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A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 05:22PM

When I was into bike building and metal fabrication I spent so much time cruising forums and blogs of various builders and fabricators and I always fell hardest down the rabbit hole for chronicles of builds. To watch the build progress and read the conversations that happened along the way was amazing. To watch someone's vision unfold over time was a great experience and basically represented fuel for my bike building fire. I was wondering if that was a possible thing here but for a rod build of course.

So I have a build qued up and I think I might like to see if the format fits here in the context of a start to finish build complete with in thread images.

The rod in question is a 9 foot 6 weight offering with all components sourced through proof fly fishing
9 foot carbon fiber
Carbon fiber grips encapsulated in epoxy / permagloss
All snake brand guides in silver
Atlas reel seat with acrylic insert
Fuji thread

The rod was commissioned by two brothers who work under me at a communications firm up here in the Yukon. They are gifting it to their Dad and the question was asked "What does a thousand dollar rod look like?". A hard question but I allowed that it would have significant thread work, quality components, unique features and come with a nice rod tube and bag. Also allowed that in the end it would be one of a kind and were he to break it he would be sadder than if he broke something from walmart or canadian tire.

I am not sure how long it will take to be honest as I have some house renovations upcoming but imagine it will be ready for late spring....third week in may is pretty much "real" spring here....

So we will see how this plays out

We have a great area for viewing the Northern Lights up here. I built a rod called "Solstice - Northern Lights" for the ICRBE rod build challenge but liked the theme so this fly rod is a similar theme but going under the actual official northern lights name "Aurora". Naming builds has been turning into a thing....

The thread work will be more fades and features as this seems to be my groove for now and I'm going to stay in it. Weaves and chevrons are out of my wheelhouse for the time being and I think I'll wait awhile yet to try that sort of thing. I find I really enjoy fades and olive branch type stuff.

I really like carbon fiber grips and also the tactical vibe they give a rod. I also am a fan of firearms and have always thought builds with carbon fiber and aluminum reel seat components and such give a rod a "gunny" feel. Not a traditional fly rod at all.










I have started laying the epoxy on the grips and am on coat number four. I am going to let this harden up for a few days and sand it down before applying the finish coat(s). I had a thought wherein I might seal the grip in permagloss before the epoxy went on the lessen the bubbles that seem to come form out of nowhere after the first coat but in the end just went ahead and applied the epoxy. Epoxy is hard as I mentioned before and these will be my third attempt at epoxy coated carbon fiber grips.

First coat:






Fourth coat:


I ran right up onto the foam butt cap as I accidently caught my beard in the fresh epoxy and it smeared up onto the foam area of the fighting butt and I could not get it all off. Necessity being the mother of invention and this is how it will have to be as I don't have another fighting butt and think it will work ok...


In the end I can see various areas where there are small fish eyes and dry areas but I should have enough epoxy on it to sand down to uniformity....






Later this week I will sand it down and hopefully by this weekend will have applied the finish coats and perhaps a coat of permagloss. I am not sure about the permagloss to be honest but I've watched Tom's video so many times I feel I need to try it....how hard can it be....Tom says it's easy hahaha....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2023 05:24PM by Bob Foster.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Guy Taylor (38.128.89.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 06:54PM

Bob, as a cyclist, rod wrapper, and a shooter myself (currently inactive due to cancer complications) I look forward to additional information ragarding this build.

Guy Taylor
Lucerne Valley, CA

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: February 21, 2023 07:49PM

This is really weird.
About an hour ago, I was reading article about Aurora -
However, in this case it was the name of a prototype Spy aircraft from the mid 80s.

What are the odds of the same word that come from entirely different worlds being read the same day?

[www.sandboxx.us]

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 09:19PM

Guy Taylor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Bob, as a cyclist, rod wrapper, and a shooter
> myself (currently inactive due to cancer
> complications) I look forward to additional
> information ragarding this build.

Life is complicated enough without that sort...all the best there man. I’m looking forward to the build

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 10:25PM

roger wilson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is really weird.
> About an hour ago, I was reading article about
> Aurora -
> However, in this case it was the name of a
> prototype Spy aircraft from the mid 80s.
>
> What are the odds of the same word that come from
> entirely different worlds being read the same day?
>
>
> [www.sandboxx.us]
> ypersonic-aircraft-real-we-get-to-the-bottom-of-it
> /


Two entirely different worlds indeed. I skimmed the article, Mach 5 - 8!! It looks like it would have been suitable to leave the atmosphere

I hear the word almost every day and looked up to see them on my way to work this am. There are folks who host “aurora chasers” tours for people from all over the world. I’ve known of them always and kind of don’t get the idea of a destination based excursion based on the northern lights but to each their own I suppose. They’re very lovely though and have always had a magical element

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: El Bolinger (71.184.77.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 10:48PM


Already looks good man, got me excited for a build haha.

