Build Or Buy - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Build Or Buy

With all the talk about Anglers Roost Blanks, I was wondering if it would be better to build a switch using their blanks or build one? I already have a 5WT GLoomis Pro 4X switch and was looking for a lighter one. If I buy one already built, it would be the 3 piece, 11ft 3/4wt which comes with 2 tips. If I where to build I was thinking of building the 11ft 3 piece 2/3wt IM6 or the new 9'10" 4 piece 4wt. Just not sure which one would be best. Most of the waters I fish are smaller. I would be mainly for white bass, smallmouth bass, and the occasional trout. I am leaning more towards the shorter 4wt. Just not sure. Need some input please. Thanks.

Mike P.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 08:16 PM
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I just built the ARE 12' 3/4. Was a pretty interesting project. Easy enough to do and pretty satisfying once it is finished.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:02 PM
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For myself, after I had gone through everything you going through right now. The issue is that you have the size of the water, the size and type of fish, what you will be throwing at said fish, and last but not least the type of head or line you like. After a lot of reading and note taking I decided that a more knowledgeable person would be of great value right now. So I called R B Meiser with all of the things I previously mentioned. At the end of the conversation we had settled on a rod and line choice that will likely work very well for my situation. I don't have the rod yet but knowing that it wasn't just a (guess it will work) from me, makes me feel a lot more confident about the decision I made. I did order the RTW (ready to wrap) not the builders kit due to my limited rod building experience, 1 single handed rod 6 years ago, but I had that option also. Hope this is of some help.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 09:26 PM
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I don't think there is any comparison between the reward you feel catching a fish on a rod you built yourself and one you purchase. If you have ever built a model car as a child you can certainly build a fly rod. The biggest hurdle is usually just deciding to give it a try, with so many low cost high quality blank options you really cant go too wrong.

A couple hints; take the time to sand down the feet on your guides (snake and strip) it will be much easier to wrap your guides, rig up some way to keep the rod turning while finish is drying (a variable speed drill motor works well), keep your work area clean and free of dust, warm up rod finish before applying(I mix on a piece of aluminum foil and heat with a 100 watt bulb) rod finish I think the best is threadmaster light build does not produce bubbles, dries super clear, seeks it own level when turned, almost foolproof.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 09:12 AM
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Beware of the rod building trap, Mike. Once you build one you won't be able to go back to buying off the rack.

I started building my own rods 30 years ago, ended up making my own wrapper, graduated to a two speed dryer from a McGyvered rotisserie motor, bought a lathe to turn grips, etc. and have loved most of the rods I've done. I did buy an RTW from Bob Meiser last year, as I wanted a memorial rod in memory of my Dad and I'll never be in Bob's class of finish work.

You'll find grips, seats, guide, guide spacings, etc that you just can't find on commercially built, mass market rods. you will be surprised at where they cut corners, and won't be happy with them after that. Plus, the variety of quality blanks far outstrips built rods, and the cost on many of those blanks allows for really good quality components on your own build that will still cost you less than that off the rack product. Rodbuilding.org is a great site, with a lot of builders that are just as free with help and advice as the gang here is. Have fun, and enjoy the journey!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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I have no problem building a rod. I have built 2 spinning rods from fly blanks. I find it easier to buy a rod if one is already commercially available at a price point I can afford. Building can be time consuming and a real pain if your an attention to detail nut. I have used permagloss to finish my thread wraps since I do not have a rod dryer nor the desire to watch and turn a rod while the epoxy dries.
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Mike P.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 01:50 PM
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I've not seen one of the ARE rods, but I heard that the components (guides, cork, reel seat) aren't that great of quality. If that's ok then buying a premade rod will work fine, and you can always strip the blank down and rebuild. Wrapping a rod yourself isn't too difficult, and there's tons of info and videos online to make it easy. Plus you can put on better components and customize your rod for cheaper than you can generally buy premade. The real issue with building two handed rods, especially smaller sized rods, is the cork. Smaller sized two hand handles are difficult to find, or at least ones that fit smaller rods well without modification are scarce. You can glue up and shape an upper and lower grip yourself fairly easily or find a custom builder to make one for you. I like building the handle more than any other part of building a rod and I shaped my first few grips on a madrel that I turned with a drill. If you decide to build, though, it can become very involving and addicting.

