Balancing a rod

Discussion in 'Fishing Rod Review' started by Flamekeeper, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    Builders----When you build a rod , do you consider the weight of the reel, to the length/weight of handles / fighting butt-cap to get a perfectly balanced( tool ) the rod for the customer?


    I will strive for this on all builds,Fished them today casting 8-10oz and they performed great ,no strain on the wrist at all.

    took the time to do that before I built the last 2 for myself,and I come up with a pretty good setup for the ones I have.
    I think it turned out pretty good.:big_smile:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    When I was building to sell I never built without the reel going on the rod on what I called a custom rod.
    Sure, I could turn out 6 rods a day no problem if I was building on consignment but my set up times were elongated for the custom rods.
    Many times I pieced a rod together even wrapping the eyes on with sacrificial wraps. To me it was imperative that the customer was an integral part of building a custom rod. Arriving at the feel the customer wanted was the work part of it. Assembly was just part of the process. In other words, some people focus on what a rod looks like and some focus on the actual functionality or tuning of the rod. Somewhere in there you have to combine the two. Like some people like to see visually what they have spent their money for and others are the more experienced angler that judge a rod like a wine taster tastes wine.

    I used to do alot of consignment for tackle shops one of which I had stake in so I spent alot of time there, even built rods there because if I wasnt fishing I was at the store.
    ALWAYS anything I put on the store rod rack that I built had gold Fuji eyes and gold trimmed realseats and hook keepers.
    My rods were always picked up before the factory rods. Back then rods trimmed in gold were downright scarce:big_smile:
    Why was that? 99% of rod shoppers are at best amateurs. If you can sell em hard enough on look its going to be the best rod they ever owned in their eyes even if its as unbalanced as a tractor tire and they suffer from carpal tunnel after using the thing for 3 weeks.

    Sit back and watch folks rod shop sometime paying attention to what draws their attention to a rod. First is looks, second is price, and third is the customary whipping action like they are swatting flies followed by the customary test bend. Then its back to the price tag. I've watched it a 100 times. First impressions are lasting impressions which brings us back to the look.

    Catfishing. I dont view the balance as critical as I would someone standing on the bow of a bass boat chasing chubs for 8 hours at the time casting hundreds of times in a day.

    The set up is still of importance. In my opinion to fully bring a rod to life the first eye from the realseat is critical. You need the reel to place that eye. Its not a matter of a standard distance or what is normal, its dependent on the height of the line exit from the reel.
    Just like jacking a truck up without regard to the drive train. You will have excessive angle on the driveshaft beyond the scope of what the universal joints can handle.

    Eyes. What we are accustomed to seeing in rod racks is what is burned into our brain as right.
    My first and second eyes were normally one size if not two sizes larger then the typical burned in the brain standard. Get the line off the spool efficiently not what we've been taught that looks right.
    What I'm saying again is setup. There is no standard to building a custom rod.

    What you are delving into with your builds is the world of true custom rods.
    Thread work is pretty, custom machined reelseats whether from wood or aluminum are awesome, and even custom turned inlaid EVA grips are real eye catchers but the truth is you can build a rod in all matt black from tip to butt with a great setup and it can still be a top of the line cant be beat custom rod. What do they say at the dragstrip? Highspeed chrome dont win races?


    My preference in building rods for myself.
    Black graphite blank . Maybe a blue metallic thread over a silver underwrap. Very modest buttwrap if any at all. My own turned EVA grips to fit my hands without finger cramp. I prefer a black grip with maybe a contrasting chevron inlaid or a section of EVA with a thin disk of colored plexiglass or mixing cork rings in with sections of EVA.
    To set off the modest thread work. Those gold Fujis.

    Like the old time hotrodders. De-chrome that baby so you can see the body contours that detroit hid under it.

    I've got alot of hours on a benchtop lathe making grips. I always bought EVA stock and never preformed grips.
    I love mixing different grip materials searching for the grip I'm looking while keeping it toned down to my preference.
    I also use the different grip materials together to shift weight.
    There is alot more to a grip then something to hold on to. It can used to tune the rod.

    Keep up the good work and experimentation. You are on the path of custom rod building.
     

  3. StormCaster

    StormCaster New Member

    Messages:
    364
    State:
    New York
    When I built rods it was always the application first. Most blanks you have a general idea of what reel will go well. A GSB1361 is a heaver blank that you would not think of a small 6500 reel, but something like a penn squidder or a 7500C3CT size reel.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    100% agreed.
    However balancing and tuning a rod to a specific reel and to an individual feel is a whole nother ballgame in a completely different city.
    The actual building of the rod becomes just something that has to be done to get to the end result.
    The setup becomes the endless depth of "I build custom rods".
    And its not 100% percent about the rod. You have a customer that has invested in a reel. Sometimes 100's of dollars. The reel is only going to perform as good as the rod it sits on. One tuned to the other for performance and the individual feel of handling. It's not always sitting down with a customer and him telling you I want these eyes and this handle and this feel and performance. It may not be possible to reach the goal with the eyes he has selected or the grips he wants may throw the builder into a constant battle with the balance of the complete setup.

    The main reason I only build for myself anymore is because the sect of fishermen that appreciate that tuning and are willing to pay for it is a very small market in freshwater fishing.
    It's no different then the clothes we wear. We can settle for clothes out of the malls or discount stores that serve the purpose or we can have our clothes tailored to fit the differences in our individual bodies.

    Custom rod building has become somewhat loose terminology.
    The definition between builders and builder and customer can vary greatly.
     
  5. StormCaster

    StormCaster New Member

    Messages:
    364
    State:
    New York
    Very much agree . . . there is just so many variables in balancing a rod. The best way I use to balance a rod was pre tape the reel after I found the spline and found the comfort level with the right butt length. If I had to I would cut some off the butt or the tip, but always kept in mind the action I wanted for the rod.
     
  6. crome

    crome New Member

    Messages:
    328
    State:
    ilm,nc
    thats the way i was taught,and still do everyone i turn that way......by the way,good looking rod kenny !
     
  7. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Very nice rod, Kenny.
     
  8. Coloman

    Coloman New Member

    Messages:
    441
    State:
    Soddy Daisy, Tn
    Mark & Ty
    I agree with everything that you have said!
    BUT, I find that a lot of people that want a custom rod, don't know what they want. If you ask them the what and how questions they just don't know!
     
  9. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    MARK,,The above statement is well said and true,as well as your first. :wink:Thanks for writing something that was on my mind, from the begining of rod building;( CUSTOM )all the time I was chooseing the components for this blank.I was thinking--Each rod has its own pesonality,but you have to bring out the best in each one.Balance and performance as well with a little flash LOL..:big_smile:. Thanks again Kenny
     
  10. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    interesting thanks for the pictures