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stlye vs function
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 08:35AM

When I first started rod building, I wanted to build rods with as many decorative styles as I could get on a rod. Now that I have built several rods I have come to realize that it is more important to build a rod with function in mind and not decoration. So what Ive been doing recently is having a decorative butt wrap and having simplistic wraps on the guides.

Im pretty sure that everyone agrees with the function assessment, just curious if I'm the only one that has this 'ah ha moment'

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 09:04AM

I have been building rods for a long time. While I personally enjoy doing the decorative stuff, most of the folks that have had me build a rod for them are not interested in paying for the extra time to do decorations.
Pure function and good fit and finish have been the priorities for over 90% of my customers.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 08, 2020 10:00AM

If you are building rods for sale, the most important thing is to build the type rods that your market is willing to pay for.

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

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: January 08, 2020 10:18AM

Tastes and times change, and the battle between form and function go on. A rod-builder should first discover which a customer values most: the appearance of a rod or the performance of a rod, and build it to please the buyer. "Show" and "GO" are frequently incompatible. Look at the divorce rate.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: January 08, 2020 10:24AM

Always consider just three things when building custom fishing rods:

Performance, Performance, and lastly Performance.

Think fighter jet, they look cool, too.

Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies
www.flexcoat.com

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 12:05PM

Since all my builds have been for personal use I just have learned to make the builds more functional than anything else. I am finding that the minimalistic approach works out better. I did marbling at first and it was fun to dabble in. Then I found it a bit too much for what I wanted the rod to be. My best rod so far is one that I stripped the paint off an old blank which gave me an awesome wood grain look finish. I just wrapped the guides with a single color and it looks awesome. The weight difference from the original to what I turned it into is amazing to me.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: John DeMartini (---)
Date: January 08, 2020 01:25PM

When building a rod the three things I consider is the Customer, the Customer and lastly the Customer.

MOST and I say MOST folks looking for custom rods tend to be serious anglers and know what they want and are asking the builder to provide it.

If the customer is unsure of what he wants then we are obliged to advise them of the pros and cons of their request and come to an agreement of the final configuration.

As I have said in previous posts I envy those folks who can decorate the rod with ornate thread art and if that is what the customer wants that is what he should get.

When I am the customer I go for function. The basic bread and butter rod.

John

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 01:54PM

I would love to be able to do weaves and such..BUT time does not permit for such things. It took me like 20 hours to finish up a butt wrap that completely covered the blank. I am hoping to be able to do my next one in half that time.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: January 08, 2020 03:18PM

20 hours would make one heck of a fishing trip. I don't want a 20 hour project, I want to go fishing. If the customer wants art, give them art. If they want a fishing rod, give them the best performing fishing rod for their style of fishing.

Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies
www.flexcoat.com

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: January 08, 2020 03:26PM

Tastes vary. I prefer a rod with tight wraps and a thin, smooth layer of finish on them. I think such rods are very classy. "Is all good structure in a winding stair?"

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: January 08, 2020 04:11PM

In the Pacific Northwest, unless your building a sturgeon rod and occasionally a saltwater build, no one seems to want decorative wraps or weaves.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 06:04PM

If you look through the archives you will find very few rods that are built for as John Cates said " Performance performance performance " .The overwhelming majority have wraps that are far far longer than necessary extending well past the end of the guide foot and it's not by mistake either.


Many have underwraps to enhance appearance and these ARE NOT offshore rods where underwraps could be seen as beneficial , these are just average freshwater and light saltwater builds . A true performance build won't have any of these things , the blank will come unfinished & not painted . Ultimate performance builds will typically use very light thread to wrap the guides in sizes AAA AA or A and the wraps will be short only slightly exceeding the end of the foot . There will be no Butt Wraps or underwraps of any kind and nothing added that doesn't have a direct impact on enhancing the rods performance .

