How to build fly fishinf net

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by powpow, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. powpow

    powpow Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    Likes Received:
    the ridge
    A couple months ago I was looking for ways to build a wood net and found few sites; although, it was enough to get an idea. If anyone searches for this on google (or other) then it will probably show up in the future. When I was learning how to make these things I just wished I new this stuff as well. Joelwoodworks has a bunch of info and it can be overwhelming, but it is a great site. This is my method and I find I used bits and peices of the ones I found on the internet to make my own. This is only my way, there is no right or wrong way to make a net just be creative.

    Some good sites to look at

    Materials needed
    Files/sanding- A rasp and 60, 150, 220 grit sandpaper will do the job, but it will go fast with electric tools if accessible.

    Wood-For the bow of the frame you want straight grain wood (maple, walnut, basswood, ash, all work great). It is not imposible to bend wood with irregular grains, but it will be more diffucult. I recommend using 1/16'' and less width laminations fo irregular grains.
    For the handle- Pick some crazy appealing wood. A lot of exotic woods are very oily and therefore there are certain procedures to make gluing for efficient. Some people wipe the wood with acetone. I will let you research more if you choose that kind of a wood.

    Steambox-Easy to make and smaller the better. look at second site recommended above.

    Finishes-I have only used varnish because it is easy to work with. You can use oils and waxes as well, but need to be done again every once and a while.

    Form- I use an old pot or pan that has prefect vertical sides to clamp the laminations to. This is were you can get creative and make/find some unique shape.
    Milling wood
    You can go the easy route and buy 24'' lamination online and use 2 for each layer. Cut them by banging a soft hammer onto a razor blade to cut the 3'' x 24 strips into 3 parts.
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    Or you can mill them using table saw (thin/high tooth count will work best), band saw, circle saw, ect. table saw seems to be most efficent and clean cut. You can later used portable thickness planner, bench plane, ect. to get a smooth finish. If you have a drum sander or some other fancy equipment then you probably don't need my advice. I find 1/16'' x 1'' x around 40'' long laminations work best, with 3-5 layers to make the frame. Handle should be made to fit your hand. I like 1 1/2'' x 1'' x 7-12 inches long for a handle.

    Bending/forming wood
    This is were your steambox comes in handy. You can use other techniques, though I will only talk about steambending because it is most fun:thumb:. For every 1 inch thick of wood, 1 hour of steambending is required by theory. So a 1/16'' strip will need only 3-5 minutes of steam. Try to get your box as close to 212 F* as possible. Mine gets to 208 as my starbuck coffee thermometer says (drill hole in middle of box and but in metal steam all the way). You have to pull the strips out as fast as you can and then when you go to form them onto the form SLOW DOWN! This is were practice comes into play. If you go to fast they will brake and if you go to slow the will start to fracture as well. Clamp the wood with c clamps or other for a day.

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    24 hours later
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    Titebond 2 is what I use, but you do have to what ATLEAST 24 hours. Using spring clamps first to hold it down until I get 2-3'' C-clamps. Also scrape and roughen the handle and the lamination that meets it. Also, I like to leave a clamp were the laminations meet the handle while shaping because that is were it has always come apart for me.
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    After gluing may look ugly, but sanding and shaping will clean it up.
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    Using the rasp I shape what ever design I want. It is a long process that I find enjoyable because you are finally seeing your work come out. After shapping and removing any protruding material I go to the 60 grit sand paper. The sand paper is cut into .5-1'' wide strips from a sheet. I use it with 2 hands like a pulley system. My variable speed sander speeds up the process on the handle. Then Go to 150 grit, then 220, then you are ready to finish!

    Strips of sand paper
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    single-bevel straight chisel
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    Pulley system
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    There are many to choose from. Tung oils, varnish, waxes and laquer can all be used. just make sure it is for exterior wood/waterproof.

    Choosing Vs. makeing a bag (net)
    I like to use the small brodin rubber replacement or an old mesh net. You can make one out of some sort of cord. I have never tried so I can't say. I think people used to use cotton and usually made a groove in the bow of the net so when it scraped against something it wouldn't brake. I never make a groove for my nets to tie into because I using some 15 pound tippet and that will never brake or rot (atleast it hasn't for me).

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    Thanks for reading,