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Post 21 Jan 2022, 16:44 • #76 
Guide
Joined: 06/30/20
Posts: 215
Great question on the grip. Quote directly from Larry on grips: "On 8 ft rods the grips are 6" long. Grip shape on all my rods is a Full Wells, with the high spot 2/3 of the way toward the front (i.e. not in the middle of the grip.)"

I made the grip to his specs. Held it both ways (with the high spot to the front, and the high spot to the back). To my hand to the back just simply felt better to me. It felt like the grip was really molded to my hand. I have not cast with it yet so I'm not quite sure yet on how it fishes.


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Post 21 Jan 2022, 22:39 • #77 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 770
Location: US-TX
Interesting…. let us know how you like it.
That’s going to be a sweet rod for you.


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Post 26 Jan 2022, 14:22 • #78 
Guide
Joined: 07/26/21
Posts: 178
Location: Central Georgia
Hi Guys. This is where my Iconoglass 4wt project sits.



I have ordered cork rings and intend to turn my own grip in a Fenwick profile, probably 6-6.5". I ordered an 8mm mildrum striping guide, two #3 recoil snake guides, three #2s, and three #1s. Ill only use 5 between the size one and two. I also picked up a snake .210 tip top. I plan to start out with the guide spacing from Iconglass. I selected YLI50 in both Black and Green, and man o war spar varnish is in the amazon cart.


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Post 26 Jan 2022, 20:06 • #79 
Guide
Joined: 02/02/16
Posts: 299
Location: Georgia
Brookie, the color of the NFC blank is a perfect match with the Heddon reel. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Let us know what you think of the combo. I’m a fan of the 7’6” 4wt configuration in the rhododendron covered small wild trout streams in North GA and Western NC.


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Post 26 Jan 2022, 23:23 • #80 
Guide
Joined: 12/14/11
Posts: 200
Location: Oregon
I just finished the spin rod for a friend, he bought the seat & I had an unknown graphite 6'6" 2pc that I used. Denise Stone made me two blanks over the summer, both with glass ferrules, both 2/2, one is his hollowed 7'9" Cascade and the other is a solid Dickerson 8013. I bought the last Strubal agatines Anglers workshop had after Strubal announced they were done, they did not have any blued guides left so I used Perma Blue for the first time on guides & it worked out, I then shot them a couple times with Ace gloss enamel. The #8 guides have not yet been blued, I'm sure I have some light weight blanks around for those. So I will be working on the two boo rods over the rest of the winter.



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Post 26 Jan 2022, 23:58 • #81 
Guide
Joined: 08/23/19
Posts: 291
Location: North Central Oregon
2wt
Looks like you have some great projects to work on! It will be neat see them when they are done. Dennis Stone does great work.

Bruce


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Post 27 Jan 2022, 08:14 • #82 
Guide
Joined: 07/26/21
Posts: 178
Location: Central Georgia
El Duderino - Thanks! Im excited to see how it works out. So far the most exciting and intimidating part is turning the grip. I do favor rods in the 7'-7'6" range for for most of my creek fishing here. I cant claim to have known the color match was going to turn out so well, but Im pleased for sure.


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Post 04 Feb 2022, 08:16 • #83 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 770
Location: US-TX
Builds # 11 & 12 for me.
Both of these were largely built while I was convalescing from Omicron and isolating myself from the family.

First one is a 7.5ft 4wt Chinese knockabout blank that is translucent grey and represents my first attempt at translucent wraps. I used a solid fiberglass stent (orange) and blue painters tape and you can clearly see that thru the blank. So I added some trim bands to clean up the aesthetics. Turned out kinda unique and although I prefer traditional builds, this one is kinda fun. * Note to self: don’t use an opaque off-colored stent on a semi-translucent blank.





Second one (rod #12) is a Livingston Western Glass 8.5ft 6wt. I really like the way this one turned out. It represents my first attempt at trim bands.



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Post 04 Feb 2022, 12:16 • #84 
Guide
Joined: 08/23/19
Posts: 291
Location: North Central Oregon
Very nice G B!


Bruce


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Post 10 Feb 2022, 10:41 • #85 
Guide
Joined: 06/30/20
Posts: 215
Brookieboy I love the color match of that blank and reel - what a neat combo!

