How to Make a Homemade Fly Rod

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If you want to make a homemade fly rod, you're going to have to figure out exactly what the purpose of the rod is. Make a homemade fly rod with help from a longtime fishing expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Fishing Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, and welcome. This is Jon Haas with Haas Off the Grid TV. You can catch my destination travel adventure fishing challenge show at I'm here today to talk about rod making, and how to build a rod. Whether that rod is for fly fishing, bait casting, spinning rods, et cetera, there's only a few things you really need to know. And there's only a few things as far as tools that you really need to have. One of the key things is trying to figure out what kind of rod you're trying to build, what the purpose of the rod is, because all rods are gonna have very similar things, they're gonna have a blank, right? In this case, here's a bait casting rod. It's a two piece rod. The blank that I would choose would fit certain characteristics for line weight and type of action that the rod has, you know, the stiffness of the rod. Depending on what I'm trying to do with, the guides I would choose would be determined by the, you know, the type of line that I'm throwing and the type of gear that I'm gonna throw. All rods will start off with a blank choice, and then you'll figure out what the butt looks like, what the reel seat looks like, whatever the rest of the handle looks like, and then what the wraps are gonna look like. And in this case they used red thread on top of these different guides, and they basically, you'll use a tool for wrapping the line. It's basically a slow rotating device. And the reason why you have that is to one, make it easier to wrap, these are threaded wraps that go around these different guides and hook keepers and things like that. And then secondly, when you're applying the epoxy on top of it, which is the second piece of it, you want to make sure that epoxy is drying in a very consistent and consistent manner that's adhesing to the rod. So you want this thing turning at a very slow rate. And so once you've tied, made your ties, you'll apply your epoxy, and what other finish materials you want on top of the rod, and you'll be at that point where you're ready to take the rod and try it out. Now before you usually wrap a rod, you usually, you know, put together all the components for the handle, all these pieces that I talked about here. This is a two piece rod. Here's a fly rod that's a four piece, you can see it breaks down into four different pieces, you know, depending upon the characteristics you're looking for, you know, I use this, this is a four piece rod for travel, so, this is a 12 way Winston rod. But at the fact, at the Winston factory, they're using the same approach as they're deciding what kind of rod butt, reel seat and handle to use, and the depending on the application, how many pieces, what the ferrules look like, you know, when it comes, when you put it together, whoops wrong pieces, once you put it together. And then generally, you know, you use a, I usually try to use at least one plus guide per foot of rod length, but that depends on what you're trying to do with the rod, and like I said, the material that you're gonna be throwing with the rod, what kind of line you're gonna throw. Lots of choices and different types of guides. These are typical fly rod guides. Nowadays you can get guides all the way to the point where they, the collapsible guides and things like that to prevent any damage. But the same thing holds true depending, no matter, you know, what's, what type of rod you're using. Here's a salt water rod that I've got. The butt, the reel seat, the rest of the handle, and then you've got your guides, they've been wrapped, in this case they were wrapped with thread, and then the were wrapped with plastic on top of that before they were sealed off with some epoxy to strengthen it. You can see the epoxy that was used here, you're gonna put all these pieces together at the bottom of the blank, and then you're gonna tie on all your guides. And that's pretty common with all rods, even the big rods. This was a custom rod that built, needed a fighting butt, and we used foam handles for this one, and you can see it's throwing heavy salt water lines, so you can see the guides are pretty heavy duty, and it's got a roller tip at the top, and that's because I'm throwing heavy, heavy duty line off the top and I want to manage that line out of the reel, out of the guides, and usually it's in a very bent over position because I'm on a big fish. But, all common, all common components, all put together, to achieve a purpose to get a certain type of action, a certain type of use, out of your rod to support the fishing situation that you're gonna be in. So, what I usually do is I look in the catalogs, there's a lot of rod building catalogs from a lot of different suppliers, and just start to put together the pieces that I want. The characteristics that you'll see in a lot of the very, very high end rods, like a Winston rod, you can get the same blanks generally, and build them up yourself, and save yourself a lot of money. So, next time you're thinking about getting that very expensive rod at the store, you might consider purchasing the tools you need to build your own rod, and then having the experience of customizing it to your, to your application and to your fishing style. Next time we'll see you on the off the grid, at


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