Getting the hang of things

Discussion in 'Rod building & repair' started by Carterantebi, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Carterantebi

    Carterantebi Captain of the Cays
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    Well, I finally decided to start building a rod thinking it would be easy, despite not having all the fancy tools to help. It's a Calstar 90j blank that I've had for a little bit and yesterday I got all the materials I need and began wrapping a little this morning, then rewrapping, then having that unravel... long story short I've rewrapped this one guide trying to get it right enough times to have completed 2 more rods if I knew what I was doing. I finally got it to look right, I got my epoxy ready, I brushed it on and started spinning the rod by hand. The wraps came undone just slightly in some spots and now it looks pretty messy. Fast forward to a half hour later, I'm still spinning the rod with my right hand while Googling how long this epoxy will take to cure with my left. I'm currently about 2.5 hours into this curing process and wondering what I do about the sloppy looking job I just did. Anyone got any tips and pointers as to what I should do to make this rod look better than it does? I feel a dryer would have helped tremendously and would be much more effective and consistent than me rolling it in my hand. Here's my progress so far: IMG_1172.JPG
     
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  2. swings are free

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    Sounds alot like my first experience fixing guides. Ya got to get something to spin it overnight. I'm made one for 20 bucks from a fisher price electric molding clay wheel , but it was so loud I had to drop some coin on a real one. Most likely someone with far more experience than I will chime in. The whole process has been an enjoyable learning curve for me.
     
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  3. C0MRAD

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    Find an old rod and practice wrapping and finishing. Your threads should not come loose, you probably just need to work on locking the ends so they don't unravel. What are you using to hold the rod while you wrap?

    As for a drying motor I remember I got creative at first and used a drill with a zip-tie to hold the trigger. It wasn't pretty but it did the trick.
     
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  4. Carterantebi

    Carterantebi Captain of the Cays
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    Right now I literally don't have any sort of machinery or anything to hold the rod for me, keep tension on the threads, dry the epoxy, etc. I've got the butt of the rod propped up on a seat cushion and I'm rolling the rod back and forth.
     
  5. C0MRAD

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    Buy this: eZ Rod Builder Hand Wrapper | mudhole.com
    For only $10 you have a hand wrapper that will get the job done. Combine that with a corded drill as makeshift drying motor and you have everything you need to get professional results.
     
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  6. Carterantebi

    Carterantebi Captain of the Cays
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    Well good news, my wraps are looking much cleaner, but I've ran into another problem... Is there any sort of algebraic formula for spacing the guides? I've got all 11 wrapped on and I've just kinda been doing it by eye while looking at other setups I own as a reference and it looks pretty good. I'd just hate to epoxy everything down and then hook into a good sized fish and have line rubbing against the rod. Anyone have a formula or measurements for a 90j? Here's a better looking wrap that looks tremendously better than the first guide I did, still not perfect though. image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  7. C0MRAD

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    Looking good.

    On most casting rods the line will touch the blank at some point when fully loaded. You can add more guides towards the tip and make sure you don't "high stick" to try and avoid this. The only real fix is to do a spiral wrap. Guide spacing, sizing and choosing the number of guides you use is largely personal preference and there are many charts available to steer you in the right direction: www.mudhole.com/assets/images/content/CRB-Guide-Spacing-Chart.PDF
     