I bounced around the article too, I’ve always believed that when the media and government tells us to look at balloons in the sky we need to look that much harder at the streets around us and not fall for their distractions. They have technology that far surpasses what us regular folk are even allowed to dream of.

As for your build, given the name I thought I should share this. I would imagine paying customers would think this thread look pretty freakin sweet, I vote for the pink, Khaki, white, and purple…

Edit to clarify I don't vote that you use all for colors - but I think one of those colors would make for an eye catching addition the the thread work.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2023 10:55PM by El Bolinger.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: El Bolinger (71.184.77.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 10:49PM



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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: El Bolinger (71.184.77.---)
Date: February 21, 2023 10:53PM


I would also add, that as somebody who has never seen the aurora, but can deeply appreciate the beauty of God’s creation - that I have heard Iceland is a wonderful vacation spot, particularly because the aurora can be hyper intense and enthralling over over. I wouldn’t mind one day enjoying that view.

Looking forward to seeing how your build progresses my man, good stuff.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: February 22, 2023 09:04AM

Thanks El,

I like the color shifting metallic. I am using the colors in the first pic I shared as they semi closely go with the colors in the reel seat. What I didn't include in the pic is the metallic I will be using for the trim bands / inlays. I think It might be similar?



The hardware is silver on this build so some silver metallic trim bands will be in play but in the aurora theme end of things it will be similar to the above. Colors are the hardest for me aside from epoxy but it seems to be getting a tad easier over time.

I really like fades. I like how a contrasting color will change the "pop" of the fade depending on where it is in the wrap. the lighter color in the middle of the fade will make that area jump out, even from a distance. Lighter colors appearing more than once cause smaller areas of "pop" assuming the fade is of the mirroring pattern which I seem to be gravitating to lately...eg: the fade starts progresses through the colors and then fades through the same colors in the opposite order. The below image to illustrate...black to purple to white then fade out in the reverse. If the white and purple were reversed you get a double pop that nicely brackets a center feature.



I have a 5wt fibreglass rod (NFC Iconoglass blank) that I made my second fade attempt and I always like the optical illusion it gives...it's almost like it is illuminated...


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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 22, 2023 09:21AM

Sand the epoxy all the way down to the carbon, then apply Perma-Gloss. All the epoxy on the grip does is seal and level the surface. Any more depth than that and you'll just have a grip that will yellow in short order. Epoxy is not a good topcoat for grips.

...........

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: February 22, 2023 09:50AM

Well I for sure have some work ahead....I'm four layers deep in intentionally accidental drip and flip glory. I'm going to try though. I tried before on my 5wt and got into a weird cycle of alternating layers of PM and epoxy as the PM showed every defect and then I'd hit it with epoxy. Probably a combined count of 6 layers and left it with an epoxy topcoat because defeat...

I'm going to try and will document it whether it goes well or becomes a humiliating mess. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for the input

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Michael Ward (---.atlagax1.pop.starlinkisp.net)
Date: February 22, 2023 11:09AM

This is a great thread - chronicling a build with pics is valuable for many and it’s good to see the pics in the post as well along the way!

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Kevin Fiant (---)
Date: February 22, 2023 11:25AM

I am really liking this thread also. Looking good to my eyes! @Bob - how are you inserting multiple pics into one post? I know pics can be tricky on the site but you have that down. I’ve not figured out the magic touch to get multiple in post images into one post. Don’t want to derail this post but if you have a quick hint let us know.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: February 22, 2023 12:24PM

Kevin Fiant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am really liking this thread also. Looking good
> to my eyes! @Bob - how are you inserting multiple
> pics into one post? I know pics can be tricky on
> the site but you have that down. I’ve not
> figured out the magic touch to get multiple in
> post images into one post. Don’t want to derail
> this post but if you have a quick hint let us
> know.
>

Here is a screenshot of how the post looks in edit mode.....note the lines of "url=https" and such...those are the lines of code that embed the pic within the post...

edit: I realized this wasn't very clear. Most photohosting services have the capacity to give you various ways to share your pics. The method shown below is obviously photobucket but I think they are all various iterations of the same idea. I suspect if you store your pics on the photo section here there is likely a way to use them on here in a similar fashion but this is how I've always done it. There was recently a discussion about pictures and I think someone had mentioned how to share the pics from the photo section here.