Also - just finished up my Larry Kenney 8055 blem blank build. I decided to go with green silk. The ferrules are double wrapped both with and without a guide, per the instructions LK sent with the blank. The reel seat is from Ray Lee.

I had an absolute disaster on this build. I used threadmaster lite epoxy. I find the open time for this epoxy is pretty short. Especially when trying to coat all the guides and signature section on a rod like this. Anyway, I use an alcohol burner to extend the open time on the epoxy. I knew the epoxy was too thick at this point, even when I flamed it. but I tried to get one more guide done (the female ferrule guide with a double wrap). The epoxy wouldn't run when applied, looking awful. when I tried to flame it, it ended up too close to the flame and messed it all up - almost burned the epoxy, causing heavy bubbling. I let it cool a bit, then cut the entire guide and thread and finish off. the next day I rewrapped. I am very happy with doing this the right way, how it turned out.

Thanks for looking!









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Post 10 Feb 2022, 18:14 • #86 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/09/15
Posts: 550
Location: Arkansas
McFarland 8’ #5

Was 95% done. Call me an idiot cuz I did. I didn’t like it. I’ve stripped it all back down. Guides and wraps. Built it as how I thought it looked good and liked the color of the threads but it just didn’t sit right with me after having put that last set of wraps on (that CP issue I posted). Figured I’d just redo those and improve my trim wraps. I ended up messing up the Poly over my lettering and just took it all off - except grip and reel seat.

I was hoping to have it done but we’ve been dealing with home improvements and new tiles and subflooring, paint, decor, door knobs . . .

When the wife works from home now . . .


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Post 10 Feb 2022, 20:45 • #87 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5220
Location: Washington DC Region
Panfish, I feel for you, but you're doing the right thing. If you aren't happy with it before the finish goes on, you won't be happy after the finish goes on. It's much better to fix it now. And it's good to take care of the other responsibilities before settling back into rod building mode. Take your time.


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Post 10 Feb 2022, 22:05 • #88 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 770
Location: US-TX
Jesse, That 8055 looks great.
Let us know how it fishes.


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Post 14 Feb 2022, 16:05 • #89 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/09/15
Posts: 550
Location: Arkansas
Carlz, that’s not the half of it.

This rod had been a tough one for me. I don’t know why. I’ve built some nice rods but this one didn’t want me to built it out. Been lingering over this rod since November.

Issues:

1. removed and replaced stripping guide after final coat cured. Didn’t like it. Thought I did.

2. Top blank fell out of foam chuck on rod turner during the night. I always use the chuck which is homemade. Had to sand guides and rewrap 2 of them. Luckily, I do several thin coats of finish or it coulda been a nightmare.

3. Final coat of thread finish on Top blank didn’t set all the way. Had to remove it.

4. Had CP issues.

5. Problem with thinned finish etching or eating into polyurethane which covers my lettering.

6. Varying width of my winding check accent bands. Probably done when I applied CP.

7. After sealing threads on 95% of rod, decided to take off all wraps because I didn’t like how rod looked. Had to also redo lettering.

8. After rewrapping rod, finding dark hair or fuzz under translucent wraps. Will I leave it OR can I just leave it alone?

My goddess, I tried. I’ve got Rod building books by Skip Morris, L.A. Garcia, Mel Marshall and Dale Clemens. I’ve only built a dozen or so rods. The last McFarland I built was a beauty and was an enjoyable build. Spending around 400 on blanks and parts, you’d want it to be the best you could do.

Just wanna get through it properly and move into either a 6’ #5 or a 8’ #4. It’s important for me to grow and make progress on each build.


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Post 14 Feb 2022, 20:01 • #90 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5220
Location: Washington DC Region
Panfish, I'm glad someone else builds like I do.

One of my brilliant moves was plugging the drying motor into an outlet that is attached to a light switch. Then leaving the room so I don't muck with the epoxy and of course ... turning out the lights.


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Post 15 Feb 2022, 11:41 • #91 
Guide
Joined: 08/23/19
Posts: 291
Location: North Central Oregon
Hang in there Panfish. I've had issues with a rebuild too this winter. I had bought a brand new small can of spar (Ace) and used it to finish the wraps on a yellow Fenwick rebuild. 1st coat was fine, no cp, 2nd coat 4 days later looked fine while drying, looked at the rod the next day and the spar on almost all the wraps looked like a california raisin! Not sure what I did wrong I've used Ace before (usually use MOW). Too thick? I didnt thin the spar as I usually do, just heated the varnish, it flowed pretty easily.

