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AustinKrawdad

Need guidance for Rod Buiding

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Hello,

I love fishing tackle and frankly kind of obsessed (very similar to everyone on this forum 😁). I am looking into rod building, and I think I would enjoy it very much. However, I do not know where to begin. I do not understand the different blends of blanks and different quality of blanks. I understand the guides, the action of rods, the power of rods, reel seats, and pretty much everything else. I just don't how to tell the difference between quality blanks from blanks that are... well not very good. 

 

Also, any recommendations on where to begin with a rod dryer , the thing that rotates the rods for even coats. I've seen people make them and was wondering which way to go.

 

Thank you all! Very exciting time to be alive!

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There is a forum on here specifically for rod building I would start there.

 

Allen

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I wouldn't go far afield on my first rod, if you have a rod you like and they sell blanks, by all means select from there. If not let us know what you are looking for and we'll help as best we can.

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check the rod building forum on this site.also check youtube for ideas.there is a lot of info out there.good luck and enjoy.

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Regarding how to tell the quality of a blank.  Keep in mind that quality is a subjective term that may be defined in many ways.  What is "quality" for a downrigging rod won't be "quality" for a finesse rod.  Think of quality in terms of what you want the rod to do and how its characteristics fit that.  I'll talk general spin and cast blanks for the "normal" bass techniques and assume you are interested in the usual attributes like light weight, sensitivity, consistency from blank to blank, reliably meeting the description given for power, lure weights, and action, and reasonably durability and toughness.  Although many times when the first two attributes are met they come with a sacrifice of the last two.  High mod graphite rods can be fragile.  I should add that the last attribute most of us consider is reasonable cost for the "quality" delivered.

 

To elaborate a little, a great finesse rod will not be a great cranking rod.  A great cranking rod for little squarebills will not be a great rod for deep cranking.  A great flippin rod will not be a great drop shot rod.  No rod will perform at the great level if the lure weight is not matched fairly closely to its power. 

 

Blanks are blanks.  What are called spinning blanks can make great casting rods and vice versa.

 

First I would say that you get about what you pay for.

Stick with well-known, popular brands at least at first, until you get a feel for the different brands.

Keep in mind that after a certain price, like almost everything else, added dollars don't give as much of an improvement as they did lower in the price scale.  I think there is a sweet spot that starts at about $60-70 for most regular blanks and ends at about $100 depending on the length and characteristics.  Over that you're getting into the really high quality.  Whether that makes sense to you depends on you.  I have many rods made from the sweet spot range that are what I would call great rods for their intended uses.

 

What can make a great rod from a "sweet spot" blank is the quality of the workmanship and design (meaning all the components and their placement) that you provide.

 

What can make a mediochre rod from a great blank is the failure to provide the above.

 

Brands that provide a wide spectrum of blank "quality" are American Tackle, Rainshadow, Rodgeeks (where you get St Croix now, also), MHX and its derivatives from Mudhole.com, and I'm sure others will add their advice here.  There are more, but the above are probably the most popular right now.

 

I would not build my first rod on an expensive blank.  I did that and had to rebuild it later to fix it.  Some do better on than I did on their first, but I think it wise to stick to the sweet spot for at least a couple rods.  As I said, do it right and they can be great rods.

 

Buy one of the books on rodbuilding and search the web sites of the manufacturers for build instructions. Some are very good.  (Mudhole.com, Getbitoutdoors.com, the Flex Coat youtube videos, and probably many more)

 

Read this forum and others (rodbuilding.org for one) regularly to get a good sense of what blanks other builders respect. 

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What you’re asking comes only with experience, the most valuable quality in a builder. Mick has you on the right track. Start  by asking about a specific build and builders will offer their opinions. It’s still up to you to decide, document your results and learn. We’re a close knit bunch and readily assist one another for the most part so no shame in asking for advice but there are no shortcuts. 

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I appreciate the guidance! My quest is only beginning!!!! 

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As for rod dryers, I prefer one that runs on the slow side because I don't want the rod turning fast when applying epoxy to the wraps. Mud Hole offers an inexpensive, but more than capable one in two different speeds, you'll appreciate the chuck as it centers the rod.

https://www.mudhole.com/RDS-Rod-Dryer 

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Mick gave you a good beginning.  The thinner and lighter a rod blank is for the power the more sensitive it'll be and more expensive.  Handles, guides and wrapping are where you can customize to your heart's content.  I have a dryer I made from a bbq spit motor 40 or so years ago.  As said before, rodbuilders.org is full of great information as well as vendors that sell everything you'll need to get started or build a custom rod shop.

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