nternet gathering place for custom rod builders
  • Custom Rod Builders - This message board is provided for your use by the sponsors listed on the left side of the page. Feel free to post any question, answers or topics related in any way to custom building. When purchasing products please remember those who sponsor this board.

  • Manufacturers and Vendors - Only board sponsors are permitted and encouraged to promote and advertise products on the board. You may become a sponsor for a nominal fee. It is the sponsor fees that pay for this message board.

  • Rules - Rod building is a decent and rewarding craft. Those who participate in it are assumed to be civilized individuals who are kind and considerate in their dealings with others. Please respond to others in the same fashion in which you would like to be responded to. Registration IS NOW required in order to post. You must include your actual First and Last name and a correct email address when registering or posting. Posts which are inflammatory, insulting, or that fail to include a proper name and email address will be removed and the persons responsible will be barred from further participation.

    Registration is now required in order to post. You must include your actual First and Last name and a correct email address when registering or posting.

ICRBE 2021
CCS Database
Int. Custom Rod Symbol
Common Cents Info
American Tackle
Anglers Rsrc - Fuji
BRC Rods
Banana River Rods
Cork Specialties LLC
HNL Rod Blanks–CTS
CTS New Zealand
Custom Fly Grips LLC
Decal Connection
Flex Coat Co.
Get Bit Outdoors
Hitena USA
Janns Netcraft
Lucas Mfg Co.
Mickel's Custom Rods
Mudhole Custom Tackle
MHX Rod Blanks
REC Components
Renzetti Inc.
Rod Builders Warehouse
RodHouse France
RodMaker Magazine
RodMaker Blog
Schneiders Rod Shop
SeaGuide Corp.
Struble Mfg.
The Rod Room
Trondak U-40
Utmost Enterprises
VooDoo Rods

Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Guy Daines (96.59.229.---)
Date: April 01, 2021 06:43PM

Hey all. So I finally pulled the trigger and recently ordered some of the basic beginner equipment to start making rods, and built my first cheaper one ever just as a test since I’ve never done this before and don’t know much about rod building and the rod is drying right now as I type. So I have some questions since my first build was a slight disaster which I was kind of expecting. First question being, how long should my thread finish take to dry? I used ProKote medium build (just one coat), and it’s been about 16 hours as of me writing this post since I applied it and has been rotating on the dryer. I made sure to perfectly use 50/50 with the resin and hardener by using syringes, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I know it shouldn’t be fully dry in 16 hours either, but it’s like not even close. It’s still mostly wet and has only started to get thicker/more gel like a TINY bit. Is something wrong or should I just keep letting it spin for an absurdly long time? Secondly, what is the best way to hold tiny guides on the skinniest part of the blank while I’m trying to wrap them. I used thin masking tape which worked fine for the bigger guides at first, but trying the do it with the last handful of tiny guides towards the top half of the rod was nearly impossible. I know some people use those little rubber rings cut from tubing but I don’t think those are small enough to stay tight towards the top part of the rod as it’s diameter is too small. So any tips with that? Thirdly, I’ve also noticed that while my rod is drying, the rod itself towards the top isn’t even laying on the CRB rod holder I have because the rod dryer keeps the rod kind of locked in place in mid air so the taper of the rod doesn’t lay on the holders the more you go down the blank if that makes sense. This leads to the top quarter of the rod suspended in mid air above the holder and bobbing up and down like half an inch during rotations which I’m sure isn’t good for the drying/epoxy process. How would I fix that? My final question is, how does humidity and temperature affect the thread finish? The main reason why this first build was a disaster was because I only had a 6 foot folding table available to me which I put in my room. As you can probably tell where this going, I didn’t have near enough room to even finish wrapping the top quarter of the rod. I had to put everything on the floor and sit/lay on the ground trying to finish wrapping which was near impossible and made me so frustrated I started to rush and did a poor job. So I’m looking at buying a longer 8 foot table at least but the only place that I can fit a bigger table would be out on my back porch. I live in Florida so the humidity is extremely high and gross with really hot weather and days where the weather also fluctuates like 25 degrees from night to day. Will I still be fine building rods outside or will this mess things up? Sorry this is such a long post guys, I’ve just been really interested in rod building and have no idea what I’m doing but want to get better at it. Thank you to the people who read this and are willing to help me out.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: April 01, 2021 07:20PM

