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The Fat Panther

Will I produce a quality rod my first try?

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Hey all I was considering getting a new freshwater rod from GLoomis and have heard that custom built rods are just so much better than shelf rods. Is this true? I'm assuming it is. Also costwise is it cheaper to build your own rod? Factoring in the price for a blank, handle, reel seat, guides, epoxy, thread etc... Would it be economically better to buy a rod of a smiliar size and rating?

 

Also last question, will I produce a good rod my first try? Or does it take a few rods to start producing good quality rods that are better than the stock products?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

-Tommy

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personaly i think that some of the stuff on the shelf has no purpose in my rod rack. I almost never see what i want on the shelf. Its cheaper to buy one off of the shelf for the first few rods until you pay the cost of the wrapper and dryer off. For a freshwater rod you might want cork grips which means you might need a lathe(optional). After that its cheaper to build them and it feels really good fishing with something you know took hard work to make, it gives you a deeper appreciation. It sucks when you get your work stolen though(3 rods).

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Your not going to build a rod that is like a new loomis on your first try, thats for sure. But the thing is , will be that you built it yourself. The ideal way would be to try to hook up with someone in your area that has some experience that can show you the ropes. Thats how I learned, It took a lot of the guess work out of it.

 

You can build a decent fishable rod on your first try if you do your homework. There are a few tutorials online at Mudhole. I would highly recommend buying a book on rod building. There are a few really good books on the subject. Advanced custom rod building by Dale Clemons is a good one. Plenty of good advise right here on this site.

 

Once you start you will be continually try to perfect your craft, Thats the fun part of it.

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Ok I might try getting into it, I'll just have to see later in the year when I can get enough money. Yeah I'll deff look into some books on it and maybe see if I can find some used equipment if I decide to take the plunge.

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If all you want is one rod, buy one, either off the shelf or from a custom builder. You can absolutely build a highly functional rod your first try, but your first build is probably not going to win any beauty pageants, and it's going to cost you more - much more - than a factory rod.

 

But if you're generally dissatisfied with the rods available commercially, definitely go for it. The quality of available factory rods depends on the kind of fishing you do -- what's available for surfcasting is generally lousy, especially compared to what FW bass fishermen can buy -- but if you want better gear, and you want to take on a Man Craft, then give it a whirl.

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quality in a first rod by means of function or form?

the answer is NO. ask any rod builder if they want to redo something in their first build and the answer would be yes. quality takes time, just like every other endeavor, practice makes perfect.

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View PostAlso costwise is it cheaper to build your own rod? Factoring in the price for a blank, handle, reel seat, guides, epoxy, thread etc...

 

 

Also last question, will I produce a good rod my first try? Or does it take a few rods to start producing good quality rods that are better than the stock products?

 

While you can get higher quality components than a factory rod comes with for the same money, that savings can be quickly negated if you buy a bunch of other stuff like a wrapper, lathe, drying motor, etc. However, you don't need these things to build a rod. Literally, a cardboard box with two V's cut into it is all you truly need. It ain't particularly easy or fun, but it works. That's an extreme, but if you're willing to keep things simple and put in a bit more time and effort then yes, you can certainly save money over a factory rod.

 

Better than the stock products? That depends on what you mean by better...

 

Is your rod going to have the clean, polished look of a factory stick? Unlikely.

 

Is it going to be just as functional a fishing tool? Absolutely, if you put in the time to learn about the blank, guide layouts, and component placement.

 

Regardless though, in the end you're going to learn things that grabbing a rod off a shelf isn't going to teach you - go for it icon14.gif

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If you have someone do the grips for you and you take the time to practice your wraps on this, your first rod, and cut them off every time you mess up any little thing in the wrap, yes, you can get great wraps your first time, certainly as good as a factory rod.

Will it cost less than a shelf rod?

I hope not!

The reason to build your own, is to use better components, and the correct number of guides, not the number of guides that an accountant in the boardroom tells you is economically sound.

