Spline on top or bottom...and other questions

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Ned Wright, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Ned Wright

    Ned Wright New Member

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    I recently got a kit to build a Cabelas FT (Fast Action) 9' 8 wt. I am getting ready to epoxy the handle and have a few questions first. The directions that came pretty much suck. I have been reading Al Campell's column at FAOL but still am left with a few questions.

    1. There various theories on which side of the blank to put the guides on, my thinking is: I am planning on using this rod for Salmon, Steelhead, SRC and Resident Coho. 8wt is probably more than enough, so I will put the guides on the spline for casting and let the soft side fight fish. But then again the blank is fast action, should I give the rod more fighting power? Any opinions?

    2. Finding the spline. All the directions that I read tell me to bend the blank and rotate until I feel the "thump" or "high side" and mark the opposite as the spline. The problem is that I feel two thumps on opposite sides of the blank. The lower section of the blank has one thump that is more distinct that the other and I can actually see the spline. The upper section is more difficult. I believe I have come to a conclusion as to which side is the spline. What if I am wrong???

    3. The kit came with two little packages of epoxy. I had to tape the blank a bit to fit the reel seat. Now I am worried that I might not have enough epoxy to "fill the gaps" should I buy more epoxy before mixing or am I worrying over nothing?

    4. Can I use the epoxy on the tip top, or do I need to buy a stick of cement? If I need cement do I need the specialty rod building cement or is there a substitute that I can get locally (ie hardware store).

    5. Is the fancy flip up hook keeper junk or really an upgrade? I have only seen the traditional before which seems to me to look a bit more hearty.

    Thanks for any advise you have,
    Ned
     
  2. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    The way I remember the spline equation is: "Spline toward the fish." The strongest part of the rod is on the side of the power stroke of the cast where it counts.

    Gaps: What gaps?

    Expoxy: buy more if ther is any doubt.

    Hook keeper: If it looks "dorky" don't use it; get a regular one. Let your TASTE be the judge.

    Spline: Place the tip end of the rod on the floor and apply a little pressure on the assembled rod. As the blank is slowly rotated, the "spline" will become apparent as the rod rises slightlyand "falls off" after the spline has passed.

    Tip-TOP: DON"T use epoxy! You may need to replace it at some point.



    SuperDave
     
  3. YAKIMA

    YAKIMA AKA: Gregory Mine

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    What SuperDave said...

    Spine towards the fish. Try to find the top of the spine, or as if you imagine climbing a steep hill, your climbing up one side, hit the top, then going down the other side.


    Gaps, I would assume your meaning the gaps between the masking tape? Yes you should fill the gaps, as well as coating the masking tape. You need to make sure to have a complete bond between the blank and the reel seat. Coat everything with cement, and slide the reel seat down the blank into place. This way you will push the excess cement out and off the bottom of the rod, and not all over the blank.

    If you already running out of cement, what are you going to attach the grip with? Your going to have to get more it sounds like. Too much can be a mess, yet you will assure a good bond. Not enough will be a nightmare later on down the road. That you don't want to learn the hard way. Once you coat the blank for the grip, and the grip comes in contact with the cement, do not back up, you'll pull the cement higher than the grip will cover it. Also twist the grip into place as you slide it into the glue. This will spread it out and fill in a lot of holes and gaps.


    Hook keepers are personal. I hate the ones that are a ring on a push in, or on a ring that you guide wrap into place. They rattle when casting and drive me nuts. I prefer traditional

    Get yourself some tip top adhesive, then save it. You never know when your going to need it again, or one of your buddies will. It can save a day when a tip gets snapped off. Do not use cement!!!


    Good Luck
    Greg
     
  4. kodiaksalmon

    kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

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    Spine.....hmmm. I build alot of Sage blanks, so they've got it marked for ya. On rods that don't, it depends on the quality. Some blanks are actually crooked. Some so much so that you can easily see it, and it can effect how the rod casts. Then it becomes the lesser of two evils-spine or straightness. Sometimes they're the same, but often, you've got to decide.

    As for epoxies, I use standard ol' 30 min stuff you buy at Wal-Mart for reel seats, cork, and tip tops. I've been building rods for going on ten years, and have never lost a tip and I have never heard back from anyone I've built a rod for about anything coming apart. I of course use rod epoxy for the thread.

    Jeff
     
  5. kodiaksalmon

    kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

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    Duplicat post.
     
  6. Ned Wright

    Ned Wright New Member

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    Thanks for your help. I must admit that I just keep getting more confused.

    You mentioned that you test the assembled rod for the spline. After reading this I went looking and found similar advise. I thought that the spline was where the graphite overlaps. How do I know how to line this up when I initially assemble the two pieces. I mean, doesn't each section have its own spline or overlap of graphite sheets? All of the descriptions of this stuff seems inconsistant. I just need to truely understand before I proceed as I don't see having the money to do this again if I screw up.