1) I'm in my office at home. 8 hours has always been long enough to dry the epoxy.
2) Tiny guides. The little red rubber rings on the "tree" available from most suppliers works pretty good. I use paper bread twist ties for most of the eyes.
3) Shim up the stands or buy straighter blanks.
4) I'm in a climate controlled environment so I can't help with that.
5) I use two (or three if you like) 10' tongue and groove 1" x 6" floor boards mounted on large "L" brackets I got from Home Depot. In my office I have a wall long enough to accommodate this. Mount at a comfortable height. I like to stand.
6) I'n new at this too with about 50 builds under my belt. You will make many mistakes, with the vast majority of them easily fixable.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 01, 2021 08:30PM

If the epoxy was measured correctly, then the problem is most likely that it was not mixed thoroughly. If this is the case, it will never set up properly.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Dan Pentecost (---)
Date: April 01, 2021 09:28PM

I agree with Phil... You have to mix the epoxy for like two minutes. I actually set a timer! I built my first rod with a mudhole kit about 6 years ago the prokote on it still feels kind of sticky and soft.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (172.58.99.---)
Date: April 01, 2021 09:46PM

Your problem is as Phil stated. The epoxy must be thoroughly mixed in order to set properly. Humidity is not an issue with epoxy setting. You need to mix slow and methodically, trying not to make too many bubbles, mixing from the bottom outer edge of the mixing cup and moving in circles to center and repeating. You are going to make some bubbles but that is not that big of a deal. The epoxy will go through stages while you mix. It will get cloudy at first then it will become clear, after it is clear keep stirring until it starts making more bubbles than it was when you started and it should be about ready. It can take about 3 to 5 minutes, Poor it on to aluminum foil in like a thin layer, many of the bubbles will go away, After you have applied to your wraps (thread) use an alcohol burner to get any bubbles out that made it to the wraps. For small guides and feet I will cut good quality masking tape into thin strips where I can wrap at least half the foot before I remove the tape, An automotive paint store will have good tape, you can cut little strips so the width doesn't really matter for what you get. These are the things you need to work out on your own and you will come up with a method that works for you.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Mark Hahn (---.212.40.162.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: April 01, 2021 10:11PM

1. I mix my epoxy for no less than 4 minutes.
2. I've recently switched to guide glue/adhesive, looks like a hot glue stick. It'll take some getting accustom to but it has been worth the learning curve.
3. Like Mark said above, shim it to fit. Better yet, spend a bit of money and get a good rod dryer.
4. I live in Central Fl and I only do work on handles outside. Wrapping outside will normally involve you sweating (It's Florida) and that can get into the threads. Additionally, any work outside is always subject to an unexpected gust of wind and that kicks up dust or other debris that can hinder good work. Stay inside if at all possible.
5. Make mistakes, they are lessons you learn from. I too was too hard on myself until I attended my first ICRBE and talked to some exceptional rodmakers. They all said more or less the same thing; everyone makes mistakes, them included.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.dhcp.bhn.net)
Date: April 01, 2021 10:59PM


I live in Fl and share your pain, I have seen temperature swings of 40 degrees in a day . My solution is....I do all my "dirty" work (sanding, shaping, cutting, guide prep in the garage. I do the clean work (wrapping, finishing) in one of the rooms in the house. My wrapper is portable so location in the house is not an issue.

Rings on the tree does the guides.

For drying I use only one support 2/3 from dryer..

