First Spey Rod

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Southsound, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. Southsound

    Southsound Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs

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    Well... I am jumping into unknown territory with the next project. I picked up a Sage 10150 GFL rod on Ebay that was built to be a surf rod for a great price. I am going to strip it down to the blank and rebuild it for what it was intended to be after getting a new tip section for it from Sage. This will be my first shot at building a two-handed rod and I can see some possible complications, particularly with installing and finishing the grips. Anybody have any tips on grips or any other aspect of building a spey rod, I would love to hear them. Thanks all.

    Steve

    "Hope is that Thing with Feathers.."
     
  2. willieboat

    willieboat Member

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    Hello Southsound,
    I'm also in the Southsound, Lacey. I have this rod, and must say that for casting heavy tips in the winter it has become my favorite rod.
    I suggest that you take a look at web sits of either Cabelas or Angler's Workshop in Woodland. They have great premade handles for spey rods. Without the proper tools, clamp, lathe, lots of sandpaper skills, etc, you might be disappointed with the result. When you have the premade rear and foregrip you will still have to drill/rasp out the center hole, but it goes fairly quick.
    If this is your first spey rod, you will find that it's a pretty heavy rod. Also you might want to ask Sage about the proper guide spacing.


    Mine is a three piece rod. I got it from the Montana River Fishing Company for around 400.00 brand new, with the tube and sock.
    Also, you will need a spey line and a large reel with this dude.

    Good Luck!!

    :thumb
     
  3. Southsound

    Southsound Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs

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    Thanks for the reply... the rod was delivered yesterday and to my surprise, it is the 16 foot model GFL for #10, not the 15 foot as I was led to believe. Oh well, since I bought it to learn both spey rod building and casting, the extra foot of length is not a big deal. I have been in touch with Sage regarding the guide specs for the blank (size and spacing) and actually found a wonderful article on building two handed rods at RB Meiser's website http://www.meiserflyrods.com/building_two_handed.html)
    I may take your advice regarding the prebuilt grips. Seems like the work involved with building them myself would be intense!
    Thanks for the reply and have a great season... maybe see you on stream sometime. I am headed to the Staircase to fish the North Fork this weekend in Olympic National Park... try nymphing for some rainbows.
     
  4. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    I haven't tried that particular model, but in general, 16-foot spey rods are wonderful tools for casting heavy flies and tips on bigger rivers.
    Don't be afraid to build a spey rod handle using individual 1/2" cork rings. In fact, it's easier than trying to ream a proper-size hole through a long piece of cork. (If you do so, and find that the grip wobbles because of oversize or out-of-round hole, you can shim with wooden toothpicks.) Most cork rings come with a 1/4" hole. You can speed up the process by drilling the hole larger with a power drill. (Your rod's butt diameter is close to 3/4".) You should have several rattail files or rasps of varying diameter. Drill each ring and dry-fit it to the blank. Number them with a felt pen. For that big rod, build the lower grip comfortably long, 5.5-6." I use slow-drying epoxy. Fit your choice of butt cap first, of course, then ring #1. Use a q-tip, knife point, or small piece of wood to smear epoxy on 1/2" of the shaft, then the top of the ring when it's in place. When adding each subsequent ring, rotate it at least 360 degrees to distribute the epoxy. I'd let the butt rings dry overnight; then add the reel seat, then the upper grip on subsequent days. You can clamp the rings tighter with a pair of big rubber bands. Make the upper grip a little longer than you think you need, even though good cork is pricy. Don't forget a winding check, epoxyed in place.
    I shape grips with a pair of coarse files, working freehand, rotating the rod in my lap. Finish with successive grades of sandpaper, wrapped around a thick paperback novel. You get to shape the grips as you prefer (convex butt grip; swell at top of upper grip; etc.)
     
  5. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

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    You say that the rod was built to be a surf rod. Spinning, casting, one handed fly or two handed fly? If it is completely built up, the trouble will be getting off the handles. Usually they are pretty well built up.

    If it is item 3683020411, I am not sure why you would want to change it.

    Tell me some more about the rod, and I will be glad to help you with it all.

    Rob
     
  6. Southsound

    Southsound Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs

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    Rob...

    It was the ebay Sage that was built to a surf rod but the tip section was broken so was short by about 10 inches. I have the grips off and all of the guides. Now I am working on the blasted reel seat. Trying to avoid using too much heat in the process as I have found that it can damage the finish of the blank. I may end up cutting the reel seat off as it is made of some sort of composite material and I certainly won't be using it. Any thoughts as to alternative approaches would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Steve

    Hope is that Thing with Feathers..
     
  7. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

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    First off, do you have the tip section? The action will be radically altered without it.

    If the handle is of EVA foam, I have cut the foam lengthwise, and peeled. If it is "burl cork" which is actually cork dust held together with glue and rubber, I would use #60 sand paper.

    If the grip is really hard to remove, its probably epoxied in. Try wetting it with alcohol, rubbing or denatured. It will soften most rod building epoxies.

    Don't cut the handle off. it will just be another mark against the proper action of the rod. And don't take too much heat to the rod, you can melt it.

    Work slow and methodically and you can get it clean. But if you don't have the broken tip section, you might want to think twice before building it up. Maybe you can get a warantee replacement from Sage?

    Rob
     
  8. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

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    Duh, you are removing the reel seat, not the grips.

    I use a hack saw, and slice them lengthwise. There may be tape, graphite rings, or a cardboard tube under there. Just peel that stuff off, and use sandpaper to get it close to the actual blank surface. You don't need to be perfect, another handle will go on there.

    Rob
     
  9. Southsound

    Southsound Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs

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    Rob...

    that's pretty much the method I settled on too... the hack saw and elbow grease. In answer to you earlier question, I will be ordering a new tip section from Sage after I get all of the hardware removed. $90 for the tip section plus $30 shipping so I will have about $190 in the project up to that point. I have tons of cork and plenty of guides so the other big expense will be a reel seat. hope to have it done in a month or so. thanks for the tips.

    Steve
     

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