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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: March 05, 2023 08:56PM

Second coat...

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 06, 2023 12:41PM


I made a thread color stick.

One thread row/group was with Color Preserver, and the next without. It was easy to see and evaluate the changes between them.

Color Theory is...Color Theory, and it is real. There IS something to it and how the human eye perceives what it sees as pleasing, calming, reputable, or strong. Why else would IBM, and a million other companies who have huge marketing budgets to study these things on a PhD level, invest in and even patent or trademark a specific color? That's my take on the general subject of Color. As you know, it matters.

Personally, I want to say your work reflects a great deal of thought and consideration. Your color choices AND level of skill project Confidence, Competence, and Trust. How's that, eh? IBM may call you in the future! Ha!

Micro Tweezers can help remove some of that annoying Dander (including gnats and house flies) that always seems to be attracted to my epoxy. This reduces, but does not always completely eliminate the need to do some final work with a razor blade before the final coat of finish...as you do. "Hold Me Closer Tiny Dander".....Elton John, I think.

Keep Rockin' the Yukon!

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: March 07, 2023 09:54AM

I like the color stick idea, and the tweezers is something I hadn't considered. I've been randomly dabbing at the dander and such with a thread pick and hoping the debris will get caught up in the surface tension of the epoxy. I spend a fair bit of time looking at different wraps on the internet and am always struck how such wonderful combinations of color and components can also be quite simple but have a great effect. Thanks for the kind words, again, they do have an impact.

I took the wrap to work and showed the brothers and they seem to like it very much and are confident their Dad will like it. In this state, with the colors wetted out so to speak, I encouraged them to pick out a color for the guide wraps. I think they went with the maroon but I am suddenly not sure weirdly. Maybe it's what I would go with so will check to be sure it what they want and not what I think will look good. The maroon under epoxy is just so rich and luxurious. The blue turned out darker than I thought and looks black in all but the brightest lighting. I like it.

Got a third coat on last night. It's looking good and I had a couple of "AHA!" moments while working. At one point as the piece was turning and I was playing the epoxy along the wrap I hit a magic speed of lateral movement combined with the spatula laying in the surface tension of the epoxy but not displacing it. This left a glassy smooth surface in the epoxy wake of the spatula. If I put too much pressure on the tool or went too fast the effect was lost. I'd like to explore this a little more. Also, I use a straw to pop bubbles but feel I have been blowing a little too hard and displacing the epoxy when really I just want to pop bubbles. So this time I just slowly exhaled thru the straw trying to heat the bubble without moving the epoxy about. This seemed to help.. There are still some issues but I'm making headway and not beating myself up if another coat or some sanding is required. I have some decals coming so I'm going to wait for them to come in before what I hope will be the final coat on the base wrap.

I tried to catch the difference between the color change when viewed in sunlight or shade...(this was second coat for the following two pics)

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Darwin Wong (---.sdns.net.rogers.com)
Date: March 08, 2023 06:57AM

Just wanted to say I love following your thread! Especially the thought process into all your design decisions. You show great care in your build.

I’m wondering with the changing thread colours may be good to display it in a short video clip when done? Rotating it in different light
Regarding bubbles for the epoxy coats: been using G4 past couple years and I can’t even get bubbles to appear in my leftover resin cup! Also I find applying the resin at high speed for large wraps, then just applying broad horizontal sweeping strokes at end to level it all out and remove excess works well. It’s quick and easy. As long as it’s a nice thin coat, every levels itself while spinning/drying. I used to go over slowly every inch of applying finish but not anymore.

Looking forward to your updates until the rod is delivered!

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: March 10, 2023 09:56AM

Thanks Darwin, I've often been called out on overthinking in a general sense but am also familiar with how unforgiving hindsight can be so I try to do my overthinking on the front end.

It seems the epoxy thing is coming together and while I have been making changes to my technique in application which have been resulting in a better end result but it still seems like it's an accident somehow. Perhaps that feeling will go away once I have repeatable / consistent results. I keep hearing about g4. I have recently received some low build flex coat that I am going to try soon and am using trondak ls supreme low build.