For the epoxy mix I use a single syringe, I remove the plunger and pour 2cc of resin into syringe then pour 2cc of hardener on top of the resin I replace the plunger and squirt the 4 cc batch in an aluminum dish. I mix the epoxy for 3 min and apply to the wrap. If I need a second batch no problem..
I place the epoxy dish near the dryer and periodically check the dish for cure progress. My experience is it takes about 3 hours for the epoxy to cure to the point that I can turn the dryer motor off. I try to start the process around 6 or 7 PM turn off the motor at 9 or10 PM and let the rod set until the next day.

I find I make less mistakes when my mind set is such that I "want" to work on the rod not "have" to work on the rod and I TRY, but not always successful not to rush or cut corners.

Good luck and Have fun


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: April 02, 2021 06:35AM

I am a novice rod builder also. I have about 10 rods under my belt in the past 6 months. I have experienced the same problems and most here probably have. As mentioned earlier, learn from your mistakes, don't be too hard on yourself when a mistake is made, and most mistakes can be repaired. Do as these pros say. There are not shortcuts. I mix the epoxy under a bright light and make sure the epoxy is perfectly clear before using. This should take 2-4 minutes depending on air temperature. Enjoy the work; it is an awesome hobby and the rods you can produce will be amazing.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (131.123.51.---)
Date: April 02, 2021 09:07AM

ProKote is known to take longer to cure than some other brands on the market, but as long as the temp in the room is over 70F, it should not be wet after 8 hours. If it is, you either accidentally grabbed the same bottle twice when measuring your epoxy or you did not mix long enough. You need to mix for at least 2 minutes. One trick that I use is to turn on some music. Most songs last about 3 minutes, so mixing for an entire song will get you in the ball park. As you mix, you will see streaks form in the epoxy. When the streaks disappear, the epoxy is mixed. Mix for at least another 30 seconds to be sure. Has anyone mentioned that mixing is important? ;-)

I usually use masking tape to hold the guides in place. When small guides on the thin portion of the blank give me fits, I'll take a piece of cable tie and tape it down with the nut butted up agains the guide to act as a bit of a chock block. It keeps the guide from creeping forward as you try to wrap the thread up onto the foot.

I assume you have one of the CRB wrappers with the metal stands. You'll notice some notches in the sides near the depth of the V. These are to hold bands in place that will pull the blank down into the V. I use black hair ties to get the job done. They are wrapped in nylon and are therefore slicker than rubber bands and last longer.

Temperature affects the cure time and viscosity of the finish. Low temp means high viscosity and a long cure time, high temp means low viscosity and short cure time. Keep the room over 70F and you should have no problems with the finish being cured after turning for 8 hours. It may take longer to harden all of the way, but it will definitely no longer flow. As long as you do not have condensation, the humidity should not pose any issue. However, epoxy will blush when exposed to the right combination of CO2 and humidity, but that is very rare.

I started wrapping on a coffee table and graduated up to an old kitchen table, and now use a CRB track that I can assemble on my 8' bar when I need it. When using a shorter table, the wrapping jig stays in the middle of the length of the table and you slide the rod. You will need to get creative when it comes to propping up the heavy end of the rod. When using the table, I would often let the rod rest on the back of a chair or stack objects to get my extra v block in the right spot. Tying some weights to a string that can be looped over the blank can provide some counter balance when needed.

I would not wrap and finish outside due to the debris that can be kicked up out there. It's great for handle work and reaming, but not so much for wrapping and finishing.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: April 04, 2021 07:21PM

John, what does "rings on the tree does the guides" mean?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner Questions/Help
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: April 08, 2021 03:10PM


I believe he is speaking of the purchased sets of guide bands. Many of the sponsors on the sidebar supply them. They are nice for small runners where the guide foot is too small for masking tape to hold it in location. The bands are all attached to a "tree" of rubber so they are easier to work with and harder to lose.

Options: ReplyQuote

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.