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Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: November 16, 2022 12:45PM

Hi all,

I've never built a rod before, but I'm making four 5'6 spinning rods as Christmas gifts for kids (4rys-9yrs). I have some practice rod kits on the way, but was hoping for some input on materials.

How much epoxy do you think that will burn through (wraps and grips etc. using separate epoxy)? I think I might grab some cheaper epoxy (since I got a little bit more expensive epoxy for my real builds) if its going to use more than I ordered or too much of it (8oz rod bond ).

As a new builder should I use a high build or low build for wraps? (The difference is only viscosity right?)

The blanks weren't kits, when I try to find exactly what is required for grips and honestly what I'm looking at on mudhole.com and getbitoutdoors.com - There looks to be plenty of cheaper options (for the kids) but I don't really know what's what because some have no pics or unclear to me since I have zero idea what I'm looking at. What are the required components for spinning grips (I think the kids might do better with full instead of split)

Also I have no idea what any of the sizing is or what will fit where, should I go smaller with ID so I can ream it to fit?

Any advice for a total newbie is appreciated.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: November 16, 2022 03:15PM

El,

My best advice is to keep it simple. What the kids will enjoy is your attention, dialogue/interaction, and encouragement. You have enough Rod Bond epoxy. High or low vis thread epoxy is okay either way. It might be a good idea to give Mud Hole, or whomever you are using as your supplier a call. Just simply tell them your situation and what you want. They will probably fall all over themselves to help you! Tell them to figure it all out for you so it works. They are professionals and know all the parts and pieces you might need. That's their job.

Any kind of hand-made gift is usually always appreciated because people know it took time and effort to complete. Then, take those rods as soon as possible to a place where you and the kids can catch a few fish! Have fun! Take pictures! Involve the kids! That's the deal closer!

Happy Holidays!

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: November 16, 2022 05:14PM

El,
The rods you build for the kids will be cherished for a lifetime, and probably their kids as well!!! It would seem silly to skimp on materials.
If you are talking about Rod Bond gel epoxy (for grips, seats, ect), 8oz is more than enough. As for thread epoxy, consider using a lite version; it mixes with fewer bubbles, releases any bubbles quicker and easier, tends to self-lever better, and will give you a bit longer pot life. While a 2oz kit (1oz each of resin and hardener) should wrap at least 4 rods (probably 6 or more), the 8oz kits are more economical.
Leslie offers good advice. Until you have built a few rods and know exactly what you need and prefer, ask your retailer for assistance; that is part of their job and most enjoy helping. Complete kits can offer a great way to introduce and practice the skills required to build a rod.
Back to skimping on materials; until you have spent the time to experiment with different brands and types, stick with a proven winner = Fuji. Consider a size 17 (possibly 16) DPS reel seat (DPSM = standard, DPSSD = deluxe). Use Fuji’s KR Concept for the guides. Alconite rings are the best bang-for-the-buck and the SS frames come in either CC = matte silver or BC = matte gray; (CC or BC)KLAG 16-H, __KLAG 8-H, __KLAG 5.5-M, at least 2 __KBAG 5, __KTAG 5s out to a LGAT 5 tip top with the proper tube size to fit the blank.
For ease of assembly, a pre-made cork grip may be the way to go. You will need to purchase the proper size reamer, or better yet a set of 4 consecutive sizes = invaluable tools to own.
At the risk of sounding pessimistic or scarring you, I suggest that you start on the builds as soon as possible; Christmas will be here before you know it!

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: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 16, 2022 07:52PM

Make sure you use a quick set epoxy (about 15 minute set time) for reel seats and grips. Gel is easier to mix. And a wrapping epoxy for the guide and decorative wraps / weaves (will take about 4 hours to set). High or low build will work, just start with thin coats and make sur you mix thoroughly. If you heat the wrapping epoxy, by putting the containers in cups with warm water then mix, it will have less bubbles. Warm epoxy mixes better. Most problems with epoxy is due to not mixing enough.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: November 16, 2022 09:30PM

El, watch a bunch of videos, Flex-coat has some. I would use eva grips and a tube type seat. Glue arbor in seat, ream to fit. Grips must be of smaller I.D. than blank O.D. and can be reamed if needed. At times they can stretch enough to fit. Don't forget butt caps. If I were you I'd start now.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: November 17, 2022 10:20AM

Awesome, thanks so much for all the tips. I still have to order from mudhole, I'll call to order to have them walk through what makes the most sense. Maybe I gave myself too heavy of a work load, but I find I often perform my best under pressure and closer to deadlines - forces me into action and sharpens my senses.

How long would one rod take from blank to rod? Obviously being new I'd expect to be a bit slower, but whats a typical range of time?

