Wrapping Rod Guides

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by ag17, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Hello guys,
    I am new to the whole rod building seen and I have a few questions and I hope you guys will have the answers

    1. Do you have to hand wrap the guides to the rod or is there an ideal motor to use?
    2. If I can use a motor what rpm would be a good speed to buy for a beginner?

    I have built one rod from a kit that I bought through Cabela's, and I had a lot of fun. So now I am looking to buy some more equipment for rod building. Thanks for the help.
  2. I suspect I'll be very much a loner with my opinion when all your responses to this thread come in, BUT I'd recommend you not worry about getting a motorized rod wrapper at this point. Spend your money on a nice blank, good cork, decent hardware and build another rod. Your skills will improve with each rod you build. You will also pay more attention to doing quality work and less on figuring out and dealing with specialized tools.

    At this point I've built something over 200 rods and I have never bothered with a power wrapper, or even a wrapping rack for that matter. Maybe when my skills improve a bit or if I decide I have to sell the rods I build to eat, I'll consider a power wrapper.
  3. Agreed. I don't know why you would need a motor unless you were doing it all day long. All you need is something to keep the thread tensioned as you wrap. There are some examples of rod wrappers in the gallery: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=18037. Some people just use a book...
  4. I have never used a wrapper so I can't comment on that, but I like wrapping by hand. I put one of my fly tying bobbins upside down into a my fly tying vise base, thread comes straight off the spool with tension from the bobbin and wrap by hand. I am only a hack but it works for me. I agree with others, save your money and buy another blank.
  5. I also will never have a power wrapper. Keeping tension when I'm wrapping guides is about the only good my Calculus textbook has ever dong...
  6. To date I have built 1,893 rods and have never used a motorized wrapper on any of them. Stick with hand wrapping with a wrapping jig. Many are available on the market or you can build your own. My first 20-30 rods were built using half a cardboard box with "v"s cut on each side and thread tension applied with various books. Keep at it and soon you will be addicted as the rest of us.
  7. Who do you build rods for?
  8. Fair question.
  9. All over the world. I build under my business name CAS Rods or CAS Enterprises. While in the military from 64-86, and especially the last six years I was building a lot of rods while overseas, averaging about 8-10 a week in some stretches. 64-70 was spent mainly in combat and not much time was spent fishing or building rods. I started in Oakland, CA, in a fishing shop and continued on from there, slowly learning the new techniques and use of the materials available. Like everything else, rod building has advanced by leaps and bounds and I know I'm a little behind the learning curve in some areas so I have recently, last ten years, concentrated on building truely custom fly rods.

    Majority of my rods are fly rods but I have built just about every other type imaginable, from ice rods to deep sea. Don't enjoy the big boys, just too much work so I refer that work now.

    Have slowed down the last couple of years due to age and not wanting to mess with the tax man. Once I get moved to Spokane I may start up full speed again if I can find a market but it isn't necessary. I don't do production rods for shops, etc and I don't repair rods except for those I build myself. In recent years I have been building on Dan Craft blanks because I like the action and durability of the blank.

    Once I'm in Spokane I would really like to start teaching others to build rods. I've done this with folks from the local ff board (Northern California Fly Fishing Board - ncffb - along with Dennis "Pappy" Papike, and a couple of others) and with my local ff club, the Russian River FF Club. I don't charge for this as I just like to see others get a kick out of building and then fishing their own rods. I REALLY like working with kids, teaching them rod building and fly tying.

    I have kept a journal of all the rods I built, kind of anal, I know, but it is interesting to go WAY back and it brings back memories of people I have met in the past and some of the funny things that happened. It is also a history of advancement. Just plain wraps, multiple color wraps, inlaid wraps, fancy wraps to include diamonds (basic) to full scale fancy that was such a rage with Dale Clemens and group. Then feather inlays, which if done correctly are really enhancing and beautiful. And, more recently, which has really slowed down my production ability, weaves. So much to learn, so little time. Perhaps the longer winters in Spokane will give me the opportunity to experiment more.
  10. By the way, thanks for the question. It made me again go to my journal to review and ponder over some of the names of folks who have come, gone, passed and some who are really great friends.
  11. Wow, I thought I was slumming by not using a motor. I've been building rods for ten years now, and I've never used a motor or proper tensioner. I built my own tensioners from a carriage bolt, two washers, a spring and a wing nut, and I don't know how many rods I've built with them. I don't even dry my rods with a motor. I hand turn them until the epoxy sets.
  12. Well, I cheat, I do use a motor to let the finish set up. Mainly because I am working on another rod while one is turning and I don't have the time to do both.

    Hint: For those of you needing a tension device, they do sell them at various suppliers for about $5. But, you can also go to any sewing machine repair shop and pick one up for that or less. They are exactly the same thing as is used in sewing machines to apply tension on the thread.
  13. Or... build your own. $5 is pretty damn cheap, but if you want, you can do it for about $1.5 by buying a long bolt with two nuts (so they lock), a spring and two washers. I'll try to post a photo of the setup later.
  14. I wrap in my lap. I like using a big hardback book for tension. I put it on the floor and can use my foot to adjust the tension if I need to. Plus, the price of a wraping machine with a motor=a nice rod. I've only built/restored about 10 rods so my advice should be taken with a grain of salt. It might be best to stick to factory rods and keep yourself off of the slippery slope, it's adictive.
  15. Hi !
    I have use a motor from a disco bullet/lamp and it work great:thumb:
  16. I do something similar. I usually sit myself in front of the TV and sit on the thread with the spool in a cup behind me. Power Wrappers like the Custom Power Wrap are nice, but not necessary. I'm usually too nitpicky and pack about every 2 wraps. I've used non-motorized wrapping jigs and they give me the same control, but I have a bad tendency to build a rod at the last minute (I only build a rod when I want to fish with a new rod the next day). I've played with a Custom Power Wrap at our shop. I had a problem with wrapping over the guide, but it did work awesome for underwraps. It definately saved time for that. If I did more rods with underwraps, I might consider one. About the only other reason I'd get one would be for the cork and foam turning capabilities of the lathe chuck models (also has a gear reduction box for decreasing the RPM's to increase the torque). If you go with one of these, though, I wouldn't go with one with the attached drying motor unless you're meticulous about cleaning up after shaping a handle. The last thing I'd want is for a breeze to come through and kick up some cork dust into my newly finished thread wraps...
  17. I have a couple of motors that spin at different rates. I added PVC pipe caps with three teflon thumb scres that can hold a wide range of diameters. I have used them for wrapping rods on a couple of occasions, but I prefer to do them by hand. Now I just use the motors to turn the blanks as the finish is drying. I have only built about a half dozen so far, but I just finished a 10wt rod on a Griggs blank that I got for next to nothing (I know they are inexpensive IM7 blanks) and ended up with a really nice finish. I used a light bulb setup that was recommened above for heat as my garage is rather cool for this time of the year. That led to a crystal clear thin wrap finish that looked very good. I can see a few areas where my wraps had tiny gaps, but all in all I think it was the best rod I had build so far. I have a lifetime to go and will never get to 1000+ rods. The handful of rod blanks I bought when I retired from the Navy were intended for my own use in a variety of weights, lengths and peices. Thanks to all for sharing your insight. I'll be experimeting with some of the other wrap/finish products until I find the best for me. Right now I'm flexcoating and it is good, but I have a lot to learn.

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