8ft 4wt medium action carbon

dougieb

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Apr 16, 2008
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279
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Churt, Surrey
It's not too difficult, the trickiest part is applying the epoxy, my advice would be to go for 3 thinned down coats as you get a slimmer more level finish.

If you are going for snake guides, then I'd also recommend snake brand universal guides, a bit pricier than some but in my opinion worth every penny. No need to prep the guide feet (unless you are using very fine silk). You can buy these from Mark at Taniwha on Etsy.

If you are proficient at fly tying then rod building really isn't any more difficult. Just take your time and if you mess up, it's easy to cut off the guides and start again.
 

webblade

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Jun 6, 2013
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264
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Kildare Ireland
It's not too difficult, the trickiest part is applying the epoxy, my advice would be to go for 3 thinned down coats as you get a slimmer more level finish.

If you are going for snake guides, then I'd also recommend snake brand universal guides, a bit pricier than some but in my opinion worth every penny. No need to prep the guide feet (unless you are using very fine silk). You can buy these from Mark at Taniwha on Etsy.

If you are proficient at fly tying then rod building really isn't any more difficult. Just take your time and if you mess up, it's easy to cut off the guides and start again.
Thanks for the tips. I've been tying flies for a few years so that should help with the wraps. I will have a look at the snake guides on Taniwha. If I buy my reel seat and cork grip from him will he bore out the grip to suit the seat or is it already bored out?
 

Mrtrout

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England.
Thanks for the tips. I've been tying flies for a few years so that should help with the wraps. I will have a look at the snake guides on Taniwha. If I buy my reel seat and cork grip from him will he bore out the grip to suit the seat or is it already bored out?
My friend has just built two rods for the first time both Mick Bell blanks.
Very reasonable and on the second rod the handle and reel seat were already fitted, he’s very pleased with them.
I might have a go myself in the autumn and I think I’ll go with Mick.
He has some on eBay if you have a look.
S.
 

webblade

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Jun 6, 2013
Messages
264
Location
Kildare Ireland
It's not too difficult, the trickiest part is applying the epoxy, my advice would be to go for 3 thinned down coats as you get a slimmer more level finish.

If you are going for snake guides, then I'd also recommend snake brand universal guides, a bit pricier than some but in my opinion worth every penny. No need to prep the guide feet (unless you are using very fine silk). You can buy these from Mark at Taniwha on Etsy.

If you are proficient at fly tying then rod building really isn't any more difficult. Just take your time and if you mess up, it's easy to cut off the guides and start again.
Have all the other hardware I need for the blanks picked out on Taniwha including the snake brand guides you recommended. Only thing I can't find on there is the epoxy. Can you recommend one please? Also, silk thread or nylon??
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
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Isle of Lewis
I've found both Bloke's 'Sensei' and bcrods (eBay) epoxy both very good. Bottle size depends on how many you think you might build, of course.
I suggest going for Size A nylon to begin with as it's a bit easier to work with being a tad thicker. Bear in mind that non-colour preserved threads will darken considerably under epoxy. Or you can buy colourfast thread which won't darken. Or you can buy 'colour preserver' (c/p), a fluid sealant with which you paint the wraps a couple of times before adding the epoxy.

I would also buy:
A burnisher for smoothing the wraps.
Razor blades.
Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) for cleaning up stray epoxy and diluting the mix.
Cotton buds - wet with IPA for cleaning.
Hot Glue to glue the tip.
Epoxy resin for the grip and reel seat.
Masking tape - to pad out the seat/grip area where needed/taping guide feet and whipping thread to blank/protecting areas from stray epoxy/etc.
White China Pencil - to mark the guide spacing, etc. on the blank during the build.
Kids' Nylon Brushes - for applying epoxy. Once used, throw away the brush and use the stem as an epoxy stirrer.
Graduated Pipettes - Not essential but .... They make mixing precise amounts of epoxy resin/hardener very easy and are good for adding a specific amount of IPA to the mix.

For an epoxy mixing tray I cover a milk bottle cap with tin foil - it warms quickly when the epoxy begins to set, making it thinner again - if briefly.
Keep everything clean and dust-free. Dust loves drying epoxy!

Snake Brand snakes are terrifically hassle-free and a great way to start. You may need to file the stripper ring's feet but not the snakes'.
Have fun!
 

webblade

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Jun 6, 2013
Messages
264
Location
Kildare Ireland
I've found both Bloke's 'Sensei' and bcrods (eBay) epoxy both very good. Bottle size depends on how many you think you might build, of course.
I suggest going for Size A nylon to begin with as it's a bit easier to work with being a tad thicker. Bear in mind that non-colour preserved threads will darken considerably under epoxy. Or you can buy colourfast thread which won't darken. Or you can buy 'colour preserver' (c/p), a fluid sealant with which you paint the wraps a couple of times before adding the epoxy.