I have not been able to see how to add a video on here aside from a youtube link. I may do a vid on my youtube account, but not today hahaha

I mocked up the guides again using ty wraps as guides and it seemed to be a good technique.

I had meant to use 11 guides and see how that went but miscounted and only added ten. One thing it does do is illustrate two different layouts of ten guides.

I had this idea I would leave the front and stripper guide in place and run my second line through them. After this I kept cutting the spans of line in half with ty wrap placement

Kind of arrived here after a bit by simply splitting the spans

All the time thinking I had 11 mock guides it turns out there were only ten. But I think it may be fine?

Compare the earlier layout and the most recent attempt at bottom

Its hard to get a good eye on it but I feel the latest layout is superior. I double checked with a tape measure to at least try and maintain an ascending distance as the guides progressed towards the base of the rod. I'm actually not even sure if it would make sense that a given rod might even have a stretch where the guides were a similar or even shorter distance apart as they make their way along the rod from tip to tail.

After I was "happy" with my layout, still thinking I had 11 guides and lauding how much better 11 were than ten, I marked the placement. I use a piece of tape next to the "guide and then add a final mark with another piece of tape to the right of these, after removing the ty wraps, which will center the guides. I don't like china markers for some reason.

So at this point I do a count and it comes to ten guides. I may try and redo this all with 11 guides as the procedure isn't that bad really. Interestingly the ty wraps did not need to be taped in place. By adding drag tension at the reel and splitting the spans as I went the guides just stayed in place by friction / tension.

I will see if I go with this layout or 11 guides. It's Friday again and hope to make a good effort this weekend to get the guides wrapped and maybe even coated.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: March 10, 2023 10:31AM

Freakin sweet build Bob! The wraps came out awesome, and I think you stumbled upon a great lay out with less guides.

I also feel you on the pre-overthinking, although sometimes I find that my pre-overthinking can be a bit paralyzing. I could over think Cheerios or Life cereal - when I really just need to pour a bowl and eat something. And don't even get me started on hindsight, I look back at my life sometimes and my tributaries of thought flow into my streams of consciousness so fast from the brainstorm my mind is flooded with butterfly affect/chaos theory woulda coulda shoulda eroding grand canyon regrets until I can't even read the brain map to row myself back to safety. The human mind can be a dangerous place haha

I really think the process of this thread detailing your steps has helped myself and others learn along with you, including the input from others this has been a great catch all/walk through.

Building rods in MA, Building the community around the world

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: March 10, 2023 02:13PM

Thanks El, I'm excited to get the guide wraps happening also. I think the layout looks ok? It's sort of subtle. I think I am going to try the layout again with 11 guides just to compare. I think I like this approach though. In the past I have spent quite a bit of time trying to find guide layout information for a given blank when the reality is that the blank itself is waiting to tell you the optimal layout if only a person would listen. Using this build as an example, the layout provided by proof had two of the guides directly on top of a ferrule so right off the bat I had to fudge things. I was pleasantly surprised at the splitting the span approach being something that went quickly and the ty wraps could be slid along with little trouble being as they stay in place by friction.

Yes, braining is hard hahaha....it seems rodbuilding has it's share of ocd types lol.

Part of all trying to chronicle a build from start to finish is to try and show, by example, the value of sharing and educating with the aid of images embedded in the post. If I'm being honest it is also a little time consuming but, for me, it also has an addictive quality oddly and I start looking for photo opps as I go through the motions of the build. I will chronicle this build but I could not say I would do it every time and also can't imagine people wanting that necessarily either.

I would like to see other builds from other people shared in such a manner to be honest but also understand it can be a bit of work.

I'd love to see some short "show and tell" type posts as well. I have been thinking of sharing a Lee Wulff 6 foot 6 weight I built last winter as my 4th build I think? It turned out well and is a fun rod but it went together a little too easily and didn't help prepare me for trouble I would soon run into hahaha.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2023 02:14PM by Bob Foster.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: March 11, 2023 11:48AM

I rerigged the layout with 11 guides. I think I like it and am going to run it. I was struck by how well the line flowed and feel the difference between 10 and 11 was low level dramatic and my feel is the added weight is more than mitigated by the improved flow. I may be leaning towards being an extra guide kinda guy...

