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Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Pat Helton (---.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 05:39PM

My son lives in Idaho and has gotten into fly fishing. I would like to build him and his wife a fly rod. I have never built a fly rod before. I need some recommendations on a blank for them. I don't have a lot of money so I was thinking a Rainshadow or maybe a St Croix. He said he likes about a 6 wt. and 8.5 or 9'. I was thinking about turning a wooden handle, I have some mahogany, walnut, mesquite and oak. Will this be too heavy? I do have some pretty nice cork but I wanted to do something a little different. I do have a Rainbow Trout and a couple of fly patterns for weaves. I also thought I might use feathers for alignment marks on each section.
Any help from you experts will be appreciated.
Pat

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 10, 2010 05:54PM

It will add weight, but due to the fact that the weight will be right in the hand it's not going to harm the rod performance to any real degree.

Consider boring your grip oversize and then shimming with lightweight cork or foam to fit. This will also help to keep weight to a minimum.

..............

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.sfldmi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 06:16PM

Those are pretty heavy woods if you plan on using them for the whole grip, if only for trim they will work fine in combination with cork or burl cork. Adding weaves will also add weight. Most of us fly fishermen prefer the lightest rods we can build.

Yuo cannot go wrong with the Batson line of Blanks, Forecast or Rainshadow.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2010 06:18PM by Phil Erickson.

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 07:08PM

The exotic cork will work better then the wood. easyer to sand and shape. if you think you need weight because the rod is 9-10- ft long, put the weight as a fighting butt and also a wood reel seat . You want it at the end of the rod.

Like said. Batson has nice stuff Dan Craft is also a good place to look.

Check the sponsors on the left. St Croix is very well liked !!

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Eugene Moore (---.245.93.82.Dial1.StLouis1.Level3.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 07:11PM

Take a look at the Cabela's PT+ very nice casting blank available in 2 or 4 piece.
Would also recommend Recoil Titanium single or double foot guides for the top 3 to 4 guides.
Walnut was the material for most traditional seats. The mesquite may be quite attractive. You might steer away from the oak due to the grain unless you can find a very tight one to handle the weathering. Struble makes a very attractive nickle silver skeleton. For a more reasonable price you could use the American Tackle skeleton.

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Mike Barkley (---.nap.wideopenwest.com)
Date: January 10, 2010 08:13PM

Pat,

Give this method from Stan Grace a try [www.rodbuilding.org] I have done some overbored and shimmed like that and they work/feel great and very light

Mike (Southgate, MI)
If I don't want to, I don't have to and nobody can make me (except my wife) cuz I'm RETIRED!!

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.mia.bellsouth.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 09:26PM

Pat,
Wood that will be used on a fishing rod must be stabilized ("plasticized" under pressure and heat) and as such will be much heavier than unstabilized "raw" wood. There is a lot to know re wood of the type you are thinking about. i.e. moisture content, etc. Best to google stabilized wood and pick some brains.
Go to @#$%& and look at some of the exotic woods offered - African Blackwood, Ebony, etc - and you will see that they GENERALLY list the moisture content - very important.

Also - no one would wish to cast a 6wt with an all wood handle - O.K., maybe, to hang over the mantel, but not to actually use.
Herb

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Pat Helton (---.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 10:30PM

Thanks Guys
I knew I was coming to the right place. I have never even cast a fly rod so it is a little intimidating to try to build one. I will use cork with maybe some burl cork or burnt cork. I bought a book about building fly rods but I may have more questions for you guys.
Thanks
Pat

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.sfldmi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 10, 2010 10:59PM

Wood used on rods does NOT have to be stabilized! Many types of woods are used every day on fly rods and the like without "Stabilizing!" As long as the wood is sealed well with a good finish like Tru Oil, CA or the like it works just fine.

Check out the photo section for grips and reel seats, most of the are NOT stabilized.

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Re: Need fly rod blank recommendations
Posted by: John Gertz (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 11, 2010 01:06PM

For someone new to fly fishing I'd pay particular attention to making sure that the rod's line weight and fly line weight match up. The Batson RX6 blanks are good blanks to learn on and I've found if Batson calls an RX6 a 5 weight, or a 6 weight, etc., it is. The Cabela's PT+ are fantastic fly blanks too. I've built a number of them now, both 2 pc and 4 pc. I do CCS tests on all blanks and the PT+ blanks (and RX6 ) blanks are dead on regarding the line weight Cabela's lists for them. You couldn't go wrong building your son an 8'-6" or 9'-0" for a 6 weight line. A great rod to learn on and if it's the PT+ he'll be using it years from now. The last 9'-0" 2pc #6 line PT+ I built had an AA = 68 and ERN = 6.5. Just slightly fast, but it never felt too fast and was very well behaved throwing the #6 line, even within 20-30 feet, just as I expected given the CCS numbers. The RX6's I've built are typically a little slower, but that's not a bad thing, especially if you're new to casting a fly rod. I'd recommend keeping the rod light, use top quality guides, seat and handle. Wood is nice, but I'd recommend staying with cork for the handle, It's lighter and in wet, cold weather cork will prove its worth.

Good luck!

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