Bruce


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Post 15 Feb 2022, 14:26 • #92 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7448
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Panfish74 wrote:
This rod had been a tough one for me. I don’t know why...

Some of those issues are just bad luck snow balling on this particular rod. It happens. The others are because your standards changed as you grew into a better rod builder. Those issues are the good, because you are learning.


Tom


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Post 16 Feb 2022, 07:44 • #93 
Guide
Joined: 06/30/20
Posts: 215
Update on the Kenney grip: my idea was terrible. I should have followed LK's advice and gone with the bump 2/3 up towards the top, not to the bottom. It almost forces my hand to hold the grip at the bottom, with part of my hand actually on the reel. I'm going to look into sanding the bump out of the grip and see if that helps.

Some pics of the Kenney rod on its first outing and its first fish. Also, pics of a 9' 5wt 7 piece graphite blank that I am working on from Ye Old English fly shop. It was shipped to me without any finish on it so I added 2 coats of permagloss to add a little more protection.







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Post 20 Feb 2022, 11:21 • #94 
Sport
Joined: 04/20/20
Posts: 86
Location: Springfield, PA
Finished a JP Ross Muir build this morning. First JP Ross build and I'm extremely happy with the blank's quality - very clear and straight. I'm excited to put a line on it after I let everything cure for a few days.



A few details:

Purchased a high quality 7" Western Grip and cut it off at 6-1/2" inches on my drill press. Varnished the leading edge.

Threads used were: Prowrap RNS-A No. 213 (Clay) for the main wraps, S KOMONO 367 (MEIJI) for trim bands, and S KOMONO 374 (MIKIMOTO) for the clear wraps at the tip and ferrules.

This build represents a wrap finish quality step increase for me: been tinkering with thinned epoxy and really got a nice look across this build with FC Lite thinned with acetone.


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Post 20 Feb 2022, 20:32 • #95 
Guide
Joined: 07/26/21
Posts: 178
Location: Central Georgia
Hi Guys! here is the current state of my Iconoglass 4wt build.

The cork hasnt been glued yet, just filed to fit. I used U40 rod bond to affix the tip top to the blank and taped the rest of the guides in position. Ill take it out tomorrow in the daylight and try it out to see how I like the guide spacing. after that, I think I have to make same tool in order to continue. Ill make a set of rod cradles for wrapping, I need to make a clamp for gluing up the cork rings, and finally I need to make a contraption for turning the cork. my plan is to use my drill press to turn the cork. I plan to taper a wooden dowel and wrap it in painters tape, then slide that into the end of the butt section. Ill put the other end of the dowel in the drill press chuck. For the other end of the rod, I ordered a sealed roller bearing on mcmaster with an ID a little larger than the ID of my blank 2-3" farther up from the grip. I plan to press the bearing into a block of wood, wrap the blank in tape, slide that assembly onto the blank and then clamp it to the table on my drill press. I hope this will give me good support with little risk of binding and the horrors that binding could cause.

before I can make the tools, I have to cut the pieces, and that means extracting my table saw from its spot in the garage, and that means moving the project vehicle (which is currently without engine or transmission..) so it may take me a minute.


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Post 21 Feb 2022, 03:52 • #96 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7448
Location: Holly Springs, NC
BB, If you have never shaped a cork grip before, I recommend turning the cork on a mandrel (a dowel or piece of threaded rod) in the drill press. Once the rod grip is shaped, slip it off the mandrel and glue it to your rod. If something 'catches' on a drill press, your rod blank will be shards before you can blink.

Also, write an outline of the steps you will follow in order. For instance, if you shape the grip as you describe, how will you slide the reelseat onto the rod butt. From the open end? Or is the interior of the reelseat tapered to be mounted on the blank before gluing up the grip?

I've posted this photo before. I use a home built rod lathe for turning grips, wrapping thread, and applying and turning wrap finish. When I turn grips, I have a box fan with a furnace filter behind the lathe to pick up most of the dust. Otherwise the dust takes a week to settle enough to wrap guides or apply finish. Better still, take the lathe outside to turn the grip. I built the lathe from Big Box store dimensioned lumber with a jig saw and a cheap back saw/miter box. No need to move the vehicle or plan an expedition to find the table saw. I'll take a few more photos and make a drawing in a day or two.


