Koldkut was nice enough to volunteer to help a few of us learn to build rods, so March 1 was set as the weekend we would do it. The plan was to get a few folks together for Friday night and Saturday and each build a rod. Prior to the weekend, Riv and I built wrappers and we also got a couple drying motors mounted for finishing.
We started after some foods and a beer...'round 7pm. Night one would be spent mounting handles and seats. It seams this is about half of the build. Drew cuts down the learning curve by a ton and putting on the handles was complete by around midnight. Here are the pics of night 1.
blanks and a few builds of KK's
Riv and I each built on this blank. MHX Med Heavy Salt, Mod fast action 7'6"
Tape marks everything on the handle build. Also, I bored my butt cap a bit too much so the lower tape is a "shim"
Butt cap installed and seat/upper handle marked
A one piece reel seat was cut in two and modified with a dremmel. This is the bottom piece
Handles reemed and bottom piece of seats mounted.
Our fearless teacher
A-town Ken prepping some handle glue
And the final product from Friday night. Both drying and ready for guides
Saturday Morning was a bit slow going.. Riv was complaining about being tired and whatnot, and he smelled... but he proceeded to start wrapping guides... he chose silver wraps, I chose pearl wraps with a black/silver trim piece. Ken went with zebra thread in black/gray and Marbles went with metalic blue.
Wrapping the rods was a blast IMO... maybe that is because of my experience tying flies... don't know, but I really enjoyed it.
close up of a Riv's work
close up of my wraps
Marbles installing his reel seat
Riv's rod on the dryer
Riv's detail work between the split grip
My rod on the dryer
Kenny's rod ready for finish
I must say, having Drew walk you through your first build is SO important. There are so many things he has figured out that he verbalizes well. The little details on the builds seem to be the most important. Mistakes to avoid, options to consider, and little tricks that make the whole process easier are all constantly being thrown at you with him around. I really can't thank him enough for giving us nearly an entire weekend.
I will definitely keep building my own rods. Just like tying flies, you get to make what YOU want rather than using whatever works for everyone else. Not mandatory, but sure is nice. Thanks again Drew.