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Post 21 Feb 2019, 13:28 • #26 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/16
Posts: 46
Location: US-TX
I would also like to build an ultralight spinning rod to best accomplish the Ern St. Claire/Joe Robinson methods and casts. I don’t necessarily want to exactly duplicate St Claire’s 1961 rod. We may be able to do better with today’s blanks. I also want to accomplish this on a budget as I am a neophyte rod builder. So far I have restored two rods with my rod building tools.

I have purchased two commercially available rods so far to practice these techniques. The first is a TFO SF-601-2 Fly Spin Rod which is 6’ 0” and is rated for 2-6 weight flyline and 1/32-1/8 lures. It has rubber rings and Tennesse style handle which allows a fly reel to be mounted at the end or a spinning reel to be mounted at the front. I found this to be a little stiifer than ideal for the method. I have tried it with a 3 weight WF line with acceptable but not ideal results. This may now be discontinued. I purchased mine at Sportsman’s Finest in Austin, TX. Isee it available now at the Contented Angler for $99.

The second rod is a Major Craft Nextino Area Stage NTA-582 SUL. This rod is 5’ 8” long for lures .8-3 grams. This has a soft full bow action. I bought it on ebay for about $125. So far this is the best that I have found so to accomplish the casts and methods of St. Claire/Robinson. It is very well made and has a nice finish. Japanese Domestic Market Area Stage rods are made for highly pressured pay to fish public lakes where people use very light lines and small lures for spooky highly pressured trout. I use it with the smallest PflugerPresident and Stroft 2 lb test tippet material.

An even better JDM rod might be the Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S for 1.5-3 Lb test line and lures as small as 1/70th of an oz. It is rated for .4-2.5 grams. It is 5’ 6” long. You can read a great review of this on the Tenkara Bum website .He sells it for $145.00.

My main motivation for building my own is to have an exercise in rod building. I am looking for a 2 to 4 piece fiberglass or graphite 0-3 weight fly rod blank. I have considered blanks from RDP, PacBay, Batson, and others. Length 5.5-7’. Probably a Tennesse Handle with moveable ring to be able to mount a spinning or fly reel. I would love to hear recommendations for the best blank and guides to use.


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Post 26 Feb 2019, 23:51 • #27 
Sport
Joined: 09/23/13
Posts: 72
Location: US-MN
I rebuilt a Pastor labeled spin/fly combo rod built on a 7 1/2' 4-piece Silaflex blank. I took off the spin grip and rings and steamed off the Featherweight fly reel seat and built it back up as a fly only. It has very nice tip-centric flex profile. I could see it being a very good light/medium spin rod.


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Post 13 Jul 2019, 03:45 • #28 
Sport
Joined: 01/21/19
Posts: 25
Location: Sweden, Blekinge
So, thought i'll get back after the rod building was done.
So, my 6'6" 3 piece 3wt rod has gotten some fishing experience.
I must say it's a total pleasure, spin fishing with glass. When trying an carbon rod first time after month of glass the impression was carbon = dull.

I have not yet gotten into any advanced cast technique (which would probably take years). But it's enjoyable to use the rods power. There was no problem to play a northern pike of 4,4 lbs.

Image

I also found a cheaper blank on the big auction site, a 6'7" #3, 4 piece which ended up a birthday gift for my brother, must i say, i suspect he will never use his carbon rods again.

My next project will be a 2# or 1# and about 6' if i can get my hands on a nice blank in europe.

//Markus


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Post 13 Jul 2019, 06:48 • #29 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/12/16
Posts: 3688
Location: USA-CO
Glad you had good experience. Carbon = Dull. Like!


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Post 18 Jun 2020, 14:43 • #30 
Sport
Joined: 12/03/12
Posts: 26
Location: US-MN
Pretty sure Erne mentions in the book that he uses 3 or 4 lb. line on those rods. I have one custom made by Erne himself that I got on ebay some years back.

Photos of my 6' Erne St. Claire rod.



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Post 18 Jun 2020, 23:18 • #31 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6708
Location: Holly Springs, NC
That is a very interesting rod build by Mr. St. Claire. The double foot guides are bent into 'single' foot guides (to reduce the length of the stiff spots from the guides on the blank). The staggered ferrule is very exaggerated. But most interesting is the rod handle. A pocket is cut into the cork grip and then lined with plastic wood (as mentioned in his The Modern Science of Spin-Fishing book). Is the blank identification still on the rod?

Earlier in this thread, waterone mentioned he had a St. Claire-like rod built on a Silaflex BCT3RF rod blank. That blank is listed in the 1956 Silaflex catalog as a one piece, 5'6" blank for 3/8 oz baitcasting competition with a reinforced butt section.

The OP asked about a two piece, 8'6" fly rod blank with a 5/64" tip and a 32/64" butt section. Those specifications match the Silaflex Standard F85-2 fly rod blank. These fly rods would be slow 6/7 weights by today's standards. Rods built on these blanks show up from time to time on eBay (often with red aluminum ferrules and clown wraps on the guides). The Standard rods were discontinued after Browning bought Silaflex in the early 60s. St. Claire includes a 'build blueprint' in his book, but doesn't specifically ID the rod blank (image below - the Mayfield references are to a rod guide company).


Tom



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Post 19 Jun 2020, 11:35 • #32 
Sport
Joined: 12/03/12
Posts: 26
Location: US-MN
Here are some more photos. There are no markings that give any indication of what the blank might be. It has the ERNE sticker near the handle and there are wrappings above and below that. Also I figure if there were any markings on the blank and the blank was indeed an 8 1/2" fly rod, the markings would have appeared on the butt section that was cut off.
Now if you compare the actual rod with the page from the book posted above, it does match very closely, photo shows the butt section at 21" including the handle. The top section measures 51" which is the sum of the measured sections between the guides. The book does mention the advantage of having all of the guides on the top section. Also included a photo with Alcedo Micron in the reel seat, a good fit. I believe the book does instruct on how to counter-bore for the reel seat, I don't have a copy of the book in front of me. One difference is how he flipped back the upper foot on the guides, the book shows two foot guides mounted normally. The tip-top guide is very large, large enough that a 1/16 oz. jig head fits through it. Let me know if interested in more photos.



Here are the other two photos, showing the diameter of the blank at the handle and with Micron in the reel seat.


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