Tom



Note: save a baggie of cork dust. Mix it with wood glue for filling mistakes.


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Post 21 Feb 2022, 08:01 • #97 
Sport
Joined: 04/20/20
Posts: 86
Location: Springfield, PA
BrookieBoy wrote:
... and finally I need to make a contraption for turning the cork. my plan is to use my drill press to turn the cork.


Have a look at my System 5 rebuild post here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=72979

Under "mirroring the grip" I talk about how I set my drill press up and provided a few pix. Hope this helps and don't hesitate to reach out PM or otherwise if you have any questions.


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Post 21 Feb 2022, 10:18 • #98 
Guide
Joined: 07/26/21
Posts: 178
Location: Central Georgia
Jeffroey,
Its really interesting that we came up with about the same idea independently. I actually have a pack of skateboard wheel bearing I bought for this before realizing the Id was too small for my blank. Thanks for the photos and info!

Tom,
Ive seen and envied your DIY lathe many times on the site. What did the drive motor come out of? I have spent a lot of time laboring over the best way to make the grip, and Ive read the first few pages of google results for threads on this site about grip making. A 23/64" steel rod would be very close to the OD of the blank at the tip end of the grip and might make a good mandrel. I landed on turning the grip on the blank because it seemed like the least complex way to get the best results. Ofcourse, there is risk of destroying the blank if you run into trouble. No free lunch. My drill press would be happy to turn that rod section into fiberglass confetti. Im still nit sure of the right way to go. I dont want to turn this thread into another "how to make a grip" type thread. I might be ale to glue the grip up on the rod, slide it off and then use tape to build up a wooden dowel to the rough shape of my blank, turn it on the dowel and then place on the rod.

My reel seat can be slid on from the butt end. there is about a business cards width between the blank and the reel seat, Ill plan to use a little but of tape to wrap the blank under the grip to bolster the fit.

I greatly appreciate the advice and concern, this is really the only risky part of the build and Im a complete and total novice.


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Post 26 Feb 2022, 10:01 • #99 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7448
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Here are some rod lathe photos. The lathe is four feet long and 3-1/2" wide. The frame is made from 1x4 wood (3/4" thick by 3-1/2" wide). The rod supports slide along a piece of 1x2 (3/4" by 1-1/2" wide).


The pieces were cut to length with a back saw and miter box. The curves and slot were cut with a jig saw. The pieces are held together by short wood screws. No glue, no wood finish, no aesthetics. Make the dimensions to suit the materials and tools available. No dimensions or materials are critical. Any small motor will work as long as it doesn't turn too fast.

The little gear motor sits on a stack of wood pieces. The maximum speed is about 1000 rpm. The motor runs on 120V power and the round, black casing holds a speed control. I push a piece of plastic tubing on the motor shaft and build that up with masking tape to fit snugly inside the rod blank. If the rod blank catches, the connection pops out very easily. Turning cork doesn't require much speed or power. I don't have a slow speed finish turning motor - I just rotate the rod by hand every few minutes.



The rod supports are cut to support very large diameter blanks. I place carpet scraps on top of the support as padding. For small blanks I use extra carpet scraps. The swinging arm is held in place with a 1/4-20 screw and a wing nut. The arm holds the rod blank in place when turning cork or wrapping thread. The rod supports have a 1/4-20 stud threaded into them. The stud slides in the slot along the front of the lathe. A wingnut on the bottom locks the support in place.




Tom


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Post 26 Feb 2022, 11:32 • #100 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/31/15
Posts: 1062
Location: The Rockies
Thanks for posting those pictures Tom. That’s really helpful. I may have to add this to my projects one of these winters.

Here are a couple of builds I’m working on. The first is a Trout Smith’s 805 that Shane Gray turned from a 3-piece to a 6-piece, with a mix of spigot and tip over butt ferrules. With the extra ferrules, It is now 8’2” long, and I am guessing it will be 5/6-weight now. I have the rod wrapped and enough finish on the wraps to protect them. I plan to do some test casting soon.



The second rod I’m working on is a McFarland GTX 6-weight. I am building it with saltwater safe components. Here is the progress so far.




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