My rods are hardly ever without a reel on them. I may swap them, wash under the feet etc - but for the most part the reel is always on the rod so the reel goes first on the rod before assembly.
Putting the ferrules together - I push the ferrules on a little offline and twist them in line. Definitely easier to sight from fat to skinny. Here's a tip - put the smaller top sections together first, then put the assembly onto the bottom section so you don't have to reach.
A little pure paraffin wax once in a while makes them seat together better. If the ferrules are stuck on a hot day, put the rod in the cold water for a while and they will come apart easily.
Fold the line over to make it easier to thread the guides. Put the reel on a scratch-free surface like a log as you work up the rod. If you are fishing with a buddy it's customary to offer to lend a hand.
May beginner's luck be on your side.
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
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