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Old 06-01-2002, 06:45 PM
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flyfisha1 flyfisha1 is offline
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Rod building question...

Hi All,
This thread is essentially for anyone who has built their own rod, but anyone owning a custom-built model feel free to contribute. I've built a pair of them in the past year, the first one a 6-wt. with SW hardware (my "toy" that I like to use for snapper blues, schoolie stripers, and mangrove snappers) which was built on a Cabela's 9' 4-pc. FT blank, and the other a 3-wt. St. Croix Legend Ultra 8'6" 2-pc. model. While I find these rods suit my casting style, I admittedly have little experience with high-ticket rods so it's hard for me to know how they compare; all of my store-bought rods were less than $200. Still, when I have to I can cast pretty far (nearly 100'), present quietly (but not at that distance, of course), and catch fish. This is essentially why I built rods: if I can successfully fish with "cheap" rods, why not build my own for half the price?
So my questions (finally) are:

What types of blanks do most of you builders use?
How do you feel they compare with store-bought models?
What compelled you to build a rod in the first place?
If applicable, why did you buy a custom-built rod vs. a manufactured model?

I'm currently working on my 3rd rod, a 9-ft. 9 wt. for my boss. The blank is coming from JJ King in California, who claims that his factory blanks are used by numerous rod building companies, but will not divulge the name of the blank manufacturer. I think they're Pacific Bay, myself. Can anyone confirm? The blank is reputed to be 43-million modulus, gloss green. If I don't like it, I can send it back. I greatly appreciate everyone's time!
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2002, 01:14 AM
saltRon saltRon is offline
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Rod Building

Hi Flyfisha1

I have built all my rods with Sage Blanks
Reason #1 I like the action of these rods and have allways been treated well by the factory even before the unlimited waranty came into being.
#2 Price You will allways find good blanks on sale even in the year of introduction.
#3 You can incorporate into your rod features that are unaviable in the off the shelf factory version such as over sized guides or a grip that suits you not the masses.
Finally the Pride thing that you are not just using an off the shelf item that some one else produced in total but an instrument that you finished and refined yourself.
I think you can equate this to tying flys, you did not manufacture the hook but you sure did decorate it and can take greate pride in the fish you caught with it.

saltRon
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Old 06-02-2002, 01:30 PM
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flyfisha1 flyfisha1 is offline
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Thanks for the feedback saltRon; I'll certainly look into a Sage blank for my next rod. I may build a 5-wt. sometime over the Winter. The 6-wt. I built was just for the reasons you stated: the hardware needed was for saltwater, so I used oversized guides, full-wells, fighting butt, anodized reel seat, and so on. I'm not aware of any 6-wt. rods on the market that have those features (particularly since practically no one fishes in SW with such a light rod). It was my first home-built rod, and while it's not the prettiest, it works just fine for the intended purpose.
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Old 06-02-2002, 07:45 PM
Nooksack Mac Nooksack Mac is offline
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About all I can add to saltRon's observations is "Yeah; same here." As a major adjunct to (fly)fishing, combining money-saving with the satisfactions of self-expression, rod-building ranks close to fly-tying.
I've built so many rods for myself that it's hard to find an unfilled niche these days. I've used blanks from Sage, Scott and T&T down to closeouts from Cabela and others; most have produced satisfactory rods. My philosophy is that I need a first-string rod, a backup rod, and a loaner rod in each major category.
The specs on those King blanks sound a lot like the IM-6 blanks from Hook & Hackle (www.hookhack.com), usually available at 20-33% off for online orders.
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Old 06-02-2002, 08:46 PM
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flyfisha1 flyfisha1 is offline
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Oooooh, I'll have to check that out; haven't heard of them before. So, the secret to owning a dozen or so rods and justifying them all is to have a reason for multiples I'll have to try that out on my wife! Just got back from a local river, fished with my 3-wt. that I built on a St. Croix. I really love that rod, and you're right, it's somehow more fulfilling to catch fish on your own rod than a manufactured one. I'll have a look at that website. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-04-2002, 11:22 AM
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flyfisha1 flyfisha1 is offline
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Got that blank in from JJ King

... and it's pretty nice. A relatively fast action, what I would consider to be on the upper end of "moderate-fast". Considering the blank was $65 (it's a four-piece), not too bad a deal. Still, I haven't gotten the guides on yet, so we'll have to see what the action is like when it's all finished.
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Old 06-14-2002, 03:50 AM
Nate Bailey Nate Bailey is offline
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Ive built a H&H blank and Like it well.as for your other questions , I like both sage and scotts, but I also casted a Orvis pm10 that I loved also. St Croix makes good rods also and are cheaper, I real life you realy dont need the extra sweet high costing blanks, but when the fish arnt biting its great to have the sweetest rod you can ......there are just some rods that I cant stop casting.....Nate
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