    My real problem in the spline thing is that when I do all the bent rod, pressure, roll thing.. I get two hard parts and two soft parts or if you will two "thumps" each time I rotate the blank one full turn. On both sections.:beathead: I have never read anyone mention this. Maybe I am just missing it or then again maybe this Cabelas blank is junk:confused:

    Thanks again for your help,
    Ned
     
  7. YAKIMA

    YAKIMA AKA: Gregory Mine

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    Sometimes you do run into that. Just pick on or the other, you should be fine.
     
  8. kodiaksalmon

    kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

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    You're correct, each piece has it's own spine. I handle each piece indipendently.

    I'm not sure what you're asking about the bumps or the hard spots. That's your spine, aline your eyes/guides with that. Find your "bumps", align them up and down or whatever, mark it's orientation with a Sharpie and there you are. Often as well, if you look closely enough at the carbon fiber, you can see the overlap with your naked eye.

    Jeff
     
  9. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    Yes, each rod section has it's own "spine"; getting the each sections spine aligned is the goal. That's done initially with each section and then as an assembled blank. (My original post may have mislead you on this point)

    The reality is spine idenfication and alignment is a relatively minor point in rod building; desireable, yes, impartative, no. Some rod actions are more sensative on this point than others. Started building rods with Fenwick fibreglas "seconds" back in the 60's. They weren't much affect by these matters.

    Currently, I build SAGE graphites exclusively and I DO take care to address this consideration. SAGE's are EXPENSIVE blanks and to do otherwise just doesn't to justice to the expense they represent. I WOULDN'T say Cabela's and you should take pride it what you produce.

    Doing a "search" will reveal sites that explain these principles with PICTURES as well as WORDS. They may clear-up some of the questions that you have raised.

    SuperDave
     
  10. Finni

    Finni Member

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    As I have understood it in the past, the two "thumps" you are experiencing are indeed the spine of the rod section. The larger of the two is when the spine is rotated to the bottom (outside of the bend) and the smaller is when it is rotated to the top (inside of the bend).
    I have heard a slightly different take on the spine. For lighter rods, yeah, you should put the spine towards the fish, on the side of the guides. But for larger rods and larger fish, I have heard to put it opposite to the fish, for a stronger backbone to fight with.

    Just my personal take,
    Finni
     
  11. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Hit up www.rodbuilding.org. In general "spine" is *far* overrated. Experts such as Tom Kirkman and others have run experiments and came to this conclusion.: The difference in power amounts to a minscule percentage between spined and unspined rods.

    Personally I build on the straightest axis for a majority of the rods I do. Additionally, the spining anyone does is based on a static deflection of the rod, which if you think about it has *very* little to do with the power applied during a cast (dynamic deflection)....

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  12. Ned Wright

    Ned Wright New Member

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    Thanks for all the advise. James, thanks for the link. I did some reading there and get it now. The reason it is hard to understand is because it is primarily a wives tale and everyone has a different technique and opinion because the results are negligable. :thumb: I am glad to get the info because I just couldn't go on until I truly understood.

    The cool part is that the straightest axis is in line with what I had picked out as the dominant spine/spline. Now, any opinions on whether the guides go on the upper side or the lower side of the straightest axis if the bend is headed toward the floor?

    Thanks again for all of the advise and for the rodbuilder.org site.

    Ned
     
  13. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Butt up, tip down. The additional weight will then follow the straightest axis. If you do it the other way, it may be straight, it may not. The actual seam from the rolling is often not a straight line, so this means you could end up with some deflection either to the left or right. As an example take a bent piece of round wire and hold it so the curve faces down. If you push or pull down on it, it will always remain straight, if you then turn it over and try the same, it may torque..... NOTE THIS IS NOT ADVOCATING ANYTHING ABOUT GUIDES ON TOP OR BOTTOM ON THE SPINE! Loads on a rod will *ALWAYS* want to go to the bottom regarless of spine orientation. This is to demostrate nothing more than the very *slight* weight of the guides and the effect they would have *cosmetically* when sighted down the blank....

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  14. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Oh yeah... A couple of other things...

    1) If you can afford a few bucks, then order a urethane reel seat arbor. Much better and *far* more secure. If you can't afford it, then try to use a mixture of epoxy and fibreglass tape. This will allow you to build up a rather wide surface meant to deal with structural load rather than trying to fill a gap with a non structrual glue

    2) You can use other hot melt glues for the tip top, but they need to be a hot melt, rather than a lower temp melting glue. But as a note, the Gudebrod stuff works just great and it's around the same price as other stuff.

    3) The folding hook keepers are tre chic, but on anything more than a 6wt, I just forgo the hook keeper. In general the damn flies you are throwing are really large and don't seem to hook in as nicely, plus I hate the damage that happens to hook keepers cosmetically over time (checking at the feet, nicks and scrapes, etc....)
     
  15. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    If the "spine" consideration is academic, what's to say others aren't also? When investing in a "build-up", I give myself ZERO tolerance for laxity; what I produce is the very best that I'm capable of producing.

    To be indifferent to such considerations as "spline" is NOT my practice. Others may disagree but that's MY policy and practice.

    SuperDave