Thus far the bamboo fly rod is coming together well but has not been without it’s hiccups and learning curves. It has been a unique opportunity to learn about how true craftsmen employ carefully acquired techniques to fabricate rods properly, and how I am comedically under-skilled to achieve the same success. However, if at first you don’t succeed… summon a monk-level amount of patience and try, try again.
After all my components arrived, I was excited to get started on the fabrication. It was then that I realized there were no instructional materials steps included with any the supplies I had purchased, so I started googling the process. Although most sites made the process seem relatively straightforward, this was when I realized that I may have been under-powered in terms of equipment I had overlooked. While I had sourced all the necessary components, I had not acquired the rod epoxy or the rod building stand that most craftsmen utilized to help with the wrapping steps and finishing process.
I have been consulting a variety of references and videos to help educate myself on the build process, which can be found below.
Most of the pros in the YouTube channels used a stand to balance the rod and apply the wraps to the stripping guides, ferrules and epoxy. Seeing as I did not have not wanted to invest in my own fabrication gear this early, I decided to do it all by hand. I also considered making my own little stand, but after seeing a few folks do it by hand, I opted to give it a try. It took extreme patience and learning from early mistakes, but I have measured and wrapped all the stripping guides expect one, installed the hook keeper, assembled reel seat and mounted the cork handle.
The images above show how the silk thread is used to wrap most of the components onto the rod. This step took the most patience, is it took the majority of the time to get the wraps to hold each guide snugly and sit in a clean stack. Once all the components are wrapped, the thread will be glazed with a clear epoxy to “finish” each component in its place. As of now only the ferrules, tip-top guides and the finishing steps remain. I had initially speculated about acquiring a mating reel but I may make this a stretch goal, due to finances. In the interim I can use one of my current reels to go test it on the water.
References and Building Instructions:
Fly Rod Building 101: http://www.flyrodcrafters.com/rod-building-101/
Fly Rod Fanatic Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NKKACqIfOo
How to Build Fly Rod Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVz9sfQ7_FA