"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 03:01 PM
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If you have the time and desire...I'd vote build. That is a very rewarding process. I'm at a point in my life though where things are busy enough that building really isn't a viable option as it would be a "forced" project (aka stressful as it would be rushed). Do whatever makes you feel good about it and enjoy the rod regardless.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 11:24 AM
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build

U can spend almost the same dollar amount building ur own rod as u can purchasing off the shelf sticks...but @ the same time it's going to turn out a unique rod that u as the fisher person enjoys looking @ and casting, point is with building u are free to spend any amount to get that rod they way u like it if that's what u desire
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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I decided I will build using the Anglers Roost 9' 10" 4 wt blank with their 19" 3 piece spey rod handle kit. I just need to know if anyone knows the guide spacing for this blank. Also what guides and sizes? I am not sure if I want to use snake guides or single foot guides. My Loomis has Single foot guides which seen to work okay.

Mike P.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 02:06 PM
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Google rod spacing.
There are several that will give you all the spacing and number of guides you will require for the style of rod you are wrapping. I had some sites bookmarked but once I built my rod I deleted them.
As for ARE I was very happy with the blank but the fighting butt not so much. I used an ARE 3/4 12' trout spey to make a single hand rod for long leader chironomid fishing. Only problem was I should have maybe gone to the 2/3.
You get what you pay for. The other components I sourced from a supplier a little closer to home.
There is always the satisfaction that comes from using something you produced yourself.
Personally I do not like single foot guides (bend to easy) and prefer snakes or open bridge guides as found on most Hardy cane rods.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 10:19 PM
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Build. You only live once. Plus you get to add another addiction to the fly fishing tree!!!!!
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 11:03 PM
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For the ARE blanks, build is better. I have a friend who bought the 13' 7/8 built rod and the reel seat is loose now.

As blanks, they are pretty good. For the price, they are a great value. There are better blanks out there of course (lighter, better feel etc) but for up to 10X the price, not 10X better. Rainshadow also makes some good blanks for a reasonable price.

I have both of the blanks you mentioned (along with many others) from ARE. 11'2/3 is a real noodle. A strange blank but I like that sort of stuff. The 9'10 4wt came with a Hook and Hackle Xi sticker on it when I received it, FWIW. It's a matte green which I'll probably strip off to bare graphite and recoat with permagloss. It would be a fun small river streamer rod with a 200gr OPST Commando head. A bit heavy (probably due to the extra length) but if you build it as a micro spey with light wire snakes and go easy on the thread wrap epoxy, you probably won't even notice.

And while some may find Johnny a bit curt, he stands behind his blanks better than most of the big producers. I've only broken a few of his blanks due to user error and every time he has sent out a replacement section for $10-$20 plus shipping, no questions, no hassle...within a day or two! Without having to send in the rest of the rod! One Saturday I hit my 12' 3/4 with a bead head, broke it, called Johnny from the river and I had the new section in my hand by Thursday. The section fit perfectly and the rod was repaired by Friday. And all for under $20! I waited almost 3 months on Sage to repair my ZXL and I've been waiting almost 4 months for my Method 8119. The Sage warranty fee itself is almost 3 new blanks from ARE...
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 11:05 PM
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Also, here's a generic guide spacing calculator:

Guide Spacing Calculator
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2015, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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I ended receiving my order in the mail last week. Only problem is the handle kit is bored too large for the blank. It looks as if I will have to build a grip since I can not seem to find one that will work. Just need to order a mandrel and some cork rings.
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