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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    The dark days are looming and I'm thinking of building another rod, so I'm looking around at blanks under £100. This is solely because I have a gift card to that amount to spend by the end of this month!

    I'm considering a 10 ft, #3 as I've nothing in that size & weight at present and it might be fun in a float tube for loch brownies, but I'd be interested to hear of any member's experience with this range - or other suggestions. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    I decided to go ahead with this project and bought all I needed through Mark at Taniwha - an aluminium tube, handle, Snake Brand snakes, Pac Bay DC stripper ring, a strap & ring keeper, winding check, a wee fighting butt, the blank of course, and a UL4 reel seat, all metal in 'Smoky'. I'm feeling a little guilty as Mark has already cut my work in half having trimmed the butt section to accommodate the fighting butt (to keep the section lengths equal) then reamed the handle for the blank and for the up-locking seat hood, at no extra charge. So, everything is ready to go!

    I opted for a budget reel seat as, although I really do like a handsome wooden insert, perhaps too much, I wanted to keep the cost around £100 (plus the 'reward card') and to focus on good cork and good rings first and foremost - content over form, always. The jump between £16 for the UL4 to £50+ for an REC and a nice bit of burl is just too much at this point in my 'career'.
    But soon, my Precious .....

    I asked Mark if he'd pick me a seat with a bit of pattern to it, not expecting much from a factory product but in fact, I'm pleasantly surprised. Here's the package:

    Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030015-jpg

    Now, I ordered everything at 9 pm on Friday evening. Mark had the order completed and in the post on Saturday. It arrived in the Isle of Lewis on Monday - the last day of the salmon season, so I was out when Royal Mail tried to deliver. The service was, if anything, too good! My respects to both parties and, if you ever face an Emergency Rod Build, you could do no better than Taniwha for speed of service!

    I was also sent, unrequested and uncharged, a U-shaped keeper ring, just in case, and a spool of silver-grey silk wrapping thread which will, Mark tells me, become transparent under epoxy. That's a really nice touch and much appreciated. I did have a whipping design in mind but prefer his .... He also sent a builder's guide which, as a beginner, has some useful tips. His recommended ring spacings are on his website at Etsy but I'll do my own test first for the practice and comparison.
    It's also worth mentioning that Taniwha rods come with a rod bag, in this case a well-made, black, 4 sectioned bag with top ties and a cut-away to show the top of the butt section - a nice twist on the old idea. I've not found it easy to buy aluminium tubes in the past so decided to splash out on one at purchase. It was £30 but exactly what I want - a smart black tube (and suitably, a 'smoky' lid, I've just realised) without any brand logo spoiling it, so I seized the day.

    The rough breakdown of the build is:
    Blank - £90
    Al Tube - £30
    Rings - £30 + £4
    Handle - £25
    Seat - £16
    F/B, W/C & K/R - £7.50
    P&P - £7.50.

    Total: £210 (£99.50 of which was 'free cashback').

    I'll add that Mark has answered every enquiry within hours rather than days and this transaction has been flawless (which is more, I'm sure, than I'll claim for the resulting rod!). It'll be next season before I get to cast the result but I'll post pics as I go along with the build, ups and downs!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    In the week following my last post I whipped on most of the eyes then spent two weeks in England, hence the time lapse. I completed the rod today with a second epoxy application to most of the whippings as I'd been a tad sparing first time around - or the untreated silk was thirsty?.

    The Snake Brand eyes were easy to whip on with no alterations necessary. The curve in the feet may make things simpler as they sit on the blank nicely and graduate toward the eye smoothly and without the thread 'stepping up' onto the foot. I did have to grind down the tips of the feet on the stripping ring (below) which took about five attempts to whip evenly.

    ..........................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030018-jpg

    The reel seat and insert came as one piece and everything was ready-reemed, ready to go:

    ..........................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030035-jpg

    And with the keeper ring and winding check on:

    ............................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030038-jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    Here are a few macro shots after the first epoxying:

    ..........................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030050-jpg


    ..........................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030054-jpg


    ..........................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030056-jpg

    Some rings got a second application of epoxy today to cover evenly. The epoxy above looks a little dulled in some pics but that's just the lighting, they're glossy enough.

