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Rod Building Kits

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by CDL, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. CDL

    CDL

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    Has anyone ever tried the rod building kits that are out there? I've never built one before and it seems like a good place to start.
     
  2. Cutt Em Jack builds beautiful rods. I hope he chimes in on this one.
     

  3. Cutt'em Jack

    Cutt'em Jack Musky Madman

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    Cdl,
    The rod building kits are the way to go if you are only planning on building one or two rods. However, if you've never built one before I would suggest buying a cheap blank from a supplier like mudhole ( http://www.mudhole.com/ ) and start there. I would of hated to spend 100 bucks on a kit and end up ruining it for your first one. You can get cheap blanks there for under 20 bucks. You'll also need cork rings, reamer, epoxy, guides and thread. I would recommend calling mudhole, tell them that you want to build a rod to your specs and they'll set you up with what you need. They are very good. I've called them when I was starting out. Flexcoat also sells a video that is pretty basic, but explains everything you do to complete a rod. It doesn't get into decorative wraps or anything, but shows how you put a rod together. It is NOT as hard as it looks. I've built around 20 or so and really enjoy it. BEWARE though, it is really addicting, and can be as expensive as you want to make it. The nicest thing is you build it the way you want it. I'll help out any way I can. Just pm me for anything you have a question on, or post up for all to learn too.
     
  4. CDL,

    I've built a few rods myself and when I started I got the rod building kits from Janns. Kits are a great way to start because they come with everything that you need (minus a few tools) and they are the most cost-effective way to build a rod. The low end kits obviously don't come with the highest quality components but if you are looking to learn rod-building, they are a great way to start. Another advantage to purchasing kits is that they come with just the right amount of epoxy and thread sealer so you don't have to purchase whole bottles of it. When and if you decide to dive into rod building, then you can purchase the larger quanities that you'll need.

    There are ways to get around buying cork reamers, rod wrappers, and such but the right tools definitely make the job easier. I would recommend at least buying a cheap set of cork reamers. To me, they are the most important tool that you can't do without. It is extremely hard (at least for me) to ream out a handle evenly without using a cork reamer. It's not that difficult to wrap a rod by hand, it just takes a little longer. As far as a rod dryer, I haven't used one yet. I just slowly turn the rod by hand for several minutes after applying Perma Gloss to the wraps and that seems to work pretty well.

    Mud Hole has some vidoes on their website that you can watch for free. I think they're called "Rod Building 101". I would recommend downloading them to watch before you begin your build.

    Hope I was of some help.

    jeremy
     
  5. I was thinking about giving rodbuilding a go too! Has anyone ever tried to build icefishing rods?
     
  6. CDL

    CDL

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    Thanks for the help. I think for my first try I'm going to go with the Jann's kit because it's only $30. Are there any places in Columbus to buy components or will I have to do everything online? I'll probably start on it here in a couple weeks.

    I was looking online at rod blanks and it looks like I can spend however much I want on the blank itself. Besides the personal satisfaction, is there a financial benefit to building a rod? I always assumed there was, but now that I'm looking into it a little more, I'm not so sure.
     
  7. CDL,

    There can be a financial benefit to building rods. On higher end rods, you can probably save @ 30% over the retail cost of the same rod. However, if you buy the highest quality components in building, you can quickly run up quite a bill. You can easily spend over $100 just on guides!

    Another quick way to ruin your budget is to buy all of the tools (wrappers, driers, etc.). But, if you are going to be building lots of rods, these tools are essential.

    Jann's kits are a nice way to break into rod building. They have decent quality and they are an inexpensive way to start. As with lure making, rod building is addicting!

    jeremy
     
  8. CDL

    CDL

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    I don't plan on buy all the tools just yet. I'll prolly just rig something up to get the job done this time around. I can't imagine me mass producing rods anytime soon. I've got some scrap pieces of wood that I can make some simple stands with. Instead of keeping the rod constantly turning while drying, can I just turn it by hand several time while keeping a hair dryer or heat gun on it? Are there any places in Columbus that sell materials?
     
  9. Cutt'em Jack

    Cutt'em Jack Musky Madman

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    Cdl,
    Yes, you could just turn the rod by hand until the epoxy on the guides start to set. I use flexcoat and it takes about two hours to set before it won't sag. I don't have that much time. I bought a rod turner for that fact. If you are handy, mudhole sells the motor for a rod turner for about 10 bucks. You can then make a holder for the butt end out of pvc and bolts. They used to sell them on ebay also. I made up my own wrapping jig out of pine and cut notches on the ends to hold the rod. I used a piece of dowel rod to hold my thread and bought a thread tension device to keep my thread tight. I might have fifteen bucks into my wrapper and it works just fine. I'll post some pics of it if you want.
    A final note on the heat. With flexcoat, it makes the epoxy very thin. I always hit the guides with a lighter to release the bubbles and thin out the epoxy. Too much heat will have it dripping. Be careful with the heat, it'll also damage the rod blank if it gets too hot.
    I didn't realize jann's had 30 dollar kits. I'm always looking at the loomis and st. croix kits and they are 100 plus. I would start with a kit like bowhunter29 stated. You can't go wrong for that. It also looks like the kit comes with a foam grip. They are much easier to put on a rod than cork. Cork needs reamed. Eva foam can be stretched over the blank. Just lube up the blank real well and slide it on. I believe mudhole has a video on installing eva foam grips. Good luck!!
     
