Thursday, 8 April 2010

Building a Fly Rod - Part 7 Finishing the Rod

Once all of the wrapping is complete it is time to string the rod and make sure everything is right before epoxying the wraps.
By pulling the rod gently into an arc you can confirm that the guides are exactly where they should be. Make sure that there are no flat spots in the line as it follows the rod's shape. Nothing is permanently fixed yet so the guides can still be moved or removed and re-wrapped if necessary. This is the time to pay attention to the details.
After I was finished with the fussy parts all that still needed doing was to sign the rod with length, line weight and of course the name of the new rod's owner.

To finish the rod the wraps are saturated with epoxy and turned very slowly until the epoxy cures into an even, permanent bond. I should note here that you can use a colour preservative solution on the thread wraps to keep the original colour intact after applying the epoxy. You can use no colour preservative and let the thread become translucent which is what some of the high end manufacturers do or you can use an NCP thread which holds its colour when saturated. It is all a matter of choice although some folks argue that a saturated thread with no colour preservative is stronger.

I used NCP thread to preserve the colour scheme and pop the whole thing into a double rod dryer so that I can do both sections of the rod at once.

A rod dryer uses ultra low RPM motors to rotate the rod while  the epoxy sets creating a smooth, uniform finish. This could be done by hand but it is such an important part of rod building that it should not be left to chance. The rod dryer is the only specialized tool I bought ready made. They are very easy to build if you are so inclined. Drop me a note and I'll send you pictures of how one goes together.

So now the rod is finished and the new owner is delighted with it. I had only cast it in my yard to test it since I wanted to deliver it before fishing season opened.



I  borrowed it last Saturday to try it on some open water and caught a couple of fish. I should have named the rod "Lucky".

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