Thursday, January 21, 2016

Going Glass

I like building stuff. I like fishing. I love lamp. So, it just seems natural that I would like to build flyrods. I've been building rods for about 9 years off and on, with the number of rods completed growing a lot lately. The latest build is a three piece, seven and a half foot, four weight built on a fiberglass blank from that came at a ridiculously low price. I ordered the blank a while back but got distracted by another build that I thought would be put to use a lot sooner (you can see that rod here) but it turns out I haven't put it to water yet...

A couple coats with light sanding in between and these end up smooth as glass

I started out having to finish a reel seat then do some serious reaming on the handle because of the thicker-than-graphite diameter this actually took me quite a bit longer than usual. 

I'm going to need a bigger reamer if I do another glass rod
As with all my builds it takes longer to make the decisions than it actually takes to wrap the rod. In an attempt to get some feedback I posted a pic to instagram & facebook showing a couple of the ideas I was entertaining. Everyone that responded said the same thing, so I went with chestnut wraps without any trim on the guides.

Could've just done every guide with all three colors....
Didn't take long to get all the guides on, and since I was planning on keeping the rod for myself a little crosswrap seemed like a good idea.

Not perfect, but it's kinda cool
Time to apply the finish and be done! Pretty exciting really. I decided to try out U40 Permagloss for the first time. Learning from a couple of trial runs, I did a double coat of color preserver because this stuff will seriously darken your thread (like everything turns black, just the the Stones always wanted). After signing the rod I put my first of two coats of the U40 on and watched it lift the signature. I've never encountered this problem before and it really made a mess of things.

Pissed off doesn't begin to describe it
I managed to wipe it all off before any damage was permanent and decided to come back to it the next day. This time after signing I sprayed the signature with a clear coating hoping to create a barrier between the ink and the finish. Well the spray itself managed to ruin the ink job and, again, I was left trying to clean up the area. Not a huge mess, but this was getting pretty discouraging. Next attempt I made sure that the ink had plenty of time to dry, lightly sprayed the clear coat from a safe distance and waited overnight to apply the finish. Again the ink lifted and ran, this time the damage was more widespread and it looks like some serious cleanup is going to be needed. Feeling fed-up I left the rod for another day when my patience had returned. This afternoon I decided to see if the damn thing would even cast halfway decent before putting anymore effort in. 

I think he's hoping one of these will end up being for him....not yet!
Atley and I both agreed it was a sweet little rod that wasn't a complete noodle while still displaying that softer action of a fiberglass. Couldn't get a real feel of it without taking it on some water but I feel like a little more effort to get a decent signature & rod info on there will be worth it. I'm glad all these screw ups were on a rod for me! No more messing with new finishes, I'm going back to using flex-coat two part epoxy! It's not as easy, but it hasn't let me down either... Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

This next build is gonna be sweet!

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