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Thread: Rod Building

  1. #1
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Question Rod Building

    Has anybody started a thread on this? I am looking to build a 10' 9wt Z-Axis this winter. I'm looking at using Struble for most of my components (guides, cork, reel seat...). Just curious if there are any do's, dont's or "you should have gone with a Loomis " out there.

  2. #2

    Default Take a class

    Having built rods of and on for years, I recommend you start out with a class. That is a good chunk of change you are fixing to spend. Once it iss made you will have a great rod. Is it a 4 peice? The first fish you land on it you will feel like a million dollars, take your own hand tied flies with you. Three Rivers Fly and Tackle in Wasilla and Mt. Sporting Goods give classes.

    Big Fisherman

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    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    I will look into the classes for sure. My friend who has built my other two sage's will help me too, but this is kind of like the bird taking its first leap...I think the classes will help me spread my wings.

    Right now I'm looking at an uplocking anodized reel seat w/fighting butt and TiCH single foot guides. Haven't decided on a grip style yet. Trying to get 85' - 95' out and hit a manhole...Saltwater silvers, WATCH OUT!
    ...been on a search to top my 30x18 rainbow for 13 years now...I guess it's game time!!!
    13' Aire WildCat, 9' 7wt SAGE RPLXI, 10' 5wt SAGE XP, .300 RUM Zeiss 3x9 when all else fails

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    Default

    While a class is not absolutely necessary, I am sure it will be well worth it to take one.

    I taught myself to build rods several years ago. I think the book "Rod Building Guide" by Tom Kirkman is a must. It is simple and lays out the basics with a ton of pictures. Mr. Kirkman, who is a living legend in the business, also runs the website www.rodbuilding.org. Search the website and you will find a ton of good info.

    A word of warning: You will never be happy with a rod you build yourself. You will love fishing with it, and compare every rod you see to it, but you will always wish you did a better job. Your rod may be many times better than the best factory rods on the market, and made for 1/3 the price, but if you make your own rods, you will always focus on the flaws. One fly rod I have in particular, I get compliments on regularly, and can't even imagine what it would cost if it was a factory rod, but I am embarassed about every time I use it becasue I can only see the flaws.

  5. #5
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigfisherman View Post
    Having built rods of and on for years, I recommend you start out with a class. That is a good chunk of change you are fixing to spend. Once it iss made you will have a great rod. Is it a 4 peice? The first fish you land on it you will feel like a million dollars, take your own hand tied flies with you. Three Rivers Fly and Tackle in Wasilla and Mt. Sporting Goods give classes.

    Big Fisherman
    Yes, 4 piece. They're so much nicer to haul around...
    ...been on a search to top my 30x18 rainbow for 13 years now...I guess it's game time!!!
    13' Aire WildCat, 9' 7wt SAGE RPLXI, 10' 5wt SAGE XP, .300 RUM Zeiss 3x9 when all else fails

  6. #6
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Default Good point

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenhead View Post
    While a class is not absolutely necessary, I am sure it will be well worth it to take one.

    I taught myself to build rods several years ago. I think the book "Rod Building Guide" by Tom Kirkman is a must. It is simple and lays out the basics with a ton of pictures. Mr. Kirkman, who is a living legend in the business, also runs the website www.rodbuilding.org. Search the website and you will find a ton of good info.

    A word of warning: You will never be happy with a rod you build yourself. You will love fishing with it, and compare every rod you see to it, but you will always wish you did a better job. Your rod may be many times better than the best factory rods on the market, and made for 1/3 the price, but if you make your own rods, you will always focus on the flaws. One fly rod I have in particular, I get compliments on regularly, and can't even imagine what it would cost if it was a factory rod, but I am embarassed about every time I use it becasue I can only see the flaws.
    Thanks Greenhead,

    I'll find that book, and you're right on about the self satisfaction, but I think that's universal with any DIY project. The craftsman's vision is always clearer.

