View Full Version : Is rod building worth the effort?
I'd like to give rod building a try. My grandfather was a builder and passed on before I could get started in that area. I have read his old books (70's building books) and have looked at a great explanation on the Virtual Fly Shop. I am just weary of jumping into trying this out. My concerns are:
1. Is building your own rod a big risk? Can you easily botch up a $200-$300 rod blank to the point it is ruined?
2. Are you going to save any money doing this? (much like the rational I had when I started tying flies- I THOUGHT I'd save some money. Now I see it is beside the point anyway)
3. To the rod builders out there- how have you started out- fly rods or something easier? How did your first attempt turn out?
4. What is the toughest part of building a rod?
I have an old homemade rod winder I have used to repair eyes on old spinning rods. I am just thinking of giving it a shot. Thanks for your help.
Give it a try, it's just plain fun. If I can do it and not screw it up anybody can. Saving money is a relative term depending on where you get your blanks and components. It will always be cheaper but without the warranties some companies give. It's really neat to catch fish on a rod you build and flies you tie.
01-24-01, 12:31 PM
What I offer is my opinion after two rods. YMMV, as Drifter says.
1. Can you ruin a $300 blank? Sure. If you take your time, that probably won’t happen.
2. Save money? Yes, actually I have. More on the second than the first, but I’d say I saved a few bucks on the first.
3. I started with fly rods. If baitcasting rods keep climbing in price, that might change!
I get the feeling you want to try your hand at it, but don’t want to get in over your head. I see you live “on down the road” so I won’t suggest David Edens (Blue Ridge Rods) classes, although you would be the perfect candidate.
Pre-packaged kits are available for around $50 on up. Cabela’s has the lowest priced units as well as some decent blanks & kits (St. Croix, GLoomis, etc.) for decent (or very good) prices. In their “Tackle Craft” catalog they offer some St. Croix SCIV kits for LESS than the price of the blank alone. David Edens (Blue Ridge Rods) puts together complete kits for the home builder at a very reasonable price.
If we were sharing a table over coffee, I’d suggest you attempt to build a rod with a blank costing somewhat less than $300. The sources I mentioned earlier have kits for less than $100 to around $150 that you might really like to fish with. I’d shy away from the $50 kits.
There is a wealth of info on the internet. I can assure you I’ve spent more time reading than building!
Good luck. Don
I hope so! I just got my first kit today from UPS. IMHO, I would spend as little money as possible in the first run. I ordered my first kit from H & H and spent well under $100 bucks. My reasoning is that I've never done this and if my attemps fail, I'm not out a lot of money. After looking over my kit, I can see that I want a better real seat. Other than that, it looks good from what I can tell. I've done a lot of reading and feel real confident that I can do this. I'm excited about the challenge anyway. Hopefully it will be ready for the trip next weekend so I can show off the thing.
Kid tested, mother approved!
01-24-01, 02:39 PM
I've toyed with the idea too......
but just supposing I only spend the $200 or so it takes to get started( thanks to Cabela's $99 rod building bundle, and a cheap-o kit to try the first one)
the real question is - How many rods would I need to build - ie...what would I do with 10 rods ???? I have three now, and even though rodbuilding sounds really fun, if I built two a year, in three years what would I do with all those extra rods ?
( Don't say sell them.....I'm sure they wouldn't turn out that well.)
Now, flies, I can always use,.....but a dozen rods seems like overkill. ???
01-24-01, 03:06 PM
DO IT! DO IT! I just finished building my first rod last week. It was a blast. It is a 6' 3wt rod and trust me with a little help, you will not screw it up. With Cocoon's help, it took me just about 1.5 hours to put on the guides then another 1.5 hours to put on the finish(remember,never done it before). I put on the tip top and the handle by myself and it only took about 3-4 hours for that. Mind you I took my sweet time doing those tasks. I would bet that when I do build my second rod (9' 9wt salty), it will only take me half as much time as before.
As for saving money, not with the first rod. You always buy something else that you need to build the rod. Same as in fly tying. But once you have all the materials, the rods will run you at least 50% cheaper! Hope this helps. click on THIS (http://www.rodguild.com)for a good rod building site.
Kiserzoze (Pronounced Kai-sir-so-zay)
a.k.a. Chris Abellana
Don't forget, NEVER stay in the Buccaneer Inn at St. George Island (it s**ks).
[This message has been edited by kiserzoze (edited 01-24-2001).]
[This message has been edited by kiserzoze (edited 01-24-2001).]
01-24-01, 03:57 PM
Is tying your own flies worth it?
I getting a rod with exactly the blank, guides, reel seat, handle, and thread work that you want worth it?
Does handing a rod that you just finished to a fishing buddy and saying "Look what I just built" feel better that saying "Look what I just bought"?
Is any home project worth it?
It's about more than the money saved, it's about the pride of accomplishment and learning.
Like Moye said, "it's just plain fun."
How did my first one turn out? I love it. It is one of my favorites. I gave it to my younger one, who also loves it.
I rushed my second one, applying the epoxy late one night in poor light, trying to get it ready for an NGTO shindig the next day. I goofed the epoxy application. David Edens tells me I can remove it with a hair dryer. Dave carries a fine line of rod building items, knows his stuff and will guide you through the process. He has helped many of us with our first and subsequent efforts.
[This message has been edited by BeeDub (edited 01-25-2001).]
01-25-01, 11:14 AM
What Moye said, "FUN!"
If you like doing things yourself ie: tieing flies, building boats http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif etc., you'll like rodbuilding.
I built one after talking with David Edens at our first NGTO Fling. I've built 6 since then and rebuilt two bamboo rods. My favorite is a 4 piece 7 foot 3wt "Backpackers Special" on a Blue Ridge Rod blank.
01-25-01, 01:56 PM
Can you really say " look what I built " ?
I mean, after all, when you build a rod, your just putting the guides and reel stuff on right ?
( just pulling yur chain )
I guess if that were true, you'd have to forge your own hooks to say you "tied flies". http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
I hope I can build a few one day. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif Even if I don't know what I'd do with them !!!
01-30-01, 12:34 PM
Rod building equip. for sale.
Auction ends soon... http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1109752591
Well last night was the first class of David Edens rod building class and I had a blast. Yes it is easy but, you must pay attention to the details!!! I almost put the real seat on backwards http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/redface.gif but thanks to Davids watchful eye he quickly corrected me. This is my first attempt at such a project and I wanted to be under the watchfull eye of experience. Also to gleen any tips and tricks from a master.
I'm building a 9' 9wt 4pc from Davids Smokey Moutain blank a beautiful matte black finish.
The most detail for me will be in the wrapping of the guides. That d*mn thread can be cantankerous! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif I had better get to wrapping so I'll be ready for the next class!
02-03-01, 05:38 PM
Ya'll keep wrapping. See you on Monday.
If anyone wants to come and see what it is all about, the second session of the first NGTO rod building class commences at 7:00 PM at the hatchery. It is fine with me if a few people show up to see what it is all about.
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