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SDHflyfisher 01-24-2003 11:10 AM

rod making
i am looking to make my own rod for the first time what gear do i need other than the rod materials. it will probly be an orvis #1 blank with other orvis parts. thanks for any help you can provide me

John Desjardins 01-24-2003 11:24 AM

Minimum required tools: bobbin, scissors, small paintbrush, fine sandpaper and a rattail file.
For me a way to hold the rod while winding and when the finish is drying helps. A recent thread discussed this topic in more detail.

flyfisha1 01-24-2003 11:29 AM

A good book!
I've built quite a few rods now, and find that had I picked up a really good book on the subject first I think that my first few rods would have looked quite a bit nicer. Can't think of the name of the one I picked up recently, but having read it from cover to cover I learned a lot that would have been of great help. I'll look for it when I get home.
Basic equipment you'll need is some sort of rod-turning apparatus, a thread-tensioner (both of these can be "home-made" if you want to go for the ultimate basic set up, or can be top-of-the-line store-bought), and the raw materials (blank, handle components, reel seat, wrapping thread, color preserver (depending upon thread type) guides, tip, and rod finish). Other items needed are basic, such as a sharp knife (i.e. exacto). Don't think I left anything out.
I really enjoy building fly rods, hoping to build a nice 5-wt. this Spring for my grandfather for Father's Day. I generally use St. Croix or G. Loomis blanks, Pacific Bay componenents, Gudebrod wrapping thread, and Flex-Coat finish. I buy most of this at Cabela's on line, simply because we don't have a local retailer that carries rod-building supplies. It's nice to be able to build the equivalent of a $400+ rod for less than $150.:chuckle:

SDHflyfisher 01-24-2003 11:43 AM

Re: A good book!

Originally posted by flyfisha1 It's nice to be able to build the equivalent of a $400+ rod for less than $150.:chuckle: [/B]
that's why i plan to make the rod my self i will probably save at least $200 orvis sells kits and so does cabelas i will go to my local fly shop the only one around and see if they have any books there. the fly shop is pretty big and have a lot of events there one of them was a tying show with dave whittlock. hope i spelled his name right he tied his famous sculpon spelled that wrong too never was very good at spelling anyways that was when i first got started in tying 3 years ago.

Lipripper 01-24-2003 12:58 PM

Yep, you'll save the money and you'll end up with a great rod that will probably look a heck of a lot better than a factory rod.

This site is really helpful.


JimW 01-26-2003 09:13 AM

Sean, It's lots of fun and very satisfying to roll your own. I've only built a couple rods so I cannot give expert advise but I learned some things along the way. You may find this link to the Rodrack interesting, it has a story of what I learned building my first rod. You will see some pictures of my home made wrapping jig there.

The site lists some of the experience rod builders, including John who has already responded to this thread. These guys are a great source of info and offer great advise. If you are interested in adding your own story to the chronicles we'd all like to hear your tale. E-mail or PM me if you are interested. I need to do some more work on the Rodrack now that we are in the dead of Winter. I think Juro must be nearing completion on the 10wt with all the spare time he has;) We should see something on that any day now.

SDHflyfisher 01-29-2003 03:45 PM

ok it turns out that i won't save that much money they rod costs $345 and for all of the supplies that i need to get it will cost me around $300 to make

tonyd 01-30-2003 03:22 AM

The truth of the matter is that the amount of money you save isn't always alot(depending on what components you use and how much you pay for them) and if you are simply building a rod to factory specs,then you might find a factory rod cheaper than you can build one on EBAY(whatever rod you like,it WILL show up there eventually).

The nice thing about building your own rod though,besides the fact that it is ALOT of fun,is that the number of quality components available to the custom rod builder these days is staggering.It enables you to build a BETTER rod than a factory rod and use far nicer components than you could ever get from a factory built rod.Trust me,95% of factory rods have low to mid end components on them and are nowhere near as good as some components that you can use on your custom built rod.If you think Sage or Winston rods have nice reelseats,take a look at some of the amazing works of art by Robert Venerri or Bellinger.There's no comparison.Also,you have the option of using todays high end ceramics,which,aside from stripper guides,are not available on factory rods(except the Lamiglass Esprit Concept).The best thing about building your own rod is you can build your rod to suit YOU.That means if you want a different kind or shape cork,then you can have it!If you want pink and purple wraps,you can have it!You're only limited by your imagination(and sometimes money).Don't build a rod to save money.If you save money then that is simply a bonus,although you CAN save ALOT of money if you do some searching for deals on components(I just got some Scott G 4wt blanks for $110 each and a $100 Bellinger ULSB-DLX seat for $50 so there are deals to be had if you look for them).I guarantee that saving money won't be as big of an issue once you get started building.It's addicting!Once you see how many incredible components,especially reelseats,are available to you and you see how you can build a BETTER rod than factory ones,then you'll know why people choose to build rods.It's a very satisfying accomplishment too.