  10. CDL

    CDL

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    I've looked at the vids on Mudhole. They seem to be pretty detailed for someone just starting out. I would definitely like to see some pics of your equipment just to get some ideas for my own.
     
  11. Cutt'em Jack

    Cutt'em Jack Musky Madman

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    Here are the pics you requested. The first one is my thread wrapping jig that I made. You can see two spools of thread with the tension device in the middle. The thread goes from the spool to the tension device to a eyelet that I opened and up to the rod. I put three eyelets on my board approx 15 inches apart. I had to use three due to the rod guides that I put on either hitting the v notches or trigger on reel seat getting in the way. Here's a pic.

    [​IMG]

    If I was building a new one from scratch, I would shorten my board down to two notches and have a third one that I could move to adjust as you move towards the end of the rod. I've just been to lazy to cut mine yet to make a movable third section.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a full shot of it from one end. I just put felt cloth in the notches to protect the rod.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of a cork ring clamp that I made, some cork reamers and rod bond. I use the rod bond for gluing the cork rings and reel seat onto the rod. It is great stuff. It's a two part epoxy that has about a two hour shelf life. Once dry, it will not come apart! Here is how the cork ring clamp works. I just grabbed a rod and stuck it in there for pics. If you're using eva foam for a grip, you won't need the clamp. I also use the clamp for the reel seat. Once I put the epoxy on, I attach the clamp and snug it up to keep it from going anywhere if I happen to bump it.

    [​IMG]

    Be forewarned though, if you start you'll end up with a basement that looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    This is only part of my addiction! Good luck!!
     
  12. Vince and I saw Mark's (Cutt EM Jack) basement operation in May, very impressive, as is his work, and his collection of rods- Hope all is well and you are back on your feet Mark, and fishing again.pete
     
  13. CDL

    CDL

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    Thanks for the pics. I think I'll start building my stuff next week and then start on the rods the following week.

    That's an insane amount of rods. Do you actually use them all?
     
  14. CDL

    CDL

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    alright so I got my kit and motor in today. I got the replacement motor from Janns and I was just going to build my own stand. It's a 36 rpm 120V motor and I thought i could control the speed by wiring it up to a dimmer switch. When I did that, it only runs when I have the dimmer fully on. Any ideas on why this would happen or how to control the speed of this motor?
     
  15. Got bit by the saltwater bug when I lived in Houston a few years ago.

    Mudhole and Janns are good to deal with. I've also purchased from Anglers Workshop.

    My favorite blanks were/are made by Seeker. They're mostly saltwater, west-coast style actions, but they do have some freshwater casting/downrigger blanks in their catalog. They are nice looking, fairly-priced blanks and are tough as nails. Their website is www.seekerrods.com. I heard they make them on the original Sabre tooling that they purchased when they closed. Penn has since purchased the Sabre and Stoker name brands, but they are not the same as the original Sabres.

    Another 2 cents of advice. Stay away from Flex Coat for doing your wraps. Give LS2000 by U-40 Products a try. Longer working time and no bubbles in the wraps.
     
  16. I enjoyed that day very much. Spent some time with two very creative characters.

    Mark's rod's are beautiful, guys. He know his stuff.
     
  17. Toxic

    Toxic Defensor Fortis

    I am glad I found this thread. I have been wanting to start building rods for some time now. The mudholes.com site is an excellent site with some great DIY videos. Thanks.
     
  18. CDL

    CDL

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    I got started on my first rod tonight. The rear grip, butt cap, reel seat, and fore grip are all on and the look so-so to my untrained eye. There are some mine spots where I didn't get all the excess epoxy wiped off. My question is this, what's the best method to remove excess epoxy? I used regular paper towels but that left residue. Would shop towels work better? I'll hopefully be starting the guides tomorrow. I'll post how that goes tomorrow night.
     
  19. I agree that mudhole is a good supplier, janns is good too.... but I have to raise an argument against starting with a kit with a cheap blank. I've built a few rods, mabe twelve. My first was an inexpensive kit from cabellas. It isn't the pretyiest rod, but it is functional. Problem is I don't use it much becuase the blank sucks! I would have been much better served spending the extra money on a slightly better blank. The next rods I built were on less expensive st croix and loomis blanks. They look a bit better, function well, and are a pleasure to fish with. So, when I'm asked the what first kit to by question, I always say buy a kit with the blank quality you want. Why build somthing you won't use, or can get a better deal on in the superstore discount bin.
     
  20. CDL,

    Don't worry if everything isn't perfect on your first rod. My first was far from perfect but it's a rod that I will always value and I love to use it. It was a Jann's kit and I use that rod alot for bass fishing on the creeks around home. No, it's not a high end blank, but it works just fine. I learned more from building that first rod... The learning curve is pretty steep, you learn things on the first rod that will make the next few seem 10 times easier to build.

    To get the access epoxy off of the blank I use a small hand towel and DA. It seems to work pretty well.

    "Boss302" I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the rod blank from cabelas. While the blank I used to build my first rod isn't my favorite, it is very fishable and it does quite well. However, when I built my second rod, I bought a different blank from Jann's that was about $5 more, and it performs much better! I agree with you that some of the lowest end rod blanks are not the most fishable, but with just a small step up in price, you can find a big improvement in performance.

    jeremy