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Been Looking A Lot Into Rod Building Lately... Got A Couple Of Questions

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How do you know what size winding checks to buy? Does it go by the diameter of the small or larger end? Is there a small or larger end? I'm thinking about doing a two piece reel seat and a split grip with no foregrip. That's five winding checks. Does it just go by the diameter of the rod at site of the winding check? Seems like it would be difficult to pinpoint the exact size?

If I wanted to do a kevlar wrap like on the Dobyn's Extreme or the Orochi, how would I go about that? It seems like it would be difficult to epoxy over it. Where is the best place to buy the material?

Is a small butane torch efficient for getting rid of air bubbles in epoxy?

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Diameter of the hole is the important bit!. Ideally you would have your blank and mock up where you want the handle and reel seat to be, then measure the blank at that point with a micrometer, then order the winding checks. A bit tedious, but the cheapest way. The other way is to see what size the butt is on the rod specs, then guess!. If you order from mudhole then you can call them, tell them where the grips are going and they'll measure up for you.

 

The kevlar wrap on those rods is part of the blank. You could probably mock it if you could find a transfer with the pattern on it, or maybe get the rod dipped with one of those things they put camo on guns with before you start the build.

 

If this is your first build though, I wouldn't spend too much time on the pretty stuff as you'll probably find the epoxying the most difficult part and you can easily spoil the effect of a fancy rod with bad epoxy. That's the most difficult part of the build for me.

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Also I wouldn't spend too much on high end components for your first build. You will make mistakes and your finish work will suck on your first couple builds. That sucks even more when you buy a high end blank and a bunch on bling.

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That's right, keep it very basic and simple in the beginning. Like with everything, there's a learning curve. Winding checks are sized by the diameter of the blank where they are to be installed. Some suppliers have a chart to help size components on their blanks and some will size them for you. There is a formula that will get you close but you still will want to order one above and blow to be safe. The most accurate of course is to get the blank, lay it out and measure.  

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Go to Mudhole and order a kit. I'm working on my first build now. I'm taking my time and trying different things. I hope to get it done by spring. The best way to layout your guides would be to tape them on, put the reel your going to use on and put the rod under stress the line should not touch the blank at all. Try Making a few casts with them taped on. There is know exact to where you want them, Thats why its custom.

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Static testing is about properly distributing the stress along the loaded blank. Don't worry too much about line touching the blank. As long as it doesn't dip below the blank or make sharp angles you're ok. Especially with low framed micros you'd use way too many guides to completely eliminate line touching a casting blank.

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Go to Mudhole and order a kit. I'm working on my first build now. I'm taking my time and trying different things. I hope to get it done by spring. The best way to layout your guides would be to tape them on, put the reel your going to use on and put the rod under stress the line should not touch the blank at all. Try Making a few casts with them taped on. There is know exact to where you want them, Thats why its custom.

Even easier than tape is to buy some of this

 

http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building/Misc-Supplies/Guide-Tubing

 

and slice into thin pieces and roll them down the blank like tiny rubber bands.  They hold the guides much better than tape and you can move them up and down the blank while testing.

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Also I wouldn't spend too much on high end components for your first build. You will make mistakes and your finish work will suck on your first couple builds. That sucks even more when you buy a high end blank and a bunch on bling.

 

X2

 

You are going to put things on upside down sideways crooked and other ways until you get some practice.  Buy a cheap kit from mudhole and practice before you spend a lot on components.  I have just started using high end components and I am on rod number 16.

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What about the tip top? Can you not just epoxy it in or do you have to use that other adhesive they use? I can't remember what its called. The one you heat up with the alcohol lamp.

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What about the tip top? Can you not just epoxy it in or do you have to use that other adhesive they use? I can't remember what its called. The one you heat up with the alcohol lamp.

 

 

I use both.  A tip top takes a lot of abuse and is usually the first thing that fails.

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Tip top adhesive is the better choice. It's durable and easier to remove should the need arise.

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Rod building is a great tool on both building your ultimate custom rod and saving costs. First check out videos and get basic rod building supplies. There is a plethora of info out there, just be careful. 

Here is our video series https://www.youtube.com/user/BatsonEnterprises

 

It will get you started. As you can see, not only the CEO but the President builds rods as well. 

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As the others have stated, start with a kit and go from their.  You will not save money building your own rods but you will enjoy it and have a better understanding of fishing rods in general and how they work.  Making custom rods with school colors, grand kids names etc is priceless - so i guess you would save money. :eyebrows:

 

Classes are also a good way to get started :http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building-101/Classes

 

I hope you enjoy it - it's a great hobby to pass the time in those -25 degree days :respect-059:

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Lots of great advice!  One thing I missed was an answer to your question about a torch for getting rid of bubbles.  It is very easy to overheat epoxy and damage both its physical properties (strength/elasticity/etc) and excessive heat can cause it to harden in ripples which are hard to fix.  I do not use heat after mixing the epoxy.  I put the bottles of epoxy in hot water for a minute or two until they feel warm, not hot.  Then mix the epoxy (http://www.flexcoat.com/learning-center/using-flex-coat-finish/measuring-and-mixing-flex-coat/).  Flex coat has a lot of other on-line instructions, too.  Many videos.

 

I then tap the container onto a table to help bubbles rise, then gently blow on the surface of the epoxy.  After a minute or so, there will be no bubbles.   After you apply it you may find a few, just gently blow on the epoxy to burst them.  Keep in mind that your work area must be very clean to prevent dust particles which will not burst and may be blown onto the epoxy if you are not careful.

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