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: November 17, 2022 11:26AM

El,

IMO, get started ASAP because things take longer to do than you think. If I were going to give you a rough estimate, I'd plan on two days per rod to get them "finished" and ready to wrap with a bow.
Let's Gooooooooo! Start today identifying your work space and getting it cleared and ready.

Here are a couple of other things that helped me when I got started and still do today:

1.) When you get all your parts, take some time to look them over. Inspect for flaws and that you have the right parts. Count your guides and inspect they are all the amount and sizes specified. (Doesn't often happen, but I have had a #5 ring guide get mixed in with a bag of #4.5.) If there are problems, you can start with the rods you have the parts for while you re-order or re-turn the stuff that doesn't work.

2.) Lay out all the parts next to the blank in the rough placement of where they will go. Don't try and fit anything or glue anything - just lay the parts by the blank where they will go. Then think about the order of how you will put them on. I start at the butt and work toward the tip.

2a.) Dry fit everything (Seat, grips, caps) before you epoxy it. Double check your measurements and placements. Might be a good idea to order an extra foam arbor or two if you mess one up for your reel seat.

3.) Get yourself a China Marker (grease pencil, in a contrasting color to the blank). Makes marking the blank easy. Wipes off easily.

4.) Measuring tape you can read and use easily. I like the little 12 ft. size because it is easier to use with one hand, and isn't bulky.

5.) A roll of paper towels. I will cut each sheet into 4 or 8 squares for ease of use. I can also use one small square for a small job and toss it away. Managing epoxy is messy sometimes.

6.) Bottle of 90% alcohol (70% has worked for me in a pinch). Wet a paper towel patch for an easy wipe up.

7.) A good hand cleaner (Goop or the like) that will clean off your hands if you get epoxy on them. Epoxy never seems to just wipe off with a dry rag or towel very well for me.

8.) You CANNOT have good enough LIGHT!

As was stated before, spend some time watching videos. Mud Hole has a whole series of them. So does BatsonRainshadow. There are so many out there. And if you can, practice on a scrap rod first!

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: November 17, 2022 01:27PM

@Leslie- I appreciate you, Its the things I don't know that I don't know to ask about - so thanks for taking the time for that very helpful write up.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 17, 2022 03:49PM

El - Your spinning rod kits will contain the blank and all the necessary components required for building it. These include the blank, reel seat, rear grip, fore grip, butt cap, winding checks, spinning guides, and tip top. However, it will not contain any of the supplies or tools required.
Supplies would include:
1. A rod building epoxy for gluing the handle, butt cap, arbor, and reel seat to the blank.
2. A polyurethane foam arbor, or masking tape for fitting the reel seat to the blank
3. A hot melt tip top cement for attaching the tip top to the blank.
4. Wrapping thread in the color of your choice. I would use a size B or D thread, since they are easier to wrap for a beginner, and still look good.
5. A finish epoxy for coating the thread wraps.
6. A set of syringes, a mixing cup, and a stirrer for measuring and mixing the finish epoxy.
7. A brush or spatula for applying the finish.
8. Miscellaneous supplies such as masking tape, denatured alcohol, paper towels, and latex or nitrile gloves.

Tools would include:
1. Reamers for sizing the handle components to fit the blank.
2. A hand wrapping set-up of some sort. Can be as simple as a few books for thread tension, and a couple of simple rod supports for holding the rod.
3. A rod turning device for curing the thread epoxy. Can be as simple as occasionally hand turning the rod supported between two chairs. It’s tedious but works very well.
4. A cigarette lighter for melting the tip top cement.
I’m sure I probably forget something, but others will certainly chime in on what else may be needed to put together a rod kit rod.
Norm

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: November 17, 2022 04:19PM

El,
There is no “typical range of time” to fabricate a rod. I have heard of builders assembling a rod in 3 - 4 hours and yet I can take a full day just to wrap 9 guides. If I took-on building 4 Christmas rods for my grandkids, I would have already started.
Both Leslie and Norman offered good suggestions. Although there are more, there is no sense in putting you on sensory-overload.
GOOD LUCK

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: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Alex Weissman (---)
Date: November 17, 2022 04:58PM

Work as an assembly line to get it done faster. Lay all 4 rods out, glue the spacers into the reel seats, ream the grips and seats, glue them all to the blanks. The wrapping will be done one at a time. Get different colors of thread for each kid's rod. Have fun with your building. They won't be all perfect.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 17, 2022 05:07PM

For a beginner, it may take a few days to build a rod. Most of that time is waiting for the epoxy to cure. You can certainly glue the handles on all four blanks in a few hours, and start wrapping the next day. Just make sure you align the reel seat and tip top on the blank’s straightest axis. The suggested guide placement will come with the kit, so nothing to fret over, it will work fine. Just tape the guides in place and do a two line static test to fine tune the guide placement. [www.rodbuilding.org]
Wrapping will drive some beginners nuts, so just take your time. The more you wrap the better you get. As far as applying finish there are a lot of videos on the web as well as a ton of posts on this site which will help. Building a fishing rod is not rocket science, it is much easier than most beginners think it will be. Just take you time and enjoy doing it. If you need help just let us know.
Norm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2022 05:36PM by Norman Miller.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: El Bolinger (---.bstnma.fios.verizon.net)
Date: November 18, 2022 12:09AM

Thanks so much for all the tips y'all.
They're for my nephew in law and my buddies 3 kids. I got him hooked on fishing about a year and a half or so ago and now he's just as out of his mind about it as anybody who would join an online forum about it haha.

