Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > First custom build rod

Bish0pApril 2nd, 2018, 10:19 am
Bay Area, NorCal

Posts: 5
Rainshadow RX7, 9ft 5wt.

WbranchApril 2nd, 2018, 10:26 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
If that is your first build you did an excellent job. If you were interested in selling it how much would you want? You might want to PM me since this web site typically does not allow (at least not to my knowledge) buying and selling.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Bish0pApril 2nd, 2018, 10:52 am
Bay Area, NorCal

Posts: 5
Hello Wbranch.

Thanks for the compliment and interest in the rod. This is my first custom built fishing rod and it holds sentimental value. My apologies but it's not for sale.
WbranchApril 2nd, 2018, 1:28 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I was just curious as a former rod maker. I especially like the composite cork fore and aft rings. Those two wear the most. I have a bad habit of really squeezing the cork and after a few years I have flattened the cork.

If I might make a suggestion, on a rod this nice I would of used a nickel silver, or some kind of metal, winding check rather than a rubber one. After a few years the rubber dry rots and cracks and before long you have no winding check.

Maybe it is metal but it is hard to discern from the picture.

It is interesting that you only used a tipping wrap on the stripper guide. On a few of my custom rods I provided tipping wraps on the stripper and all the snakes. That is a pain in the butt and for many of my personal rods I only used a tipping wrap on the winding check, the stripper, and the ends of the male and female ferrules. If a client wanted it I charged $10 more per guide.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PartsmanApril 2nd, 2018, 6:00 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 420
Very nice, ive only built a few, but I appreciate the time and patience that goes into rod building. I'm partial to some of the new fiberglass offerings and really like steffen brothers blanks. That's the beauty of building your own. Hope you get many years of memories from yours.


StrmanglrApril 3rd, 2018, 5:24 am
Posts: 156
Nice build indeed. I've built a couple and now you are feeding that craving I've been having to do one again.

A more interesting question to me is how much money were the parts?

I broke my first build and last year I broke a store bought cheapy on a steelhead, so it makes me a little leary putting a large chunk of money into a rod.
WbranchApril 3rd, 2018, 6:26 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
When I was building custom rods I had a business license. It is relatively easy to get. So I was getting all my blanks and associated rod building components for at least 40% off list and as much as 50% off list. The cost of high end blanks like Sage, Winston, Orvis is nuts! You can buy a full up lesser rod for the price of a blank.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Bish0pApril 3rd, 2018, 9:08 am
Bay Area, NorCal

Posts: 5
@Wbranch, Since this was my first build I didn't want to invest too much money in it. You're correct I used a plastic winding check. I was worried about using a metal winding check, and if the blank flexed deep into the butt. Later I found a solution to this problem. I didn't like the look of the plastic winding check, so I made an epoxy ramp to cover the winding check and blend into into the handle.

I wasn't going to add any narrow trim bands, but I decided to try on the stripper guide. This was very challenging and I made more than half a dozen attempts. I was also afraid I'd nick the blank when I trimmed the thread.

The rod is by no means perfect. You can't see from the photo, but two or three guides toward the tip-top have the dreaded "football" epoxy. Applying epoxy to get an even finish gave me the most difficulty.

On my future builds I'll have the confidence and experience to use more expensive components. The rod casts and fishes like a dream. I'm pretty happy with it. I also want to get into fly tying, however my eyes are starting to go.

@Strmanglr, I tend to buy blanks and components when they're on sale. The total cost for the rod was under $150. I have several blanks, cork, and thread for future builds for family and friends.
WbranchApril 3rd, 2018, 9:33 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

You're correct I used a plastic winding check.

Plastic may have far more longevity than rubber does. Early on, or if a client didn't want a metal winding check I used rubber. Invariably they dry rotted, cracked, and fell off. Then I just removed the wrap adjacent to the winding check and added a new longer wrap from the end of the cork up about 1/2".

The trim bands are the devil to apply! I used to buy a box of 100 single edge razor blades. Then after tying off the primary guide wrap, or the trim band, just leave the tag end about 4" long. Hold it very tight with one hand and just place the new razor blade against it and it will cut clean at the base of the thread. On the few occasions where it doesn't cut off flush you can apply a little head cement to the end and when it dries stiff you can just lay the razor blade parallel to the wrap and slide it to the fuzzy end and cut it off.

