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First Rod Build
Posted by: Terry Chaytor (209.128.15.---)
Date: January 31, 2020 11:27AM

Helllllooooooooooooo from Newfoundland Canada!!

Hi all, I'm about to attempt my first rod build.. I purchased the mudhole fly rod building kit [www.mudhole.com] Before I dig into this new hobby I thought I would check in with the experts.. anything I may be missing or need etc.. I'm super excited to try this and hopefully land an Atlantic salmon on a custom build!!

Any pointers before I start would be awesome!!

Thanks all..

Terry

[www.mudhole.com]

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 31, 2020 11:51AM

Terry,
Before gluing anything, check, check, recheck and check again.

If you wrap something and don't like it, cut it off and do it over. This cam be repeated a million times if you wish to get it just right.
If you don't like a guide, cut it off and put something else on.

Remember, as long as you don't have glue or finish on something - it is easy to cut it off and start over.

One thing that I like to use is the use of both 1/4 inch wide as well as 1/8th inch wide masking tape. I use this striping tape for everything.

Some folks like to use china markers to mark guide placement. I personally do not like to put any marks on the blank. If I need to mark something, I will use s piece of narrow tape. Easy to get off and not leave anything behind.

A good supply of sharp razor blades, You will find that you will use them for many things.

Early on in my wrapping one of my teachers introduced me to the use of very fine tipped Dr. Slick's Fly tying scissors. Since then I have used these same scissors for all of my thread cutting when wrapping as opposed to using a razor blade. The problem with a razor blade, is that although you can get a close cut to your wraps, you can also easily nick a wrap which means that you have to repeat the wrap again.

For example: [www.madriveroutfitters.com]

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 31, 2020 12:13PM

The most important thing in rod building can not be purchased: patience. You don't need a bunch of whizz-bang gimcracks to build rods - it's more of an art than a mechanical operation.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 31, 2020 02:33PM

and even if you have all the whizz-bang stuff, you still best have lots of patience..lol.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Jason Haney (---.mountainresearch.com)
Date: January 31, 2020 04:07PM

#1 Tip: Don't start.

I haven't bought a stock rod in probably 5 years. I find myself patiently waiting on the best sales each year, spending about $100 on each build to build rods that I don't even necessarily need. I have custom builds that I'm not a huge fan of for one reason or another leaning into the corner of my garage, next a pile of stock rods that have accumulated over the years. My rod lockers have slowly transitioned to probably 75% of my own builds. I haven't saved a dime, and I don't know that the rods I'm building are any improvement over what I can get off the rack at a tackle shop for the same money.

There is a level of frustration to rod building you can certainly do without. Flipping through spacing charts, waffling on the number and size of guides to buy, taping and wrapping small guide feet, excess epoxy, having to re-wrap guides. Keep plenty of paper towels/napkins handy with a big bottle of isopropyl alcohol.

With that being said, now that I have the tools, skills, and I can pick the colors/components I want, I probably won't ever buy another stock rod. I've built 2 rods this winter and I'm waiting on two NFC blanks right now that I'm excited about turning into jig and Carolina rig rods. I have MHX blanks picked out for next year for a finesse spinning rod and a cranking stick.

If you're a die-hard angler and this build goes well, you're probably done buying rods off the rack. You're going to have another hobby that you can quite honestly do without. It's not unlike fishing itself.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 31, 2020 07:16PM

All true. Well said, Jason!

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 31, 2020 07:41PM

Jason,
Over the years, I have gotten rid of any rod that was a stock rod.
Then, over time, I have also gotten rid of about 2/3rds of the rods that I had on hand at one time.

As I get older, I fish less and really have no need for a hundred rods laying around the shop. So, as the time has gone by, if the need arises, I will just divest my self of a rod that I seldom use, and give it to someone who will use it more frequently.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 31, 2020 07:51PM

If you're not careful you may reach a point when you might enjoy the building more than the actual fishing. Sick thought.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 31, 2020 11:44PM

Terry,
I don’t know what you said or did, but I just read replies from veteran builders within this site which I have never heard before; and I cannot argue with them = careful what you wish for LOL.
That being said, WELCOME ABOARD AND HAVE FUN!!!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: David Parsons (---)
Date: February 01, 2020 09:47AM

Terry it's a great thing to do when your snowed in and can't fish how many feet of snow did you get .

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Terry Chaytor (---.dhcp-dynamic.fibreop.nl.bellaliant.net)
Date: February 02, 2020 10:17AM

Urgh.. don’t talk about snow.. worst one day snowfall in the history of our city.. state of emergency for 7 days!!

