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Bass Junke

I want to build a custom rod

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Like many others on this forum I have been thinking alot about building my own rods. It is not about saving money, it is about building rods the way I want them. The creative aspect is also a big draw for me. The general consensus is don't spend a lot of money on equipment, just try to build the first one on a box. Below is a photo of my creation. You guys think I can build a usable rod with this poor man's Macgyver rod wrapper? Anything you see that might be a potential pitfall? I do not have a dryer so I believe I will be doing the tedious job of turning my rod for a couple of hours by hand but I will be prepared for that, I hope. I have a couple of mousetraps modified to hold a spool and create tension, that whole piece rides on those wires allowing me to slide it back and forth. I think it will work.  

DSC_0438.JPG

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It will work, my first rod was built with a V'd cardboard box and a dictionary as a tensioner while the thread set in one of grandad's shot glasses. Dried the finish by setting in an all wood rocking chair, setting the rod across the arms and rotating 180 every minute or so for the first hour, extending rollover as finish set.

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Thank you Spencer. Okay, first rod spinning setup for mainly drop shot. Looking to buy something inexpensive. Are the CRB color series any good model IS701ML? Are the get bit slates better model GBC 6'10" m? Both are about the same price. Will I be happy or should I spend a little more for a MHX DS822-blend? Is 74$ to much for a first build?

 

 

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There is no set price on a first rod, so do what you want. the only reason many of us caution first time builders about spending major money on a first build blank is that we screwed our first builds up and better to screw up on a cheaper blank.  But I've seen some very nice first builds, just not mine.

 

I think that the book may be a better tension device.  Regular thread may be damaged by the trap, and I think it very likely that metallic thread will have the metallic peeled off.  But if it works, fine.  If you start seeing thread that looks scuffed, or encounter breaks, try the book.  Thread does not normally look scuffed and it doesn't normally break.  A book will allow you to modulate the tension too.

 

I built my first outfit from wood, and built on it for many years.  I finally replaced it with what amounts to a power wrapper without a motor, and I really like it.  A lot of stuff is a lot easier with it, like doing the last few tip guides and tip trim.  i don't think i'm steady enough to keep up with a power wrapper.

 

Good luck with your building!  I'm so glad I got into it, about 60 years ago.

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Thank you Mick. I have already discovered there is a lot of friction on the wood of the mousetrap and the spring itself. I have an idea how to fix that but at the same time I will keep the book method in my head in the event the mousetraps fail. That is just regular sewing thread on there I borrowed from my wife for the photo, I haven't bought any supplies yet. I figure the only tools I will buy now are the thread tool combo pack and the tape dispenser from Mud Hole. Do I need a reamer right away? Do I need anything else? 

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You say you've bought nothing, right?  You can buy a kit and have everything you need, or the parts and tools separately.  I would only buy a couple spools of thread until you know you'll be staying in the hobby.  

 

Mudhole has kits which include all the necessary tools and materials, which can be a good idea to start with decent stuff and yet not spend a fortune.

 

And there are just the rod blank and components kits.

 

 

And you can buy it all separately.

 

A reamer is a very valuable tool that greatly simplifies opening the diameters of cork and EVA components to the right diameter for the components, but they are a little pricey and I can't think of another use for them if you don't continue building.  One common mistake is to not make the hole in cork large enough, the cork gets stretched, and it breaks.  You want the bore to be a fit that does not stress the cork when the blank is slid into it.  I use paste epoxy.

 

I would buy a book, Mudhole lists some.  

 

What else?  Sharp razor blades or exacto knives, masking tape, stirring tools for epoxy, small good quality (no shedding of bristles) brushes, epoxy cleaner (to clean brushes), denatured alcohol for clean up of uncured epoxy,  syringes to make exact proportions of wrap and other liquid epoxy, etc.

 

What I forgot you'll find in the book.  Lots of good videos on U tube and at suppliers like Flex Coat, Mudhole, Getbitoutdoors (they have kits, too).