@Mark - sensory overload is what brings me back down to earth and motivates me haha. Plus I love learning and hearing from people, once I find a new interest after the initial research if I still feel like trying I go all the way. It's great that we have a community like this here to help newbs go from 0-60 in 4 seconds, and then help each other keep leveling up.

@Norman - thanks for the detailed input! I the rods for the kids aren't kits - I wish! That woulda been so much easier, I got a couple cheap casting kits and one spinning kit for practice. The kids I will be ordering (tonorrow) the color series blanks and reel seats from mudhole - so I have no idea about the other components and sizes, but like others mentioned earlier I will call them and have them help me put together what I need.

I have a bunch of masking tape coming and already ordered a handful of Fuji NOCP spools in A (guess I'm starting on hard mode haha)

Should I order 100 disposable 3 ML syringes? Are they actually cleanable enough to be reusable? Can I use any flat plastic thing as a burnishing tool?

I got the deluxe kit from Getbitoutdoors so it came with the wrapper, dryer, and reamers. The reamers is why I went with that one over CRB kit at mudhole, CRB had some nore of the details but the reamers that can be put in a drill chuck and not by hand only took the cake.

@Alex - in digging the assembly line idea - I was gonna ask if the rod needs to be on a dryer for the grips and seat to dry, but I'll take that as a no - thanks! Getting my 4 year old nephew Blippi colors - light blue rod with orange seat and thread. My buddy is getting each kid their favorite color rod. He never replied about matching seat, but I think some different color there will make it look sharp and more custom.

I'm gonna try to grab some brushes, mixing cups, torch lighter, and stirrers at dollar tree. Any other tools that can be grabbed off brand or cheap?

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: November 18, 2022 01:04AM

El,
It seems as though you have most of the fundamentals figured-out. The epoxy syringes you mentioned are certainly reusable; JUST DON’T MIX THEM UP between resin and hardener!!! Purchase the available “sealing bottle stops” which allow the syringe to be inserted, turn the bottle upside down to allow the air to rise to the top away from the syringe, and pull the plunger to the desired amount = no mess / no fuss, no cleaning involved and worth every penny!
Be very careful purchasing any tools not specifically intended for rod building; some may contain silicone lubricants or mold release (especially syringes) which will quickly turn your new fun endeavor into an outright NIGHTMARE.

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: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: November 18, 2022 07:59AM

El,

Mark is right about sensory overload. There are a million tools, tips, and home made hacks. I am pretty basic and use simple tools - most of them are for the most part. So, in the spirit of rod-building, I thought I'd try to dogpile you with even MORE info! Ha!

Other simple things at random:

Razor Blades: Pack of single-edge razor blades (if not mentioned already). I like those 100 packs that come in a plastic box (they stay together and store easily. Might give each blade a quick wipe with alcohol before use. Don't try to over-use a single blade; fresh and sharp is the key to happiness.

Thread Puller: A dedicated thread puller made with a piece of #15-20 braided line is handy: Mine is a loop about 4-inches long; I tied a brightly colored bead on the end to find it on my bench. You could also easily use the wrapping thread; I have cut 8-inch pieces ahead of time (about three or four per rod) out of a different thread color so it is easier to see where the loop is and whether or not I got the tag through it. (Yes, I have missed the loop before - arg!)
I think I got this tip from Mike Ballard years ago!

Assembly Line idea is a great one! Do like jobs at the same time.

Tool Organizers: I have two spacious tool boxes for all the bits and bobs. One cheap and really great bench top organizer is a cottage cheese container (sort of like a pencil holder): Leave the lid on, flip it over so the base is wider at the bottom than the top for stability; then, cut off the closed end. Store whatever you want in it (grease pencil, burnishing tool, mixing sticks, etc.)

Ruler: A steel, 6-inch ruler with conventional measurements on one edge and millimeters on the other. Mine has a cork strip on the bottom so I can use it on a cutting mat. I use the millimeter side to measure my thread wrap lengths (to match them in length to butt wraps, or on both sides of a double-foot guide). I use the cutting mat and steel ruler to square-up decals, cut thin masking tape strips, etc.

Find and read the article on Surface Preparation for Epoxy: water break-free. I think Tom produced a video via Rod Maker magazine on-line.

