Okay, honestly, how hard is it to build up a rod?

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Josh, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,937
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +497 / 2
    I've never built a rod. I have a general sense of the idea. But I've never tried to do it myself.

    Is this a reasonable outline of the process:

    http://flyanglersonline.com/begin/graphite/

    Is it easier than he makes it sound? Harder?
  2. Rob Ast Active Member

    Posts: 1,902
    West Pugetopolis WA
    Ratings: +230 / 3
    Josh,

    The actual wrapping is not difficult, especially if you are not trying to do multi-color wraps or small trim bands. Making sure all the guides are aligned just tale patience and an eye for detail. The hardest part is getting smooth even epoxy without big footballs. This part takes practice.
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  3. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,937
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +497 / 2
    While of course I'd like it to look pretty, on a rod I built myself I could live with a lumpy epoxy job as long as it was just a cosmetic thing. I worry more about performance stuff like aligning guides and finding the 'spline" or whatever that is called.
  4. atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Posts: 487
    Pasco
    Ratings: +317 / 0
    It's totally not difficult. There are tons of online resources, but I also picked up a book, though I can't recall the name of it at the moment.

    The biggest thing is to just go slow, take your time. My first couple rods weren't so pretty (football-shaped epoxy as noted above), but they are all functional. My first build was a 6'6" 2wt kit that is still in use, probably my most used rod.

    One tip I might suggest is to not start with a lightweight rod. I did have a hard time wrapping the tip section because it's so thin and flexy. Heavier rods are a lot easier.
    Rob Ast likes this.
  5. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,937
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +497 / 2
    Good deal. Thanks.

    I would probably start with a 6-8 wt switch if I was going to build one. So a reasonable size for sure.
  6. gbeeman Active Member

    Posts: 343
    Kennewick WA
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    It's really a straight forward process. Some blanks come with the spline marked but if they don't it's easy to find. Fitting the grip may require a bit of work and lining up the guides just takes the time to do it right. You don't need a high end rod wrapper, the small ones work just fine. One thing you should consider would be to buy, rent, or make a rod turner. This really helps when you put the finish on the wraps.

    GBeeman
  7. jwg Active Member

    Posts: 538
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    Nothing beats seeing someone else doing it

    So while it is not that hard, you can pick it up easier by doing your first one in a rod building class, which some flyfishing clubs do annually, or with someone else who is experienced.

    If no resources are available, then by all means go for it on your own.

    You can order complete kits with all the parts you need selected to fit and work together.

    Selecting all the components each by yourself without experience could be a problem, e.g. Reel seat may or may not recess into the cork grip, so the cork grip needs to be selected accordingly

    I don't know if there are good demos on YouTube

    Jay
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  8. Mike Ediger Active Member

    Posts: 1,400
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +152 / 8
    Agree with others...not hard at all. I think it can be hard to make it look nice sometimes, or to do fancy trims etc...but from a functional standpoint. Not hard at all.
  9. jwg Active Member

    Posts: 538
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    There may also be tremendous savings buying as a kit

    Jay
  10. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 535
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    Kits take a lot of the hassle out of the process and are a great way to start. There are a couple of shops in WA that offer great kits. The last one I did was a 5wt z-axis kit from a shop in WA and the components were top notch. There are some very good resources on the internet to help you out if you are stumped about something or need to get out of trouble. I really enjoy it.
  11. Steve Ufer New Member

    Posts: 1
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    On You Tube the "Flyrod Fanatic" leads you through the process step by step. I am finishing my second rod and his videos helped more than anything else I have found on the web.
  12. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 535
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    Flex coat also has some very good videos.
  13. Matthew LeBret Active Member

    Posts: 738
    clarkston, wa
    Ratings: +76 / 0
    flex coat, mudhole and youtube all have great how to's. Between all 3 of them they could show you from start to fishing. A kit is a great way to start until you get the hang of it and most will to be sucked into the rod building black hole costing lots of $$$$$$$
  14. Rob Ast Active Member

    Posts: 1,902
    West Pugetopolis WA
    Ratings: +230 / 3
    Hook and hackle (www.hookhack.com) usually has kits at 25-30% off, typically a different product each week. Wait until the forecast kits go on sale and you'll build a very usable rod for under $100
  15. Steve Call Active Member

    Posts: 1,555
    Wetside, WA
    Ratings: +182 / 0
    It's really easy and enjoyable. I've built a half dozen rods - gave a couple to my sons. Check out Rodbuilding.org which has links to on-line retailers that sell all kinds of kits - from the very inexpensive to Orvis and Sage blanks.
  16. Richard Torres Active Member

    Posts: 1,350
    Mill Creek
    Ratings: +76 / 0
    Josh,

    I've been curious about building my own stick and also browsed through this site before.

    I'm not sure how far North you live, but Gregs custom fishing rods in Lake Stevens has beginner kits and classes for those wanting to build thier own.
  17. Yellowhumpy New Member

    Posts: 4
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Definitely recommend taking a class....and make your first one with inexpensive blank and components
  18. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,937
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +497 / 2
    Well a class is out of the question. Any shop giving classes is going to be over an hour away (and more likely two). So it's pretty much "choose your own adventure" for me. But I do have some buddies up here I can lean on for help if I get confused or stuck. So that will be good.
  19. Phil Fravel Friendly

    Posts: 648
    Bonney Lake
    Ratings: +96 / 0
    Well a Caveman most likely couldn't do it. But I managed to build my first when I was around 12.
  20. csilve New Member

    Posts: 13
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I don't post much, but I just wanted to say I did it. videos all over, check mudhole