I would also buy:
A burnisher for smoothing the wraps.
Razor blades.
Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) for cleaning up stray epoxy and diluting the mix.
Cotton buds - wet with IPA for cleaning.
Hot Glue to glue the tip.
Epoxy resin for the grip and reel seat.
Masking tape - to pad out the seat/grip area where needed/taping guide feet and whipping thread to blank/protecting areas from stray epoxy/etc.
White China Pencil - to mark the guide spacing, etc. on the blank during the build.
Kids' Nylon Brushes - for applying epoxy. Once used, throw away the brush and use the stem as an epoxy stirrer.
Graduated Pipettes - Not essential but .... They make mixing precise amounts of epoxy resin/hardener very easy and are good for adding a specific amount of IPA to the mix.

For an epoxy mixing tray I cover a milk bottle cap with tin foil - it warms quickly when the epoxy begins to set, making it thinner again - if briefly.
Keep everything clean and dust-free. Dust loves drying epoxy!

Snake Brand snakes are terrifically hassle-free and a great way to start. You may need to file the stripper ring's feet but not the snakes'.
Have fun!
Thanks Lewis that list is fantastic I appreciate that. Any particular width of masking tape?
 

b13rux

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Jun 24, 2020
Messages
97
Thanks Lewis that list is fantastic I appreciate that. Any particular width of masking tape?
I would just go for standard width, but crucially get a good brand like 3M as it wont leave a residue,

also +1 from me for the sensei epoxy, good stuff.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
Messages
2,459
Location
Isle of Lewis
Hi, webblade. I prefer the stuff that's about 3/4" wide.
When cutting thread tag ends as closely as possible I use the old style double-edged Wilkinson Sword razor blades, snapped in half while in their wrappers. It's surprising to me how quickly the threads blunt them so, once they're spent for that job I use them for cutting strips of masking tape in half/thirds and other less demanding jobs.
b13rux makes a good point about residue. Use the IPA on a bud to clean whipping areas before and after adding a guide.

Once you've done a layer of epoxy don't just chuck the remainder. Set it aside to dry with the rod section. After several hours you can touch that to see if it's dry or tacky rather than risk touching a still-soft guide wrap and ruining it. If it is still tacky leave for several hours more - and hope.

As already mentioned, several thin coats of epoxy will give much better results than one heavier coat, resulting in level, evenly coated guide wraps not 'rugby balls' - but it takes more effort.
The purpose of the first coat is to saturate the threads and bind to the blank beneath so adding a few drops of IPA to the mix and keeping it warm will help give a thin solution. You should get about 20-25 minutes worktime out of each batch you mix so be focused and organised before you start to blend the epoxy.
Check all wraps are dust-free, clean from China pencil marks and straight edged.
If doing two or more sections at once then have your turning area ready - and turn each section regularly even when epoxying the next (not easy, I find. It's like juggling while spinning plates!).

You'll need the guide spacings for your particular blank. Let us know if you can't obtain them.
Cheers,
James.
 

beetlebum

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Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
229
Location
Chorley
I'll second what James advises, the Sensei and BC epoxy is very good. I think I prefer the BC just because it cures extremely quickly, I found that it dried to a hard finish in 3 hours.
 

webblade

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Jun 6, 2013
Messages
264
Location
Kildare Ireland
Hi, webblade. I prefer the stuff that's about 3/4" wide.
When cutting thread tag ends as closely as possible I use the old style double-edged Wilkinson Sword razor blades, snapped in half while in their wrappers. It's surprising to me how quickly the threads blunt them so, once they're spent for that job I use them for cutting strips of masking tape in half/thirds and other less demanding jobs.
b13rux makes a good point about residue. Use the IPA on a bud to clean whipping areas before and after adding a guide.

Once you've done a layer of epoxy don't just chuck the remainder. Set it aside to dry with the rod section. After several hours you can touch that to see if it's dry or tacky rather than risk touching a still-soft guide wrap and ruining it. If it is still tacky leave for several hours more - and hope.

As already mentioned, several thin coats of epoxy will give much better results than one heavier coat, resulting in level, evenly coated guide wraps not 'rugby balls' - but it takes more effort.
The purpose of the first coat is to saturate the threads and bind to the blank beneath so adding a few drops of IPA to the mix and keeping it warm will help give a thin solution. You should get about 20-25 minutes worktime out of each batch you mix so be focused and organised before you start to blend the epoxy.
Check all wraps are dust-free, clean from China pencil marks and straight edged.
If doing two or more sections at once then have your turning area ready - and turn each section regularly even when epoxying the next (not easy, I find. It's like juggling while spinning plates!).

