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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, this past year I decided to take the plunge and build a rod or two. I found a guy in Williams Lake who could supply me with a rod kit for under $150. Pacific Bay components and a factory second blank. The blanks have some very minor blemishes in the finish, but nothing that would affect the performance. I researched the blanks a bet and asked my guy if by chance they were one of a couple I knew were manufactured in the town he mentioned. His response was that because they were seconds, no manufacturer wanted their name attached to them, but he had it on good authority that these blanks had been made for "a company with the initials GL". I purchased a 7 wt kit from him and went to work.

I had to build a winding lathe first. I spent about $50 on some oak boards, felt stripping, varnish, etc. and built a rod lathe. I will post a picture soon and can supply plans if anyone wants. I also bought a drying motor on ebay for $20 and was ready to go.

The rod went together fairly well (I did put the hook keeper on the wrong side tho’). When I had corrected my mistake, I presented the rod to a very good friend for his birthday. I bought a second rod kit and quickly made my wife an anniversary gift of a lovely 7’ 6” 3wt rod. (Fortunately my wife loves to fish, so I can get away with this one.) This was followed by another 7wt which I built for another angler. My main fishing buddy decided to spend a year in Beijing teaching. He has two 7 wt Martins that he fishes with, so before he left I built him a 5 wt 4 piece for travel. I built a Sage xp 7 wt for his dad to use on salmon. Finally I built 2 rods for myself. Another 4 pce, ( this one a 4 wt) and a 9’ 2 piece 7wt. I have used the 7 wt 3 or 4 times this year targeting coho, landing chums. This is absolutely the best way to get the rods you want at a price you can afford. Even a full price kit (like the Sage I built) is a thrill to have as you can add your own touches, feather inlays, custom hardware, reel seats, etc. One custom touch I add to all my rods is a ¼” wrap of thread I put on the rod 16” from the butt end (on a seven weight I add another at 20”). This serves as a very easy and reliable measure for fish length.

So that's seven rods in about 7 months. This is almost as much fun as fishing.
 

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Hey Profesori where did you learn how to build rods? thats definitly something I want to learn. And by the sounds of it its just what I need another addiction :lol:
Thanks
Bead Head
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually, I got a book by L.A. Garcia, Handcrafting a Graphite Fly Rod and went from there. The rod kits were inexpensive enough, that I thought it would be alright on to give it a go. If you decide you want to give it q try, let me know, I wouldn't mind giving you some help, advise, etc. Maybe even show you a shortcut or two I picked up.
 

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There's also a bunch of great sites on the web that deal with rod building. With Bergler's permission I will post a few links that might be informative for those that are interested. I myself have been toying with starting to build my own rods. I am sure that my wife would object, reminding me that I have house rennovations to finish, but I think that I would really enjoy rod building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah, I had to completely refinish the main bathroom before I started building the first one. :? :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
here are some photos of the rod lathe I built.




 

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If you check out the Vancouver public library you can find a number of great books.

I just starting building rods this summer and I'm on my third project, shaping my own cork and doing feather inlays. Its a great way to build the rod you want and keep the costs down. I have bought all my rods and parts from Dan Craft in Oregon. dancraftent com

I can't speak highly enough about his service and blanks. They are great rods. My favorite is a fast 9' 5wt, a truly versatile rod which can cast its line weight or two up. No problem throwing out the whole line.

Hot tip. I bought a cheap BBQ rotisserie at the thrift store for $2.

Good luck and happy building. Its a great hobby and easy way to impress your fellow fisher people.

Jake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finder-check your PM's
 

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rod lathe

Hey Professori welcome to the third obsession of fly fishing (the first being fishing, second being tying)! Nice lathe. I also built one myself and would post a pic but haven't yet attempted to learn how to do so. I used a constant RPM motor from Princess Auto ($2) and have a variable speed motor with a foot pedal (sewing machine motor- $7 used from a repair shop). I wired both to a three way toggle, then switch a belt from one motor to the other when I want to turn the mandrel. Used roller blade wheels for rod supports! Rod supports are adjustable and connect to the maple base with t-slotted extruded aluminum. What do you use for a chuck?
Sparky
 

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Hey prof...I would appreciate it if you could pm me or post those plans for that oak rod lathe you got there....looks like a dandy!

Thanks
Mike <")))))><
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
What do you use for a chuck?
Sparky
The chuck came with the motor, but it is a 2" PVC end cap with three threaded holes drilled in the side and nylon screws threaded in.
 

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Oh NO!

I sure hope I don't become as obsessed as some of you guys, as my 9' 7wt "beginner" kit is arriving here tomorrow....

Mike <"))))))><
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great!! Present from Santa? Let us know how it turns out.
 

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too late

Hey mike.
It is too late already.
" I hope I don't become obsessed."
Sounds like you are already in denial.
Just wait until you catch a fish on a rod you built with a fly you tied.
It all goes for sheeite after that.
Must have more!
 

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The 7wt came today, even though its still in pieces it still looks great, all I need to find now is one of those "rotisaries" and I'm set...how long does it take to make 1 like a day or so?

Mike <"))))))><
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
As this is your first rod plan on taking as much time as you need. It may take you a week working in 2 or 3 hour stretches. I helped a friend make his first rod (a Father's Day gift) in about 9 hours, but if you are on your own take the time to do each step perfectly. Don't be afraid to take it apart and start over again if that is what it needs. In the end you'll be happier with a near perfect rod than one you have to say "I know it's not great, but it was my first."
 
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