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Rod building

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Ok,

I saw one of the other threads had a good bit of info on rod building. I didn't want to hijack, so I'll make a new one.

I'm in college and fairly poor (those of you who have been here long can remember a similar thread in which i ask the same questions about fly tying. I'm happy to report that its one of my favorite hobbies now.)

Basically, I was wondering how much money I could save by building rods. I initially started tying flies out of thrift (although I don't think I saved much yet... but I will eventually) and it has become a very rewarding hobby. Is it something that I would want to try for these reasons? I'd hope that I enjoy it and can make a hobby/build rods for friends at wholesale, but if not, will it at least be cheaper than buying a new one?

I'm not great with my hands but I tend to get deeply immersed in things which I put my mind to (i'm a computer programmer).

If its worth a shot, and if I can afford it, let me know where to start. Tips/lessons learned would be great.

Thanks.

jay

Posted on: 2007/1/2 14:00


Re: Rod building
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From Monessen, PA
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Yes, you can save money. What is your time worth? I save money cutting my own lawn, too, but some Saturday in June when flies are hatching, I think if I didn't also need the exercise, I'd be wise to pay the neighborhood teenager $25 and go fishing instead.

Anyone can learn to build a rod and if perfection in appearance isn't top priority for you, I would say to go for it. I have built and rebuilt several. They seem to work as good as any I've purchased. You can spend as little as 30-40 bucks for a generic blank and you can choose inexpensive reelseat components. Pay for good cork (I use pre-made handles) and good guides, though, as they take a lot of the strain of use. I was fortunate to get a good book at the local library, but I think I found some instructional information on-line by searching as well. Take your time on the first one and "measure" twice or three times before epoxy is applied because once it starts to harden, there is no time to recalculate. With wrapping guides, you can alway unwrap and rewrap if you aren't happy-- inspect them well before using the color preserver or coating. I don't sweat minor imperfections if the rod still functions.

There are quite a few on board here that have built rods, so ask questions as you tackle your first project. There is no reason it can't be built over a period of days so you can make sure you are progressing correctly.

Good luck.

Posted on: 2007/1/2 16:50
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Peace, Tony


Re: Rod building

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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Thanks jack.

At this point in my life, my time isnt worth too much

I think i'm going to give it a try.


I see that cabela's has rod building kits. I know there's some obvious mark up with them, but do they seem like a good value?

I'm assuming its best to order parts separately, but i'm almost afraid to screw the whole thing up with one or two wrong purchases.

Posted on: 2007/1/2 17:03


Re: Rod building

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2006/12/13 9:28
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If you want to build your own rods to simply save money, then I would say don't start. In my opinion, the only good reason for getting started in this is because you want to. Don't expect to save much for awhile. If you are building just one, you probably will not save any money because of the initial investments. even 2 rods, it would still be questionable whether you would save any money (call this an educated guess). You have to buy materials, Epoxy, winding thread, etc. Some people buy or build a winder (I didn't. I use a cardboard box with grooves cut out of it). You might need a drying motor setup. They aren't extremely cheap either. Much of this is guesswork, because I've never built any plastic ... errr ... I mean graphite rods. The point is, there will be an initial investment outside of blank and component costs. Like I said, if you are only doing it to save money, and you will only be doing 1 or 2 rods, I'd say don't bother. If you are doing it for enjoyment, then go for it. If you are doing it to build a few for other people as well, that's even better.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 9:13
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Re: Rod building
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Jay, I tend to disagree with Farmer Dave as you can see, but he is correct in the assessment that if it will be a mere chore, as opposed to a joy for the sake of fishing with something you crafted, it probably isn't worth the investment of time and effort. On the other hand, it would definitely save money over manufactured rods of similar functionality. I built all my rods without wrapping equipment-- my wrapper was my lap and the recliner arms and a thick book, my rod turning implement was a cardboard box and my two hands, turning the rod sections 180 degrees every 10 minutes for an hour, then every 30 minutes for the next two hours, then every hour until I was no longer seeing movement of the clear coat.

The kit from Cabelas may be a good start, since it comes with instructions and all the materials you need. It will let you get the needed experience on all the essential steps in the process so the next rod or rods can be tailor-made to your preferences.

Like I said, read up on it first and take your time with the first one. Ask questions here or on other rod-building forums you can locate on the web. Let us know how it goes.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 9:29
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Re: Rod building

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Thanks guys.

I guess I should have clarified...

I'm not really doing it JUST to save money. Fishing is what I do. I'm constantly looking for ways to further immerse myself in it.

Unfortunately, I'm at a point in my life where saving money is a must (because i don't have it). It really sucks, but I'll make it.

I am really curious about trying it. If it works well, i can just imagine how proud my dad would be if I could make him one for his birthday next year.

My main concerns were whether I would end up spending the $500 a rod to make them when I could just buy them for that price. I also want to make sure that its something that I can do correctly, without screwing it up too bad.

I think i'm going to get one of the cabela's kits just to give it a try. If I like it, i'll stick with it and use my new found experience.... that's basically what I did with fly tying.



Lets see....

I've been looking at 5 weights for nymphing bigger water (my 4 weight just doesn't cut it sometimes). That sounds like a good start. Maybe I'll be able to build a 9 weight in time for next fall's cohos in pulaski! Then my dad's birthday. If I like it, I'll at least build those three.... hopefully that will disperse some of the initial cost.

Thanks guys

Posted on: 2007/1/3 9:57


Re: Rod building

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
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I respect Jack’s opinion He is the only guy at this site who is cheaper than me. You can probably learn a lot from him when it comes to saving money.