This means a lightweight reel seat if preferred with minimal epoxy build up to make it a permanent fixture and guide choices must be no larger than absolutely necessary and the amount of guides should also be carefully scrutinized . Don't use any more than absolutely needed . For ultimate performance guides in titanium frames will be the most popular and for good reason and corrosion resistance is NOT that reason . You want the lightest guide frames possible for a build where performance is the # 1 goal and this also means a very light coat of epoxy on the short minimalist guide wraps.

Most rods have guides that are grossly over sized especially the runners and tip tops. It takes an enormous amount of time tweaking and testing tweaking and testing to achieve true ultimate performance . The reel and line choice have a HUGE impact when it comes to spinning builds as these two factors alone will determine not only guide height but ring sizes as well .

Most will not go this route , they're perfectly happy with a rod that performs very well to their standards and feel the above is going overboard but i can assure you it's not when you're building an ultimate performance setup when your intent is to match a single specific reel to a single specific blank .

I'm not talking about interchanging reels that's a whole different story .

I agree with the others about doing what a customer wants , i don't build for anybody but myself and i always build with the exact reel type, spec's and line already known .

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 06:16PM

Less is more.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 08:20PM

i agree with Herb 100% and can only add that i gravitated to tennessee hndles, short 5 to 7 inch handles..flocked, making the use of reinforced gorrilla tape possible, just one wrap on each leg..rock solid hold but clean to unwrap..braided lines get better(J braid!)..50 to 60 inch E glass rods..with braid, no carbon is needed for sensitiity, which comes from the line not the rod..short glass rods cast better and fight fish better and don,t break the bank if broken..high pperformance does not mean high dollar(except for the line).and a short guide reduction train, with one guide plus butt guide or just a butt guide.but of coarse so much depends on the waters you fish..

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: January 09, 2020 07:36AM

I have some very ornate and good looking wraps on rods that I could only dream of creating. I would only assume that these types of rods are used infrequently or solely as a piece of art. Building offshore rods I would assume would allow for more creative wraps since the weight of the rod isn't as crucial. I do plan on building a tuna rod at some point where I will be more creative than I have been recently. I will continue to build my freshwater and light saltwater rods with more function in mind than anything. Until I build for customers, I will build however I choose.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: January 09, 2020 12:33PM

You don't see much extra thread, tinsel, snakeskin or what-have-you on rods used for competition casting - especially for distance.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 09, 2020 02:30PM

Exactly.

For function, light guides and as few as possible wrapped with just enough thread to secure the guide and 0 weight anywhere else and you will have an excellent performing rod for the particular blank being used.

As Henry Said about his Model T - you can have any color you wish as long as it is black.

Black blank, black guides, black thread, black reel seat and black grips. You will be good to go. No trim or anything else that will detract from the Stealth of the rod.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2020 02:32PM by roger wilson.

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: January 09, 2020 03:44PM

Ken Brown:

" I would only assume that these types of rods are used infrequently or solely as a piece of art"




I would tend to disagree , the overwhelming majority of builds you see in the archives are everyday rods built by people who want to fish a rod that shows their creativity & talents . Many are real works of art that you can't help being impressed by . They don't build them to not fish them , it all comes down to what the builder wants if building for himself or what a customer wants .

I believe the overwhelming majority of customers want both beautiful and highly functional rods , you can still use different color thread to make wraps stand out , ultimate performance builds don't need to be bland and unappealing . Just keep the wraps short only slightly exceeding the end of the guide foot but feel free to make the wraps as aesthetically pleasing as you wish in the process .

Most guide wraps you see are exceedingly long often doubling the length of the guide foot and that's a huge no no on ultimate performance builds .

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 09, 2020 09:10PM

There is a way to combine the best of performance and aesthetics but you have to be creative in the way you go about things.

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

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Re: stlye vs function
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: January 10, 2020 08:03AM

I can see some different opinions here, which is what I expected :) On the builds Ive done thus far, sometimes I feel like making it decorative and sometimes I feel like building a minimalistic build. Its all about preference, never any right or wrong answer.

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