The finish is where you can run into problems!

If you have no finish experience of any kind, you will most likely have some problems.

I had been doing fine varnish work on boats and furniture for several years before I ever built a rod, so I had a huge head start.

Stay away from Flex Coat and use one of the low build low viscosity finishes, and do several very thin coats to get your intended finish, and you will alleviate a lot of possible problems, so long as you follow some rules to a T.

Clean hands and nails, like sterile clean, same for your brushes and mixing cups and stirring stick or spatula.

Measure your resin and hardener with scientific precision... Use syringes with NON rubber plungers. Flex Coat actually makes decent ones.

Use good brushes, and clean them really well with denatured alcohol.

You wipe the brush dry on a paper towel, and then, in a clean mixing cup, put a splash of alcohol, "paint" the bottom of the cup with the brush, then swish the brush in there and discard the alcohol, repeat several times till the brush has all the epoxy solved out of it and then some.

Wash the brush with ivory soap and warm water and let air dry.

Put in a sterile place for the next finish application.

I use Robert Simmons White Sable brushes. They run from $7-$15 a pop, but a brush lasts me several years if I take really good care of it, so I get my moneys worth, and so does the customer.wink.gif

Allow your finish to cure between coats, and shave off all the fuzzies and bumps AFTER they have hardened. Then scuff the wraps with Scotchbrite (green or white) and apply your next coat of finish.

Do not get your Scochbrite at an automotive supply or body shop supply.

These places have silicones on premises, and silicone should remain down the block from the rod shop if at all possible.

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My first rod wasn't real pretty but it worked well and I caught lots of fish with it. Do some research and know what you want before you buy components. You can build yourself some rod stands very easily with some scrap wood. The finish will probably be your biggest challenge. Go for it, you may never buy a rod off the rack again.

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I would suggest stripping the guides off a rod you have laying around and rewrapping them and finishing it as a TEST project.

 

Then, look into building from scratch. The handle and reelseat are the EASY part IMO, the guides can get tedious when you have to wrap a whole bunch as in a surf rod. So practice on one or two rods, you can use the old guides but you gotta clean em up.

 

TO make my life easier, I have stopped grinding feet, and stopped doing underwraps, and haven't had a problem. That alone will save you at least 2-3 hours + a day (I like to coat the underwraps with finish if/when i use them)

 

Will you SAVE money, if you can buy stuff at wholesale you will save a BUNCH, but if your paying retail youll save a few dollars but GAIN a custom rod with the guides you want/spacing/handle e.t.c.

 

I got into it because I couldn't afford a $400-600 custom rod. In fact I thought it was SILLY that guys charged that and actually made sales. I still kinda do, since in Mass custom rods, with same materials seem to run about $100-150 CHEAPER than they do here in NY.

 

JC

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If you take your time , settle for nothing but just right and use quality components , you can build a great rod first time.

 

If you buy cheap parts and just do it in a hurry to get it done , you will get ...well...you know

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you dont necessary need to buy a wrapper. You can make one. thats what I did. As for the initial plunge you going to spend a chunk of coin but you will have it for the second and third rod your going to build! Its that addicting. As for building you first rod. its going to be better than an off the shelf rod. Just do your homework. Just work on functionality for now. The asthetics will come later.

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if you are looking for a better rod have one custm built for you. if you are talking about getting into building rods you will see that it isnt exactly a way to save money, very mcuh the opposite, but it is very cool !

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It depends on you. You can build a decent rod if you set your mind to it. Here are a few pics of my first one. Not too fancy but I'm proud of it.

 

001-2.jpg

 

011.jpg

 

017.jpg

 

012-1.jpg

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Thanks for the help guys, I simply don't have the money to get into it right now so it might have to wait a couple of years, deffinitely something I want to do in the future.

 

I may just try and have a custom rod built for me, anybody have reccomendations on builders for freshwater rods?

 

Also anyone know a good blank similar to that of the Loomis Bronzeback series?

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