I'll dogpile you more later.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: November 18, 2022 09:06AM

@Mark - thanks for mentioning the risk of using things that might have some other stuff going on than I'm aware, and for the bottle stops idea - Now I just gotta make sure I find the right size.

@Leslie - Thanks for the dogpile, the more I'm carrying the stronger I feel, keep it coming if you got it. Do you use a hard ruler for wrapping and a soft measuring tape for layout? A plastic ruler might be another purchase from dollar tree.

Do you rinse the syringes after each use?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2022 09:06AM by El Bolinger.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 18, 2022 10:23AM

El - The syringes are only used for the measuring the thread epoxy. For the adhesive rod building epoxies you just measure by eye, close enough is good enough. Make sure you don’t use medical syringes, they are usually silconized and this will play havoc with you finish epoxy. I color code my syringes; red for resin, and blue for hardener. The syringes are reusable and do not need to be cleaned between uses. I’ve used the same syringe set for years. As mentioned above the self sealing bottle cap inserts are quite handy, and the syringe can be left in them. The 20 mm insert fits the small bottle of epoxy, the 24 mm insert fits the large bottles.
I do all of my guide layouts using the metric system, for me just a lot easier than dealing with fractions of an inch. I have tape measures which contain both the metric and English system. Of course this is optional, but if you find a tape measure with both types of measurements on it buy it.
Norm

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: November 18, 2022 11:03AM

I use the 12 ft. tape for layout. (Some guys have a bench where they have put down an adhesive measuring tape strip; they lay the blank on it to work. This is a great thing IF you have a bench for this. Since you are starting out, I am going to guess you don't have a bench yet.)

The small steel ruler (with mm markings) is used for measuring things 6-inches or less. For example, on a double foot guide, there are two feet that are sometimes of different lengths. I measure the longest foot and the length of wrap needed to cover it. I then start my thread for the shorter foot so the wrap is the same length. So, both wraps end up being 10mm long, for example. Just an aesthetic preference, not a structural one. I like the millimeter markings because they are easier to read for me and very exact. Many rod parts are measured in mm's so it can be handy in the future.
* I use the steel ruler as a cutting edge, too, which is better than the plastic rulers; the razor blade will often bite into the edge of plastic. Plastic is fine for measuring only.

As Mark said, get the "Self-Sealing Bottle Cap Syringe Insert" from Mud Hole. Depending on the size of two-part thread finish you get, you will need the 20mm or 24mm size caps (Probably the 24mm with the 4 oz. bottles. You will need TWO caps. I think Mud Hole may sell these in a kit with two syringes included. Get them! Again, if you are calling Mud Hole, tell them to match the size caps you need to the bottles.

Syringes: I leave these stuck into the bottle caps and only take them out when I am ready to mix up a batch. You don't clean them out. Throw them away when the bottles are empty. Keep the resin syringe stuck in the resin cap and the hardener in the hardner cap for obvious reasons! Syringes from rod dealers probably don't have mold release agents in them and are clean for epoxy. Mark was right again!

And a brief heads up on epoxy: Mix it at room temps of 70 degrees or more - AND follow the measuring and mixing instructions on the bottle. Simple right? It is. Get the exact amount of each part in a cup, mix slowly so you don't stir in air bubbles, and mix THOROUGHLY! Do a search for epoxy mixing on this forum.
* I prefer the Lite versions (my fav's right now are Gen 4 and Thread Master). Others like other brands like Flex Coat. All excellent for the job.

Gasping for air yet?

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Ray Morrison (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: November 18, 2022 03:54PM

Some good videos are Tom's Rodmaker Magazine videos on Youtube.

Another Youtube video that helped me out with the finish over the decals and any handwriting is "What is a perfect butt wrap finish" by Falconer. The LIGHT strokes along the length helped me out getting a nice smooth finish.

As mentioned in the other thread about building supplies, practice with an old rod or wooden dowels. It helps get your processes down and will make your first build easier. This includes repairs or touchups such as little stick ups in the first layer.

Also, be patient when needed. There can be some days where a wrap just isn't easy. Take a break. Or since you're building four rods, work on the handle for one of the other rods and then come back to the wrap.

One tip I use is to put some tape over the reel seat threads when I am doing any epoxy work especially if you're doing a foregrip. The tape helps keep the epoxy out of the threads and should minimize needing to do cleanup of the threads.

Also don't throw out the excess epoxy right after you're done applying it to the wraps. You can use the excess epoxy to determine when your epoxy has cured instead of touching the finish on the rod.

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Re: Never built - making 4 SP rods for Christmas gifts, need advice.
Posted by: Jim Berry (---)
Date: November 19, 2022 09:52AM

Go to jannsnetcraft they have the syringes in a kit it has handle epoxy and thread epoxy real easy to measure and use and the price is right they also put them in a rod kit i think its like everything you need in the kit

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