Do I really need a rod drier?

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Brandon Kiesling, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Brandon Kiesling Addicted

    Posts: 24
    Helena, MT.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hey Everyone,

    I am thinking about building a rod, and have been putting together a list of necessary materials. My question is.. do I REALLY need a rod dryer? If I am willing to turn the rod every 15 minutes is it that necessary?

    Also, if you were to buy just one item, would you rather have a rod stand/wrapper OR a rod dryer. Which one is more critical to producing a quality final product?

    I will eventually get both, I just want to know what I can get away with (a.k.a not having) for my first build.


  2. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    build a wrapper! it is really not that hard. here's a photo of my wrapper. a couple peices of cheap pine and some bolts with springs and washers for a thread tensioner.

    you don't need a dryer... i'm finishing my 6th or 7th rod now and have not used a dryer for any of them. Who knows, maybe they'd turn out a bit better with a dryer, but I can't tell the difference. Just have a cardboard box with cutouts and turn the rod 1/4 turn every couple minutes. with that said, i'd like a dryer... anyone have a good source for a cheap motor?
  3. Brandon Kiesling Addicted

    Posts: 24
    Helena, MT.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks!! I am glad a drier is not CRITICAL to the final product. I will definitely build a wrapper though. Thanks for posting a photo of your current setup
  4. sean_k Member

    Posts: 446
    Spanaway Wa.
    Ratings: +20 / 0 building&_osacat=0

    this is where I would look for a dryer. I have one and its alot less of a pain in the ass to let the motor do the work than to turn the rod every couple minutes. IMO you can build a stand for the dryer that will tie into the wrapper and it wont cost more that a couple dollars.
  5. Couleeflyfisher Member

    Posts: 398
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    A drying motor is really nice, first couple I had were barbecue motors, $1.00 apiece from Bargain Barn or Goodwill. Take a short piece of key stock, a chuck made from PVC cap drilled and tapped, nylon screws from Lowes or Home Depot, work great. A little slow, 4-6 rpm and I prefer 12-18 for both application of epoxy and drying. Anyway, don 't go for a spendy one from eBay, low rpm motors are pretty easy to find on the internet from various suppliers for a few bucks, also microwave motors. I've got 1/2 dozen, only need one but it's like building rods, once you start you always have to have another, at least I do.
  6. SpringCreek Addicted to Cane.......

    Posts: 107
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    There really is no need for a rod dryer at all. Some of the finest finishes have been achieved turning the rod by hand. The key to a great finish is to ensure the rod is level in whatever device you are using. Start with the guides pointing either straight up or straight down. In a couple of minutes the finish will begin to sag to the bottom. When you first notice this, turn the rod 180 degress. Continue this every few minutes. When the finish begins to set (gel) you will be able to gradually increase the amount of time between turns. Depending on the finish you will need to rotate the rod for 2 to 3 hours.

    If you aren't already familiar with them, there are a couple of websites I would recommend you visit.

    Both wrapping jigs and drying motors are a great convenience, but in no way necessary. As a frame of reference, some of the most aclaimed bamboo rod builders never used a wrapping jig at all.

    Best of luck.

  7. Brandon Kiesling Addicted

    Posts: 24
    Helena, MT.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks everyone!!! I now have an idea of what I need and dont need. SpringCreek... thanks for recommending those forums, I will definitely browse those and get as much information as I can.
  8. Derek Day Rockyday

    Posts: 566
    Ratings: +142 / 0
    I would suggest getting a motor, especially if you have a slight obsessive compulsive streak (as most fly fishermen do). I would bet serious money that you'll quickly find yourself "addicted" and building more rods. Get yourself a cheap motor (mine was $15 from cabelas) now and the cost will be distributed among more rods. It saves a load of hassle and there's less that can go wrong.

    Do you need it? No. Will you wish you had one? Yes.
  9. Brandon Kiesling Addicted

    Posts: 24
    Helena, MT.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks Derek. I guess I should just break down and buy one. I think you are right about probably wanting to build more rods. This sounds fun
  10. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,823
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +570 / 0
    If you don't have one you'll spend 2-4 hours turning it by hand...time that could be spent wrapping the other section. :)
  11. Skilly Member

    Posts: 196
    Winlock, WA.
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I'm old and persnickety along with being lazy so I would say the $10 I spent building a rod dryer was some of the best rod building money I have spent. If you can't find a motor local there is always the auctions site. You can get one there.

  12. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    a dryer is worth every penny
  13. Brandon Kiesling Addicted

    Posts: 24
    Helena, MT.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks everyone!!!