Many first time rod builders are uneasy about selecting the components needed to build their own fishing rod. We take the guesswork but not the fun out of building your own custom fishing rod. Our rod building kits include all the parts needed plus great instructions to complete your rod.
The first step in fishing rod building is choosing the rod components that will suit your style of fishing and the species you're after. Here are a few things to consider when selecting fishing rod parts.
Handle style, material, and length will depend on the fishing rod blank you choose, the manner in which the rod is to be used as well as personal preference. Grips are typically made of cork or foam. Cork grips have a high performance look and feel unmatched by other materials. Foam grips will absorb more punishment than cork. They are perfect for rods being used in rod holders or rods with large butt diameters.
Cork grips usually have small inside diameters so they can be used on a variety of different blanks. Most cork grips will require enlarging the inside diameter to custom fit the blank. This can be done with a cork reamer or rat tail file.
Foam grips are made from EVA rubber. They are available with many different inside diameters requiring no enlarging. This really speeds up the installation process.
There are many styles of guides to choose from when building a custom rod. Couple that with five or six different ring materials and then throw in different color frames and you might just be asking yourself what guides should I put on my custom rod?
Keep it simple! First, pick a frame style. Double foot guides are chosen for extra strength. Single foot guides are chosen for light weight and performance.
Choose a ring material. Alconite and Hialoy are the most commonly used ring materials. Both provide a smooth, long lasting surface. Other ring materials such as silicon carbide provide premium performance and appearance at increased cost.
Consider using silicone carbide or titanium carbide ringed guides if you use abrasive lines (Spectra, Dacron) or if you're fishing for species that make long, fast runs. Wire guides are very lightweight but tend to wear more than ringed guides. Cosmetics are important to most custom rod builders. The guide frame color usually matches the reel seat hardware.
One of the most commonly asked questions about rod wrapping is, "What thread should I use?". Nylon thread is used in most fishing rod building applications. Size of the thread will depend on what type of rod you are building. Here are some guidelines when choosing a rod wrapping thread. Size A thread is used on freshwater spinning, casting and fly rods plus light saltwater rods. Size D thread is used on heavy freshwater, and saltwater spinning, casting and fly rods. Metallic thread is commonly used only as a trim wrap or accent wrap. Stay True and other NCP(No color preserver) type threads do not require the use of color preserver.
There are many high-quality one and two-part fishing rod wrapping finishes available to the custom fishing rod builder. Most rod builders use two-part rod finishes. Some use a high build formula which only requires one coat application while others choose a light formula that requires multiple thin coats.
Whether you choose high build or light formula, remember the most important part of using a two-part rod finish is mixing the finish correctly. Use the mixing syringes supplied with the rod finish to accurately measure equal parts of the resin and hardener. Rod finishes mixed incorrectly will never cure and remain tacky to the touch.
Improperly cured finish will cause you to apply another coat of finish or cut off the guide wraps and start over. One part rod finishes are chosen by rod builders for their ease of use and thin build-up. They are often used in fishing rod repair and rod renovation.
All fishing rod finishes are self-leveling and require turning while being applied and drying for best results. We recommend turning the rod with a drying motor. If a drying motor is unavailable, you must rotate the rod often and long enough to prevent the finish from sagging.
When choosing a glue to bond cork rings, reel seats, grips, butt caps etc., consider shrinkage, strength and dry time. Generally, the longer the dry time, the stronger the bond. Our 2 part epoxy glues exhibit minimal shrinkage and are very strong.
Consider purchasing a book or video on how to build fishing rods. These tools are full of helpful information that will improve your rod building experience.