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JohnF

Speaking of rod building

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I get a kick out of building stuff. When I first took up golf it seemed like a good idea to start building my own sticks. I had a break because my uncle was an experienced builder and showed me where to start. After about a dozen sets for friends and family and me I came to the conclusion that the big companies did a better job than I ever could. I even tried some homebuilts from some pretty competent and respected builders but none measured up to the stuff that Callaway, Taylor Made, Ping, Cleveland et all could knock out. I say that as one who has owned and used all of the aforementioned. It's not like I went out and bought 'em though. My son (the CPGA type) gets high end freebies from those companies each year and when he gets new ones I get the castoffs.

 

I'd appreciate input from anyone who's tried it. A close friend who doesn't actually do a lot of fishing once showed me with great pride a custom built rod with which he'd been gifted by a client. I hadn't the heart to tell him it looked pretty as all get out, but as a fishing rod it would have been better employed holding up the campsite flag, but the case it came in and the nifty autograph were very cool.

 

I may well do this anyway just for the experience, fun and winter diversion but should I expect to produce anything even remotely close to what I can go into my favourite shop and buy for $200? And without giving away any trade secrets has anyone any advice on what to avoid or to try? I promise I'm not looking to put any homebuilders out of business. I have too many careers going on at the moment already and all I really wanna do is retire properly. This is purely for diversion and self satisfaction in the event I actually produce something that works halfway decently.

 

Any thoughts welcomed.

 

JF

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I perhaps should add that I'm not a complete klutz when it comes to tools and detailed work. I've helped build custom motorcycles & hot rods, port-timed two strokes, and maintained race cars, bikes & sleds. I'm fine with that kind of stuff, at least I used to be. Wood on the other hand completely baffles me. <_<

 

JF

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If it's info on rod building you want Speil is your man, not only are his rods beautiful works of art they are highly functional.

 

Cheers

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JF,

Exactly what Phil said......

A 'Spiel rod' are difficult to come by but are as stated....

'Highly functional'......Works of art to be a mite more precise.

Just ask Wayne...(Irishfield)..owner of one of the greater rods by Spiel.

You cant buy the quality of that rod anywhere........Seriously....made for the job and light as heck.

bNb

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Agreed, with the two above posters... Spiel makes some "sweet" custom rods... he may take his time.... but after seeing the end product... well worth the wait!!..

 

PS..

 

he wont give up his secrets anytime soon.......

 

Gerritt.

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Agreed, with the two above posters... Spiel makes some "sweet" custom rods... he may take his time.... but after seeing the end product... well worth the wait!!..

 

PS..

 

he wont give up his secrets anytime soon.......

 

Gerritt.

 

Okay. In a backhanded sorta way a few of you have answered my question. It may just be possible to build decent rods at home. I'm not looking to buy custom rods or to put anyone out of their means of livelihood. I'm just asking if there's any hope for a rookie rod builder to come close to what the pro's produce.It's just a hobby thang for me. It sounds like I should take a kick at that particular cat, just fer the helluvit. Thanks. Rest assured I won't be offering a product for sale any time soon, or at all.

 

But once I have something that works I'll let y'all know, only to brag about it of course. :whistling:

 

JF

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John, to be honest...will the cost and effort be worth it?

 

First you have to by the blank... then the cork, then the eyes and do the wrapping and epoxy, the hardware required (the device that turns the rod to ensure an even coat of epoxy etc)

 

I will be brutally honest here...

 

Your hobby rods will cost you double to triple the price of a rod you can buy in the stores..

 

The reason we buy rods from Spiel.. is to have a quality one off... and we pay for that privilege to be honest ... I dont want to burst your ambitions... but it wont be cost effective unless your good and your selling them...

 

Hell a Blank alone will cost you almost as much as if you bought the fully finished rod in the store..

 

Sorry man... but if you have some $$ to burn then have at it...

 

But it Will cost a bit to get setup.. and learn how to wrap etc...

 

vs... just purchasing a rod at your local shop..

 

PS... Spiel does an AMAZING Wrap job...

 

G.

Edited by Gerritt

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i made an ulta light rod this year and i love it. it was a st.crox blank and all st.croix components. i find it just as sensitive as my other rods and i like it because i built it!! its just why i like 2 tie my own flies, it is interesting to catch a fish on somthing i made. i would like to start making more of them.

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John, to be honest...will the cost and effort be worth it?