I would say the biggest thing to watch for is not choosing the option of making the pic too big. Photobucket gives the option of small medium and large....I use medium. I think if it's large the post will look like crap on mobile devices. I could be wrong but this is how I do it

Here is a pic of the options photobucket gives...



Cheers,



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2023 04:43PM by Bob Foster.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: February 22, 2023 12:34PM

Michael Ward Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a great thread - chronicling a build with
> pics is valuable for many and it’s good to see
> the pics in the post as well along the way!

I hesitate to actually do it because I know from previous experience I know it can turn into a bit of a time eater but I also remember that there were also great opportunities for informative dialog. Already I have learned that even though I am getting semi acceptable results my processes are lacking or just plain wrong because of me just basically self teaching with the help of lurking in the forums and youtube and such. Clearly an actual dialogue goes a long way. So I will endeavor to persevere (outlaw jose wales reference) in this and hopefully it will be of mutual benefit for all.

Take care,

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Kevin Fiant (---.oh.cpe.breezeline.net)
Date: February 23, 2023 07:47AM

Bob Foster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Kevin Fiant Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I am really liking this thread also. Looking
> good
> > to my eyes! @Bob - how are you inserting
> multiple
> > pics into one post? I know pics can be tricky
> on
> > the site but you have that down. I’ve not
> > figured out the magic touch to get multiple in
> > post images into one post. Don’t want to
> derail
> > this post but if you have a quick hint let us
> > know.
> >
>
> Here is a screenshot of how the post looks in edit
> mode.....note the lines of "url=https" and
> such...those are the lines of code that embed the
> pic within the post...
>
> edit: I realized this wasn't very clear. Most
> photohosting services have the capacity to give
> you various ways to share your pics. The method
> shown below is obviously photobucket but I think
> they are all various iterations of the same idea.
> I suspect if you store your pics on the photo
> section here there is likely a way to use them on
> here in a similar fashion but this is how I've
> always done it. There was recently a discussion
> about pictures and I think someone had mentioned
> how to share the pics from the photo section
> here.
>
> [URL=https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/v169/l
> ewnatic/Capture.JPG?width=960&height=720&fit=bound
> s][IMG]https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/v169
> /lewnatic/Capture.JPG?width=960&height=720&fit=bou
> nds[/IMG][/URL]
>
> I would say the biggest thing to watch for is not
> choosing the option of making the pic too big.
> Photobucket gives the option of small medium and
> large....I use medium. I think if it's large the
> post will look like crap on mobile devices. I
> could be wrong but this is how I do it
>
> Here is a pic of the options photobucket gives...
>
> [URL=https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/v169/l
> ewnatic/Capture1.JPG?width=960&height=720&fit=boun
> ds][IMG]https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/v16
> 9/lewnatic/Capture1.JPG?width=960&height=720&fit=b
> ounds[/IMG][/URL]
>
> Cheers,

Thanks Bob - I didn't realize I could embed HTML code in posts and it would be processed. I know enough about HTML and such to be dangerous so I'm pretty sure I can figure it out with the guidance in your post. Keep us updated as your project progresses. You definitely have an eye for the artistic side of rod building!

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: February 23, 2023 09:53AM

Got home from work a little early and did some sanding on the grips. I've got a selection of sanding strips. Decided to use 80 grit to rough off the excess epoxy. I have four coats on them as my plan was to sand the surface down until smooth and then permagloss. It kinda looks like what I should have been shooting for is only enough epoxy to fill the weave in the fiber and thus would have a flat smooth surface without excess epoxy. The epoxy is deep so I will take all the shine off but only just with the 80 grit then step down fairly quickly to 180, 320, 600 then a grey scotchbrite pad. Hoping to start touching some carbon at the 320 grit level. I've watched Tom's video of covering the grip in permagloss quite a few times and the first time I tried it I was super expectant that it would go smoothly and it was much the opposite in that the results spawned a rod builder induced cycle of alternating layers of permagolss and epoxy until I got to a point I could at least live with.

I think it ended up with epoxy as the final layer but at that point I just had to stop the madness. On the up side, if anyone is wondering if you can put epoxy on permagloss or vice versa I can fairly confidently confirm you can....over and over and over haha...





This is where I got to last night. It's a long weekend for us as it is "Sourdough Rendezvous" weekend so I'm going to steal tomorrow and try to get it to the point where it's ready for the permagloss. Super hopeful it doesn't turn into another round of panic slapping layers on! Sanding really does illustrate the low spots and ridges in the epoxy.