The "football" epoxy wraps often happen because either you applied too much epoxy or you are not rotating the blank often enough so the epoxy doesn't "pool" in one place too long and dry. You can buy a rod drying motor for probably around $25. It rotates very slowly. I have one that has two speeds, one at 8 rpm to apply the epoxy and the other speed at 2 rpm to allow it to dry without pooling.

Here is a link to a really cheap Pacific Bay two speed motor. It is just $14.00 but you would have to mount it on a base figure out a chuck to mount the end of the reel seat in. I found a little plastic cup and filled it with foam rubber with a "X" cut into it with a razor blade. The I could put in large or small diameter butts, mid, and tip sections to dry or of course the whole rod. But if you want to dry the whole assembled rod you need to construct a "V" support that you can place a few feet away from the motor.

I was able to use a machine shop to make my motor mount and support. I had the luxury of running a huge machine shop and after business hours I would use the machines. I have a Sully wrapping and drying motor and support and would be willing to sell it to you for a reasonable price and the cost of a box and postage.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
StrmanglrApril 3rd, 2018, 11:14 am
Posts: 156
That's not bad, less than $150. Just the reel seat looks to be about $20-$30. My last rod build ran me about $85. Basic materials.

Wbranch, did you just have a dba that was fishing related, would it matter? I used to have a dba but was not fishing related. I can't remember what it cost me, but it wasn't much.

How do you go about using a business license to get the discounts? I haven't worked w a bunch of retailers for that kind of stuff. Jann's Netcraft mostly.

WbranchApril 3rd, 2018, 12:38 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

First off what is a dba? Have never heard of it.

How do you go about using a business license to get the discounts? I haven't worked w a bunch of retailers for that kind of stuff.

You need to first call the vendor and ask them what requirements they want clients to present to get a builders discount. I provided the license # I got when I registered my business with the state of Pennsylvania. Sometimes they will accept a letterhead but not always because today anybody can dupe up one on their PC.

If you want to have a real custom rod business and have a business name you should get a lawyer to do a search for the name you have chosen. Obviously you wouldn't want to have the same name as another in your home state.

I started my business about twenty years ago and at that time the lawyer didn't cost a ton of money. Less than $500. They do more stuff than just find out if your name is not being used by someone else. They put a notice in the local newspaper indicating the name and purpose of my business. I have no idea why it was required and didn't ask.

In PA there is a 6% sales tax. When you buy stuff from vendors they typically don't charge any sales tax. It is up to the builder to keep good records of all his invoices and to calculate the tax owed. In PA it is called "Use Tax". I was supposed to file quarterly with the state and Federal. It was a nuisance because I was still working full time. I made some serious money building rods but eventually put the business on pretty much permanent hiatus. My business name and license though still belong to me and I could re-start if I felt so inclined.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
StrmanglrApril 4th, 2018, 6:17 am
Posts: 156

Doing Business As

Jmd123April 4th, 2018, 6:26 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Gotta have an acronym for everything these days...reminds me of the Army!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Personal Best Largemouth
In the Photography Board by Summer_doug
7Mar 18, 2020
by Summer_doug
Re: Scott Radian?
In Gear Talk by Hotfish
4Mar 7, 2014
by Hotfish
Re: fall colors
In Fishing Reports by Partsman
8Oct 5, 2020
by Wbranch
Re: sedge larva
In Rhyacophila fuscula Caddisfly Larva by HELENE
4Aug 9, 2012
by Sayfu
Re: Any rod builders out there?
In Gear Talk by Bellsporter
4Dec 21, 2012
by Roguerat
Re: A substitute for Flash-back?
In General Discussion by GldstrmSam
6Feb 27, 2012
by Entoman
Re: beginner wading the ausable near Cadillac
In Beginner Help by Leakinwader
3Oct 14, 2015
by Dkinva
Re: Realism or Impressionism?
In Fly Tying by Summer_doug
20Feb 15, 2018
by Jmd123
Re: 11 Sage 2014 Fly Reel Preview - Evoke, 2200, 3200
In Gear Talk by Tridentfly
1Jun 24, 2013
by Sayfu
Re: Thunder Creek flies
In Fly Tying by Dbinmt
13Jun 12, 2020
by Tomlove007
Most Recent Posts
Re: Rod and reel suggestion?
In Gear Talk by 87North (Erallommakr replied)