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MN Mountain Man  
#1 Posted : Friday, February 12, 2016 6:56:27 PM(UTC)
MN Mountain Man
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 12/15/2014(UTC)
Posts: 265
Location: MN Driftless

So with winter starting to really drag on it seems like people are getting really active on the vise. Does anybody here build fly rods? If so what's your current project? Are you in the process of planning a build?

If not, is building your own fly rod something you've considered? If so, why haven't you jumped in yet?

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't built one for a few months. I've done 5 or 6 so far and they all turned out serviceable. I've seen improvement with each subsequent build which keeps me going. I fish a 5, 4, and 3/4 wight that came to live over the last year while the other builds were gifted to friends and family. I just purchased a 3/4 blank and a components kit which will hopefully be here tomorrow!

For what it's worth I encourage anyone that's considered trying a build to go for it! I expected it to be way more difficult than it was. If you tie flies it's even easier.
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NE IA Drifter  
#2 Posted : Friday, February 12, 2016 9:06:10 PM(UTC)
NE IA Drifter
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/9/2013(UTC)
Posts: 162
Location: Decorah

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 2 post(s)
I just ordered an epic 476 build kit. This is out of my price range and I probably shouldn't have but I've been eyeing these for a long time and they were "on sale". Delivered to my door for 340$ vs a built 480 at the local shop for 625$.

Love to here any tips you might have as this will be my first build! Also if anyone has used the 476 I'd love to here your experiences. Fwiw, I chose the 476 over the 480 because of its faster action and ability to fight the wind we have out here.
Jimbern  
#3 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 1:00:57 PM(UTC)
Jimbern
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 2/25/2012(UTC)
Posts: 155
Man
Location: Oak Park, IL

I’ve probably built about 40 fly rods in the last 10 years. I kept a few favorites and sold the rest (gave a couple as gifts to fishing buddies).

Building rods is one of those immersive obsessions that keep you connected to the sport at the most intimate level. Tying your own flies or building your own equipment somehow makes every fish caught a little sweeter.

You can build a high-end rod for about half of retail, but there are lots of low-mid quality blanks that perform well for most of us with bad casting habits that probably won’t be improved by a better rod anyway.

If you can tie a fly, you can build a rod. The tools and supplies are cheap and you can build most of the equipment you need. You don’t always have to purchase a ‘kit’. You can configure your own selection of components ‘a la carte.’ I like to try to make as many of the rod components as I can. I shape my own cork grips form raw rings to suit my grip, and I turn reel seat inserts from exotic wood blanks.

If anybody is thinking about getting started, I would suggest you practice on a cheap blank. Five-minute epoxy is not forgiving! Pay attention to the details. Wrapping and finishing guides is the place where your little mistakes will show up. Practice.
MN Mountain Man  
#4 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 2:07:27 PM(UTC)
MN Mountain Man
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 12/15/2014(UTC)
Posts: 265
Location: MN Driftless

Jim I agree with you! There's something about catching a fish on a fly you tied with a rod you built. It can be intimidating when you look at all the reel seats, grip styles, guides, winding checks, rod blanks, etc on the market. I've used component kits and hand picked items but I prefer to choose my own blanks as there are infinite options. My first hand picked components turned out really good but the kit I've been using has good parts for a great price.

I'm interested in turning my own grips but I don't have the room for a lathe. Maybe someday.

NE IA if you have any broken rod pieces you may want to practice wrapping and finishing guides. I cut guides off of a broke rod and wrapped them again just to get it down.

Does anybody have any quick easy ideas to build a rod dryer? I'm not mechanically inclined but it would be helpful to keep epoxy on thread wraps even?

MN Mountain Man  
#5 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 4:36:33 PM(UTC)
MN Mountain Man
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 12/15/2014(UTC)
Posts: 265
Location: MN Driftless

My parts showed up today so I started a new build! It's a four piece 7 1/2 foot 3/4 weight.

I did a step by step on my blog if anyone is interested- Fly Rod Step by Step

I'll post the rest tomorrow.
NE IA Drifter  
#6 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 7:59:25 PM(UTC)
NE IA Drifter
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/9/2013(UTC)
Posts: 162
Location: Decorah

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Thanks for the tips! I debated going a la carte but thought this would be a good intermediate step. Im not one to spend much money on gear so I feel like building blanks will allow me to try new rods for a little less then the completed rods.

I might pick up a blank from anglers roost to try before the epic build. A newbie question - I was looking at a rod site and they had a bunch of different guides. How do you know which size guides to use for the rod and what sizes to uses along the rod?
MN Mountain Man  
#7 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 8:32:23 PM(UTC)
MN Mountain Man
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 12/15/2014(UTC)
Posts: 265
Location: MN Driftless

Guide Spacing Chart

Intro To Guide Sizing

This should help. I never follow the charts and sizing guides exactly. They always turn out well though!
NE IA Drifter  
#8 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 8:40:21 PM(UTC)
NE IA Drifter
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/9/2013(UTC)
Posts: 162
Location: Decorah

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 2 post(s)
MN Mountain Man wrote:
Guide Spacing Chart

Intro To Guide Sizing

This should help. I never follow the charts and sizing guides exactly. They always turn out well though!



Awesome thanks! There are some absolutely gorgeous fly rod builds out there that have been giving me the itch. Don't think I can duplicate the quality but will get a few new ideas for sure.
MN Mountain Man  
#9 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 8:59:44 PM(UTC)
MN Mountain Man
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 12/15/2014(UTC)
Posts: 265
Location: MN Driftless

There are some incredible builders out there. It's always hard for me to justify spending the money but I've seen some really neat custom wood grips, reel seats, agate stripping guides, etc...one daySad
NE IA Drifter  
#10 Posted : Saturday, February 13, 2016 9:32:08 PM(UTC)
NE IA Drifter
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/9/2013(UTC)
Posts: 162
Location: Decorah

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Because I've been staring at these for too long:
http://fiberglassflyrodd.../forum/viewforum.php?f=8

Barclay has some beauties but a lot of gorgeous rods here.
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