We had almost 3 feet in one day combined with 140km/h+ winds.. took 3 days just to clear houses etc.. another week to clear the streets.. trust me when I say we are able to handle most storms but this one was a storm of the century !!

Thanks for all the great advise!! This is a hobby for me so all the advise helps. 90 percent of my fishing is fly based. I can’t go back to casting anymore not as fun to me. I was more intrigued by catching a 10-15lb Atlantic salmon on my own build.. if anyone has ever fished Atlantic salmon (which I’m sure a lot of may have) its one of the best fighting fish you could ever ask for..

My rod rack is already full of great rods and tackle.. this is a winter hobby project for me, I dabble in art as well, so customizing is going to get creative!!

Too late Jason as I already have everything purchased .. but you should make that post a sticky one cause who would want to rod build after that.. lol..

Thanks again guys.. I’ll be posting some more questions I appreciate the time you take to reposed ..

Terry

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: February 02, 2020 10:41AM

The nice thing about fly rods is that they come in multiple sections, which makes them extremely easy to build. You don’t need a lot of space or even a rod wrapper. With the kit everything you need is included, just follow the instructions and take your time, as mentioned previously patience is virtue. The very first thing you should do is to put the pieces together and find the straightest axis to build on. You will probably find that the rod will have a bend in ti. I place the guides on the convex side of the bend, by doing this the weight of the guides will cause the rod to straight. I also increases the dead lift power of the rod. Other then that is is a straight forward process. Go fit it!
Norm

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: John Wright (---.om.om.cox.net)
Date: February 02, 2020 11:44AM

Pretty much what everybody else has said, Patience is the one thing that cannot be taught or bought and I think its the most important thing we have as builders. I have tied the same guide on a rod six or seven times just because it didn't look quite right. So take your time and enjoy the art form. It can be very relaxing while at the same time very frustrating. I have walked away from my bench for a day or two just because things weren't coming together the way I wanted.

The only other thing I would suggest is to spend a day with Youtube. When I need help on something, I can often find it there and many actually are pretty good. At least you can see a technique or two on how to do something.

Have fun, take your time, and never forget why you want to build your own rod. Welcome to the group.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: John Wright (---.om.om.cox.net)
Date: February 02, 2020 11:44AM

Pretty much what everybody else has said, Patience is the one thing that cannot be taught or bought and I think its the most important thing we have as builders. I have tied the same guide on a rod six or seven times just because it didn't look quite right. So take your time and enjoy the art form. It can be very relaxing while at the same time very frustrating. I have walked away from my bench for a day or two just because things weren't coming together the way I wanted.

The only other thing I would suggest is to spend a day with Youtube. When I need help on something, I can often find it there and many actually are pretty good. At least you can see a technique or two on how to do something.

Have fun, take your time, and never forget why you want to build your own rod. Welcome to the group.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: John Wright (---.om.om.cox.net)
Date: February 02, 2020 11:46AM

Well that's interesting. Never saw duplicate posts before.

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Chuck Brezen (70.97.209.---)
Date: February 02, 2020 05:55PM

I agree with pretty much all the comments above. I to have most all the retail rods I’ve accumulated over the years stacked in a corner of my garage. I will probably donate these to some organization at some point. I would say that patience is a big deal and we all have torn wraps apart more than once. One thing I’d like to offer is before you jump into building practice. I found that a small wooden dowel was REALLY a great tool. They’re cheap and you can practice anything before applying it to a rod. You can practice different wrapping techniques, marble, see how different color combinations work, even tiger wraps... I will agree, it becomes an obsession and I’ve found myself many times sitting in my shop lost in time and realize it’s 1am and can’t remember where the time went.

I began to share the hobby with my son’s HS fishing team and many of the parents soon joined in. Every Wednesday is rod not in the basement shop and typically 5-9 kids/parents are building every week. I can honest say, it has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever taken up.

I will also say that the people on this forum are some of the best and most helpful I’ve ever encountered. If you have questions...ask. We all started somewhere and we are all here to help. Have fun and don’t be afraid to be creative. As I always tell the boys, “it’s custom” make it yours!

Chuck

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Re: First Rod Build
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: February 03, 2020 07:38AM

One thing I have found is that when rod building, if your patience goes then walk away from the table. If you build when you are frustrated then your rod will echo it. I have found this AFTER I completed a rod and thought '@#$%& is that?'. Lots of isopropal alcohol for clean up, lots of paper towels. Another thing is aluminum foil. I use that to pour my epoxy into after mixing. Its a cheaper alternative to the metal dishes. Just build up the sides so the epoxy doesn't flow out. Lots of brushes and mixing sticks.

And yes, if you want to save money..DONT START!! Its very addicting. I have lots of extra components laying around, partial builds, extra blanks, extra tools.

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