John Desjardins 01-30-2003 08:48 AM

Tony has a good point about the customizing of rods. This is probably the major reason that I build rods. I've found out through the years that the grip & guides that I like for light weight rods are not available in factory rods.

SDHflyfisher 11-08-2003 07:21 PM

i want to get this post going again because i am going to get all the materials i need from cabelas
6'6" PT blank 2 weight 2 pc butt diameter .285" tip size 4.5
REC lightweight black fly reel seats cocobola
REC extra select cork grips AA cigar grip
snake guides in black don't know how many i need
fuji hook keeper small
i am also going to get the spine finder
cabelas premium rod building set and some other things

could you guys tell me if there is anything else i might need?

flytyer 11-08-2003 08:27 PM


You'll need a stripping guide, I suggest a #8 one. To figuyre number of guides you need figure 1 guide per foot of rod length, this includes the stipping guide. So for a 6'6" fod, you would need 1 stripping guide and 6 snake guides, plus a rod tip (or top) guide. Also, don't forget to get a rod top and size A thread in the color you desire. A thread burnisher is worth having (they are less than $2.00 usually) to pack the thread after the guide is wrapped (I don't remember if Cabella's includes this in the rod building set), and don't forget the rod finish.

A rod case of some sort with a cheap and very strong one being PVC sewer pipe in 1 1/2" cut to length with a PVC cap vlued to one end and left unglued so it provides a friction fit on the other side. And don't forget a rod bag to protect the rod from scatches when it is in the rod case.

The spine finder is really not necessary to build a rod or find the spine. To find the spine either: 1) place the butt portion of the rod section on a table while holding the tip of the section with your index finger; then use your other hand to bend the section by using it to put pressure on the middle of the rod section; roll the rod section while putting pressure on it and the spine will automatically roll up to the top. (the blank will sort of "jump" or "kick" when the spine rolls up; or 2) place the thick end of the rod section under the edge of a table; hold the section with you fingers at the top of the section; put upward pressure on the section with you other hand and the spine will roll to the bottom.

Why spend the money for a spine finder when you don't need to? Instead, use the money to get something else (like the best quality TiCH snake guides).

Enjoy the rod building process, take your time, and let us know how it turned out. It is addicting though, just like tying and fishing.

flyfisha1 11-08-2003 09:49 PM

Sean - I hope you're ready for a real "noodle" blank with the PT! I have built a rod on their FT ("fast action" equates to moderate fast at best with other brands), as well as their progressive taper SLi; the point is, I find both of these blanks to be much slower than comparable action blanks as advertised. The PT is one I haven't built, however I'd be willing to bet that it's really slow.
Honestly, I'd have a look at some of the blanks by St. Croix or Loomis if I was going to build with components from Cabelas. If you haven't gotten their Tackle Craft catalog with all the blanks and rod-building materials they offer, call them up and request one. You'll find that your options really multiply.
Also, I'd suggest having a look at shops such as Custom Tackle, Hook and Hackle, and Shoff, all of which can be found on the web and all of which have some pretty good components at reasonable prices.
I know that a 2-weight requires a delicate touch and soft rod, but I think I'd see about actually casting with that PT before I built a rod with top of the line components on it. If it's the first rod you've built, think seriously about buying one of their complete kits with "standard" components for less money; build that one and fish it. Then you can decide if the blank warrants building another with the really slick seat, guides, etc. Just some thoughts... Good luck!

SDHflyfisher 11-09-2003 02:19 PM

the components are not going to be the best the reel seat is only 20 bucks so it is not that expensive
i'll look at the ft rod blanks
i want a short medium action 2 weight that is why i chose the pt

i was figuring on taking my time and it will take me a while to get all of the compenents also

JimW 11-09-2003 02:58 PM

Lot's of great advise from those with more experience than I have. Here's a page that may help or at least entertain.

caddisfly777 11-27-2003 12:10 PM


Originally posted by SDHflyfisher
i want to get this post going again because i am going to get all the materials i need from cabelas
6'6" PT blank 2 weight 2 pc butt diameter .285" tip size 4.5
REC lightweight black fly reel seats cocobola
REC extra select cork grips AA cigar grip
snake guides in black don't know how many i need
fuji hook keeper small
i am also going to get the spine finder
cabelas premium rod building set and some other things

could you guys tell me if there is anything else i might need?

I found the PT blank tom be a wet noodle and could't cast it but if you like slow action rods you'll probably be ok.

I ended up buying a damon rods 6'6" 2wt that is a true fast action. Also check Dan Craft's web site as he also make great quality rods <>

Then get your self a great book on rodbuilding ... Either Tom Kirkman's Rod building guide
or the other I use is by L.A. Garcia.

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