I got it down to where there are no more shiny parts....or at least they are small enough that I am fairly sure they will be gone during subsequent sanding with finer grits.







Sometime during the sanding I will stop and address a couple of things. I want to open up the nose of the grip a bit to make sure the carbon fiber itself does not touch the blank and also recess the nose a bit to give a little pool of epoxy under the winding check. Part of this step will include fitting the winding check as well as the front and rear trim rings on the reel seat. I like to use gravity as my mock up pressure in fitting the trim rings and winding checks. I know that if it will sit nicely under the force of gravity then it will glue up nicely. If I have to use any more force than that to keep it tight then it may slowly pull apart while the epoxy sets...the following illustrates what I mean. This is the grip from "Violet Tendencies", the purple fade 6 wt that I have posted pics of recently. Gravity is your friend...



I should get to work here shortly but this is the current state of my affair...

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: February 24, 2023 03:37PM

Got some more sanding done. There are some pretty deep scratches to deal with. I think maybe 80 grit was a little too aggressive? Thinking perhaps 120, 240, 320, 600, grey scotchbright may have ultimately saved me some headaches making sure the scratches were gone. Quite dusty and using my wrapper as a kind of lathe is less than ideal. The is doubly so considering I have a nice little atlas 18 inch lathe down in a little shop I have a few kilometres away. I keep meaning to move it but the intent has not got together with the action, I hope they reconcile soon.

Scrubbing away at the epoxy...I think it went ok as the 320 grit put me into the carbon but not too deep...











I got it down into the 600 grit and to a point the majority of the scratches were gone. This seemed like a good time to fit the winding checks and such. Gravity is our friend and I use some 600 grit paper flat on the bench and run the grips over it to creates landings for the checks and trim rings.

The trick is to try and get the ring flat onto the grip and have gravity hold it there. The problem is making sure it all goes down flat. To do it I run it over the paper by hand in one direction only and rotate the grip approx a 1/4 turn each stroke and keep doing this until it gets nice and flat and there are no gaps when the ring is set in place. Checking it as you go allows perhaps a double stroke here and there to correct the face.











Winding check...











Reel seat pocket....



I had to make the recess deeper to seat the ring and the dremel got away from me a tad. Well...more than a tad. I'm hopeful that careful arbor fitting / centering will let the epoxy take care of it.





Fit up...





Mostly happy with how it all went except for the lack of finesse with the dremel. Got the pieces back on the mandrel and carried on with the 600 grit to the point the scratches were gone and the grip felt nice and smooth / slippery. Once that looked ok I followed up with a grey scotchbrite pad. I think it turned out well...









So I think I'm ready for Permagloss. Frankly I'm low level terrified to apply it. There are a couple pinholes on the butt grip and I'm torn whether or not to reapply more epoxy and re-sand or not. I feel like I'm probably going to just send it at this point but I'm going to think about it all for awhile and perhaps hit it with the permagloss when I leave the studio for the night.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: February 25, 2023 08:50AM

Well, I’ve managed to screw the pooch on this one. I had one foam brush left and was nervous about applying the permagloss but decided to just do it.



it actually looked good and I was pretty happy with the result and was on the edge of calling it a win until I saw a dry spot near the butt of the fore grip and the pinholes on the fighting butt I was worried about were right there waiting but now highlighted by a shiny coat of fresh permagloss. I wasn’t too shook because the first coat went on just like in the picture books and I was confident a second coat would fix it up. I was wrong. I used some foam I had bought for this purpose but had also found the brushes I sourced locally were fine so I never had actually used the foam for this purpose. Long story short I fashioned a “brush” from the foam and reapplied. Now it’s all basically a mess. There are ridges and streaks on the main grip and the pinholes are still there.







I’m not too sure where I will go from here. I may try some wet sanding and polishing but that won’t address the pinholes. I may try another coat of epoxy and resand but that won’t get me back down to the carbon and is a crap shoot. I may have to stall the build and source some new grips and start over. Perhaps I can use these on a personal rod but that really doesn’t taste much better... ugh. Gonna think on it for a bit but a little defeated if I’m being honest. It’s sort of sad because the first coat really did look good except for the dry spot

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Steven Paris (---.242.14.198.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: February 25, 2023 08:53AM

How do you keep the foam on the end of the butt cap from wicking up any permagloss or resin? Lots of pics but for people like me they go a long way in explaining things. Thanks Steve

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