Thursday, February 11, 2010

The other story... GLASS

I was introduced to fiberglass fly rods which is the closest thing to bamboo fly rod by some friends. Modern fiberglass fly rods are light and relatively easy to handle for those who love slow action rods.

I dug into the world wide web and I found a very interesting forum where all of the forumers uses fiberglass fly rods.

There are so much information on fiberglass fly rods that I got from this forum and the forumers taught me a lot of things especially in rod building. Looking at those glass rods built by pro builders such as Mark (Gypsy), Mike Mcfarland, Don ( Zenkoanhead) ... just to name a few, pushed me a step further in rod building. Their meticulous work never failed to amaze me.

That was the beginning of my second phase in rod building. I started off with affordable fiberglass blanks that I could find.... LAMIGLAS. Nice glass rod for that price range.

I bought a couple of Lamiglas blank, a few Mcfarland blanks and ordered some components from Anglers' Workshop and Mudhole. There is no looking back since ...

The first Lami I built, a 7' 2 pc 3wt

The 2nd Lamiglass, a 7'6" 2 pc 4wt

McFarland Spruce Creek 7'6" 3 pc 5wt

Mcfarland 6'5" 2 pc 3wt

The last of my Lami blank, another 7' 2pc 3wt with rattan grip

Diamond glass 7' 3pc 3 wt

The best part about rod building is the satisfaction of being able to complete the built and customizing the fly rod. I am a hobbyist rod builder and I enjoyed every moment and the process of rod building.

What's next?

I have thought of rolling my own fiberglass blank but there are too much stuff involved and I am not able to source for the raw materials let alone the space for me to do so.

My next best option is making bamboo fly rod blanks. There are ample of natural resource here and bamboo is easily available.

The rest is history.......................

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How it all started.....

Remembering the 1st time I had a taste of rod building... or rather rod refurnishment was re-building a broken Shakespeare Wonderod. It was a 8 footer 2 piece glass rod which was broken during shipping from US.

It was broken at the butt section and throwing it away would be a waste. So, I decided to refurbish it. I have no idea what I will getting into... and I have no confidence if I will be able to refurbish or not. After all, if I don't refurbish it , I will be dumping it.... so , why not?

So, I stripped all the guides and managed to salvaged the cork grip.

Then, my journey of information seeking started. I did a lot of reading on rod building and rod refurbishment from internet. This should be fun, I thought.

I started assemble the original cork grip and reel seat using Devon 5 minutes epoxy.

Found the guide spacing from the internet. As I do not have any wrapping threads, I have to recycle the threads which was removed from the rod and finished off the wrapping with nail varnish.

I even tried to do feather inlay at the butt section. It seems so enticing and I just could not resist doing it.

The refurbished 6' rod turns out to be good, so to say.

Later, I purchased a few more graphite blanks and started to build basic fly rods for practice.

A 6'6" 2wt fly rod..

A 3/4wt 8' 4 piece fly rod...

A.Parramoure 2/3wt 6' 4pc

As I got more confidence in handling the finishes of the rod, I tried to build fanciful fly rod with signature wrapping. But that is another story...............................

Saturday, February 6, 2010

All in a days' work

Finally, I have touch up the groove for the tapers....

guess, it's ready for testing now..

My 1st set of steel planing form

After the long wait, finally I have my 1st set of steel planing form.
I know this will definitely be better than the wooden planing form which I took a week to make.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nodeless construction for bamboo rod

Started my latest project for awhile now. Never in my mind I wanted to do a "nodeless" first. I was thinking of hollow built but I had problems with my last batch of bamboo. There are voids in the nodes and this may weaken the bamboo. I did not notice it until I split the bamboo.

I had to cut away all the nodes and venture into the unknown again. I should not be difficult, I guess. I have seen this Japanese fella who did he nodeless bamboo fly rod from his website. Looks great.

Then I place all these "chop sticks" into the oven for heat treatment. Surprisingly, the "chop sticks" was 58 grams lighter after the treatment.

Now I have to put them back together.. Seems like a long process but it's better than straightening them. I used Titebond III to glue up the 'chop stick'

After a couple of day, it was time to try the nodeless strip on the Medved beveller.
Tested 6 strips on the Medved but only 5 'survived', 1 was out of shape.

As for the joints, it still hold up pretty well.

So far , so good. Need to finish up all 12 strips before setting up the planing form.