Based on Cabela's kits, I stand corrected (sorta). You can save some money. For example: A PT805 costs $165. The basic kit to build the same rod costs $90. If you don't plan on buying any of the other gadgets you will save money. Personally, I couldn't imagine doing one without a drying motor and stand but I tend to be impatient and don’t have the time. I also tend to be a perfectionist, and the last thing I would want is for a sag in the epoxy. It would bug the crap out of me every time I looked at it. It can be done obviously, but the amount of time spent turning it could be spent doing something else, and too much risk for a screw-up. One screw-up, and all you have is a very expensive tomato stake. Of course it would last a long time though.

Like I said, this was/is an educated guess, so take it for what it is worth. An educated guess is still just a guess. I don’t need a drying stand and motor for the cane rods. Just a place to hang them.

Based on your latest post Jay, I’d have to say go for it.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 11:21


Re: Rod building

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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Jay,

I started rod building for the same reasons you did (poor college student, looking for a new hobbie and to save a buck). Out of the dozen or so rods I've build, many have come from Cabelas kits. Check the prices again- many are less than if you piece the rod and components together, plus they come with epoxy, finish, thread, instructions, and brushes. I took a class at E Hille's in Williamsport for $75, and my blank and components cost about $125 = total $200. That rod i built in the class retailed for $200; fair trade. Also, Bass Pro in Harrisburg offers free fly tying and rod building classes.
I aggree with Jack. Take your time, build it over a couple of days. I am currently building 3 rods (2 for Hille's and one for me) and they will take me a couple of weeks to complete).

Remember, the first one doesn't always turn out. matter of fack I just refinish my first rod 10 minutes ago.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 11:45
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Re: Rod building

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Well,

I was doing some research. I'm on internship until the end of march so I should plenty of time on my hands in the evenings. I'm gonna give it a shot.

quick questions:

If I get something like this: http://tinyurl.com/yjabhq (cabelas.com)

Will that be enough to get started? Assuming I follow Jack's lead and use my hands, a heavy book, and a box, will I still need something like this: http://tinyurl.com/y9hzmh (cabelas.com)?

Posted on: 2007/1/3 11:46


Re: Rod building

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3614
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I think that would work great. I bought the wrapper (shown in the picture) for $40 and purchased a motor for $25 for Hille's. But if that set was availible to me, I would have jumped on it. I love my rod wrapper, and there is no need to spend $400 when $100 will do.
I started to build a rod once with thebook method-- didn't care for it much.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 11:50
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Re: Rod building
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Jay, if you are planning to build three rods to start, that set up will add about 33 bucks to the cost of each. It will definitely make things easier to wrap and dry and it won't tie up a saturday to supervise the drying process. In addition, the cork reamers are something that will save time and trouble-- have you ever tried to size the cork inside diameter with sandpaper wrapped around a phillips screwdriver? I built my two graphite rods for under $100 each. They still catch fish and no one has tried to rob me of them streamside and I fish Dunbar Creek a dozen times a year.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 11:59
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Re: Rod building

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2006/9/15 11:33
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I'd say go for it. I use Cabela's blanks, and the last time I built myself some rods, four of them, two years ago. I figured it cost me about $110 per rod. Considering the mark-up on factory built rods is close to 50%, a similar rod if I could find one would run me a couple hundred dollars. The deal was on the blanks, something like buy 4 pay for 3. I spent extra on getting good reel seats, the single foot guides I use, and the better quality preformed grips.
I don't think you need that rod building set unless you plan on building several rods.
As mentioned you can build your own rod wrapper/support from 3 pieces of wood or thick cardboard with tension for wrapping thread supplied by a thick book, and a round cup serving as the thread holder. The turning motor can be made from an electric motor used to turn a spit on a grill, or any low RPM motor you can pick up cheap. Just make sure the wrapping/turning stand are at height to be able to use the motor Reamers can be made by gluing various grits of sand papers around a wood dowel, or if you have access to loose grit you can coat various diameter dowels with 5 minute epoxy and roll it in the grit and let dry. You can use your thumb or a teaspoon for a wrap tightening tool. You won't need a tip top sizer, if you're buying a kit, the one you get with the kit should fit the rod. Tip Top adhesive- Super glue if you're fast, 5 minute epoxy if you're not or whatever they give you in the kit to glue the reel seat and grip to the blank if it cures in 5 minutes. Why would you need a gold lettering pen? If you really need to write something on the blank, you can pick up what's basically a gold permanent marker with a fine tip at the local craft store.
Check some of the rod building boards for other suggestions.
Good Luck!

Posted on: 2007/1/3 12:32


Re: Rod building
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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FlyAnglersOnline has a rod building section
http://www.flyanglersonline.com/rodmenu.html

You can save some money building rods, as blanks are discounted more often than rods. Also, you can get cosmetic blems too. Try looking for bargains at www.Anglersworkshop.com or on Ebay.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 14:16
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Re: Rod building
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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By all means give it a try. If you really like it you can get motors and other stuff later. A fly tying bobbin works fine for wrapping thread. I build all my rods (working on a 10WT today) and don't worry about detail or perfection as I fish 'em hard. If you decide that rod building isn't worth it you won't have a great loss. I agree that Cabelas has good components at very reasonable prices. The Stowaway blank is a real bargain - it's a five piece blank that retails for about $35. I have built many rods on this blank and it performs well.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 17:51


Re: Rod building
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From Altoona, PA
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Quote:
I've been looking at 5 weights for nymphing bigger water (my 4 weight just doesn't cut it sometimes).


See if you can borrow a 6wt. You may find that a 6 is a better nymphing rod. It's also a nice weight for dry fly smallmouth fishing, and big hatches like green drakes and hexes.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 20:46
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest



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