Okay, honestly, how hard is it to build up a rod?

Rob Ast

Active Member
#2
Josh,

The actual wrapping is not difficult, especially if you are not trying to do multi-color wraps or small trim bands. Making sure all the guides are aligned just tale patience and an eye for detail. The hardest part is getting smooth even epoxy without big footballs. This part takes practice.
 

Josh

dead in the water
#3
While of course I'd like it to look pretty, on a rod I built myself I could live with a lumpy epoxy job as long as it was just a cosmetic thing. I worry more about performance stuff like aligning guides and finding the 'spline" or whatever that is called.
 
#4
It's totally not difficult. There are tons of online resources, but I also picked up a book, though I can't recall the name of it at the moment.

The biggest thing is to just go slow, take your time. My first couple rods weren't so pretty (football-shaped epoxy as noted above), but they are all functional. My first build was a 6'6" 2wt kit that is still in use, probably my most used rod.

One tip I might suggest is to not start with a lightweight rod. I did have a hard time wrapping the tip section because it's so thin and flexy. Heavier rods are a lot easier.
 

Josh

dead in the water
#5
It's totally not difficult. There are tons of online resources, but I also picked up a book, though I can't recall the name of it at the moment.

The biggest thing is to just go slow, take your time. My first couple rods weren't so pretty (football-shaped epoxy as noted above), but they are all functional. My first build was a 6'6" 2wt kit that is still in use, probably my most used rod.

One tip I might suggest is to not start with a lightweight rod. I did have a hard time wrapping the tip section because it's so thin and flexy. Heavier rods are a lot easier.
Good deal. Thanks.

I would probably start with a 6-8 wt switch if I was going to build one. So a reasonable size for sure.
 

gbeeman

Active Member
#6
It's really a straight forward process. Some blanks come with the spline marked but if they don't it's easy to find. Fitting the grip may require a bit of work and lining up the guides just takes the time to do it right. You don't need a high end rod wrapper, the small ones work just fine. One thing you should consider would be to buy, rent, or make a rod turner. This really helps when you put the finish on the wraps.

GBeeman
 

jwg

Active Member
#7
Nothing beats seeing someone else doing it

So while it is not that hard, you can pick it up easier by doing your first one in a rod building class, which some flyfishing clubs do annually, or with someone else who is experienced.

If no resources are available, then by all means go for it on your own.

You can order complete kits with all the parts you need selected to fit and work together.

Selecting all the components each by yourself without experience could be a problem, e.g. Reel seat may or may not recess into the cork grip, so the cork grip needs to be selected accordingly

I don't know if there are good demos on YouTube

Jay
 
#8
Agree with others...not hard at all. I think it can be hard to make it look nice sometimes, or to do fancy trims etc...but from a functional standpoint. Not hard at all.
 

dogsnfish

Active Member
#10
Kits take a lot of the hassle out of the process and are a great way to start. There are a couple of shops in WA that offer great kits. The last one I did was a 5wt z-axis kit from a shop in WA and the components were top notch. There are some very good resources on the internet to help you out if you are stumped about something or need to get out of trouble. I really enjoy it.
 
#11
On You Tube the "Flyrod Fanatic" leads you through the process step by step. I am finishing my second rod and his videos helped more than anything else I have found on the web.
 
#13
flex coat, mudhole and youtube all have great how to's. Between all 3 of them they could show you from start to fishing. A kit is a great way to start until you get the hang of it and most will to be sucked into the rod building black hole costing lots of $$$$$$$
 
#15
It's really easy and enjoyable. I've built a half dozen rods - gave a couple to my sons. Check out Rodbuilding.org which has links to on-line retailers that sell all kinds of kits - from the very inexpensive to Orvis and Sage blanks.