Starting Out

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by gmack, May 21, 2008.

  1. gmack

    gmack Senior Member

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    I've just kicked a couple of bad habits and have quite a bit of extra time on my hands. I've always been interested in building a few rods for myself. My wife has been asking what I want for my birthday (coming up in a month). I told her a couple of rod blanks so I could custom finish a couple of rods for myself. My question is what items do I need to get started and what books or DVD's are must haves? I've flipped through the Mudd Hole catalog a couple of times. I'm going to start by building a rod for my godchild and then build a popping rod for me.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Gary
     
  2. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

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    Gary,

    Welcome to rodbuilding. If I could recommend 1 thing before starting, it's buying "Custom Rod Building with Doc Ski" from Mudhole. That DVD will set you on the right path.

    Another good source is the Rodbuilding.com website, which has a forum dedicated to the subject. Just searching the archives will answer almost any question a beginner can have.

    Get a decent thread tensioner, some razor blades, 1/4" and 1/2" masking tape, and your basic supplies and you'll be on the right path. If it's in the budget a rod lathe is a great addition, but there's a certain rite of passage around building your first few rods completely by hand.

    One final piece of advice is don't skip the small stuff. Proper guide feet prep, blank surface prep, and appropriate arbors for the reel seat and gimbal will all go a long way towards making your finish product last for years.

    Feel free to ask questions as they come up. There are several excellent rodbuilders that frequent this forum.
     

  3. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    I would second everything Sea Crappie said. I would also suggest that you rewrap an old rod with cheap components (hardloy guides) as your first attempt.
     
  4. crazyjigr

    crazyjigr Senior Member

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    Good luck, your already on the right track, just don't forget to let your wife know she will not be seeing much of you once you get started.
     
  5. canyondiver

    canyondiver Guest

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    I would second everything Sea Crappie said. I would also suggest that you rewrap an old rod with cheap components (hardloy guides) as your first attempt.
    Not a bad idea, but since applying the finish is the last task, you can wrap a blank over and over till you get it perfect.
    No reason why a first rod can't be a very nice first.:)
     
  6. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    just don't forget to let your wife know she will not be seeing much of you once you get started.

    Ain't that the truth!!!!!!!!!

    I am very pleased with my first rod, but it took a lot of reading and thought.

    The one thing I would of liked to redo was the epoxy thread finish. Thread finish is initially tricky with no turning back. This is what I learned. Consider applying the epoxy with a spatula onto the thread and then smooth it quickly with a brush. Then gently run an alcohol flame below the thread (while the rod is spinning) but staying a good inch away and mildly heat the epoxy. Have the rod spinning for this and keep the alcohol lamp always moving. That will make any bubbles pop and to help the epoxy spread a little. Then let it alone and spin for 6 hours at low rpm.

    Lastly, to finish the rod properly will take several weeks. It is best to do several coats of epoxy and wait a couple days between coats. Then wait a week before fishing.

    Have fun. This is a great hobby and you will learn a lot about rods. You will hesitate to purchase another rod off a rack.

    Why am I writing this at 3:30 AM? Simple, I put a third coat of epoxy on my rod tonight and I am planning my next spinning rod!!:)
     
  7. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    I like to put a coat of finish on after each layer of thread. It may take a little longer but I feel it produces a better product and ensures that I get complete peneration of the finish.



    Not a bad idea, but since applying the finish is the last task, you can wrap a blank over and over till you get it perfect.
    No reason why a first rod can't be a very nice first.:)
     
  8. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

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    As far as getting advice on rod building components, you can call mudhole and they will tell you which items that sell the most and which items that they like.

    They are pretty straight about getting you the right info and they will take the time to talk about a particular rod build that you're working on, (i.e. they will help with the guide size selection, # of guides, etc.).
     
  9. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    i have been interested in this as well for a couple years. its about time to build a workbench in the garage set up for this. :) I have an old sewing machine I can yank the motor and power pedal out of :) guess I need some good poly- rollers to make the mounts with, and start ordering some DVD's. :)

    I have alot of old bass rods i can yank the stuff off of, and play with before I take on the big boys(super seekers) :)
     
  10. gmack

    gmack Senior Member

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    On everyone's advice I bought Doc Ski's video. Really informative. I also was able to get a Flex Coat hand wrapper and motorized dryer from a rod shop in Florida that had them to teach classes. He shipped both to me for $80. The wrapper is new, but the dryer is used. Unfortunatley a move is in the near future for me. I'm not going to get cranked up on building a couple of rods until we get moved.

    Gary
     
  11. Capt Richie

    Capt Richie Site Sponsor

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    Gray feel free to aks questions if I can help I will...........