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Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.williams.com)
Date: May 15, 2018 03:19PM

Let me start this off by saying I have no idea what I'm doing building a fly rod, but I have done a significant amount of research and this is what I've come up with. I'm open to suggestions of any kind; I'm here to learn. I'm also not opposed to spending some money on this, but cheaper alternatives are always welcome.

I want to build a fly rod primary for redfish here on the Texas coast. Here's what I've got on my wish list.
*St. Croix 5FS908.4 Saltwater Rod Blank
*REC 1.5-inch Fixed Fighting Butt 1.5FCR
*REC Aluminum Fly Seat, RFTS
*Super Grade Full Wells Fly Grips FW75-250
*Fuji Titanium SiC KW 16
*Fuji Titanium SiC KW 12
*Fuji Titanium SiC L 5
*Fuji KG Arowana Titanium SiC 5.5-4

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 15, 2018 03:50PM

It will certainly work fine. Most likely you'll get additional suggestions from others that have built a similar rod. If I was going to change anything, it might be the running guide sizes but this all depends on the type line and any connections you need to get through the guides. It was rare that I ever built an 8-weight and up without using at least size 8 guides. Now the inside diameter of most ceramic rings has gotten larger due to thinner rings and better frame designs, but you want to make sure that any connections, i.e. loop to loop, etc., will easily clear your guide ring size opening.

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

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 04:53PM

You did not say if this was your first ROD build or not , what you have said looks good but go a little larger on RUNNING guides, if this is your first build back off on your cost an go cheaper , an make all mistakes on the cheaper outfit , an learn on that one , then get the more costly out fit , just an Idea ,

William Sidney
AK

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 05:25PM

Bill Sidney Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You did not say if this was your first ROD build
> or not , what you have said looks good but go a
> little larger on RUNNING guides, if this is your
> first build back off on your cost an go cheaper
> , an make all mistakes on the cheaper outfit , an
> learn on that one , then get the more costly out
> fit , just an Idea ,

No sir, not my first rod build, just my first fly rod.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: herb canter (70.40.90.---)
Date: May 15, 2018 05:33PM

Just a FWIW , i am a fan of St. Croix blanks probably because i'm very familiar with them and like their actions but their cost is why i have been building a few rods with RodGeeks blanks since they're literally St. Croix blanks just made in Mexico so their cheaper. The below link has some of their fly blank offerings so if any appeal to you than you could save some $.

[rodgeeks.com]


As for advice on building a rod on inexpensive blanks because it may be your first build , that happens to be good advice but advice i found impossible to take because i was only interested in building a very select few rods, if i had to build a rod to get the hang of it first i would of never bothered. Luckily i also did relentless research and the rods i wanted to build came out great , except one , screwed that one up and 'yes' it was the most expensive one , i live Murphy's law though so of course it would turn out to be the most costly.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 05:52PM

I'll second Tom K's observation that you are 1 if not 2 guides short of what it will take to well distribute the load of a large redfish with a bad attitude. Otherwise you have well chosen components that ought to provide service over a lot of years.

Lots of varying opinions about running guide size vs. knots. Frankly, if the line to leader connection doubled over onto the line will easily pass through the guides when rigging the rod, the guides are sufficiently large.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 05:53PM

I'll second Tom K's observation that you are 1 if not 2 guides short of what it will take to well distribute the load of a large redfish with a bad attitude. Otherwise you have well chosen components that ought to provide service over a lot of years.

Lots of varying opinions about running guide size vs. knots. Frankly, if the line to leader connection doubled over onto the line will easily pass through the guides when rigging the rod, the guides are sufficiently large.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 06:16PM

Donald La Mar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'll second Tom K's observation that you are 1 if
> not 2 guides short of what it will take to well
> distribute the load of a large redfish with a bad
> attitude. Otherwise you have well chosen
> components that ought to provide service over a
> lot of years.
>
> Lots of varying opinions about running guide size
> vs. knots. Frankly, if the line to leader
> connection doubled over onto the line will easily
> pass through the guides when rigging the rod, the
> guides are sufficiently large.