You'll need the guide spacings for your particular blank. Let us know if you can't obtain them.
Cheers,
James.
Thanks James, the blades I have already as I use one of them double edged razor from Wilkinson I find them much better than modern razors. Truth be told the epoxy is the part I'm least confident with so I will probably take my time and concentrate on epoxying just one guide at a time. The spacing I have obtained from mistpool its the TFO Finesse 8' 4wt blank. Will go with the snake brand universal guides as recommended. Haven't yet decided between the Lemke LC1 , LC7 or GS1 seat. Thanks for helping I appreciate your time.
 

kingf000

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Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,931
Hi, webblade. I prefer the stuff that's about 3/4" wide.
When cutting thread tag ends as closely as possible I use the old style double-edged Wilkinson Sword razor blades, snapped in half while in their wrappers. It's surprising to me how quickly the threads blunt them so, once they're spent for that job I use them for cutting strips of masking tape in half/thirds and other less demanding jobs.
b13rux makes a good point about residue. Use the IPA on a bud to clean whipping areas before and after adding a guide.

Once you've done a layer of epoxy don't just chuck the remainder. Set it aside to dry with the rod section. After several hours you can touch that to see if it's dry or tacky rather than risk touching a still-soft guide wrap and ruining it. If it is still tacky leave for several hours more - and hope.

As already mentioned, several thin coats of epoxy will give much better results than one heavier coat, resulting in level, evenly coated guide wraps not 'rugby balls' - but it takes more effort.
The purpose of the first coat is to saturate the threads and bind to the blank beneath so adding a few drops of IPA to the mix and keeping it warm will help give a thin solution. You should get about 20-25 minutes worktime out of each batch you mix so be focused and organised before you start to blend the epoxy.
Check all wraps are dust-free, clean from China pencil marks and straight edged.
If doing two or more sections at once then have your turning area ready - and turn each section regularly even when epoxying the next (not easy, I find. It's like juggling while spinning plates!).

You'll need the guide spacings for your particular blank. Let us know if you can't obtain them.
Cheers,
James.
All very good advice, but my preference is to use toluene to dilute the epoxy. IPA reacts with the resin, weakens it and so the amount you can add is limited. Toluene does not, so you can dilute the epoxy more with toluene. Both are non-toxic, but both will make you feel woozy if you inhale too much of them in an enclosed space. The advantage of IPA is that you can also use it as a hand spray to kill covid!
 

webblade

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Jun 6, 2013
Messages
264
Location
Kildare Ireland
So I have ordered Bloke's sensei for the guided wraps. Can anyone recommend an epoxy for the cork grip and real seat? 5 minute epoxy or 30 minute epoxy? Anyone use U-40 rod bond?
 

dougieb

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Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
279
Location
Churt, Surrey
I've used various epoxies, both 5 minute and normal. I tend to favour 5 minute araldite these days, mainly because I ended up with a reel seat that wasn't aligned and I convinced myself it moved whilst setting. Some argue that the 5 minute stuff isn't as strong as the normal but for a fly rod I don't think it makes much difference.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
Messages
2,459
Location
Isle of Lewis
30 minute stuff for me. Gives me time to check everything is in alignment, maybe move a burl insert to show it's best side up and get it into a clamp before it cures.
If you're a wee bit DIY you can make yourself a clamp to hold the cork and reel seat tightly - example here.
 

b13rux

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Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
97
I use the U-40 5 min but it was hobsons choice as thats all guides n blanks had in stock, its been great though!

having said that i would agree with James the 30 min stuff gives you a bit more time to work with it.
 

webblade

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Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
264
Location
Kildare Ireland
30 minute stuff for me. Gives me time to check everything is in alignment, maybe move a burl insert to show it's best side up and get it into a clamp before it cures.
If you're a wee bit DIY you can make yourself a clamp to hold the cork and reel seat tightly - example here.
30 minutes sounds better as I think I might panic to think I was against the clock with the 5 minutes stuff. Also that clamp would be a breeze for me I do a bit of wood work on the side, thanks for the link.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Messages
2,459
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Isle of Lewis
It looks fine to me, webblade, There's a lot there considering the small amount you'll actually need for one rod - but you may have other uses pending and they claim it doesn't go 'off'.
Essentially, it's the setting time and the 'waterproof' bit that's important for the job.
 

codyarrow

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Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
4,225
All very good advice, but my preference is to use toluene to dilute the epoxy. IPA reacts with the resin, weakens it and so the amount you can add is limited. Toluene does not, so you can dilute the epoxy more with toluene. Both are non-toxic, but both will make you feel woozy if you inhale too much of them in an enclosed space. The advantage of IPA is that you can also use it as a hand spray to kill covid!
Going off thread (forgive me and get back after post) - watched a doc on youtube of a slovakian gypsy village were all the kids were addicted to 'toulene' - don't know if it was the same stuff?
 
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