1/8th of an inch at the start of wrapping up the guide foot but if i was into the longer wraps that are typically seen on many surf rods a power wrapper would certainly speed things up. I think the biggest question to ask yourself is how many rods do i expect to build on a continuous basis and is wrapping by hand slowing me down .

I used a Rotisserie motor to dry the rods , it turns exceedingly slow but provided beautiful results.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Drew Longnecker (75.107.246.---)
Date: January 02, 2019 09:39AM

I also own a Pac Bay with the upgraded chuck. When I first got it I used the wrapping motor. Like some of the others, I now wrap most by hand. I find that using the chuck and the supports while turning the chuck by hand works great. I'll use the wrapping motor for things like spinning the rod to touch-up a poor epoxy wrap with sand paper or anything out of round on the rod. Because it has a dryer motor it serves a dual purpose. I found it nice to have it as an addition to my separate dryer.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: January 02, 2019 10:54AM

I am curious about folks having power wrappers but not using them.

Can anyone who has a power wrapper but prefers to wrap by hand rather than using the wrapper?

Is there an issue with the wrapper that causes you to prefer to wrap by hand, rather than to use the power of the wrapper?

Is there an issue with convenience or control with the power wrapper that causes you to use your hands only rather than using the wrapper?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Jim Ising (---.dyn.centurytel.net)
Date: January 02, 2019 12:05PM

Roger, here's why I prefer to hand wrap smaller guides:

1) Wrap initial few wraps (3-5) by hand to trap thread at the start. Trim tag. Stop
2) Add power very slowly and carefully for maybe 2 more wraps. Stop.
3) Lay in inlay thread and wrap 2 turns by hand. Unwind by hand. Pack by hand. Trap end of inlay by hand. Stop.
4) Add power very slowly for 2 or 3 turns. Stop.
5) Climb guide foot by hand to avoid overlaps or double wraps. Stop.
6) Add power slowly for 5-8 wraps. Stop.
7) Lay in tie-off loop. Stop.
8) Wrap 4-5 more turns - power or by hand, your choice. Pack by hand. Stop.

One more thing. When you are "power wrapping" a small guide and you accidentally overlap a thread, the tension of the belt on the power wrapper makes it difficult to UNWRAP your boo boo and rewrap it correctly. At least in my world. For small guides I prefer low RPM, slip clutch and easy UNwind. For butt wraps and large guides pour on the coal!

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: herb canter (77.111.246.---)
Date: January 02, 2019 02:25PM

Jim Ising Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Roger, here's why I prefer to hand wrap smaller
> guides:
>
> 1) Wrap initial few wraps (3-5) by hand to trap
> thread at the start. Trim tag. Stop
> 2) Add power very slowly and carefully for maybe 2
> more wraps. Stop.
> 3) Lay in inlay thread and wrap 2 turns by hand.
> Unwind by hand. Pack by hand. Trap end of inlay by
> hand. Stop.
> 4) Add power very slowly for 2 or 3 turns. Stop.
> 5) Climb guide foot by hand to avoid overlaps or
> double wraps. Stop.
> 6) Add power slowly for 5-8 wraps. Stop.
> 7) Lay in tie-off loop. Stop.
> 8) Wrap 4-5 more turns - power or by hand, your
> choice. Pack by hand. Stop.
>
> One more thing. When you are "power wrapping" a
> small guide and you accidentally overlap a thread,
> the tension of the belt on the power wrapper makes
> it difficult to UNWRAP your boo boo and rewrap it
> correctly. At least in my world. For small guides
> I prefer low RPM, slip clutch and easy UNwind. For
> butt wraps and large guides pour on the coal!



Can't explain it better than that , i can actually picture in my mind the complete nightmare it would be to go through that lol.

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Jeremy DeCoudres (---.ks.ks.cox.net)
Date: January 02, 2019 02:29PM

Does any one have any experience with the power wrappers from @#$%&. Curious at how well that check holds the rods?

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: January 02, 2019 04:40PM

Jim,
Read and understand.
My take on the issue is that when you use a good power wrapper that can wrap reliably in the forward and backward direction at 1 rpm, you have your foot on the control of the motor and you have both hands free to turn the rod. Never have to worry about holding it since the motor and chuck is doing that job for you.

Sure the steps are the same, just in the same way as if you are wrapping a 5 inch butt wrap, or a 1 inch long guide wrap, or doing an inlay. Both hands free because you use your foot to control the motor. Make a mistake, just flip the reverse switch, grab the thread, back up the rod to clear the mistake, put the thread back in the tension device to hold the thread tight, flip the reverse switch and you are off running again.

If a person is happy to wrap by hand, then by all means do it.

However, I like to have both hands free to use when wrapping and let my foot do the rod turning.

Good luck

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Re: How many use a power wrapper?
Posted by: Jim Ising (---.dyn.centurytel.net)
Date: January 03, 2019 10:17AM

Roger, my wrapper(s) don't have a reverse switch or I don't know where it is. If there is a switch, do you have to walk back down to the motor from the tip of an 8ft rod, hit reverse, back up, walk back down, hit forward and go back to the tip to continue?? And my wrappers don't like to go 1 rpm - or maybe it's my foot. Seems I'm a zero to 60 pedal man no matter how carefully I step on the gas. 1 RPM sounds about my speed. I must have the wrong wrapper.

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