Ok, we’ve slimmed it down. After having multiple issues with the component bits and pieces we’ve decided to let our customers choose their own guides glues threads etc. Mistpool is a good place to start…
The “core” fly rod kit starts with a high-quality fly rod blank from Red Truck Flyfishing. The RT grip, RT seat (and butt when applicable) are all genuine merchandise for a precision fit. Our matching aluminum tube cotton twill rod sock are included. The RT core fly rod kit is simple and inexpensive.
The good news is you don’t need a complex electric variable-speed winder-dryer. You need a simple wooden rod-wrapping cradle: Rod Cradle Anyone with basic craft skills can build one of these. The cradle combined with a thick book and your empty coffee cup will do the job.
Build your cradle and get setup in a workspace large enough for the job. Assemble your blank so you can find the spine. Some rod builders and even manufacturers ignore this preparation step. Many say it’s unnecessary. All blanks line up with a “hard side” and we believe your rod will be better if you use it correctly. Once the blank is together, mark the sections at each ferrule so that it will always line up the same. To find the spine, put the butt on the floor take the tip in your right hand. Press down a bit higher than mid-blank to put a good bend in it. Holding this position, “roll” the blank back and forth. You should feel one side is noticeably stiffer. This is the spine. The spine should be aligned with the guides.
Some prefer the spine on top, others prefer it on the bottom. Think about the physics involved here… If the spine is on top, theoretically the rod is slightly more powerful when lifting into the backcast. If the spine is on the the same side as the guides, this stiffer side of the rod will be pointing at the target when making the forward cast. You decide!
While your blank is still all in one piece, mark it for your guides. We provide a spacing table here: Set Your Guides Use either an alcohol pen or a china marker to mark guide positions on the blanks. We like to set the guides using transparent tape on one foot. This allows us to easily align and adjust the guides. Some even glue them to the blank. We prefer tape. We can wrap one foot at a time and constantly check alignment before committing to wrapping the second foot.
Think about what you are doing now. Generally, 4-piece rods have no guides on the butt section. This means you can wrap the guides for the top three sections without worrying about the seat, grip and/or winding check. If it’s a 3-piece blank, you will have the set the handle up before wrapping the first stripper. When you’re setting the handle up, use regular-width masking tape to create spacers for both the seat and the grip. Be methodical – there’s no rush.
Work with one rod section at a time. Find the biggest hardcover book you own. Drop your thread spool in your coffee cup and run the working end of your thread through the middle of the book. The book provides the perfect tension for wrapping. Constantly check your alignment. You will likely need to assemble and reassemble often during the process. Once you’ve wrapped the rod you can finish and dry it in the same cradle. Use the extension to handle the entire rod. This way all wrappings are coated and turned simultaneously. You don’t need an electric dryer if you’re careful. Just use thin coats and hand-rotate 180* every 10-15 minutes. Base the number of coats on how thick you want your finish to be in the end.
Pour yourself into it. You are going to love this rod and you will fish it like no other!