This is part 3 of the Rod building Tutorial by Michael Newby and Shaun Futter.
Mix up another batch of epoxy. Apply a layer of thick glue to the blank and between the bushes. Now slowly insert the blank into the reel seat, all the way to the back, as shown. Turn the blank as you are inserting it, to ensure the glue spreads evenly on the inside of the reel seat and the outside of the blank.
Then put more epoxy on the end of the reel seat (inside) and on the inside of the reel seat’s cap, and put the cap onto the reel seat end as shown. Clean up all excess epoxy with alcohol. You should end up with a butt section as shown on in the middle. Now MAKE SURE the blank’s info and model name (if it was silkscreened onto the blank) is in the correct position before leaving the epoxy to dry. If you hold the rod normally with the reel down, the name should be upright and readable. Normally it’s on the left of the blank. Turn the blank into the correct position, clean up any epoxy still left on the components, and secure the components in place with masking tape as shown. Leave it to dry overnight.
The hole through the cork grip will most certainly be smaller than the blank butt section, so it will need some reaming out to fit the blank. This step can be done with rat-tail files, beginning with the smallest one and working your way up to bigger files to enlarge the hole. This must be done very carefully and slowly, to ensure the hole stays centred and does not get made too big. An easier option is to use reamers (available from most rod-building supply shops). Essentially they are just blank sections with grit glued onto them. They are available in many sizes. These reamers make easy work of enlarging the hole diameter.
Start reaming with the smallest reamer, and work slowly. Keep turning the grip to ensure even reaming, and ensure the hole stays centered. Keep test-fitting the blank into the cork grip, as you do not want to remove too much cork. (NB: Blow out the grip every time before test-fitting, as any grit coming off the reamer and that is in the grip will scratch your blank).
Keep test-fitting the blank until the cork slides easily over the reel seat hood, but is not too loose. The grip should also not rock about on the blank, or squeak.
Test fit the winding check (which is aluminium or PVC black rubber), and ream the winding check if need be, to fit snugly on the top of the grip.
Mix up another batch of epoxy (don’t worry, this is the last time!). Spread a layer onto the blank (not the grip inside!). Spread the glue to about 1 inch past the point where your grip top will end up. Now slide the grip onto the blank, and keep turning it as you slide it down, to ensure the glue spreads evenly. Keep sliding it down and turning it until it slides over the reel seat hood, which must also have a very thin layer of epoxy on. Next, slide the winding check on and put a small layer of glue on the winding check, where it meets the cork. Clean up all excess glue with alcohol, and ensure the blank is completely free of glue as well. Make sure all parts are fitted correctly, and set the rod aside to dry overnight.
THE ASSEMBLED ROD BUTT SECTIONS
PREPARE THE GUIDES FOR WRAPPING.
Most guides come prepared already, but almost all need a little finishing off. You need to shape them correctly and ensure there’s no sharp points on them. This will enable the thread to “climb” onto the guide easily and no fraid thread will result. Prepare the guides as shown with a small file.We have shown the guide feet, and the feet on the stripping guide.
You will need a rod-wrapping stand, like the Flex Coat wrapper shown above. You can also make your own one, it’s really quite simple. Or, in a pinch, cut two V’s out of a cardboard box to rest your rod blank on while wrapping.
Assemble the entire rod, and mark out the guide spacing. Al manufacturer's of blanks will give you the spacings required. Rod building supply companies will also be able to give you “general” spacing for your rod’s length, weight and sections if you cannot find them. Just ensure your spacing are marked out correctly, and double-check it. This is very important. You can mark your spacing with a china marker, but I find a thin piece of masking tape works best, and is easily removed…no need to clean the blank.
Now for the hardest part of the build…the wraps. On the pic above you can see the “spacing” marking in the centre, and then we secure the guide with two thin strips of masking tape as well. NB: make sure the guides are aligned with the “spine” you have marked. The hook keeper gets wrapped in the very same way, just right against the winding check of course.
END PART 3
Next time we will start the actual wrapping of the guides.