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Any good shop can make a kit, that's just putting the components together with the blank, the downside is you usually get the wrong reel seat, and a guide set that comes on a display card like the lures have, and half the guides will be the wrong size.

An inexpensive, but nice technique specific blank would be the Rainshadow SB822.5 dropshot blank, I've never seen them over $50.

 

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Props to you my dude. It took me 6 hours to put together an entertainment center... WITH INSTRUCTIONS. I hope your rod build goes well, cant wait to see finished pictures! Tight Lines & Successful rod builds!!

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11 hours ago, spoonplugger1 said:

Any good shop can make a kit, that's just putting the components together with the blank, the downside is you usually get the wrong reel seat, and a guide set that comes on a display card like the lures have, and half the guides will be the wrong size.

An inexpensive, but nice technique specific blank would be the Rainshadow SB822.5 dropshot blank, I've never seen them over $50.

 

On the get bit website under Rainshadow I never hit more, Wow! they have a lot of blanks for sale, I like your suggestion Spencer, I think that is going to be the first blank I build on.

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18 hours ago, MickD said:

You say you've bought nothing, right?  You can buy a kit and have everything you need, or the parts and tools separately.  I would only buy a couple spools of thread until you know you'll be staying in the hobby.  

 

Mudhole has kits which include all the necessary tools and materials, which can be a good idea to start with decent stuff and yet not spend a fortune.

 

And there are just the rod blank and components kits.

 

 

And you can buy it all separately.

 

A reamer is a very valuable tool that greatly simplifies opening the diameters of cork and EVA components to the right diameter for the components, but they are a little pricey and I can't think of another use for them if you don't continue building.  One common mistake is to not make the hole in cork large enough, the cork gets stretched, and it breaks.  You want the bore to be a fit that does not stress the cork when the blank is slid into it.  I use paste epoxy.

 

I would buy a book, Mudhole lists some.  

 

What else?  Sharp razor blades or exacto knives, masking tape, stirring tools for epoxy, small good quality (no shedding of bristles) brushes, epoxy cleaner (to clean brushes), denatured alcohol for clean up of uncured epoxy,  syringes to make exact proportions of wrap and other liquid epoxy, etc.

 

What I forgot you'll find in the book.  Lots of good videos on U tube and at suppliers like Flex Coat, Mudhole, Getbitoutdoors (they have kits, too).

Thanks Mick we are on the same page. Man I love this website. I am going to order a book, probably 3 spools of thread black orange and maybe a metallic just to play. I have bought nothing yet. My new plan is still to buy bare minimum build the rod, wrap the guides and then decide if I want to do this and if the answer is yes(pretty sure it will be), I think I will order the dryer so I don't have to turn my rod for 2 hours, It would probably come out better if it was turning constantly. 

Funny how my luck is, I am on vacation next week and next Saturday and Sunday Mudhole has a rod building class 20 minutes from my house. Tempting. 200$ and it is all weekend, at the end you have a new rod you built but no supplies or tools. I have already watched many videos on this and tons of research. I feel pretty confident I can do this with current tools at hand (and a book). Not to mention great advise from everyone here.

I will be ordering the correct supplies I need no skimping here. Thanks Mick for some of the stuff I forgot. 

2 quick questions. My wife said she would divorce me if I got another hobby. Is this considered another hobby or does this fall into the fishing category? If I build her a nice rod(maybe a nice hot pink one), will she be happier about my new hobby? Thanks everyone.

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Call Kevin at Get Bit he'll get you started on the right foot. A lot of unseen pitfalls and unneeded expense for the new builder at some of the bigger, more visible suppliers.

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And before you shell out for that class, read the post below on spine. The first thing the class teaches you is how to find the blank's spine. You can see that a lot of places online as well as most other things you need to know. $200.00 goes a long way toward things you will really need. Watch the Flexcoat videos they are excellent.

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Having a dryer doesn't improve the quality of your finish job, that's done by you when you apply it, but it is more convenient. I've built rods while underway on a ship and have them turn out well. Spend the money for nice to haves after your sure you're addicted like the majority of us.

