First Post - TFO BVK 9' 5 wt

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by SHigSpeed, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Hi all,

    Though I've been building rods on and off for the last 25 years, this is the first time posting to this forum.

    9' 5 wt BVK kit purchased from Angler's Habitat for a great deal. The cork is really nice for the price, and it's pre-reamed to fit for a quick build.

    Burnt orange nylon thread, no CP. Gunsmoke seat hardware, hook keeper, stripper, and snakes.

    I was concerned about how the orange would match the olive blank, but I like it a lot! No trim thread, just clean and simple - it's a tool to catch fish.

    Here's the question: TFO claims the factory rod weighs 2.9 ounces, however this build comes in at about an ounce more! The seat hardware I used weighed only a bit over an ounce so I can't see how they can build the same blank down that light. I just ordered a used factory version so I can verify their claims.

    Anyway, pics:



    Mike Ediger and atomic dog like this.
  2. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

    The rust thread looks great with that, and matches the reel seat spacer as well. If I remember correctly the BVK comes with REC guides and strippers, so maybe they save a little weight there. Let us know what you find out.
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Very nice! In that first picture Miami Hurricanes came to mind! ;). The colors look great!
  4. Roger Nott

    Roger Nott Member

    I think the factory BVKs have a carbon fiber reel seat and I have no idea what those weigh but that isn’t going to make an ounce difference. Your seat is typical at one ounce. Usually about 2/3 skeleton and 1/3 wood insert. I don’t see anything about that rod that says heavy. Did you re-cal the scale and re-weigh. I don’t doubt 2.9 for the factory rod but for a nice clean build like yours to weigh 3.9 ounces surprises me a bit.
  5. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    I weighed my factory 8'6" 4 wt BVK and it's dead on the claimed 2.7 oz!

    Should be receiving my 5 today...

    Unless the retail blanks are heavier than built rod blanks the swing weight should at least be close which matters more anyway...

  6. Roger Nott

    Roger Nott Member

    Just thinking out loud here. The listed weight for the blank you used is 1.7 oz. The factory rod from that blank is 2.9 oz. This makes sense, 1.2 oz in components, thread, finish, etc. For comparison, I finished a AmTack Matrix two weeks ago. The blank weight for that model is 2.1 oz (a 8’6” , 5 wt, 5 pc travel rod). The finished weight using just standard dia snakes and such was 3.33 oz. So 1.23 oz of components, thread, finish. This is about par for the course. I happen to know that the reel seat I used (a Pac Bay DL-5 with Maple) is exactly 1.0 oz on my scale. Again I’m as perplexed as you on how your rod came out with roughly 2 oz of components and finish. That’s why I asked if you re-weighed. The reel seat accounts for the vast majority of the added weight and your only at 1 oz there and with a slick build. Drop dead gorgeous rod by the way.
  7. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member


    I just re-weighed the rod with my smaller range scale and it came out at 3.679 ounces so I somewhat overstated the weight initially.

    I checked my notes and the seat components were actually 1.3 ounces total. If I had cut the threaded portion to length such that the reel seat would just fit, I could've shaved about 0.1 ounce. I had considered boring out the wood but that would have saved less. The rear button, OTOH seemed relatively heavy at around 0.2 ounces but I could be mis-remembering this number. I was antsy to finish the rod so I didn't consider getting another. Turns out I had a couple in my "archive" and these weighed 0.07 and 0.09 ounces. Wish I would've just left it off - wouldn't have kept me from fishing it! I wonder if I could break the epoxy bond with some heat without damaging something else... Probably not worth the risk.

    I did use clear shipping tape for the seat bushing but it really only took a few wraps. I suppose a urethane or graphite bushing MAY have weighed less.

    The snakes also appear to be slightly heavier gauge that my factory TFO 4 wt.

    So that means 0.679 ounces for glue, tape, cork, guides, thread, and finish. Not unreasonable I guess.

    Now, am I right in assuming that the 1.0 ounce weight INCLUDED the cork? Because that weight wasn't specifically accounted for in your calcs. If so that would make my seat a PIG!

    Thanks for the compliment, BTW. :)

  8. Roger Nott

    Roger Nott Member

    Reel seats can get a bit funny in this regard. In my “box O parts” I have about 6 reel seats that would be appropriate for this rod. The skeletons (hardware) vary quite a bit from simple aluminum to heavily plated nickel silver. Also wood insert densities can vary a lot as well, sometimes by a factor of two. I wouldn’t be concerned at all about the overall weight since I’m convinced that it is in the seat. There’s just nothing forward of the grip that looks heavy. On a 5 wt, when you consider that you are going to use (for the sake of argument) a 4 oz reel with backing and line that result in a 5-5.25 oz total, the reel seat weight we are talking about is in the noise. Worst case is that the reels you have don’t achieve quite the right balance and a new purchase opportunity awaits you. The new Orvis Battenkill at 3 oz, or if you have the bucks an Abel TR-Lite, classic Hardy, etc. If you want to take the butt cap off and replace it, the time proven way to do it is wrap the rod butt in a heavy freezer bag, put it in a pan of hot water on the stove and break the epoxy loose. But I’m with you, why bother.
  9. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Funny you mention the Battenkill - that's exactly the reel I have paired with it.

    My quest for the ultimate in lightweight float tubes for backpacking has rubbed off on my rod building. When your boat weighs 25 ounces the difference between a 2.9 and 3.7 ounce rod looks a lot bigger! :)

  10. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Finally got around to comparing weights my build to the OEM rod.

    Handle section
    OEM - 1.92
    Mine - 2.65

    OEM - 1.09
    Mine - 1.03

    So the factory rod does JUST come in over the claimed 2.9 ounces but it's within the acceptable margins.

    What is clear is that the components and build of the tip end three pieces of my build are in line and only lighter because I used a single vs. two strippers.

    That and my reel seat is HEAVY! Lol...

    Oh well,

  11. atomic dog

    atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Where did you get the reel seat hardware? I like the looks of that a lot.
  12. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    I got the kit from Angler's Habitat.
  13. Jordan Simpson

    Jordan Simpson Active Member

    Beautiful build! Maybe one day I'll get enough courage to try it...
  14. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member


    The sooner you try the sooner you get better. An ugly rod will still catch fish as well. ;)