  8. FishingwithPiscifun

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    I would guess that maybe you didn't make enough turns over the start tag end or the pull through, enough tension, or a combo of both.
    I would argue you don't need a rod dryer. You don't really have to turn the thing constantly the whole time. Maybe the first 40 minutes or so, then you can just start rotating 90 degrees in increasing intervals. How long depends on what finish you're using (didn't catch that), but I use prokote which has a pretty long cure/dry time and still don't own a dryer (I need one though at this point).
    To do everything over, you can cut it off and redo it. Make multiple shallow cuts so you don't cut into the blank. The finish will sort if peel off.
    I made my first rod without anything fancy at all. Cut up cardboard box as a wrapping station, fly tying bobbins as thread holders/tension, etc. I remember I went through nearly 200 yards of thread, cutting it off and redoing wraps SO many times till I was happy with it.
    The tag ends of thread you have sticking up in the finish aren't a big deal. Once the first coat of finish dries you can shave those down with a razor blade. I have an easier time doing multiple thin coats. First coat you're barely doing more than wetting the threads. The multiple coats help you fix something (like those tags, a bubble, cat hair, etc) in between without having to start completely over. It helps control footballing as well.
    To me, it still doesn't look like you have enough tension on those redone wraps. Make sure to burnish them and get those gaps out too.
    Google "rod building guide spacing calculator", there's a few out there where you can enter the blank length and number of guides and it will give you spacing measurements. Do a deflection test before final assembly.
    -Jason
     
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  9. Larry M

    Larry M Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this will help, it's how I do it.
    To turn your rod see if you can find an old BBQ rotisserie turner and attach it to the rod, set it to slow. It works well for me while letting it dry.
    Here's some pictures to help you.
    The picture with 4 pictures is how I start the wrap. Just use it as an example.

    As for the guide setting I mark where the old guides are on a piece of cardboard. If I don't have guides I just tape them on and run line through the guides to see if I like it.
    Other people here know how to do it better but for amateurs like us it's Ok.

    Bottom picture of my wrap.

    Footnote, if you make the tag end of the thread shorter than where the loop will exit you won't have to use the lighter because the end will be under the wraps.

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    #9 Larry M, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  10. GutHooKeD

    GutHooKeD The Cashmere Panda, AKA the Bamboo Boss...
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    Make yourself a wrapping jig and order a rod dryer. I got mine on mudhole it was like 40 bucks. I use flex coat, which takes about 6 hours to set up enough to take off the dryer. Turning it by hand would literally be like watching paint dry. I think your wraps were too loose, and semi came apartments from the brush strokes? Have some tension on the threads when your wrapping and pack the threads as ypu turn the rod, get them on nice and tight, no gaps. Have some downward pressure o the rod while ypir wrapping it too. I have some hair ties I stole from my wife, they go over top of the rod and connect to 2 little hooks on my wrapping jig. I run the thread under a few heavy books to keep thread tension, see pic... Who needs a fancy *** lathe?

    20170728_141623.jpg
     
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  11. Larry M

    Larry M Well-Known Member

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    One of those round clamp on the table magnifying lens with the built in light helps me to see better.
    Good points from the Cashmere Panda.
     
  12. GutHooKeD

    GutHooKeD The Cashmere Panda, AKA the Bamboo Boss...
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    You can rig up a simple wrapping jig pretty easy. I used some old wood shelf supports and screwed them into pieces of wood cut to size, and it clamps right to my work bench. I made 3 of them, but 2 would work. I can move the individual supports around and reclamp them to adjust for guides and threadwork I don't want going over the rollers. The rollers I got from home depot, they are for the bottom of glass shower doors. I think woth just a simple jig and some tension you will improve dramatically. Keep at it Carter, its a great hobby

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  13. Larry M

    Larry M Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, I like it.
     
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  14. GutHooKeD

    GutHooKeD The Cashmere Panda, AKA the Bamboo Boss...
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    Carterantebi I have to ask a few questions and maybe save you a bunch of headaches...
    1. Did you find the spine on the rod first? Every rod has a spine, like a sweet spot, the backbone of the rod. You want to base your guides off the spine. You can find videos of how to do this, but you basically roll the blank in your hands with the butt on the floor under pressure. Put a ring of tape on your rod and mark the spine with a pen.

    2. What kind of handle do you want? If you want a reel seat and grips, you need to glue those up before you wrap the guides, you have to slide them down from the tip. You would want to align the reel seat with the spine, and sight the guides from the reel seat. If you are putting deckhand style grips you can wrap the guides first.

    3. Did you just wrap the tip and first guide and epoxy them? You want all the guides wrapped before you epoxy, so you can line them up straight while looking down the length of the rod from the butt. I always wrap the stripper guide first, and line them up as i wrap my way up to the tip, way easier to line the guides up straight that way.

