Rod Building

Ok, now I don't know what I am getting into, but I am really intersted in building my own fly rod. I figured it would cost less, and I would also would be fishing with something that I had made, besides the flies, and I thought that would be pretty cool. Is it more cost efficient? What kind of tools do I need, where to get the tools/rod building materials/blanks/reel seats/etc... Any info would be awesome! Thank you.

Tight lines,
CH - Rod building is fun & very rewarding. It can be a cost effective, it really depends on the blank & components that you pick out. For example, titanium guides can blow the budget - but there are lots of reasonable, quality components to pick from.
As far as tools needed, I think you can search on some old threads to find some homemade rod turner examples. You may also want to think about building your first rod in a class, then you get a solid start with the basics and the use of the equipment. That way you can see if its something you like before investing time/$ into any equipment.

There's a number of shops that offer classes - we do, and you can also look through the site sponsors to find other places that may be closer to you. Scott Behn is also a great rod building contact, he would have class info too.

Hope this helps!
Hi CH! Pretty much what FlyShopKristin said--with one's cost effective PER ROD, but so addictive you'll probably end up building many more than you would have bought, so... :hmmm:

Seriously, though, you can build some really sweet sticks for in around $100 and there are options below that (and many above if you want "the best"). One line of blanks to look at for incredible performance and value is Dan Craft (see comments at if you're not familiar with his blanks). Rainshadow also makes some fine blanks at very reasonable prices, particularly their RX7 in terms of value. Add to that list all the major rod companies and a half-dozen or more blank manufacturers and there's no shortage to choose from!

One option you might want to consider for getting started is a kit from Gudebrod (the industry leader in threads, etc.) that gives you EVERYTHING you need to start in terms of supplies--even a compact and practical wrapping stand with thread tension devices and the works for a very economical investment--you just need to pick out your blank and components and you're ready to go!

Oh--if you don't do the class route (maybe even if you do), be sure to pick up a good resource book--I think Tom Kirkman's "Rod Building Guide" is probably the best for beginner through intermediate. The subtitle is something like "Everything you need to know..." and stink if it doesn't live up to the marketing!

Anyway, all the best on your new hobby! I know you'll get lots of help here if you're not too shy to post your questions.


Afoot and Lighthearted
I'm brand spanking new to this as well. I've visted practically every "rod building" website on the net. Today, I stopped in at Greg's Customs rods in Lake Stevens and signed up for a class. From the net, I've ordered a wrapper, supplies, and a blank or two (the Rainshadow 51mil mod, and a Lamiglass Perigee) I seriously can't wait to dive into this


Idiot Savant
CH, gosh, talk about an open-ended question, where do I start. Practice helps, in this case research qualifies as practice. Log onto and read their FAQS. Then read some posts in a subject your interested in. Then buy a good book on rod building (Andy Garcia, Tom Kirkman, etc.). Deterine how much you want to "build", preformed grips, seats, etc. versus getting a lathe (or access to one) and turning your own. Talk with folks who have built rods to sort out the details. Order your components and tools and get to it.

BTW, you can also build your own wrapping tools, I've made several different types, working on a roller version now.

Taking a class is always a plus, where do you live?

Cost effective? Not the way I went, lots of tools and toys...but I have just the rod I wanted.