First rod recommendations

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Griswald, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. RonnyBadd

    RonnyBadd Fly Fisher

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    One thing I learned the hard way is to make sure the temp in your working environment is high enough to keep the epoxy warm. If it is too cold you will have a hard time getting a smooth even finish.
    I setup a nice workbench in my garage and because it was a little too cool in there I ruined the nicest rod I have ever attempted to build. The reel seat, handle, guide wraps and wrap finish were great but when I tried to run epoxy over the signature and feather inlay IT STUNK! Lumpy and embarrassing. I never had this problem inside where the temp was always around 70 degrees.
    Now I’m stuck with a rod that could have been outstanding but now I think is too ugly to be seen with.
    On that note; does anyone know of a way to fix a screw up like this? I am afraid to try anything because I don't want to mess it up to the point where it is unusable.
     
  2. Scott Behn

    Scott Behn Active Member

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    Ronny it depends on how many coats and how thick your epoxy is. If you have at least two coats on there I would take a fine file and start filing down the epoxy until it is all even. Make sure you don't start cutting into your inlays or thread wraps (the reason I like to do it with at least 2 coats). Once you have it pretty smooth apply another coat of epoxy. The epoxy will fill in where you were filing and it will look new. Once this cures check it again and if you have to file it again no sweat.

    When I do my feather inlays I have to do this alot of times just for the simple reason a feather is not smoothest item in the pile.

    :cool:
     
  3. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    I'd chuck it up in a lathe or perhaps a drill and sand it smooth with 600 grit sand paper. If you use a drill, make sure to support the rod somewhere and have the drill stationary (like in a vise). I'd avoid trying to do this by hand, and instead rely on a power tool to help keep things exact. Go *very* easy with the sand paper at a moderate speed and it should start to get to round pretty quick. After knocking it back to round, buff with a quick rub of 1500 grit and you should be ready to apply epoxy again.

    A couple of hints on the epoxy for long wraps. Apply the initial batches length wise. This will help you apply the goop in a more manageable way on the longer wraps. Also, get a *REALLY* large paint scraper or spatula. Let the epoxy start to sag, then give the rod a quick whirl while holding the scraper *just* in the surface of the epoxy. This will knock off any of the excess and should help with a smoother surface.
     
  4. RonnyBadd

    RonnyBadd Fly Fisher

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    Thanks for the tips! I knocked off the high spots with a file, cleaned it up with sand paper, wiped it all down with alcohol and re covered it. It turned out crystal clear and looks great. I'll put up some pics when complete.
    Thanks again.
     
  5. fishmagnet

    fishmagnet Bent rods and tight lines!

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    When you are using a feather inlay, what or how do you keep the feather on the blank while you epoxy? I have not done an inlay and may try on the next rod. :confused:
     
  6. FlyShopKristin

    FlyShopKristin Going Online

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    I typically use a clear poly-eurethane dip when applying feather inlays. The inalys have to be fully dry before beginning the epoxy.
     
  7. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    color preserver is an excellent way to go... Lemme dig up an little tutorial on this and post it to the site.


    BTW, the use of Permagloss is *NOT* recommended. It smells bad, dries too quickly, and is a bugger to get smooth... USE CP (Gudebrod 811 available at sportco for 3.95!)... Also, please note this tutorial was sent to me by Mike Barkely and was written by someone other than myself. If you have the time, please send a thank you email to those folks....


    -- Cheers
    -- James
     

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  8. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    For holding a feather in place, I simply put fly head cement on the backside, then put and held it in place with my thumb. I've only done a few, but that worked fine.
     
  9. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Oh, but what happens if it turns out perfect...then you will no doubt in the future wish you had invested in a higher end blank! If your friend has the right equipment and some reasonable experience, you'll have success. One recommendation I have for you is to get some practice sections and do just that...practice wrapping, burnishing and finishing. Since black and brown dominate the majority of blank colors, finding a section of each and wrapping with different colors will not only develop your wrapping skill, but you can finish with and w/o color preserve so that you can see effects and what you like best.
    I have been building rods for 15+ years now and started with Cabela's PT & FT series. I still fish those rods, but have since grown into higher performance blanks. For some time, the Cabela's blanks were being made by G.Loomis, but I'm not sure now. Sage and St. Croix are my preferences these day's. I just finished a St. Croix SCV 905-4 with the pearlesence brown scrim...gorgeous and snubs it's nose at "in your face wind". Finding the blank on sale for $170, I have about $250 invested in what retails finished for $540.
    Bottom-line is don't be timid, take your time, practice and if you plan on fishing long into the future, buy a mid to high end blank....you'll be glad down the road.
     
  10. Griswald

    Griswald a.k.a. Griswald

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    Hello all,
    Thanks for all of your help, knowledge and support. I just finished my new Sage VPS 4 piece 9 foot 5 weight rod.

    It turned out very nice, I think for a first try. I will certainly build more rods as this was a fun endeavor. The 2 hardest parts for me were: Learning to correctly wrap the guides onto the rod, and applying the 2 pack Flex coat finish. I found that it took me about 5 coats to get the effect I wanted, and I ended up with 5 as the 4th was mixed wrong and dried tacky...(very important to mix ratio's correctly)

    I also wish that the flex coat was a bit less thick but I understand that they make a lighter viscosity version...

    All in all I would completely encourage anyone who wants to try it to build their own rod, it is a worth while project.

    Best,
    Griswald
     
  11. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Any of the 2 part finishes get thick after around 20-30 minutes. This period of time is known as "pot life". Generally it's better to do a quick application first, then go back and fix any problem areas. Otherwise, you'll burn through the 20-30 minutes of good viscosity just dabbing things here and there :)

    Good job on getting your first rod done though! When are we going to see pics? :)
     
  12. kenai

    kenai New Member

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    hey mag-i put some color preserver on the blank and then laid the feather in its
    place and then finished over it. seemed to work fine for me. fisheye ps. it's
    real easy to do !!!!!
     
  13. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    When i go cheap i build the cabelas blanks. there fast action (FT) runs around $110 for a 7 weight. i built there 6 weight and i think it's a great rod. i've also built the vps in 10 weight and it's a great stick as well.
     
  14. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    I just use a thin coat of fly head cement on the back to hold it in place temporarily.