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> > Buy a Beater/Create a Custom - Fly Rod Question

FisherOfMenJanuary 7th, 2012, 8:07 pm

Posts: 115
I might have the chance to learn how to build a fly rod at a class and actually build a custom rod for about $85 - $100 dollars, the cost of the kit. The value of the rod is supposed to be around the $150-$200 range. I plan on just putting a cheap reel on it for now, as my budget is tight. On the other hand, I can purchase a rod/reel setup for $50 or so to hold me through this year until I graduate and ship out to Ft. Benning, at which point my fly fishing will be done for the year :( I guess the real question is, is it worth it right now to spend the extra and make the better rod, or just get a beater rod for this year?

I probably already know the answer, as the custom rod will last longer and serve better, as well as be a novelty item because it's custom and I'll be building it myself. Or are rod kits not as good as they are cracked up to be? Any advice would be helpful. Either way I need to replace my current setup eventually. It's a baseball bat 6/7# I got for $25 bucks, plastic reel and everything. I'm pretty sure the fly line is too light for the rod, maybe a 4# or 5#, too.

Any advice would be great, especially any experience with kit fly rods.
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
GldstrmSamJanuary 7th, 2012, 9:35 pm
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
It depends on if you ever plan to pick up fly fishing again after this year. The beater rod should last you this year and probably longer. The thing with the both of the rods are that you will be forfeiting higher quality ( good flex with sturdy build and other things) you also will not get much money if you ever want to sell one of them.

Another thing with that rod/reel is it is most likely a kit product(reel, rod, tackle) so you will have to make sure it is the right size for the fish you are wanting to specialize in catching and the flies that you want to use. 1 wight for very small light flies and 2 weight for slightly larger heavier flies and so on. If it is a kit you will have to make sure that it comes with the line that you want.
Choosing line can sometimes really get confusing so your best bet would be to tell us what kind of fishing you are interested in(nymph, dry, wet), or ask a knowledgeable employee at your local sporting goods store.

Good luck,

There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
DoublespeyJanuary 10th, 2012, 7:33 pm
Posts: 61I take a different approach than the cost of the rod, and the rod maker. There are a lot of decent rods on the market today that don't cost that much, and some have good guarantees. My deal is the ACTION of the rod. I could have a $300 dollar blank from a top rod maker, and it could be stiff, and a fast action rod, or maybe it is slow, and way too much flex for the rod I want. Many of my all around rods are med/fast action rods. Some are quite cheap, and I like them, like to fish with them. They can throw a lot of line with a tight loop if I want, and also have enough flex to cushion a lighter tippet..and a light tippet to me is 5x. I also have some very expensive rods, but will pick up a lesser expensive one, and fish it with as much confidence because of the action of the rod.
StrmanglrJanuary 11th, 2012, 12:31 pm
Posts: 156
I've built several rods. My experience has been if it is a complete kit, more than likely it is not a great rod or even a decent rod. Part of the fun of building rods is that you get to customize what you make to what you like. Kits obviously don't offer that. When I made my spinning rod for example I did a green blank, black and gold thread and a reel seat with gold. I put my initial in the thread wrap over the grip. I picked out the guides and custom sized the cork handle. It was a 5ft one piece, american tackle blank that is a light not ultra-light action. It cost me about $95.00. Way more than I would have spent on a rod. There are some incredible parts that can make the rod yours and make it extremely expensive. I found fly guides that were iridescent that ran about 15-20 bucks a piece. . . reel seats that were $30-50. I figure when I build my next fly pole it will run me about $300. You wanna know the real sucky thing about building your own rod? You put all that time into it and money and if it breaks you s.o.l.. Some companies will replace the blank, but all the time and money in everything else is a loss. I broke my 5ft spinning rod. I would say if you have the money and time build the rod. My suggestion would be to build a cheap one first. Your first one isn't going to be your best effort of course, if it's your first one. But it'll get your feet wet and you can find out if you like it. It's a fun hobby, and if you get good at it you can do custom rod building and sell them. Those are pricey rods to sell imo.

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