Rod building is a lost art. Today’s rods are relatively inexpensive and abundant. When a person breaks a rod today, they use a lifetime warranty or simply buy a new one. Newer graphite rods are lightweight and durable.
Yesterday’s rods were made of fiberglass and metal! Rod building skills were more useful during the past. You routinely needed to repair wrappings and replace broken and worn out guides. The lacquer finishes needed to be re-applied annually.
Crafting your own gear, lures, flies, and equipment is another way to enjoy the sport. There is just something special about tying your own flies, building a custom rod, or making your gear. Not only can you save a few bucks, you can also extend your sport into the cold winter weeks when you can’t fish. Search on line for catalogs that still supply rod building components.
Build your own rod building rack using some scrap wood and a Mousetrap. Cut the wire on the trap to allow for a thread bobbin to slide on. The traps spring will add the tension needed to help you make a smooth and even wrap. Screw the wooden trap to your rod rack and you are set.
Today’s rod finishes are much better than the past. Only the thread wraps may need to be coated. Inspect every guide to be certain there are no grooves or burs. Use a Q-Tip during this inspection. Any edge will hook onto the cotton and identify the flaw. I replace these guides.
Tip tops are often the first guides to show wear. They can be quickly removed and replaced. The glue that attaches them is heat sensitive. Use a match to gently heat the guide and simply pull off with a pair of pliers. When replacing the guide, heat some rod guide glue and apply to the rod blank. Now slide the new guide in place and align. Remove any excess glue. I carry a piece of rod glue stick in my vest for emergency rod repair on the water.
Cleaning your handles is also an easy job. Try using soap and water and a sponge. A little sand paper and elbow grease also helps. If you have huge holes in your cork handle, apply some Pit Paste into them for a smooth finish.
Urethane rod finishes are quick to apply and will protect the rods finish. After the rod is clean, use a soft bristle brush to apply the finish. You can apply a second coat after the first coat is dry.
Fishing rods also make great gifts. I have always appreciated gifts that were made special for me. Whatever your reason may be, rod building is another fun way to expand your sporting horizons and stretch your season year around.
Stay flexy and rod ready!