building a rod

Discussion in 'Fishing Rod Review' started by scoremaster, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. scoremaster

    scoremaster New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    western maryland
    just wanted to knoiw if anyone here builds their own rods or if anyone has done it .
    am thinking of getting a kit from cabelas or somewhere and trying it . just like to fiddle around with things like that .
    thanks ,
    Scott
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Welcome to the site.
    I started building about 20 years ago.
    I started with handwrapping and then handwrapping fixtures.
    I progressed to a rod lathe.
    I've always turned my own grips whether they were cork or EVA or a combination of both.
    Machined a few reelseats out of oak or maple over the years.

    Its one of those things I like to mess with during the winter months.
    Its one of those things I dont want to have to do because I do enjoy it and want it to stay that way.

    Before I bought a kit, I would spend 15-30 dollars on a book that will prove invaluable especially if you've never built before.
    Advanced Custom Rodbuilding by Dale Clemens.

    Once you read the book you probally wont buy a kit. You'll step out and buy it part by part.
    Building isnt cheap. Alot of times a high end blank like a G Loomis blank will run you about the same price as the same rod completed produced by a factory and sometimes the blank will cost right much more then a completed rod. Ugly Stick blanks are just a few dollars cheaper then one on a store shelf.

    You are capable of building it better though and how you want it.
    Very few factory produced rods are built with a blank spine in mind.
    The largest learning curve is learning blank characteristics and how to make it feel and perform like you are wanting it to. You can stiffen blanks up with underwraps and double footed guides, you can build light or heavy rods.
    And most important you dont have to use a blank like you bought it.
    If you want it stiffer on the tip, you can cut a little off the tip. You can cut some off the butt or add to the butt.
    You can literally take the same identical blank and make a dozen different rods in action and feel without drastic changes.

    There is alot of mechanics to rodbuilding. The wrapping part is just whats on the surface that everyone sees. There is 20 times more underneath wrapping.
     

  3. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Get somewhat of an idea of what you want each rod to do rather than just jumping into building a rod. How big of a fish are you planning on targeting. What type of action do you want this rod to have. How long do you want the rod to be? Will you be fishing during the day or night? Will you be using spinning or bait casting reels as this will determine where the backbone of the rod must be. What reel will you be using on the rod and what size and type of line will determine the eyelets? Do some research on the various components of the rod and what they will do.
     
  4. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Great info guys. I want to build myself a couple rods one day. Do the books cover adding custom graphics to the rod? I think that is the ultimate final touch to a custom rod.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The book I mentioned above covers thread wrapping and weaving.
    You dont see many rods with a weave on them because they are so time consuming.
    With a weave you can weave an outdoor scene for a butt wrap.
    Wrapping you can do various repetitive themes like American flags, Tuna, stars, tartan, etc for a butt wrap.

    The kicker to wrapping butt wraps of any kind is that you are wrapping on a tapered stick so the circumference is different from end to end and all through the wrap.
    There are simple fixtures available to buy or make to lay the wraps out and to keep them aligned.

    I'm kind of old school. I greatly appreciate thread and ones ability to wrap or weave it. Its a bold statement to one's wrapping ability. Its also the first thing people notice about a rod. Its the first thing somebody that doesnt know a thing about building rods looks at and its the first thing a professional rod builder looks at.

    I cant wait to go to the international rod building expo in Febuary.
    You can see some pretty awesome stuff there.
     
  6. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Mark.
    What is the advantage to underwrapping an eyelet? I always glued them on and then wrapped them.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    For big game fishing I would underwrap to give the eye a firm foundation.
    Another purpose to underwrap would be if you had a blank you wanted to stiffen the action on a little. You can use underwrapping as a fine tuning tool.
    Sometimes it may be used for the look.
    Every fisherman has that feel that he wants and some prefer broomstick stiffness over slow action.
    Alot of it depends on what the rod is used for too. Are you finessing 1/4 ounce jigs or bottom fishing with a pound of lead.

    Personally, I never glue eyes. I have always preferred to use masking tape, o-rings or surgical tubing. For masking tape I just cut it into narrow 1/8-1/4" strips. Any of these methods allow for adjustment. Of course all of this is temporary, Once the wrap gets up onto the guide foot I cut away whatever it is I'm using.
    If the guide feet are properly ground, you use the right size thread, you wrap with the right consistent thread tension and properly finish I dont see a need for glue. Thats my personal preference.

    I told you I was old school.
     
  8. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks. I never thought about that and only heard about doing it. I do not have the nice equipment so I wrap the eyelets by hand the hard way. The tape works very well to line them up and I will just tack the top foot with superglue to hold it in place mainly.
    There is nothing like having a custom built rod for the ones that are interested in getting into it. You can design up a rod that will have incredible action to suit your taste and style. I have had several dozen rods custom built as I really do not like many of the commercial ones out there that are mass produced. They might be just abit more expensive, but very well worth your time and effort so you can enjoy the Sport of Catfishing.....