Set the rod back in the box, whatever, and watch a movie, read a book, whatever and just give it a 180 turn at an interval that doesn't allow the finish to droop excessively. The finish is self leveling and will return to the right level on it's own if you let it. If you think you have to much finish on a wrap, you can dry the brush, or other applicator and remove some, or just let it set a while in one spot till you see a droop form on the bottom of the wrap and remove the droop, than start rod rotations, none of this is rocket science, it's much more oriented toward attention to detail, fit, and finish like woodworking and other endeavors.

Your excess finish will tell you when to stop rotating and when you can rotate the rod less often without drooping.

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12 hours ago, Lyman X said:

And before you shell out for that class, read the post below on spine. The first thing the class teaches you is how to find the blank's spine. You can see that a lot of places online as well as most other things you need to know. $200.00 goes a long way toward things you will really need. Watch the Flexcoat videos they are excellent.

Exactly. 200$ and no tools or supplies to show for it. Plus it is all weekend, I want to get out on the water. Maybe if it was in February. 

 

On 5/10/2019 at 1:51 AM, Zallordian said:

Props to you my dude. It took me 6 hours to put together an entertainment center... WITH INSTRUCTIONS. I hope your rod build goes well, cant wait to see finished pictures! Tight Lines & Successful rod builds!!

Thanks Kurt, can't take all the credit. The mousetrap idea I saw on Pintrest. The rest I just winged it by watching guys building rods.  

2 hours ago, spoonplugger1 said:

Having a dryer doesn't improve the quality of your finish job, that's done by you when you apply it, but it is more convenient. I've built rods while underway on a ship and have them turn out well. Spend the money for nice to haves after your sure you're addicted like the majority of us.

Set the rod back in the box, whatever, and watch a movie, read a book, whatever and just give it a 180 turn at an interval that doesn't allow the finish to droop excessively. The finish is self leveling and will return to the right level on it's own if you let it. If you think you have to much finish on a wrap, you can dry the brush, or other applicator and remove some, or just let it set a while in one spot till you see a droop form on the bottom of the wrap and remove the droop, than start rod rotations, none of this is rocket science, it's much more oriented toward attention to detail, fit, and finish like woodworking and other endeavors.

Alright Spencer you convinced me, going to build this first one no frills. 

Thanks all, not sure when this is going to happen, but I will post my progress.

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Finding spine is fine, but not necessary.  Just build so that any visible bend in the blank is the least noticeable.  If no visible bend, and you like the spine idea, then that's the way to go.

 

Not all wrap epoxies are the same for curing time.  I suggest that until you get a "dryer"  (epoxy doesn't "dry," it is a chemical reaction, so it cures) you avoid Pro Coat as it takes a very long time to cure.  It's a fine finish, but you'll be turning your rod a lot longer than you want.  I would use flex coat lite at least at first.  Don't try to get a finished job with one coat since a second will cover any imperfections, which are likely on a first rod.  I still do two coats every time.

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Good stuff Mick. Yea most of vids say find the spine but most of the post I have been reading here say build on the straightest axis. Just like a pool cue roll it on the table and find the bend, mark it, and build so the curve is opposite where the line falls.(not sure how to say that).

I was going to buy that pro coat kit, glad you said that. 

I envisioned myself having to do two coats, basically planning on it. 

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40 minutes ago, Bass Junke said:

envisioned myself having to do two coats, basically planning on it. 

I didn't detail why two coats makes sense for a lot of us.  If you get a dust bump, or leave a thread nubbin on the pull thru, those can be carefully cut off with a sharp tool-the epoxy captures the imperfection making it rigid enough to cut it cleanly- and the next coat covers the tiny scar perfectly.  

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If you haven't bought your blank yet Get Bit is having a 30% off sale on Rainshadow blanks.

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Thanks for the info Alex. I have not pulled the trigger on a purchase yet. I did fill out the requisition and just awaiting for approval from the boss.

 

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