    Guides spacing... I think you can find specs for a 90J online. When it comes to guide spacing in general, you want to look at how close the line comes to the blank, in between any 2 guides, while the rod is bent under preasure. If the line is touching or close to the blank, you need to move those 2 guides closer together. You can fine tune your own measurements from there. Start at the tip and work down. Guides are always closer together at the tip, but the action and power of the rod make the guide spacing different. Light rods have more guides towards the tip and in general, heavy rods less guides. Guides can be further apart towards the butt since there is minimal bend there, but each rod is different. The spacing as you work from the tip down should be the same, or slightly greater then the spacing on the previous 2 guides.

    I hope that helps, PM me if you have more questions dude. I got a ton of help from ED3, I'm happy to pay it forward. It gets easier pretty quick
     
    #14 GutHooKeD, Aug 13, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  15. Carterantebi

    Carterantebi Captain of the Cays
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    So here's the sequence of events so far:
    Alright, so the first thing I did when I brought the blank home was find the spine. It wasn't super distinct on this blank but I think I found the best spot. I've already got a cork grip on it and the butt cap is on. I did shrink tubing on both ends and I'm putting tuna cord over the top end. I double checked the spine and put the tip top on and began doing some very sad looking wraps that I've redone what feels like hundreds of times. I also got excited and did the epoxy on those first few wraps which I have since introduced to a razor and redone with a much cleaner looking job. I've rewrapped all of the guides and they look way better. Looking back, I should have brought the Saltist I plan on mounting on it with me to AZ as that would be the smart thing to do, yet knowing me, that's not what happened so some old mono I found on the floor in my garage had to suffice. Tonight I gave up on trying to come up with a formula or something and just put a bend in the rod to see how it holds the line, moved some guides around a bit, and now I'm waiting on the thin coat of epoxy on all of the guides to cure. I was careful not to gob on the epoxy this time so that I don't have to sit and spin the rod around for a few hours while worrying about gravity taking its course on the stuff. Here's one of the first guides I put epoxy on today that's now cured and it looks much, much better than my previous attempts. This thing might actually turn out cool! image.jpeg
     
  16. Larry M

    Larry M Well-Known Member

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    Looking good, it should hold the guide nicely.
    One suggestion, the thread under wraps away from the guide could be made a little shorter for a clearner look, and it will still hold okay.
    Very nicely done, soon you'll be doing the fancy wraps, it's an addiction once you finish your frist one.
    Google some of the old school rod wrapping, late 60's, early 70's. They would have multiple spools of threads set up and weave the fisherman's name, fish, or design on the rod, probably a lost art now.
    Here's a couple of pictures of the thread setup and hand wrapped rods using that method.
    If I ever make a fancy wrapped rod I'll do it the modern way. LOL
    Again you did a very nice job.

    20170813_081248-1.jpg

    20170813_081346-1.jpg
     
  17. GutHooKeD

    GutHooKeD The Cashmere Panda, AKA the Bamboo Boss...
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    Way cleaner dude! Probably a little late, but I would have suggested to save that nice 90j, and go buy a cheap, shorter blank to practice on, or rewrap an old rod. Step to the 90j when your more confident and comfortable, that's a really nice blank for you first go at it, plus longer rods can be more difficult to wrap because of the length. Go to squidco and grab a cheap blank, maybe like a 7 foot Varmac or one out of their bargain bin. Practice on the 30 dollar blank vs the 90j. Just my 2 cents
     
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  18. Carterantebi

    Carterantebi Captain of the Cays
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    In hindsight, that probably would have been the smart thing to do, but I did get plenty of practice on this build and I feel much more prepared now for my next rod. I might attempt to do something cool above the grip, not sure what yet. This stuff gets addicting!
     
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  19. Larry M

    Larry M Well-Known Member

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    I find good rods at thrift stores to rebuild at times. El.Cheapo that's me. LOL
     
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  20. Tadyhawk

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    I hope you spined that 90j backwards lol
     
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