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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: January 12, 2022 10:43AM

I too started my journey with a turnkey kit from Mudhole with all the starting essentials. I was more than capable to spec everything I needed as it is the nature of my career. I chose the kit as a nice easy entry to the craft and having never built a rod from scratch I did not know if it would be something I would pursue passionately. I then progressed to only kitting the guide train in CRB elite guides until I honed my craft to the point I felt good enough building with higher end guides.

Fast forward five years and this craft went from hobby to passion for me. I owe that to the gateway nature of the kit and to the amazing contributors to this forum who have expanded my knowledge, challenged my thoughts, and fueled my ideas.

P.S. I still fish T-rigged plastics with my MHX MB843 metallic copper kit rod. For $114.40 (as of right now) it is a value greater than any manufactured rod I know of.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Stephen White (---.satx.res.rr.com)
Date: January 12, 2022 11:08AM

OK, clearly lots of positives come from using kits for those who do and many many folks who use one go on to become immersed in the craft and build many more fantastic rods. I do also realize that if you follow directions the end result is probably a very good fishing pole.

but...

All of those positives happen when you build one without a kit, although you might well end up with a crappy or lackluster rod. But for the first rod that's kind of beside the point isn't it? I mean no one is doing this to save money and chances are they have a number of good rods. They already love fishing and fishing rods interest them or they wouldn't be doing this to start with. There's so much more to get from building a rod than putting together rod components, right? Why skip the first question of building your own rod, why? Are you filling a need? Maybe have a weakness that the right rod can help with? The rod and the components are paired for a specific end result and if you let someone else do that then its just the same as off the shelf. Don't you want to come out of this with something more?

My position is that skipping the research and risks of making the decisions on what to build and how to build it takes away from the experience AND misses the opportunity to get to the ah ha moment. Everyone knows when they have that moment. It all comes together and instead of frustrating or overwhelming its calming and clear. In sports its when you start shedding armature moves and settle into a smooth style. In pool you start running the table, in woodworking you are making stuff you can actually sell or use with pride. It's when you take control and start directing and determining the output. Its developing the next level skill AND knowledge.

I could go on and on but people are capable of learning and becoming really really good at almost anything and to get there you almost always have to step out of your comfort zone, put in a ton of frustrating, overwhelming time and emotions and hopefully reach that ah ha moment. We all bump along in life often picking things we are interested in and giving it a go to see if it fits.

With a kit you keep in your lane and take a small step. Sure its exciting taking a bunch of parts you don't know much about and learning how to assemble them into a finished useable rod and its now relaxing because all the decisions were made by someone who knew what they were doing and you are safe with the knowledge that if you don't F it up you will have a nice rod to fish and maybe show off a little.. Kind of a right of passage thing and for some another bucket list tick off.

Couple of things though. Do you do another one? I mean it was fun but without the hours, days and maybe weeks of reading, watching YouTube, sketching, thinking and finally buying, its not that intense adrenalin high when your done, Its cool, maybe damn cool but I bet its also a little, meh to many when they sit it on the rack next to the last one they bought.

I also have to wonder how many people that do really enjoy it and want to continue just keep buying kits and cheating themselves out of more. A kit might well be a great way to start for many but its not rod building as much as it is just assembling rod parts. It does take some skill but there is more to it. Some one mentioned woodworking kits and I absolutely feel the same about them. If you want to build tables then start messing up some nice wood until you can, you will get a lot more out of it and Goodwill will get a few wonky tables to sell for $5.

edit: I will readily concede though if not ending up with a so so or crappy rod is the overriding point then yeah probably sticking with kits is the way to go. I would say though if money is an issue I would stay way from stuff like this to start with.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2022 11:55AM by Stephen White.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: January 12, 2022 11:28AM

You stand in the shallow end before you swim. A kit is similar in that the beginner who may not understand the "why" of the specs can still get quality matched components to perform the labor side. Simplifying our craft for beginners (and those who keep building by kits) is a great marketing tool for the industry as it makes things more accessible which leads to a larger sales outreach for the suppliers. The kits would not exist if it weren't for this. The amount of money I have spent at Mudhole alone is a byproduct of their kit and instructional media. Also, my first rod was to save money for a quality rod. Same reason I started pressing ammo. It is not the reason I do either of them now though. I have always had an "I don't need it if I can't make it on my own" mentality. Once I learn to make it on my own I learn to make it better.

My take is that kits have their place. I also agree that if you never progress past the kit you are not going to get the same fulfilment of rod building from scratch. The progression of the craft it what fuels my personal desire to continue.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Tom Harrigan (---)
Date: January 12, 2022 01:26PM

This is in interesting topic -

My interest in building rods started with a simple desire to see how they're put together.

I found a kit, without which I don't think I could have gotten started.

It helped me find this website (for which I provide comic relief by my questions and ability to mix up millimeters and centimeters) which I enjoy so much.

On my second build, I bought a blank and components separately.

I'm getting ready to start a third (I'll never build in volume, I just enjoy the process).

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: January 12, 2022 01:54PM

Tom Harrigan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is in interesting topic -
>
> My interest in building rods started with a simple
> desire to see how they're put together.
>
> I found a kit, without which I don't think I could
> have gotten started.
>
> It helped me find this website (for which I
> provide comic relief by my questions and ability
> to mix up millimeters and centimeters) which I
> enjoy so much.
>

> On my second build, I bought a blank and
> components separately.
>
> I'm getting ready to start a third (I'll never
> build in volume, I just enjoy the process).

