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Piscatorial Engineer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks in advance, gents.

I would like to build my son a fly rod (3 pc. 8 wt) for Christmas. Gary Loomis won't have any of his new North Fork Composites available by then, which would be my first choice. So, I would like your advice, both on which blank to go for, and also where to buy it + components.

Thanks again.
 

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A collector never stops collecting!
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4,895 Posts
Talk w/ Ron up at All About the Fly in Monroe. He has the components you would need and can help you find a blank through Rainshadow, Sage or other options. I just about to start building a 2wt Rainshadow 6' IM6 blank, now that I've got everything picked out for it! :beer2:
 

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I've wrapped up a couple of Batson Forecast blanks for friends and have been really surprised at how well they perform for the price. I don't have any experience with the 8 weights, but the couple of 5 and 6 weights I have built are great rods! I think the 8 weight 4 piece (i know you want 3, but...) blanks are around 60 bucks.
 

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Long Drift Trouter
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112 Posts
Another vote for 4 piece. It is nice to be able to break the rod down into two (relatively) equal sections when hiking.

Without knowing what your preferences are, I'll throw out a couple of suggestions. Batson has been good to me, though I greatly prefer the lower weights (in the RX7 and RX8+ series I have fished). I believe the + series are still made in the US, if that is important to you. If it is, then you could also consider a Sage blank. The VT2 is relatively reasonable, and the 99 series is on my lottery list.

If country of origin isn't a concern then the TFO blanks are a great deal (Pro, TiCR or TiCR X). It just falls to you to pick the right one for you.
 

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I am merely a hack, but for what it is worth....
I think there are lots of good options depending on what you want to spend and the warranty you want. Honestly, it is hard to go wrong unless you just get something that doesn't match your style (fast, moderate, etc). Dan Craft is great, Batson is great, lots of good options, but if you haven't casted these rods you just don't know exactly what you are getting as far as feel and action. I have built several RX7, 7wts for others and both have been nice rods, however both have been broken. Since I didn't do it I am not sure how, or if that is a pattern or not, but Batson has been terrific and replaced with no questions asked. I have even built a $49 blank from Fly Logic and it is a great rod. Still currently have a 6wt that is great. However while I haven't used their warranty, they do say it is a $75 charge so I am not sure if that is worth it. I happened to get the blanks for $20 so I thought I would roll the dice. The nice thing about Sage, St Croix, etc...is that you can walk into any shop and see what you will get as far as blank performance.
I guess I would say try and match up what you want in performance or action by buying what you know otherwise you are taking a bit of a chance, and then decide what type of warranty you are willing to live with.
As far as components go, I use anglers workshop since I don't have anyone locally that sells components. They have always replied to emails the same or next day, and they are willing to chat on the phone anytime.
I hope this helps. Good luck. Be careful though, it is addicting.
Mike
 

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What is the intended use of the 8wt? If this is a tropical rod (bonefish, etc) the xi2 8wt is a great choice. Not so great for nymphing for steelhead. Are you looking for a 9', 10', switch rod, or other? The Dancraft FT blanks are nice and fast while his sig v are more moderate action. The Batson rainshadow rx7 switch is a great blank for the money. I haven't cast the rx7+ or rx8+ but they are also supposed to be great rods.
 
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