I'm not following you, "you are 1 if not 2 guides short of what it will take to well distribute the load of a large redfish with a bad attitude." I was talking about size 5 running guides, not a quantity of 5 running guides.

Is the consensus that I should go to size 8 running guides? That seems huge, but that's probably because I've only ever built non-fly rods.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: herb canter (70.40.90.---)
Date: May 15, 2018 06:47PM

Some confusion here , Tom never said anything about the # of guides that should be used , he was saying just to make sure the size 5 guides could easily manage the leader/knots you intend to use thats all . If size 5 guides can easily handle the connections great if not than up the size a bit .

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 06:54PM

No, I was referring to the number of guides, not the guide size, and I incorrectly assumed you were indicating the number of guides and misread Tom K's comments. My bad.

With regard to guide size, yes, a 5 does strike me as small. I'm probably out of step on guide sizing as I think the line to leader ought to go through the guides twice - once when the rod is rigged and again when taken down. I also think the type and quality of the backing to line connection, which can be expected to pass through the guides repeatedly and under a load, is more important than guide size. So, for the ease of rigging the rod, I'd increase by one size, and, again, the test is whether or not the line to leader connection doubled over onto the line easy pass through the guide.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 11:00PM

Donald La Mar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No, I was referring to the number of guides, not
> the guide size, and I incorrectly assumed you were
> indicating the number of guides and misread Tom
> K's comments. My bad.
>
> With regard to guide size, yes, a 5 does strike me
> as small. I'm probably out of step on guide
> sizing as I think the line to leader ought to go
> through the guides twice - once when the rod is
> rigged and again when taken down. I also think
> the type and quality of the backing to line
> connection, which can be expected to pass through
> the guides repeatedly and under a load, is more
> important than guide size. So, for the ease of
> rigging the rod, I'd increase by one size, and,
> again, the test is whether or not the line to
> leader connection doubled over onto the line easy
> pass through the guide.

Thanks Donald, I will give that a try before I order the guides.

Next question is on guide placement. How do I determine where to place the stripper guide? Are the rest of the guides just placed by static load testing, or should is there a method using a straight table edge like you would do with a spinning rod?

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 11:12PM

Found this chart from St. Croix. I've never really used the guide charts for baitcasters or spinning rods, so I'm not sure if it's a good starting point. Also not sure what kind of guides they're recommending, but for a 9' Heavy Freshwater or Salt rod they recommend the following.

Inches from tip 4.5-9.5-15.5-21.625-28.875-36.5-44.75-53.25-64-76
Guides 20-16-12-6-6-6-5-5-5-5

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 15, 2018 11:19PM

Too many guide sizes. Not necessary. Drop the 16, and use either all 6's or 5's for the remainder. Whichever works better.

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

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2018 11:21PM

Tom Kirkman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Too many guide sizes. Not necessary. Drop the 16,
> and use either all 6's or 5's for the remainder.
> Whichever works better.
>
> ..............

Thanks Tom. Looks like 20 is too high (based on some other posts I'm reading from here), so I'm thinking 16, 10, then running guides to the tip.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: May 16, 2018 12:12AM

The Rodgeeks C4F908.4 looks pretty good for the price, thanks Herb

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 16, 2018 12:19AM

I believe the St Croix flyrod spacing chart is using snake guide sizes for the runners, not Fuji L guide sizes. Snake guide and ceramic guide sizes are quite different and not the same. Size 6 and 5 snake guides have a much larger ID than than your proposed size 5 LSG guides. If you want to use L guides, up the size to at least a 6 or larger, same with the tip top. As far as spacing is concerned, you can use the chart as a good starting point. Do a two line static test to see if the line smoothly follows the blank when is in a deep bend, and then take the rod out and cast it. Fly rods are quite forgiving to small alterations in guide placement.
Norm

