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Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Travis Sheeder (---)
Date: July 17, 2021 10:42PM

Good evening!

I'm wanting to start building some rods, not as a business or anything, just for me and possibly some friends. I've been looking at all of the suppliers online and have found a plethora of rod wrappers for sale.
I wanted to ask y'all if there were any certain brands or models that I should steer clear of?


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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: July 18, 2021 12:28AM

The short answer is - no.

But if you are half way handy you can built your own.
You need a method to tension your wrapping thread - I like magnets on a 1/4 " threaded rod - mounted on a vertical "carriage".
You need the thread carriage to be able to slide left to right - and right to left.
You will need two uprights with notches on top to roll your blank. They also should be able to move left and right.
finally - you need to tension the blank somehow to keep it stationary so the thread does not unravel if you take your hands off the blank.

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: July 18, 2021 05:53AM

I agree with Herb, making a hand wrapper is not complicated. When I made mine I just looked at pictures of a couple of different ones and incorporated a few things from each. I differ from Herb in that you'll need at least three rod stands, and at least two of them should be moveable along some sort of bed. The moveable ones will be positioned on either side of the wrap you're performing, and the third would be a stand alone that you use to support the butt of the rod as you work on other portions of the rod. Also, and this is of course personal preference, but I ended up making my thread carriage horizontal. I tried a vertical configuration, and it was in the way of my hands as I worked the thread.

Like Herb, I tension the thread at the thread spool. And while spring tension will work, Herb's mention of using magnets is the route I went once I moved on to a power wrapper. The magnets work so smoothly and work better for fine adjustments in tension levels, that they are well worth getting. And they aren't expensive.

You will see pictures of wrappers that have thread tensioning rods. They are supposed to make it easier if you need to back up the blank to fix a problem with the thread. For me the rod got in the way, so I didn't go that route. Other than passing through a small eyelet in front of the thread spool, the thread goes directly to the rod blank. I have the thread coming over the side of the blank facing me, and rotate the blank away from me while wrapping. I think it's easier to detect any problems with the thread, more quickly.

As far as how to tension the rod so it doesn't move when you take your hands off the blank, I put some dowels sticking out of the side of one of my vertical stands, and just wrap an elastic band that girls use to tie up their pony tails. It works quite well.

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: July 18, 2021 08:50AM

From our online library: [www.rodbuilding.org]


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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: July 18, 2021 09:03AM

As has been said in the past, plagiarism is a sign of a good design.

If you see a rod wrapper that looks like it will work for you, just use the design. There is nothing wrong with implementing a design that you see someplace as long as you don't use the deign for commercial replication and making money from someone else's work.

When I first starting building, I simply used the design that is being used by a local commercial rod school that builds hundreds or thousands of rods per year.

You will see comments and recommendations about putting tension on a thread spool to maintain tension on the thread while wrapping.

However, I take the old school approach that is used to apply tensions to the thread on sewing, embroidery, blanket making, shoe making machines on virtually every sewing machines used in the world every day to construct billions of clothing items ad well as foot wear, saddles, bridles etc.

So, if it is good enough to keep the tensions on these machines, It is certainly good enough to build fishing rods.

However, there is one limitation - do NOT use a spring disk tensioned thread tension device to wrap with metallic thread. The way that metallic thread is manufactured, the use of spring loaded disks will often cause the metallic thread to deconstruct.

So, I simply use one of these for thread tension on the wrapper that I have used all these many years wrapping rods:


In use, I have a weighted horizontal base, and a movable arm to align with the tension device mounted on the top side of the tension device.
Picture as follows:


In use, the tensioner is simply placed along the back edge of the rod building wrapper base and the tensioner is simply slid along the back of the base as the rod is wrapped.

Note: I use metallic thread for trim wraps. To wrap metallic trim thread, I simply snip off a couple of feet of metallic thread, and start the thread under the wraps. Then, I wrap the thread, maintaining tension with my hand and fingers on the thread. Easy, simple and fool proof and no issues ever with the metallic thread coming apart.

For the base of the wrapper, I first simply used a pine 1x4 with holes drilled in it along the center line to hold the rod rests:

I later used a router to mill a slot in the board to allow for small movements of the rod stands.


For a rod stand, a simple wood V-block works fine. To insure that the rod does not come out of the V stand, just loop a binder around the top of the V - so that the rod does not hop out of the block. Also, if hand wrapping, notch the top sides of the v at about the same level as the bottom of the V to let the rubber binder rest in the notches. This will provide a bit of tension on the rod so that the rod does not back up - if you take your hands off of the rod when wrapping.

An example of a simple rod rest:


Over time, if you prefer, you can make or obtain roller rod rests with a top arm with a roller on it to contain the rod - that work very well.

Here for example is an Alps rod rest:

These are examples of rod rests that I made with aluminum stock, plastic cutting board, and shower door rollers with a rubber O ring in the groove of the roller to protest the blank:

So, you can start very basic equipment and if you like it you can expand your tooling as you become more proficient in the craft.

Best wishes

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Bruce Tomaselli (---.hsd1.pa.comcast.net)
Date: July 18, 2021 09:38AM

If I had to do it over again I'd make my own. You might even find some handmade ones on @#$%&.

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: July 18, 2021 11:08AM

David is correct RE # of up-rights.
I only built fly rods - and 99% and 4 piece rods. So I lost sight of the fact that you ill need at least one more up-right for longer blanks.

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: July 18, 2021 11:42AM

I now have built many powered rod wrappers and dryers for use in the shop.

They all have done the job, some better than others.

I currently use a powered rod wrapper that is based on the use of an aluminum channel with ball bearing rollers on the bottom insides of the channel to allow the bed to move easily back and forth on the rod bench.
I have also added brakes to the base of the wrapper to hold the base in one place when wrapping a guide. Then, I lift the brakes, roll the wrapper to its new location and continue on.

I simply prefer to wrap while sitting and it makes sense to me to remain seated in one location, rather than stand up and down walking back and forth in front of the rod.

For example:

Just an example of what can be done to make a better mouse trap - so to speak.

Good luck in the craft of rod building.

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: July 18, 2021 12:59PM

my v-blocks are not connected to each other and are clamped to my bench so that they are extended over the edge which allows the thread in a fly tying bobbin to almost reach the floor when attached to the rod...i put a couple washers on the bobbin holder for added weight and more winding tension..gravity allows me to wind forwards or backwards..

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: July 18, 2021 03:10PM

Make it an, you can change as time goes on to improve what you have , or leave it alone , your choice ,

William Sidney

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Travis Sheeder (---)
Date: July 18, 2021 06:42PM

You guys are awesome! I wasn't expecting this many replies. I hadn't even considered a diy version. I'm going to look into that a little deeper. Thank you all!

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: July 19, 2021 10:35AM


If you are going to build one, great, but might I suggest looking at our design. It checks all the boxes and lends itself to customization.



Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies

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Re: Rod wrappers for beginners
Posted by: Mud Hole Custom Tackle (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: July 20, 2021 08:15PM

Make your own, or save time and maybe money and buy the #1 selling hand wrapper for a reason

OR really save money on the eZ Rod Wrapper

Team Mud Hole Custom Tackle
Web: [www.mudhole.com]
Email: sales@mudhole.com
Toll Free Phone #: 1-866-790-RODS (7637)

Stay Connected with us:
FaceBook: [www.facebook.com]
Twitter: @mudholetackle
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