    Tubes
    ...been on a search to top my 30x18 rainbow for 13 years now...I guess it's game time!!!
    13' Aire WildCat, 9' 7wt SAGE RPLXI, 10' 5wt SAGE XP, .300 RUM Zeiss 3x9 when all else fails

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    Default

    I think the AK Flyfishers club puts on a rod building class during the winter where you can build your own rod. I know they did one last winter, but not sure about this year.

  8. #8

    Default Sage 10' 5WT

    I Had Mine Out Last Night Using It, I Plan On Having It Out In The A.m. Chasing Bows On The Little Wilow. My Largest Fish To Date. I Got A 33" Char On It Last Year It Was A Bursier. Lots Of Local Rain Bows.

    Big Fisherman

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    Default rod building

    I just built my first fly rod this spring, a 6 wt. I bought a book called "Fly Rod Building Made Easy" from Barnes and Noble. I can not remember the author but it was a great book, plenty of pictures and good explanations. My rod turned out good but like the other posts say you do notice the flaws no matter how small they are. Good luck and enjoy the satisfaction of building and fishing your own rod.

    Rob

  10. #10

    Default

    My only suggestion on rod builiding is to not limit your self to the brand names your already familiar with. Look at others blanks like Batson or Dan Craft. No doubt Sage makes a good product, but you can find a blank that will perform as good, if not better with a less expensive blank.
    Likewise, I would start with a cheaper project just to get an idea of what your doing. Like bigfisherman said, your about to spend a lot of money and the last thing you want to do is destroy a $400-$500 blank because you glued the reel seat on backwards.

  11. #11
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Default SAGE it is

    I'm pretty set on SAGE. I love them and they have an untouchable warranty. I can get a z-axis blank for about $315 and their medium level blanks are still $300. Not to dis-credit those other blanks though, TBH, i've never heard of them. I'll look into them and see what they're all about. Thanks.

    Tubes
    ...been on a search to top my 30x18 rainbow for 13 years now...I guess it's game time!!!
    13' Aire WildCat, 9' 7wt SAGE RPLXI, 10' 5wt SAGE XP, .300 RUM Zeiss 3x9 when all else fails

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    Default Take your time

    Have built 7 rods now.
    just remember, to redo thread wraps if their not straight.
    and use the light coating on wraps, two light coats.
    These were my mistakes on my first rod.
    I picked up an old icecream maker at a yard sale for a rod turner.
    slow turner is what you want.
    Your own rod is pretty sweat. Take your time. Its worth it.

  13. #13
    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bstacy1974 View Post
    My only suggestion on rod builiding is to not limit your self to the brand names your already familiar with. Look at others blanks like Batson or Dan Craft. No doubt Sage makes a good product, but you can find a blank that will perform as good, if not better with a less expensive blank.
    Likewise, I would start with a cheaper project just to get an idea of what your doing. Like bigfisherman said, your about to spend a lot of money and the last thing you want to do is destroy a $400-$500 blank because you glued the reel seat on backwards.
    rodbuilding.org is about the best rodbuilding resource on the internet, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about fishing rods there. Tom Kirkman's book is the best out there.

    Dan Craft blanks are very nice. His 10 foot FT blanks are sweet. Perfect for a switch rod...light enough for double-hauling, but enough backbone for spey casting heavy tips and large flies. Nice guy, small company, no hype, and his service can't be beat. Might not be as pretty as a sage blank, but they fish very well, if not better. You could build one of these with top quality components and flor cork for the cost of that blank alone. I think he even sells Bob Meiser blanks now days...But even a Meiser rod dosen't have the name-brand appeal of sage lol.

    I guess that my point is...if you want a z-axis...buy one. If you want a custom rod, build one, but make it truly custom, not a factory knock-off. If you put the time into it, you can make a much better rod.

    Some Ideas:

    Try turning a custom grip, its lots of fun and all you need is a electric drill, sandpaper, and an all-threaded rod. You can try single foot ceramic running guides for smoother line shooting. static guide placement, feather inlays, locking wraps, custom decals, marbelizing, fancy wraps,....
    Nice Marmot.

