I have built a number of rods and I don't have any expensive building equipment. Most stuff like thread tensioners and blank turners can be easily made .
A thread tensioner is just a base which hold your thread at the desired tension so the wraps are as tight as needed. Wooden base with a long enough threaded bolt and a spring in line to be tensioned by a wing nut.
Blank turning motors can be found at Science and Surplus for $2 that turn at a perfect rate of 30 turns per minute. Rollers can be found there also to support the non-motorized end.
An alcohol lamp to apply the tip tops, but more importantly be used when applying the Flex Coat.
There are good Fuji kits for handles that come with reel seat bushings so turning a handle is not needed, although it makes the rod more customized.
I do not ever suggest 5 minute epoxy for anything that flexes and is meant to be permanent .
Once you research enough and have faith in mixing Flex Coat it takes exactly the same amount of time to build a $100 rod as it does a $400. The parts to build a premium rod (minus the blank) with a nice Fuji handle kit and say Fuji Alconite guides is around $75 in parts. You may be able to save $30 and buy cheap parts, but why?
I start with the handle. If I'm layering and turning the cork it's a much longer process than a kit and requires more tools such as the stack compressor and a lathe -type powered tool. Lathes are obviously most precise.
The handle needs to be oriented correctly with the spine and is just a process of lining up the sections and bushings and expoxying them in place. I use Flex Coat for this because I know it will flex with the handle and not be prone to cracking as some expoxies are ( especially 5 minute epoxy) . Some kits come with winding checks and butt caps and most can be customized to your liking.
Once the handle has been expoxied in place and has fully cured the guides can be wrapped on the rod.
You need a guide layout to know where your guides belong on the blank you choose.
The guides are oriented with the spine, which will be marked.
Depending on how many feet and how large or small there are a number of ways to apply the guide to the blank while wrapping it. I usually use a small piece of blue painter's masking tape so no residue is left behind.
The wraps can be as fancy as you like. The main thing you need to know is how to hide the thread ends. There are a few ways to hide threads. Most any building site will have simple hides illustrated.
Once you have all your wraps in place you need to either epoxy the wraps permanently or use another product which is not an epoxy but still a wrap finisher.
If you chose epoxy you will need the alcohol lamp and and a rod turner to ensure even epoxy application.
Flex Coat is a very good product. To mix Flex Coat use a small disposable deli cup and cheap brushes. Cheap, but not so cheap that they bleed hair . These brushes will be destroyed , so buy good enough to get the job done, but not to the point you are worried that you have left hair or bristle behind.
The two parts of Flex are mixed together for at least two minutes. You will visually notice the mix go from opaque at the beginning to clear at just before the two minute mark.
The rod is placed in the turner and the alcohol lamp fired up.
With the lamp at an area directly under the wrap being epoxied the heat should be just enough to make the expoxied move very fluidly. You want enough epoxy on the wraps to fully cover the threads , but not be globby or overy full. As the rod turns and the epoxy is applied with the brush the epoxy will warm and spread. As the expoxy spreads (and can be helped to spread with a brush) . excess is evident and simply removed with an epoxy free brush.
Once the Flex Coat is fully cured the rod is ready to be fished.
My list of parts and such;
Epoxy, my preference is Flex Coat
Handle supplies ( cork rings, epoxy, reel seat, bushings, winding check, lathe or other turner, cork tensioner) or handle kit.
Guides and tip top
Stirs and deli cups
I'm quite sure there are things I have forgotten , but those are the basics I use.
Last edited by RichF; 07-23-2013 at 11:10 AM.