    I've learnt that you can't just apply a second dab to a bare spot or you get a visible layer when dry, so the whole whipping needs a fine coat. I wish I'd had some acetone to thin with but don't, so tried to keep the Flexcoat Lite .... light.
    There are a couple of obvious imperfections in the final result but overall I'm pleased. I used my home-made drier for the tip and the results are better than my patient hand-turning of the other sticks, I think, so I'll maybe make a second some time.

    Something else I've learned is that you can't choose a reel seat by rod line-weight alone. A light-weight seat which is fine for an 8 ft #3 rod will be decidedly underweight to balance a 10 1/2 ft #3. My ultra-light Wychwood River and Stream #3 reel saw the tip dive towards the floor but an STH Turbine Pop 2 (#5/6) balanced the handle beautifully at the grip and will have to take up full time duties next season.

    I'll post pics of the near-finished article when/if we get good light next. I still hope to add transfer decals to this and the FLO at some stage but the rod should be castable tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    A few photos of the finished rod, warts and all. Some epoxying I'm happy with, others not so much. I'll leave it a few days to get a fresh perspective before deciding whether to rework any of it.

    The white patches which look a bit like dimples are a reflection from a circular light - honest!

    ...................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030063-jpg

    The worst ....
    ...................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030064-jpg

    One of the better attempts. Above is a Loomis Streamdance section for comparison.
    ...................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030076-jpg

    On my next go I'm going to keep a good rod nearby for referral, to help me keep the epoxy low, and employ Splinter's suggestions from the 'Clear Wrap' thread. I have a scruffy, old Partridge graphite I can strip down for more practice as that's what's needed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    Another reasonable effort, I think.

    ...................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030077-jpg

    The 'peek-a-boo' rod bag and tube with smoky grey lids.

    ...................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030069-jpg

    The point of balance. Though unlined here I think it'll feel good in the hand with this reel.

    ...................................Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030071-jpg

    Well, that's my third rod done, bar the decals. I'll keep practicing and search for an appropriate blank for my 'wine-related-rod' project.
    Thanks for looking!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,344

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    Just an update on this rod .... I wasn't happy with the epoxying on the majority of the rings, especially after the better results I got with two thin coats on another rod. It gnawed at me over Christmas so a couple of weeks ago I began sanding down the epoxy very carefully with W&D 800 on the worst rugby balls.
    Then the next worst, etc.
    By the time I was happy, only the tip and one ring were left alone! And I have mild RSI in my hand ....
    I never thought of myself as having OCD before but this business seems to bring it out in me!

    I've re-epoxied and am happier with the result. It's not perfect of course, but closer to my intention and worth the effort. It might actually have been quicker to cut away and start again rather than sand but hey, it taught me a good lesson - two thin coats!

    Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-taniwha-nano-rod-rebuild-jpg

    (All the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order!)

    I have also added the rod info ....

    Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030168-jpg

    Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?-1-p1030169-jpg

    Unfortunately, somewhere along the path I forgot this is a #3, not a #4. Dumb or what!

    Anyway, I'm finished playing with it. Just looking forward to fishing it now.

    Not sure what's next. I have a '90s, 11ft, Century Stealth #6/7, a Bruce & Walker 'Powerlite' - 11' 3", #6 (uses a #7) and an Alan Riddell 'Sea Trout Special', 11' 4", #7 and I don't have a need for three 11 ft #7s ..... An 11ft, #6/7 switch rod might be fun, though!
    The Powerlite is safe, we have history together, but the two others will be looked at with a view to a new career.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Provence, France
    Posts
    911

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    I've not forgotten my promise Lewis, it's just taking longer than I thought.
    David.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Co. Armagh.
    Posts
    1,530

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    That's it James, you're now officially a stage three perfectionist. There's no saving you now. Doomed I tell you, doomed.

    Simon.
    Sixty and still got it.
    Just can't remember where I set it down.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Has Anyone Built on a Taniwha Nano-Helix Blank?

    Not sure how I missed this one from the start but we'll done on another completion JB

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