  14. #14

    Default

    Its definately a slippery slope

    The great thing about building your own is the options you have. Not only thread color and guide finish, but handle shape, reel seat wood, feathers, coins, polyester cast insects....
    Or you can be like me and build a great quality rod for half the retail price of a manufactured rod. I build functional no nonsense rods that fit my style of fishing. Nothin fancy, but fishable.

    Chuck, I confer on the ceramic insert guides. I have them on my 8wt and 10wt and love them.
    I have one Dan Craft 8wt, one Dan Craft 10wt, one Forecast 4wt, and a Rainshadow casting rod for kings. But I've built rods for other friends and family as well.
    Bought a small Grizzly lathe last year to start turning wood reel seat and cork handles. I have hopes of doing another 8wt, a 2wt, and king trolling rod this winter.

    Tubes, its only down hill from where you stand. Good luck.

  15. #15
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skookumchuck View Post
    rodbuilding.org is about the best rodbuilding resource on the internet, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about fishing rods there. Tom Kirkman's book is the best out there.

    Dan Craft blanks are very nice. His 10 foot FT blanks are sweet. Perfect for a switch rod...light enough for double-hauling, but enough backbone for spey casting heavy tips and large flies. Nice guy, small company, no hype, and his service can't be beat. Might not be as pretty as a sage blank, but they fish very well, if not better. You could build one of these with top quality components and flor cork for the cost of that blank alone. I think he even sells Bob Meiser blanks now days...But even a Meiser rod dosen't have the name-brand appeal of sage lol.

    I guess that my point is...if you want a z-axis...buy one. If you want a custom rod, build one, but make it truly custom, not a factory knock-off. If you put the time into it, you can make a much better rod.

    Some Ideas:

    Try turning a custom grip, its lots of fun and all you need is a electric drill, sandpaper, and an all-threaded rod. You can try single foot ceramic running guides for smoother line shooting. static guide placement, feather inlays, locking wraps, custom decals, marbelizing, fancy wraps,....
    Quote Originally Posted by bstacy1974 View Post
    Its definately a slippery slope

    The great thing about building your own is the options you have. Not only thread color and guide finish, but handle shape, reel seat wood, feathers, coins, polyester cast insects....
    Or you can be like me and build a great quality rod for half the retail price of a manufactured rod. I build functional no nonsense rods that fit my style of fishing. Nothin fancy, but fishable.

    Chuck, I confer on the ceramic insert guides. I have them on my 8wt and 10wt and love them.
    I have one Dan Craft 8wt, one Dan Craft 10wt, one Forecast 4wt, and a Rainshadow casting rod for kings. But I've built rods for other friends and family as well.
    Bought a small Grizzly lathe last year to start turning wood reel seat and cork handles. I have hopes of doing another 8wt, a 2wt, and king trolling rod this winter.

    Tubes, its only down hill from where you stand. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by cutty View Post
    Have built 7 rods now.
    just remember, to redo thread wraps if their not straight.
    and use the light coating on wraps, two light coats.
    These were my mistakes on my first rod.
    I picked up an old icecream maker at a yard sale for a rod turner.
    slow turner is what you want.
    Your own rod is pretty sweat. Take your time. Its worth it.
    Thanks all! I hadn't even thought of inlays and such. I'll definitely be taking my time...after all, if I start this winter, I have from about September through June, eh?
    ...been on a search to top my 30x18 rainbow for 13 years now...I guess it's game time!!!
    13' Aire WildCat, 9' 7wt SAGE RPLXI, 10' 5wt SAGE XP, .300 RUM Zeiss 3x9 when all else fails

  16. #16
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default

    Just a word of caution - single foot guides can be tough to wrap. Thin slices of masking type while you start work well, as do small rubber bands (really small --> like braces type bands from an orthodontist). I put some REC recoil guides on my Sage 8 wt Xi2 and really like them. I also used some Fuji titanium stripping guides. Good stuff. I've always been pleased with Struble for reel seats. You will build one and you will be addicted pretty quick.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  17. #17
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    Default love z axis

    wont tell you about building them but I have a new 9'- 7 wt z-axis what a stick!

    I can easily throw 90' wf line---I went with double wells , alum. seat and fight butt, looking foward to a silver or two

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