 

First you have to by the blank... then the cork, then the eyes and do the wrapping and epoxy, the hardware required (the device that turns the rod to ensure an even coat of epoxy etc)

 

I will be brutally honest here...

 

Your hobby rods will cost you double to triple the price of a rod you can buy in the stores..

 

The reason we buy rods from Spiel.. is to have a quality one off... and we pay for that privilege to be honest ... I dont want to burst your ambitions... but it wont be cost effective unless your good and your selling them...

 

Hell a Blank alone will cost you almost as much as if you bought the fully finished rod in the store..

 

Sorry man... but if you have some $$ to burn then have at it...

 

But it Will cost a bit to get setup.. and learn how to wrap etc...

 

vs... just purchasing a rod at your local shop..

 

PS... Spiel does an AMAZING Wrap job...

 

G.

 

I know what yer saying. Sometimes we just have to go it on our own to appreciate what others can do for us. In any case, I'm not looking to build rods as a business. It's just for winter diversion, one more thing I can say I've tried and failed at. <_<

 

JF

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If you ae looking for a winter pastime and want to learn without spening a lot, you might want to consider making an icefishing rod, using recycled guides, etc.. Just another two cents.

 

outdoorguy61

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If you ae looking for a winter pastime and want to learn without spening a lot, you might want to consider making an icefishing rod, using recycled guides, etc.. Just another two cents.

 

outdoorguy61

 

That might be a consideration if I could picture myself sitting out on the ice for hours waiting for a brain frozen fish to happen by. I spent too many hours freezing at snowmobile races to have warm and fuzzy feelings about ice fishing. I'm willing to try making the rods, but someone else is gonna have to test 'em. <_<

 

JF

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I don't really agree with what gerritt said about the cost of building custom rods. You have to look at it this way, you're building a rod to the specifications best suit you NOT what the factory does for everyone else. Plus you have the ability to choose the components. For example a raven float rod has about a 5" foregrip on all of their factory rods with a 12" or so rear grip. Alot of guys I know prefer to have the reverse setup (12" foregrip, 5" butt grip), and the only way you can do that with a factory rod is to get sliding rings but I deffinately prefer a realseat. I don't want any expensive reels falling out of the rings and smashing off the rocks. You cna also fiddle with different grades of cork for jigging rods etc. factory companies just use garbage cork for the most part and for ultimate sensitvity your going to want a high grade cork which you can only get with a custom rod.

 

as for a drying motor use an old rotissery motor and rig it up to hold the rod to spin it while drying. As for the wrapper it's very basic to build yourself. You dotn need an electric wrapper unless your doing it for a business or building a ton of rods in my opinion.

 

go visit www.rodbuilding.org and take a look around there. Lots of tutorials etc and lots of help from the members

 

See I can contribute positive information everyone

 

Nate

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One last point to add to Nater's post.

If you go up to Mount Hope , to the G.Loomis plant, you will find that their rods are built one at a time by hand, just like you could do at home. There are often bargains on rod blanks when companies change colours etc. I don't think a home builder will save much money, but to build something with your own hands and then catch fish with it, might be rewards that are priceless...

Garryrs

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One last point to add to Nater's post.

If you go up to Mount Hope , to the G.Loomis plant, you will find that their rods are built one at a time by hand, just like you could do at home. There are often bargains on rod blanks when companies change colours etc. I don't think a home builder will save much money, but to build something with your own hands and then catch fish with it, might be rewards that are priceless...

Garryrs

 

Doing it myself is what it's about. I'm not as concerned about saving money. There's always more to be made at other things. I just want to know if I can make something equal to what the good manufacturers put together. Sounds from your post like I can, if I use the right components and learn to do it right. That's all I want to know. If I screw it up it's on me. But if I start with no hope then what's the point? I didn't know Loomis had a plant close by. That's interesting. Now I just have to figger out where Mt. Hope is and perhaps go visit them.

 

JF

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it really is pretty easy. i tied up two as winter hobbies and they came out well, may not have been as pretty as a my custom float rods but i did it myself.

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I started building rods when I was in high school. After class I would go to Angling Specialties and George would show me what I needed to do and what I screwed up on (and subsequently needed to redo). It's easier to learn having someone show you rather than reading online tutorials or going through books. Definitely have a talk with someone like Spiel who might be able to give you pointers.