The rabbit hole is as deep as you care to go.

edit: format issues



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2022 02:08PM by Aaron Petersen.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 12, 2022 04:08PM

The reality is that vendors provide kits because there is a market for them. The responses to this post suggests the community seems to support the notion of kits and vendors are more than happy to oblige..

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 12, 2022 06:16PM

If you didn't buy a factory rod, it's a custom at some level. The point being you're building rods.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Chris Catignani (---)
Date: January 12, 2022 06:47PM

Lynn Wrote:
"If you didn't buy a factory rod, it's a custom at some level. The point being you're building rods."

Exactly Lynn...on the flip-side...a factory rod is hand made from a kit.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (97.104.222.---)
Date: January 12, 2022 06:56PM

What difference(s) in performance is there between a rod-kit built rod and a rod built with individually selected components? I have never seen any actual data comparing the two, so I assume they are parity products until I see some actual data to the contrary.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Peter Yawn (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 12, 2022 08:24PM

I have built more than one kit rod. The second one I did I managed to screw up quite badly. Basically you are saying that if you don't train enough to run a 3 hour marathon, you might as well not run at all. Doing things is only good if you are or hope to become an expert. Nonsense. Rodbuilding is a participation sport. I will never build a rod without flaws, and I'm ok with that.You're not trying to understand anything. You're trying to say how awesome you are because you enjoy screwing up and learning and craftsmanship and blah blah blah.It's elitist, condescending, and not appropriate for this site. Please refrain from judging how others choose to participate in an activity. Slow people are allowed to run marathons, and non-craftsmen such as myself are allowed to enjoy building rods.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 13, 2022 12:21AM

Phil, Seek the data yourself rather than relying on or expecting others to do it for you. Give us all a break!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Stephen White (---.satx.res.rr.com)
Date: January 13, 2022 10:31AM

Hey Peter, I really am sorry that my post upset you. I do get a little caught up. I was just trying to encourage new builders to design their first rod and research and the parts thinking they might get a little more out of it. Should have just said that.

I do see your point and you are right I really did not consider that lots of people picked up kits just so they could do a fun build and have some fun and didn't want to go learn everything there is about fishing rods before they did it. You are absolutely right, everyone should feel comfortable enjoying this as a hobby in any way they want too!

Again, apologies.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2022 10:34AM by Stephen White.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Peter Yawn (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 13, 2022 11:58AM

Not upset, just want to keep up the inclusive spirit of this hobby and website. Appreciate the apology, and I certainly understand that everyone can have their opinion about what brings them happiness.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 13, 2022 12:15PM

Fly tying has always been seen as much easier to get started in than rod building because of the number of fly tying kits available. And... the number of such kits that are bought and given as birthday and Christmas presents cannot be overstated. Kits have their place.

.........

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: January 13, 2022 02:12PM

I have never built out a kit rod, but that does not give me the right, to belittle those who do.! As has been mentioned, numerous times above, starting with a kit, has led many deeper into the process, be it a hobby or an business endeavor.

Trying to direct others to your way of thinking, is not what this site is about!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2022 03:56PM by Phil Erickson.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Nick McCasey (---.nhvn.fibertech.com)
Date: January 13, 2022 02:24PM

Before I built my first rod I spent weeks going through this forum trying to figure out guide sizing, reel seat sizing, blank manufacturers, and techniques. In the end I'm happy I did because it made my subsequent builds significantly less stressful, but I knew I was going to be building a bunch of rods. If I had been unsure of if it was for me, I can see the appeal of using a kit and alleviating a lot of the stress.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Joel Wick (181.214.58.---)
Date: January 13, 2022 05:19PM

For kit users, in good humor, of course:


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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Stephen White (---.satx.res.rr.com)
Date: January 13, 2022 05:47PM

Phil Erickson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have never built out a kit rod, but that does
> not give me the right, to belittle those who do.!
> As has been mentioned, numerous times above,
> starting with a kit, has led many deeper into the
> process, be it a hobby or an business endeavor.
>
> Trying to direct others to your way of thinking,
> is not what this site is about!

Hi Phil, I did not mean to belittle anyone. Peter already straighten me out though and explained my attitude has no place on this site so the problem is solved. I will not try to direct others to my way of thinking again :)

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Peter Yawn (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 13, 2022 06:10PM

You are absolutely entitled to share your opinion. And others are entitled to disagree. We just need to try and be kind in how we disagree. Myself included.

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Re: trying to understand kit motivation
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: January 14, 2022 11:33AM

I'm not a fan of kits either. But I'd say that is due to "extenuating circumstances".

1) My dad built rods back in the 60's so I was exposed to it at an early age.
2) I was building offshore rods in the 10-30# class. There never has been a lot of innovation in that area. Your basic full length EVA grips, pipe reel seat, cone of flight/27X/KR guide train is still the norm. Hard to go wrong with Fuji parts and gudebrod thread! Never used winding checks/hosels/spilt grips.

If I was starting from scratch today, and building split grip rods, I'd buy a handle kit for sure. I still wouldn't buy a complete kit.

Why, you ask? Well I'd say there is a decent chance you could buy a kit popping rod blank for fresh water bass fishing. I'd say there is a 0% chance you could find a kit back bounce blank for tossing fly's to teased up billfish.....or even a kit hotshot blank for spin casting unweighted shrimp to bonefish. You won't find either in any store around these parts so you simply have to build your own. Frankly there never was much in the way of kits for saltwater rods.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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