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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any one build their own rods? I am getting ready to retire and looking at an additional hobby. Not going to sell any rods, just make them for me or my buddies.
Any tips or tricks?
Getting started, I will be doing a lot of dry fitting and playing with what I like. Looking forward to it.
I found a power lathe on craigs list that I am going to pick-up this morning and then order the necessary supplies.
I will set up a work table in our spare room so I can build rods, re-load brass, and tie flies.
Just looking for some rod build tips!
Thanks in advance. Bob
 

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The microwave guides for spinning rods are the best guides for a first build in my opinion. You can't go wrong placing the reduction guides correctly since most everyone agrees the suggested spacing is best for this guide train. Save your pennies and learn the CCS. http://common-cents.info/ for current and future builds.

www.Rodbuilding.org
http://anglersresource.net/

I consider the above two places my instruction manuals.

If you are like me and need books get "Rod-Building Guide: Fly, Cast, Spin" by Tom Kirkman to crawl and "Advanced Custom Rod Building by Dale Clemens" to walk.

Buy a cheap rod blank for your first build to get most of your mistakes out of the way. Build the rod to the reel to get the max out of your rod. The alphabet soup of guides will be very very confusing but mudhole is very good a holding your hand and helping pick out the right guides, grips, reel seats and arbors provided you have done your homework and already selected what you think you need w/model numbers.

Learn to Static test your running guides as this is what makes the biggest difference between store bought and custom built rod. Place reduction guides where suggested and make twenty casts. Now adjust your choker an inch closer or further out and adjust reduction guides as needed then test again to see if casting distance gets better or worse. Once happy readjust running guides if necessary. Make sure you understand the difference between NGC, 27X, GPS and KR-Concept and when to use which for future builds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ChltBnks,
Awesome, Thank you for the advise. Just what I was looking for.
The deal fell through on the power wrapper, had a funny feeling about it, but some things were missing, therefore I backed out on the deal.
I am not retiring till the end of the year, but I want to start to learn the new hobby and your advise was "spot on" with what I need to start with.

Thank you, Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got the books today. I am ready to order the power wrapper from getbitoutdoors.com plus some supplies and then order some stuff from mudhole.com
I figured I would buy some of the blanks that are on sale for practice.
I am looking forward to the adventure.
Thanks again for the help. AWESOME
 

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I drove myself crazy with trying to find the right guide spacing when I first started and I am not sure it is really worth all the headache. Here's why - the perfect guide spacing will only be perfect if you plan to use the exact same reel and line and can discern whether the 20 million casts you make testing your layout are different because you are casting slightly differently each time or because you've found the sweet spot of guide spacing. I do my best to follow the new concept system and seeing how the rod looks under load, but I don't stress about it as much as I did in the beginning, especially because like you, I never planned on selling them.

Be prepared to spend money. If you can wait before loading up on supplies you can go to the ICRBE (international custom rod building expo) in Winston Salem in February. Many of the major suppliers are on hand and mudhole even allows you to order ahead and pick up at the expo. This is really helpful if you are going to be building any one piece rods longer than 6 feet (maybe it's 7)which require a ton of money to ship. Plus, they'll have "trash can blanks" that have some imperfection to them or are old inventory and are sold at a substantial discount. There are also demonstrations and tutorials.

Mudhole also runs rod building classes during which you actually have hands on experience building a rod. They have one in Charlotte every so often.

If you want to get really fancy with your crosswrap art, I would look at Billy Vivona's book - it has a ton of patterns and is reasonably easy to follow. He's a pretty good guy and is also at the expo each year.

Some of my rods are great, some of them not so much, but I haven't made one yet that doesn't catch fish and after all, that is what's important to me.

Good luck.
 

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I recommend you get one of the the full rod kits from mudhole, like an MHX kit. Just follow the guide spacing measurements in the kit and don't fret about it. You can follow one of the fancy custom guide spacing methods but I am kind of a believer in baby steps at times.

And then a supply kit like this particular one:

http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building/Rod-Building-Supply-Kits/Rod-Building-Supply-Kit-3

That comes with black thread and metallic gold thread...so if you have your mind on different colors, get colorfast prowrap.

You can do it by hand but i recommend the cheap CRB dryer:

http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building/Dryers/RDS-Rod-Dryer

Look at the how-to videos on the mudhole site - the kit comes with a dvd of the same videos. the videos are very straightforward.

Also I found this list of articles helpful but especially for trim wraps:

http://www.rodbuilding.org/library/library.html

Finally I built my own wrapping stand out of scrap wood in the garage. I built a thread tensioner out of wood, bolts, washers, springs, and wing nuts...

Good luck! I really enjoy building rods and I was in your boat just a couple years ago!
Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again guys.
Stuff on order, WIFE is ****** off for spending the money, but looking forward to the adventure! The recommended books are great help.
Most the rods I will be building will be 7' or 7'-6". I like the long style whips for 90% of my fishing.
Thanks again, Bob
 

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Contact NCStateFisher and fishincary. They both used to build rods I belive. They may have started threads back in the day about building.
still do when time allows! heck ive had two rod geeks (st croix branchoff) blanks sitting in the closet since the ICRBE!! hopefully will get the chance to get them started eventually haha
 

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I built a few rods. I found it enjoyable. The first couple turned out. Then next couple turned out better.

Find some inexpensive kits and build those first. Maybe a couple 5 - 6' to start. Ultralight or light. Something that will make a decent crappie pole. Once you have a handle on wrapping and using FlexCoat. Then you can start thinking about better blanks and nicer jewelry.

I do not have the desire to learn everything and buy all the different tools to play with cork and such. If you want to skip some steps in the handle area. There's plenty of stuff on ebay associated to handle kits and patterned cork and such. It's a time thing for me really.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have three rod kits, bunch of supplies, and waiting on the delivery of the power wrapper. Bought a label maker from Staples for $10.
Now it comes time to find the spline and get started. Not in a hurry, I do want to take my time and do it right.

Thanks again guys!
 

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I started out with my older rods and re-wrapped them for practice. You can buy a set of guides almost anywhere. Almost any thread will work too. Mudhole is really informative and I've ordered a few kits from them.
 

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I have made a few and have sold a few, redone a few old rods, "microwaved" a couple. My recommendation for starting out is to wrap bigger guides first. You don't want to start out trying to wrap the tiny running guides with the microwave kit. They are size 5 and really small, start with 8 or 10 to get comfortable with wrapping a guide on. One thing I like from mudhole is the silicon tubing they use to hold guides on the rod for spacing and to keep them in place till you wrap the guides. A trick I do with the tiny PITA guides is to use the tubing to hold the guides on to space them then when I am ready to wrap the guide I'll throw a loop of mono over the guide to hold it in place. I just tie a uniknot in about 20 or 25 lb line put it around the guide and then cut off the tubing. Much more room to wrap the guide foot with a thin piece of mono vs tape or the tubing.
 
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