Rod Build Thread

Just curious about how to get started building your own fly rod. Buying blanks etc., and anything else needed to complete the build. What is a good resource for that?
I watched all of the videos on Proofs site multiple times, then bought a rod and build kit from them. No missing items so you can just work on the building steps.

Thread 1 is where I started.
 
Just curious about how to get started building your own fly rod. Buying blanks etc., and anything else needed to complete the build. What is a good resource for that?
Proof flyfishing is a great resource for how-to videos, blanks, and other components. See JimNovo's post above for a link to get you started.

My suggestion would be to head there, start watching his video tutorials, and use forums like this to ask your questions and get meaningful feedback.

I'm a big fan of acknowledging your first couple of builds will fish very well but may contain a few cosmetic warts until you get the hang of thread packing/tension and a few other techniques, so I would encourage you not to invest top dollar on components for your first couple of builds. It stinks when you muck up that super flor grade grip you just paid a premium for because you didn't realize how easy it is to get carried away with epoxy. Consider them learning builds and gift them away to make room for the next build. Just my opinion - others may encourage you to go the other way and that's okay too.

Have fun with it and we're all standing by when you have questions.
 
I agree 100% with jeffroey.
Start with an inexpensive build, learn the techniques, decide what additional equipment you may want, play with wrapping styles and accent/trim bands, then buy an expensive blank.

A kit from Proof is a great way to start. Besides a decent blank, the epoxy and other equipment will allow you to build at least 2 more rods. I’m on rod #2….a blank from another company with grip/hardware from Proof.

Plus as jeffroey said, rod #1 isn’t cosmetically perfect, but I’m very proud of it….and it works….caught this today!
IMG 4676
 
Just curious about how to get started building your own fly rod. Buying blanks etc., and anything else needed to complete the build. What is a good resource for that?
Hook & Hackle offers kits, tools, blanks, seats, etc. and the website has some readable resources. They're based in PA and will even answer the phone if you call with questions.
In addition to H&H, I've gotten some tools and materials from Jann's Netcraft (in OH), and also Flyrod Crafters.
Flex Coat has a bunch of "How We Do It" videos on the internet... mostly for spinning rods but some of the information is adaptable to fly rods - most specifically guide and ferrule wrapping.
The first try doesn't need to be expensive or complicated. I recommend picking a graphite blank in the $100-$200 price range and a "low cost" one-piece reel seat for the first one. Tip-over-butt ferrules are not too complicated, and as others have said, graphite blanks will require building up to the inner diameter of a reel seat (one-piece without a wood insert).
Have fun with it.
 
Only time I ever use a stint is when a rod is brokein in the butt section and I'm doing a repair. I refuse to cut apart a perfectly good rod. Proof isn't the most reputable company out there either. Lots of builders despise them. I do some business with Proof but not a whole lot. If you want a good Pennsylvania company look at Hook&Hackle.
 
Reaming the seat to fit the blank is the preferable method, but cutting and plugging the rod butt with a "stent" causes no real issues when done correctly. In other words, gluing it in there really well.

In the case of relatively large diameter fiberglass blanks used in conjunction with modern wood insert reel seats, the stents are arguably easier than removing a TON of material from the insert. The observant builder will note that vintage glass rods rarely have wood insert seats, opting for larger diameter, hollow metallic seats.

I'll add that i do not like the solid glass rod stock that Proof sells for this purpose. It is overkill and fairly heavy. Instead, I've purchased tubular glass or cabon stock for this purpose the handfull of times I've gone this route.
how far up the cut blank should the stent extend?
 
Only time I ever use a stint is when a rod is brokein in the butt section and I'm doing a repair. I refuse to cut apart a perfectly good rod. Proof isn't the most reputable company out there either. Lots of builders despise them. I do some business with Proof but not a whole lot. If you want a good Pennsylvania company look at Hook&Hackle.
I guess I disagree with everything you said except your comments on H&H.

I don't know what you are hearing about Proof but I've dealt with Matt Draft going back to the days of the group cork orders he ran. I've had no negative experiences whatsoever.

