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First Rod Build

Blank: RDP 7’6″ #0
Reel Seat: RDP
Handle: Self-turned
Guides: RDP Single foot
Thread: Kimono Silk Thread #100 Japanese Silk Color: 304 (yellow) & 355 (green)
Color Preserver: Flex Coat
Finish: Flex Coat Lite

This winter I have had a couple of projects going: first of all it has been experimenting with different styles of flies to get a grasp of different techniques. The other one is this: building my first rod. I got a couple of blank kits from RDP Flyrods before christmas, one #2 that I gave away for christmas, and this one: a 7’6″ #0 for myself.

Building this #0 has been a interesting journey: it is like starting tying your first fly all over again – you swear, break the thread, get finish all over the place and the epoxy is pouring out places you didn’t even consider…. But I got it together in the end and for a first attempt I’m happy with how the rod looks, I haven’t tested it yet (the snow has been packed here), so I don’t know how it will behave. I have a #1 DT line that matches good up with my Sage TXL-F #1 that I will put on this. This will be a rod for those small streams that house tiny trout and you have to break out size 7 tippet. handle was turned in-hand without any rack where I could get a stable rotation, so it isn’t as even as I would have wanted it to be. I did, however, make the form of it to fit my hand, and I wanted to test out a different handle than the rest of my rods. The next phase here is to take it out fishing, then see how it behaves and maybe strip it of the rod and turn a new one based on experience. I should also note that the quality of the cork wasn’t top notch, so I will get some better for my next build. don’t have many colors for wrapping the rod, but I think the yellow/green combination came out good on the red/brown blank. You can see that the finish is not half-bad on the thread, but I managed to get some on the blank that shouldn’t have been there (often you don’t notice stuff like this until you break out the macro lense) have some practicing on getting the thread all the way to the end (this part I had to re-do 3 times because the thread came off)

Here a close-up without the finish applied: too bad, I think, but for my next build I will focus more on getting the wraps to sit better color preserver & finish that I used on the thread: the thread didn’t loose any  color and the lite flex-coat made for really good coatings.

My next project now is from The Anglers Roost where I have ordered a 12ft #3/4 rod that I will build as a trout spey with double handle. Will post more about that later.


(1) Comment
  • David Parker says:

    I had a look at this site for the first time this morning and saw your first fly rod project. From your photos shown, I would say that you did a real nice job being that it was basically hand built. Nice choice of colour combo of your threads vs blank.
    As for your cork grip, I would not even think about replacing it, for it would be more trouble than it’s worth. IMO that one looks great for being a first hand built grip and that 1st rod should join your rod collection as a part of your legacy along with all those excellent flies that you tie.
    Well done.

    David Parker
    Certified Professional Rod Builder
    Coldwater, Ontario

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