Fly Rod build


One of my pastimes is fly fishing and over the years I have built a few fly rods.
You start with a “blank” usually 2 or 4 pieces. You find the spine (or spline) and mark it as this is what you line the guides up to. The guides are spaced according to the rod length and number you use.

Next you epoxy on the reel seat and then file/rasp the cork handle inside to fit snugly over the blank and epoxy that in place. Next you tape the hook keeper and guides in place and start winding thread over them to hold them to the blank. I like to do decorative “trim bands” either 1, 2 or 3 wraps of silver to break up the winding a little.
Once all the guides are wrapped you make sure they are aligned and the blanks is placed in a rotisserie and turned while you apply epoxy and let it set.

I count the wraps before I start the first trim band, then the number between them and then the number before the wrap climbs the actual guide - just so I know it’s going to look even!

My latest build is ready for epoxy on the guide wraps.


Wow, @SteveRoy! That is an amazing build! Everything is incredibly neat and precise!


Just gorgeous. Nice one @steveroy.


Awesome @SteveRoy!


Wow, amazing! I love fishing as well but never thought of building a rod :slight_smile:


Awesome! I’ve thought about doing this for a while. Where do you get your blanks and other parts? I’m in the process of CNCing a fly case at the moment.


For my first couple of builds I used to buy from an ebay seller in Oregon, but he doesn’t seem to be selling the kits anymore. They were no name blanks and components from China so were affordable and not a great investment, so a great learning price.

My last couple have been from Valley Custom Rods
I emailed him and asked for a price for a complete kit. He can put together components that will work together. There is also a guy on Vancouver Island, Andy Sneddon he can also put together a complete kit.
I found a 4 piece is easier to start with as there are less guides per piece to align, though it’s harder to find the spine and also more ferrules wraps to do.

I have the wrapper and dryer etc and can help you get started if you decide to build something.


I’d love to see a picture of your wrapper and dryer if you could. I haven’t looked into this in about 25 years, so I’m sure a lot has changed.


The wrapper I use is a pac-bay:


One dryer is also a pac-bay:


I recently found a used all in one wrapper/dryer, again a pac-bay rw-3l:
I haven’t tried wrapping with this one as it’s motor driven with a pedal like a sewing machine has. It’s great for drying as I can do one of the blanks in a 2 piece in one go.
For drying 9 RPM is the speed. Some guys make one from a bar-b-que rotisserie


Wow, a lot better than the old cardboard box I used to use!


A couple of the guys on a fly fishing forum I used to frequent say that a cardboard box and phonebook make good guide wrapping tools. They would run the thread between the pages to get the right tension.


Wrap finished with epoxy




Wow, that’s gorgeous

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