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Tom S

First Wraps

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Looking really nice! I love finding thread like this to read through. Always find good tip in them. I'm planning to build 2-3 rods this year. I've never built on before I'm excited to try it!

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Working on another rod now. Stripped down another old fiberglass blank. Started researching what I wanted to do with this one. Discovered birch bark grips.

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Thought that's cool, I'd like to try that sometime. Classy look.

Looked at wood grips.

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Thought 'that's a nice look, but it's going to be hard to do a good job on them at home without a lathe'.

Looked around at work. We've started using a material called baltic birch more and more often. It's a higher-grade plywood that leaves a nice edge when cut and sanded.

So, here I am trying to make a baltic birch grips.

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Got a bunch of rings cut out on the CNC, treating them like cork rings. Right now they're just sitting on the rod, I'm going to try gluing them up on a mandrel and smoothing them out on a drill press, then installing them on the rod and doing a thread wrap in front of the grip to clean up any gaps. I'm hoping that everything balances out ok, we'll have to see with a reel on it.

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Finally got out to try my rod on a pond yesterday. Threw on a cheap reel and line, just to try something.

First off, I thought the rod looked great in the sunlight. I'll see if I can get a picture later today in the sunlight.

Casting was ok. Rod handled great and felt very comfortable, but I need to get back into the swing of casting. Thinking about booking some lessons to tune up my casting this year. Need to get a better line as well, I had pulled this one off another rod a while ago because of it's memory and coating.

Panfish weren't overly willing, but I did manage to catch some bruisers. This is a buddy's pond, he's been feeding these fish for a couple years now during the warmer months. This was the first time we saw fish this year. Bluegills with shoulders. Solid 10 inchers. Rod handled them with ease.

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Set something up schnipster, love to get out with all you guys. Have not had many chances this year so far, work is just crazy busy, plus doing some home reno's. But would make some time for a outing.

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Looks good Tom. Have you had a chance to try it out yet? What line you going with?

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Rod is rated as a 5/6. I've tried it out with a WF6, it cast fine. Picked up a WF5 last night to try as well. Then I'll be outfitted a 5 weight for panfish/trout, a 7 weight for bass, and a 9 weight for steelhead. Now I need to start looking for some long rods...

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Got out today for some panfish with this rod. Balanced perfectly with the reel and a 5wt line. Casts of 50-70 feet effortlessly, still had some 'go' in it, but the wind gusts were causing me grief. Light enough for the panfish to still be fun.

Really liking this rod.

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Yup. A 5 weight in this wind is a challenge. I remember meeting up with an NFN member a few years ago to show him the basics. We spent half an hour on the grass then moved to the water. But the wind picked up and made a mess of every cast he tried with his 5. Even my casts were getting blown off target and I had my 10 weight.

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Looks good Tom, often wonder why most fly rods dont have hook keepers?

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I guess they're just becoming one of those things that come in and out of fashion over time. Like twisted thread, Mylar under the guides, and spiral wraps. Some people argue that the line catches on them, but if you're sweeping line along the blank like that I'd be more worried about catching a knuckle then the hook keeper... I guess I could see that argument if you're shooting a lot of line and it jumps up and around the keeper.

The older bamboo rods have little rings secured to the blank with a wire bracket and thread.... the click-click-click during casting drives some people crazy.

I don't think most spey rods have hook keepers - from what I understand it's in case you need to extend your grip onto the rod, the hook keeper gets in the way then.

Just don't hook it in the cork. Please.

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