So.....on to wrapping the guides....

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 11, 2023 01:09PM


I looked at your comparative photos of 10 versus 11 guides, and I like the 11 much much better! Glad you do, too! The line follows the curve of the blank more closely and I think this will give you multiple benefits. "Flow" will hold true for casting, hooking, and fighting fish. (And one or even two extra guides add so little weight.) Jim Ising (Angler's Resource guru), said that the more closely the line follows the natural curve of the blank, the more you optimize the power of the blank, too. He was a salt fisherman, so he knew about the importance of getting all the power out of a blank possible....and you paid for that power, so why not get your money's worth, right? You sold yet? Ha! Obviously you are.

You made an insightful and informative comment about guide layout under a static test: What if a particular rod shows that it wants an "oddball" layout - where the spacing is not equidistant or progressive in all parts of the rod? Well, what would you do? Go with the rod? Go with what looks aesthetically pleasing? Go another way altogether? (This is a query, not a quiz).

The Machine Gun Question Phase:
What kind of guides did you choose? Wire, ceramic, a combo? I take it from your mock-up they are single foot runners. Stripper size? Running guide size? What is your complete layout size, number and type? Have you CCS tested this rod?

Lee Wulff has an old video on You Tube somewhere (Salmo Saltar?) in which he is fishing a little rod like you describe for some big ass salmon. Amazing! This may be your inspiration for your 6ft. 6 weight rod, yes? Anyway, what a fisherman he was!! And his wife Joan is right up there with him, too!

Hope work is going well for you.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: March 11, 2023 02:20PM

Hi Les,

I really noticed the flow thing standing way back and looking at it, imagining I was watching someone else run the rod and noting how the rod and the line more or less would draw the same arc. t was kind of funny as when I did the layout this time all my mock guides were out towards the tip and I took 5 of them of to mid span then ran them towards the reel seat. Then I took what I thought were the next 5 and ran them towards the tip and noting it was looking good. But I had left a mock guide up by the tip so was working with ten again for a short time. Once I pulled that 11th guide into the equation I was pretty much sold. While I have flexed some rods laid out by some derived information / measurements I have mostly always run with whatever was suggested in one form or another. This effort is the first representation of laying out the guide train via the two line static test (perhaps my interpretation of it as I did notice if the guide line tension was too great it changed the arc of the rod). I set the guide line to where I could just see it start to change the arc established by the tip line.

There is a 4 guide span where 2 are the same measurement as one another and the next two guides share their measurement as well.

Full set snake brand universal (with e coating) guides. 12 dual foot ceramic, 10 dual foot ceramic, #2 wire snakes to tip top. I have not ccs tested the rod. My setup needs modified as I cannot flex the rod the third of the length it needs. Wall space is at a premium in my work area.

I watched every video and ran down every forum reference I could find about the 6 foot 6 weight Wulff rod. Have watched many of Joan Wulff's videos as well. I have a Joan Wulff Signature 6 weight line on it. It's a lovely little rod but one time I was perhaps foolishly throwing a small streamer for pike and a pretty large specimen made a pass at my offering and missed. I stopped fishing it immediately after being relieved he didn't hit it hahaha. I'm very impressed Lee Wulff could land 20 pound Atlantic salmon on such a rig.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 12, 2023 11:31AM


Thank you for your photos, thorough explanations, and details! You are very thoughtful to respond to every posted reply.

Guide layout: Similar to your eye for the flow suggested, I often put the first 4 to 6 guides at equidistant lengths, especially in that first 18-24 inches of the tip. In my static testing, it always seemed to work out best that way. Now I start my layouts with the stripper or butt guide first, then move to do the tip section (around 4-inches between all 4-6 guides) and then work back from there to the stripper or butt guide (usually with a progressive spacing). I might end up cheating the spacing on the last tip section guides a little if I think it needs it (usually no more than 1/2 inch).

I do the same on my spinning set ups with the caveat that I include the Fuji KR Concept reduction guides set first (this includes three guides such as KLH20, KLH10, and 5.5M). On a conventional casting rod set up using micro guides (size#5 or less), I will set my butt guide at around 20-inches, then run 5-6 guides equidistant at 3.5 inches between guides, especially on blanks with a soft XF tip.

