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Night Raider 10-22-2005 07:49 AM

Getting started rod building
Hello all,
I'm am new to this forum (not to fly fishing though), I stumbled across it looking for information on rod building.
I was hoping someone with experience could help me. I'm looking to build my first fly rod, I was thinking a 3 or 4 piece 3 wt. and 7'6" or 8' long. I'm looking for a reasonable rod that will cast well if I do everything right but if some things are a little off it's not the end of the world (so sage blanks are out).


juro 10-22-2005 10:15 PM

I would beg to differ - the Sage VPS blanks are among the best choice for a high quality rod without breaking the bank. IMHO it's very forgiving while delivering high performance.

Isgrigg 10-22-2005 11:16 PM

I have only build one rod ... but this is the advice I was given when I said I would just use a cheap blank. Don't! Build the rod you would like to own ... so I did and they were right ... it is my favorite rod ... T&T 9'-0" 5wt 4-piece ... I named it after my wife ... "My reason for living". :-)

I had help from guys in my fly fishing club and there are some good books out there too ... I would suggest you build your rod with a buddy, one that has some experance is best ... but just an extra set of hands can be good.

Good Luck,


Night Raider 10-23-2005 09:18 AM

I'll keep that sage blank in mind. One problem I have with sage is that I feel like I'm paying a premium just for the name, not to say they aren't great rods. both rods I have now are mid level. One blank I looked at is the GLoomis IMX or Temple fork, First I probably need to see what my local fly shop has. I've found there isn't a large selection of 3wt. travel rods, but hopefully I can find a blank I like.

any comments on kits? or components?


flytyer 10-23-2005 06:21 PM

Why not look at Dan Craft blanks. They are reasonably priced and definitely high performance US built blanks. You should also consider inquiring site sponsor Anglers Workshop (you can find a link to them under the sponsors heading at the top left of this page) to see what they can do for you. TFO blanks are very reasonable and are good quality moderate modulus IM6 graphite. T&T, Loomis, and Sage also make good blanks, but they are more expensive.

Wee Hooker 10-24-2005 11:43 AM

I'll break ranks here. If it's your first rod, it's likely not to come out picture perfect. This can kill resale if you ever decided it's not the rod for you . (I've built ALLOT of flyrods for my self and in a semi-commercial role. People expect perfection when buying a $150-$250 custom rod). I'd vote you start with something that will cast well but will run less than $100-$125 to build. ( BTW, you don't need any special /expensive tools either.)
FWIW, I built allot of pac-bay and hook & hackle Im6 blanks. Most built up into some VERY decient rods. Some I still fish, others were sold off. in fact, I built and sold dozens of these as they offered allot of bang for the buck. Never had anyone want to return one. ( BTW, Rainshadow also reportedly makes a decient and inexpensive series of blanks but I have very imited experience with them.)
Once you get a rod or two under your belt, then decide whether you want to invest bigger $ in a project. Chances are you might be happy with your first rod. If not, you can sell it and get most of your $ back or (more likely) use it as a back-up/ truck rod. In any case, it's an enjoyable experience to build AND fish your own rod.
have fun with it.


fishhead 10-25-2005 01:07 PM

great stuff guys! I have yet to build one but am on that ledge and keep looking down. Ready to leap any day-maybe a winter project for me. My dilema in hunting for "the Rod" is this: where can you get an inexpensive 2 pc, 3/4 wt, 9 foot rod with mid flex and moderately fast action, and... WITH a full wells grip? ANSWER: correct me if I'm wrong but Andy Griffith said it best - "You cain't git there from here!" In other words, these rods don't exist unless you build one. Oh yeah, add a detachable fighting butt, why? cause I like the visual balance aspect they provide for my tastes. I've hunted the internet and only found what I'm looking for at custom rodbuilders sites or parts suppliers for builders. This rod would be my primary panfish rod and I like the idea of at least 8 feet being the minumum length preferalby-9ft. this would be a pond and lake rod and if I ever get a float-tube the length would help here as well. It would be inmy truck all the time, too, hence the inexpensive part. It would be nice to have the gills put more bend in the rod without having to go bamboo or down to a 7 footer, 2 wt yet be able to play and maybe land the odd, big bass, cat or carp that jumps on board. Any thoughts.....should I build or should I buy? :Eyecrazy:

Wee Hooker 10-25-2005 05:56 PM

Aw go on ahead. JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! :D
It only hurts the first time!

p.s. If two piece are what you want, (besides H&H mentioned above) Check Cabelas, they have some nice deals on their SLi blanks.
FWIW, I like a full wells on all my rods 8' and over. A 1" fighting butt works well for rods that are going to bet beat up in a warm water envirinment too. It protects the reel from bouncing off of rocks/ boat floor etc. However, note that when you put a FW grip and FB on a 3 wt, you will likely own that rod for life as you've limited it's resale.

Yes there is a HUGE difference in catching gills on a 2 or 3 wt vs 5/6 IMHO. Also FWIW, some longer light line rods tend to get noodle like when tring to throw larger WW flies. In my experience with WW light rods, it's best to error on the stiff side of action and overline if you need to. All 4 of my 2-4 wt rods used for WW are in the 7.5'-8.5' range, medium-fast and are overlined one size.


fishhead 10-26-2005 01:59 PM

Didn't really mean to horn in on the originator's thread but after looking so long and not finding what I want in a rod my options came to either commission a custom rod ($$$!) or build one ( and more later) myself. The possibility of not re-couping my costs by putting a FW grip on a lt wt rod is a non-issue as the rod would be fished til worn out, rebuilt and broken or retired. Your experience, Wee Hooker, and information goes a l-o-o-o-o-n-g way towards boosting me through this learning curve. After decades of hardware slinging, the long stick feather chucking is where it's at for me from now on. I firmly believe that if I had not gone ahead and bought two low dollar, Big Box Store, SA outfits with graphite reels to test the waters and cut my teeth on, that I probably would not have ever taken the plunge in fly fishing, directly due to the fact of the very high cost, IMO, of the better quality stuff. My hardware slingers are Abu Garcia, Penn and Loomis rods. $600.00 plus is just a little too, much (OUCH) for my budget for a daily driver fly rod-not the way I drive! That would put 2 maybe 3 quality-blank homebuilts into my arsenal or heaven-forbid-now-that-I-know-better buy around 30 of the "so cheap as to be nearly disposable", $20.00, SA rods that got me into this game in the first place. As I progress along the curve though I just might change my tastes and go for the fancy-smancy Abel, Hardy or other top reel and a top of the line rod to put it on.........we'll see.

PS- I did find some rather low cost , decent name rods on a certain auction site but if I name them you guys might outbid me especially on the Powell. Oops!

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