Kabuto 6'6" 3wt. 3pc.

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by sagebass, May 20, 2013.

  1. Here is a Kabuto 6'6" 3wt. 3pc. that I am just finishing building. I still need to sand the wraps and apply one more coat of finish. I usually use epoxy, but I tried spar varnish on this one. I also went with 100wt. YLI thread instead of the 50wt. YLI thread that I typically work with. Here are the other components:
    Reel Seat: Custom design that I worked out with Joel Lemke w/dual sliding rings from Orvis
    Grip: Flor Grade Cork
    Stripping Guide: REC Black Pearl #8
    Running Guides/Tip Top: Snake Brand Black Nickel (Universal)
    Thread: YLI 100wt. Pale Yellow and Antique Gold
    Finish: Spar Varnish
    I took this one out on the water to do some test casting a few days ago. I was using a Rio LT dt 3wt. line. It is slower than the 7033 but still a bit on the fast side for a 3wt. in my opinion. Casting under 15' was poor, especially as compared to my 5'9" McFarland 3wt. However, the taper started to come alive around 20' out to 40' and further. Loops were tight and accuracy was spot on. Shooting line was no problem. It is a sweet rod excepting the really close stuff.
    To me, the 7033 is too fast for a 3wt. line; the 6633 is not. I prefer the 6633 over the 7033 for this reason. It would be interesting to compare the 6633 with the 6623, which I have heard is one of the fastest tapers in the lineup.
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  2. Good think I am not jelous at all......:D
  3. Nice. What are your thoughts on using the epoxy vs. spar on glass? I have a couple of glass blanks to build and not sure which way to go?
  4. Stunning job!
  5. LD,

    It depends. I am pretty comfortable with epoxy as I have used it on most all of my builds to date. But the spar was pretty easy to work with. I can't say that the blank material impacts my preferences for one over the other. The reason I opted for the spar varnish on this build is because I was using a pale yellow thread (which is almost white before any finish is applied). I used the same thread color with epoxy on a 7033 Kabuto blank a couple years ago:


    I wanted to try the spar to see how it effected the color of the thread. I think the spar brightens the color of the thread a bit more than the epoxy (for this thread color on a white blank). The spar has a light amber color to it already, so I think that has a slight effect on the color of the thread.

    Both turned out well, but if I did it a third time I might favor the spar varnish for this color thread on a white blank.

  6. Do you get a thinner finish over the wraps with the spar? Other than color do you see any advantage to using one over the other?
  7. Yes. Spar Varnish is much easier to control the thickness of the finish. I would suggest 3 coats at a minimum to protect the wraps. But you could continue applying further coats until you are content with the shape of the finish work. On the other hand, most of my epoxy finish work is a single coat. So for example, the 7033 Kabuto mentioned above has only one coat of epoxy and even still the finish is thicker than the spar varnish on the 6633 which has, I believe, 3 coats of spar in the above picture. I have since sanded the wraps and added one more coat of spar on the 6633.

    The other advantages I can think of is that some people have trouble properly mixing and applying epoxy. That is not an issue for the spar varnish. On the other hand, I like taking my time with epoxy and having a finished product after just one finish application. Whereas the spar might be easier to prepare and apply, but it requires multiple applications with drying time between each application. So the finish portion of the rod build is stretched out over a longer period with spar.

    So both have their advantages and disadvantages. I have two favorite rod builders: Matt Leiderman uses spar varnish and George Minculete uses epoxy. If I had to pick a favorite between these two, George's work might edge out. So I guess I prefer the aesthetics of epoxy a bit more (if it is done well).


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