Oh, it was mentioned earlier, or in another post, that doing the static line test in Three Stages is recommended so you capture the blank profile during light, medium, and heavier loads. As you have seen, different parts of the blank flex differently with increasing load. And at the heavier load ends, the tip section is straight and no longer under much if any load at all. More stages is more precise, naturally. I have learned a thing or two watching the bend profile change.

I am definitely an extra guide guy, too. (My forever fishing buddy only fishes with garage sale rods and reels; some are old classics, and some are really junk. He is old school, and a very good fisherman, biology-minded, and lure inventor. Anyway, I was watching him fish an old 6-foot fiberglass rod - it had four, huge, double-foot guides plus a tip top. I was amazed. It reminds me how I carry these childhood images and ideas of what a rod 'should' look like based on 70's and 80's production rods. The persistence of memory. I say all that just to make the point that I run into moments in rod-building when I don't trust my own eyes or what the data is telling me because those old ideas and images push back. Fortunately, these days I see a 7-foot rod with seven guides and think, "I wonder if a couple extra guides would make that a better rod?")

In the video I saw of Lee Wulff catching salmon on that little whisp of a rod, he was literally chasing that fish downstream for a long distance: scrambling over bolders and logs, and through rapids! It was an elite athlete at work as more than his gear to my view! He also created a Bake-a-lite, Two-Piece, plastic canoe he could attach to the underwing of his little float plane. He would fly low over rivers in British Columbia looking for salmon nosing upstream in the clear water. Then he would land in the lake nearby, assemble his canoe, and paddle to the spots he had seen in the air. Amazing man! An amazing era!

Lee Wulff videos to check out:
* Lee Wulff and Salmo Salar
* Lee Wulff on Dry Fly Fishing for Atlantic Salmon
* The Brook Trout of Minipi
* Lee Wulf Sailfishing in the 1960's


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2023 11:41AM by Les Cline.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (207.189.245.---)
Date: March 12, 2023 02:12PM

Lee Wulff, One of his videos showed him climbing out of a little bush plane and he grabbed his 6 footer out of the back and it afforded some good views of the rod. I freeze framed so many shots from that video haha. obsessing over the grip and trying to get a feel for the guides n such. I found his lifelong commitment and died in the woolness inspiring. As he and his companion share a shore of the lake, taking it all in, and he whips out some rudimentary supplies and ties a fly there on the spot. An amazing man....

I will revisit those video suggestions, thanks for those.

I'm excited over this rod to be honest and anxious to see the end result.

I'm also really happy at the prospect of being able to layout guides without the second guessing and sourcing layouts online. One less step is always good. I've come to view eliminating steps as a good thing. Recently I stopped using the little metal mixer thingy in my epoxy mixer and use my spatula instead and find the epoxy still gets mixed but I no longer worry about cleaning the thingy or the thingy introducing dust or contaminants to the mix.

I got a start on wrapping the guides. I had a plan of a metallic / white trim band setup all the way up the rod but found the dual trim bands on the small diameter sections of the blank troublesome and the effect also got sort of cluttered even though I hadn't gotten to the really small diameters yet. So I used the metallic in the two foot guides and ferrule wraps, and a simpler white trim band for the snake guides.

Working on the last 6 guides today but likely won't have time to do the epoxy which is kind of ok as I am expecting some decals from decal connection so I have a window to be able to do final base wrap coats as well as the guides.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: March 12, 2023 02:31PM

Very nice.

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Re: A rod called "Aurora"
Posted by: Bob Foster (205.234.62.---)
Date: March 13, 2023 12:42PM

Thanks Mark, getting close to it being a done deal. Still have to source a decent rod tube for it but one more coat on the guides, a decal or two and a final coat on the base wrap and it's a wrap. no pun.

Hadn't really planned to but after I got the last guide wrapped I found myself setting up for epoxy so decided to just let myself go at it...

It's funny what the camera see's depending on the color of the background. All these pics were taken in the same light but the pic of the wraps on the black background looks completely different.

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