 

As far as the cost goes, I find I can build a rod identical to the factory model for a few bucks less provided that I can get the components locally. Most of the rods I build for myself usually have stepped up components which adds to the cost; for example: Fuji SIC guides as opposed to hardloy or alconites, super sexy wood carved or woven graphite reel seats, flor grade cork from Portugal, decorative wraps just the way I want them, etc. Though I'm not a big fan of chevron or diamond wraps, you can weave whatever pattern you like on the blank without worrying about voiding a warranty. At the moment, I'm building my dream carp rod using the best components I can think of which currently is not offered in such a configuration on the market.

 

As for a wrapper, a cardboard box with notches cut out will do. Running your thread through a phone book will provide good tension while wrapping. After a coat of epoxy, you can turn your rods by hand for an hour or so - just don't fall asleep (1/4 turn every 5min works).

 

I don't ice fish so I either tie flies or build rods when the rivers and creeks are frozen over. Here's a photo of my kitchen table when I really get going.

 

DSC_0712.jpg

Edited by MJL

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I started building rods when I was in high school. After class I would go to Angling Specialties and George would show me what I needed to do and what I screwed up on (and subsequently needed to redo). It's easier to learn having someone show you rather than reading online tutorials or going through books. Definitely have a talk with someone like Spiel who might be able to give you pointers.

 

As far as the cost goes, I find I can build a rod identical to the factory model for a few bucks less provided that I can get the components locally. Most of the rods I build for myself usually have stepped up components which adds to the cost; for example: Fuji SIC guides as opposed to hardloy or alconites, super sexy wood carved or woven graphite reel seats, flor grade cork from Portugal, decorative wraps just the way I want them, etc. Though I'm not a big fan of chevron or diamond wraps, but you can weave whatever pattern you like on the blank without worrying about voiding a warranty. At the moment, I'm building my dream carp rod using the best components I can think of which currently is not offered in such a configuration on the market.

 

As for a wrapper, a cardboard box with notches cut out will do. Running your thread through a phone book will provide good tension while wrapping. After a coat of epoxy, you can turn your rods by hand for an hour or so - just don't fall asleep (1/4 turn every 5min works).

 

I don't ice fish so I either tie flies or build rods when the rivers and creeks are frozen over. Here's a photo of my kitchen table when I really get going.

 

DSC_0712.jpg

 

Looks like my bench when I had 9 or 11 clubs abuilding. Thanks for the tips. I'm marking all this down for this winter when I try it on my own. I'm set up for fly tying too, but I just need to start flyfishing to test the damned things.

 

JF

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Mount Hope is on Hwy # 6, just South of Hamilton, on the way to Port Dover.

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Mount Hope is on Hwy # 6, just South of Hamilton, on the way to Port Dover.

 

Thanks. I didn't realize it was so close.

 

JF

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Go for it! As a hobby it is lots of fun ( especially in the winter months ).

 

The best advice I could give you is to find a good mentor and a good book. If you want to PM me I can steer you in the right direction for both. There are also a few good forums on-line that are very helpful.

 

I started with ice fishing rods as well. Good place to start since there is little invested. Practice is the key to a nice wrap!!

 

Once I put together a couple of ice rods I picked up a couple cheap spin blanks and tied em up - stipped em down - and tied em up again. AS you get more confident and pick up some tricks of the trade you will want to build nicer rods.

 

I have only been at it for less than 2 years but I am now to the point where I have built a couple spinning rods for friends and a few nice rods for myself including 13' float rod that is just a joy to fish with. It is very cool to fish with a rod you built for yourself!!

 

I have found that I have been busier with repairs. I have a couple buddies in the Charter business and their equipment gets abused regularly.

 

Good luck

 

HArv

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....It's not that difficult and it's quite rewarding as is any do it yourself project.

If I can assist you in any way should you decide to go for it just PM me,I'd be happy to help.

 

Oh and I might add that Fishing World in Hamilton has a limited but reasonable selection of St Croix blanks though you may have to look else where for components.

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Again, thanks to all for the advice and the offers of guidance. I'll probably take you up on some of that help once I get rolling. It seems to work best for me if I try something once, make all the mistakes, then find out where I went wrong and how to fix it.

 

I just like fiddling I guess.

 

JF

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Try the mudhole site that spiel suggested in the thread i started, ya can get st. croix kits for $65 U.s, good deal if ya ask me cabelas wants $115 plus for the same thing, im going to give it a go i blew out my knee and i'll go stere crazy if i don,t have something to do, plus i've seen where ya can personalize them nice as well.

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