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Seth Johnson (---.williams.com)
Date: May 16, 2018 09:22AM

Norman Miller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe the St Croix flyrod spacing chart is
> using snake guide sizes for the runners, not Fuji
> L guide sizes. Snake guide and ceramic guide sizes
> are quite different and not the same. Size 6 and 5
> snake guides have a much larger ID than than your
> proposed size 5 LSG guides. If you want to use L
> guides, up the size to at least a 6 or larger,
> same with the tip top. As far as spacing is
> concerned, you can use the chart as a good
> starting point. Do a two line static test to see
> if the line smoothly follows the blank when is in
> a deep bend, and then take the rod out and cast
> it. Fly rods are quite forgiving to small
> alterations in guide placement.
> Norm

Thank you very much Norm, and to everyone else for your responses and being patient with me.

Let me ask a more basic question, because I realize I've made an assumption with no backing. What are the advantages and disadvantages of ceramic vs snake guides on a fly rod?

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 16, 2018 10:03AM

Ceramics are smoother across their surface. You'll notice they are quieter and enable your reel, and you, to better play a fish via the reel's drag setting. They will never groove nor wear. Your fly line will last longer.

Snakes, or most any type metal surface guides, can be lighter which allows quicker response and recovery of the rod. But as the rod gets into higher line weight territory and fish fighting becomes more of the priority, the weight difference becomes narrower or at the least, not as important.

I'm sure others will weigh in with their thoughts on why they prefer one over the other.

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

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.adr01.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 16, 2018 10:06AM

I suggest putting the stripper guide where you can reach the line easily when reaching for it. Maybe a little stretch to reach it, but you want to make that important action easy and natural.

Advantages of snakes over ceramic: MOst likely lighter, so more sensitive rod with faster recovery than if ceramics were used. Sensitivity probably not an issue for this rod, but recovery speed may be. Same for wire vs ceramic tiptop (I would use wire oversize tiptop) Snakes are said to provide a friendlier entry into the guide for a tangle, and therefore will pass "stuff" better. Keep in mind that with salt fish you have very little time to react, so you want to avoid anything that slows things down. I don't put a keeper on my salt rods, instead using the frame of the first guide with the line looped around the reel (to keep any leader to line knots out of the guides). One possible disadvantage of snakes is that the REC snakes may be noisy on the high energy casts or fighting a fish. I've not heard noise on my stainless steel snakes or single foot guides, only on the REC snakes with a REC tiptop.

If I have any of this wrong, the experts on fly rods will surely clarify. I'm not an "expert" on fly. Keep in mind, as with many aspects of rod building, you will get many diverse opinions.

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Re: Beginner fly rod questions
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.adr01.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 16, 2018 10:06AM

I suggest putting the stripper guide where you can reach the line easily when reaching for it. Maybe a little stretch to reach it, but you want to make that important action easy and natural.

Advantages of snakes over ceramic: MOst likely lighter, so more sensitive rod with faster recovery than if ceramics were used. Sensitivity probably not an issue for this rod, but recovery speed may be. Same for wire vs ceramic tiptop (I would use wire oversize tiptop) Snakes are said to provide a friendlier entry into the guide for a tangle, and therefore will pass "stuff" better. Keep in mind that with salt fish you have very little time to react, so you want to avoid anything that slows things down. I don't put a keeper on my salt rods, instead using the frame of the first guide with the line looped around the reel (to keep any leader to line knots out of the guides). One possible disadvantage of snakes is that the REC snakes may be noisy on the high energy casts or fighting a fish. I've not heard noise on my stainless steel snakes or single foot guides, only on the REC snakes with a REC tiptop.

If I have any of this wrong, the experts on fly rods will surely clarify. I'm not an "expert" on fly. Keep in mind, as with many aspects of rod building, you will get many diverse opinions.

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