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1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Paul jenkins (---)
Date: January 13, 2023 11:39AM


Building 4 fly rods and wanted opinions of what is best for these rods and what I need to use or add.

I have North fork composite blanks

Faf 1005-4
Faf 1004-4
Fany 1102-4
F803-4S Classic

Suggestions on everything needed please

Eyes titanium or something else?
Stone or anodized first eye?
Reel seats?
Good reels for this type of rod? Not the most expensive

Thanks for any help and feed back. Haven’t trout fished for 40 years getting back into it.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: January 13, 2023 12:18PM

First of all, nothing on a fly rods more of personal choice than the grip. The major choices are cork or carbon fiber, you choose! As for grip shape, I would choose full wells on the longer rods and half wells for the shorter.

For guides, you only need Titanium if fishing saltwater. As these light line rods, there is no need for heavy guides, if I were building them, I'd use double foot strippers and wire single foot runners.
Many choices of reel seats for fly rods, again you should look at the sponsors on left. offerings. My choice would be an up-locking, one of the Batson line.

A good choice of quality, not too expensive reels are the Cheeky brand, they offer multiple price points.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Nick McCasey (---.nhvn.fibertech.com)
Date: January 13, 2023 12:29PM

Paul, be warned in advanced you will get a lot of opinions on this. I haven't personally built any of these blanks, but here are some thoughts based on specs, if I were to build them:

FAF 1005-4 and FAF 1004-4: I see these as serving the same purpose as an "all around" type of rod. They're a little longer than the usual 9 footer recommendation, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if you're fishing big water. For these, I'd personally use single foot recoil guides, and a titanium stripping guide with a modern ring material. Due to the length, I'd consider down-locking reel seats to help with the balance, or a heavier reel if you build it up-locking.

FANY 1102-4: 100% a nymphing rod. Again, I'd recommend single foot recoils as weight is a factor on rods this long. However, consider 2 or 3 snake guides as the last 3 near the tip if you plan to use a mono rig to avoid line wrap issues. You'll also want the stripping guide closer to the grip than a standard fly rod to help eliminate line sag. I'd again use a new material stripping guide, and you may want to consider a smaller size than usual (I personally used a fuji KW8 on my euro rod). For seat, I highly recommend getting an uplocking seat, flipping it around and putting the hood into a recessed fighting butt. This will give you a down-locking seat that sits inside of a fighting butt, and will be really helpful for balance.

F803-4S: Small stream/ dry fly rod. Here's where you should think about using all snake guides and an agate stripping guide if you want to build something a little more classic. I personally like snake brand guides, but most any reputable brand's guides will work. I'd also personally use a nickel seat on this (I like Lemke a lot), but dealer's choice.

I use cork on all my fly rods, but shape is 100% a personal preference so I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending anything in particular for any of these. Err on the side of larger diameter, because the small ones get uncomfortable to hold for most people.

Enjoy the process. I've built a bunch of fly rods and love fishing them all.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Evan Cobb (---.nys.biz.rr.com)
Date: January 13, 2023 01:27PM

I can’t offer much advice as I’ve only built one fly rod. 6’6” 2wt RS Revelation for small mountain stream native Brook trout. It’s a short rod, relatively inexpensive blank and my first fly rod build but it roll casts much better and casts just as far with less effort as my Orvis Clearwater 8’6” 5wt. It honestly surprised me how well this rod casts compared to a $250 rod.

I ordered a reel seat from JP Ross just to add a little personality to the rod and had him match the handle to the reel seat insert.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2023 02:14PM by Tom Kirkman.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 14, 2023 01:45AM

I think Nick nailed it down for you, I like the KW stripper guide recommendation but dislike the single foot snake guides. I would use a L frame ceramic instead of single foot snakes. Double foot snakes are better for running guides but if you are going to single foot, do ceramic inserts, they feel really slick when the line moves through them. Cork grips, you really can't go wrong there. Real seat, up locking / down locking, again solid advice from Nick. If you do decide on that classic look don't forget to use silk to wrap with.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: January 14, 2023 10:47PM

I suggest you go to some shops and look at OEM rods and see what type of aesthetics you prefer in terms of reel seats, grip types and shapes, thread colors, etc.

Of course costs can vary greatly for components, as can the component's weight.

If you have never wrapped a fly rod before, I would not start with single foot guides but use double foot snake guides. There are more wraps but likely you will have an easier time taping or banding them into place on the rod.

Be sure to go on the NFC website and look up the guide locations on the blank. For these weight rods you will only need one stripping guide of size 12 or 10 and all the rest will be running guides. Some taper down the size of their guides, others prefer one stripper guide, perhaps one step down sized running guide, and then all the remaining guides to be the same size. And some one stripping guide and then all the same size, such as size 1, running guides.

Since you are making four rods I would suggest you bite the bullet and purchase an inexpensive rod wrapping station if you do not have one.

On the nymph rod you will want a cork butt section to rest your hand on and help balance the rod.

Up-locking reel seats are fine for all or the rods, but a down-locking seat with cork/EVA butt would better balance the nymph rod.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Paul jenkins (---)
Date: January 15, 2023 08:07PM

Thanks to everyone that helped with suggestions, I have a plan of some kind for each rod now and will hopefully get pictures up when I am done.

So hopefully with the advice these won’t be a fail… lol

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: Rich Buchnowski (---.buffalo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 16, 2023 09:04PM

Best of luck with the build. Last spring I made a 10 wt. NFC for throwing poppers for pike, bass and musky. Put a carbon fiber full wells and black TI guides. Build came out great and fish it often from the kayak.
Only complaint was the finish on the blank, mine could have come out better, it was an unfinished blank and my skill set could be better. As far as throwing salt water sized poppers, it rips them, the blank has held up well to some abuse as well.
One rod I use for steelhead is a 6wt imperial St. Croix, First fly rod I built and fish it often, great blank, check them out as well.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2023 09:15PM by Rich Buchnowski.

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Re: 1st time fly rod build
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: January 23, 2023 04:40PM

How is your build going?

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