As for stents, I'd also rather not use them. But they are often easier than trying to accurately remove a lot of material from an insert. I think it is a matter of "knowing how the sausage is made." The reality is that they create no tangible problem other than the builder knows he cut up the rod blank. It is certainly a more sound building technique than some of the repairs I see suggested on this forum from time to time.
 
Just curious about how to get started building your own fly rod. Buying blanks etc., and anything else needed to complete the build. What is a good resource for that?
Hook and hackle, GB fly shop and Proof fly fishing are my personal favorites.

If you call H&H Ron or Terry will talk you through everything you need and provide a kit for around 200 bucks.
 
As for stents, I'd also rather not use them. But they are often easier than trying to accurately remove a lot of material from an insert. I think it is a matter of "knowing how the sausage is made." The reality is that they create no tangible problem other than the builder knows he cut up the rod blank. It is certainly a more sound building technique than some of the repairs I see suggested on this forum from time to time.
One of my sons wants me to make him a fiberglass rod. Does adding a stent the length of a reel seat to the butt of the blank have any major impact on balance or action?
 
One of my sons wants me to make him a fiberglass rod. Does adding a stent the length of a reel seat to the butt of the blank have any major impact on balance or action?
It should have no effect on the action because the stent sits inside of the reel seat and under the grip of the rod. I don’t believe those sections of a rod bend.

As for balance, that all depends on the weight of the stent and what it’s made of.
 
I guess I disagree with everything you said except your comments on H&H.

I don't know what you are hearing about Proof but I've dealt with Matt Draft going back to the days of the group cork orders he ran. I've had no negative experiences whatsoever.

As for stents, I'd also rather not use them. But they are often easier than trying to accurately remove a lot of material from an insert. I think it is a matter of "knowing how the sausage is made." The reality is that they create no tangible problem other than the builder knows he cut up the rod blank. It is certainly a more sound building technique than some of the repairs I see suggested on this forum from time to time.
I guess thats the differece between making your own inserts and buying premade. I turn all my own inserts and I already have the hole drilled for the size of the rod so there is minimal reaming. Sounds like Proof should be offering inserts for those rods in the correct size so they can be built correctly. Matt Draft was criticized for stealing designs from Lemke I believe. I use whatever I can afford or is appropriate for the build but Lemke is a lot higher quality than what Proof offers for reel seat hardware.
 
Last edited:
One of my sons wants me to make him a fiberglass rod. Does adding a stent the length of a reel seat to the butt of the blank have any major impact on balance or action?
This is why I avoided the solid glass rod for this purpose. Such material definitely has heft and is not appropriate for lighter and/or shorter rods IMO.

It will depend on the model of blank what route you take. If I recall correctly all the rods I've used stents on have been 7'6" or longer and 4wt or heavier. However, glass blanks can be surprisingly large diameter even in light line weights.
 
This is why I avoided the solid glass rod for this purpose. Such material definitely has heft and is not appropriate for lighter and/or shorter rods IMO.

It will depend on the model of blank what route you take. If I recall correctly all the rods I've used stents on have been 7'6" or longer and 4wt or heavier. However, glass blanks can be surprisingly large diameter even in light line weights.
Where do you get your hollow stents?
 
Where do you get your hollow stents?
I just looked for carbon tube/rod on ol' ebay. There's a variety of o.d./i.d. sizes. You'll need to measure your seat and blank to select an appropriate size.
 
Very nice. Tell us about the build....
Bought everything off of ebay.

The blank & grip from seller sqlshark

The agate guide from seller boatkey2000

The reel seat from https://www.ebay.com/str/rlreelseats
some of the nicest reel seats out there.
 
Lots of nice work guys!
Here’s mine from last winter.( no current builds).
I’m self taught. Started when there was no YouTube. Lol. Big learning curve.
Only my second fly rod, built about half dozen spinning rods.
Has some flaws, but I continue to learn from those mistakes .
NFC classic Trout Fly blank
8’3”/4 wt./2 pc.
Unlock burl wood seat with engraved rings
Gunmetal hardware
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3869.jpeg
    IMG_3869.jpeg
    379.5 KB · Views: 19
  • IMG_3867.jpeg
    IMG_3867.jpeg
    425.2 KB · Views: 18
Back
Top