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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you that have built rods off of these blanks can you post some pics and throw some specs on materials that you guys used? I have never built a rod before and after hearing how nice these rods are I am thinking of trying to build one or two. I just have absolutely no clue on what size thread, guides, reel seats or anything to use! Hopefully this can become a thread to help other new builders out and to showcase some nice homemade rods. Appreciate the help!
 

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I built the 12' 2/3 IM6 version of this. I just bought the kit that Johnny has available. I sanded down the cork on it and it turned into honeycomb. Needless to say it's ultra cheap cork. However, the guide kit is just fine as is the reel seat.

I then had Steve Godshall build a custom head for it. I believe mine is a Scandi head 23' @ 210 grains.

Just go for it. It's a ton of fun and a fun little rod to fish. At the price you can't go wrong. Given it's your first rod you'll make a ton of mistakes but that's all part of the process.

Good luck with it.
 

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I haven't built a 12 ft 2/3 wt but I have built other weights of two handers on both the IM6 and UHM blanks. The UHM are faster, lighter blanks, but I prefer the older IM6 blanks for my casting style. If you do a search there is a bunch of info on the 12 ft 2/3 as well as other ARE blanks. For that blank I would think 11 guides with two strippers, size 12 and 10, and 9 snakes stepping down from size 5 or 6 to size 2 with an larger diameter tip top should work just fine. For thread one spool of size A will be enough for a couple rods. Reel seats are personal, but fit them to the size reel you will be using. You will probably need a reel in the 5/6 range to hold the line for a 2/3 wt two hander so a seat in that size range will work well, just make sure it has a removable butt cap so you can extend the blank through to put on the bottom handle. Most guys use a front handle about an inch long for every foot of rod length and a rear handle anywhere from 3 to 6 inches depending on what you like or if you're trying to balance a certain reel on the outfit. Of course you won't have to worry about the seat or cork if you buy a handle kit, just get a kit with the appropriate sized handle and you should be ready to go. Whatever you do enjoy the experience and when you're done share your work.
 

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This is the 11' 2/3 the 12' 2/3 uses the same number of guides but the spacing is different. These were guide sizes and spacing from Steve Godshall. I will do the run down of parts.

Cork - Flor, burl, rubberized - Mogos cork Ebay
Reel Seat - #107 Ye Old English fly shop - Ebay

Guides and spacing for 12' 2/3: 12 (107.8"), 10, (89.2") 4 (73"), 3 (58.8"), 2 (46.5"),2 (35.8"), 2 (26.5"), 2 (18.5"), 2 (11.4") , 2 (5.3"), large loop tip top. All measurements from tip top to back edge of guide

I used Snake Brand Universal guides which are more expensive but the curved foot on them makes wrapping them a dream. I used #12 and #10 Hard Chrome boat guides from Anglers Workshop. I went with YLI 100 Silk but I recommend as others have size A Nylon and I use Spar Varnish as it is easy to work with, easy to just cut off a wrap if you make a mistake and pretty forgiving for the novice builder. Varnish takes multiple coats, Ace hardware Spar varnish, Cabot (Lowes) or even Minwax Spar urethane applied with a bodkin and rotated by hand works fine.

This is the 5th rod I have ever built, I also built the 11' 4/5 from Anglers Roost and a couple of his Fiberglass single hand rods.

Mike

www.fringeelementflyfishing.blogspot.com
 

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Here is a link to a 12ft 3/4wt version that I built over the winter.

http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showthread.php?t=174913

The 12 ft 2/3 is really only about a half weight lighter in grain windows than the 3/4wt. The two blanks will actually ferrule together.


Here is the body of the text and some pictures:

I built this rod on the well talked about ARE 12ft 3/4 wt IM6 four piece blank.









I used a reel seat from Joel Lemke. Joel makes stuff for me and my bamboo and custom rods. I used 10 light wire guides and one stripping guide.
 

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How does the rubberized cork turn up? I've turned plain old cork but never the rubberized stuff.

I like seein' these. Keep 'em coming-
 

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Here are a few rods (bottom 3 are A.R.E.) I've built recently. Adding burled/burnt/rubberized cork inserts and accents is a lot easier than it might seem. Lots of good info on the net re: techniques, etc.
I've had good results with Pac Bay seats and guides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I finally got off my butt and ordered everything to build the IM6 12' 3/4. I ordered the U-40 Permagloss, but after doing some reading on the net, looks like I got the wrong stuff. Does anyone have any recommendations or will I be ok with the U-40? Is this blank shiny or is it a dull finish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Has anyone tried the nw Rio Trout Skagit's on these rods or the OPST Commando heads? Hopefully I will be done building this weekend and ready to fish in a few weeks.
 

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I have used the OPST Commando 200 on my 12' 3/4wt rod. Was turning over a 7 & 10ft fast sink poly leader. I could easily make a 70ft cast with this setup. However, still not sure that it is the correct line to optimize the rod.

I may try a Rio 225/250 on it since it is cheaper than the OPST from a test perspective. I seem to be finding that I like a lighter grain weight with this ultra short heads. (and lighter than the recommendations from Steve)

I also like a 25ft 208grn Godshall Scandi and a 245gn Rio Scandi Short on it. I can actually cast the 208 scandi using sustained anchor casts to about 70ft, which indicates that the rod may actually need a lighter line to me. More time on the water will most likely help me figure it out.

I know that this isn't the 2/3 that you are working on, but hopefully it helps. In my static tests of the 2/3 and 3/4 blanks I couldn't tell any difference in the blanks. Steve told me that the blanks are about 35 grains different. I may not be good enough to feel the diff on un-built blanks. I don't see me getting to building out the 2/3 anytime soon due to other priorities to give a better comparison.

Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Rally after reading one of your posts about there not being much of a difference between the 12' 2/3 and the 3/4 I decided to go with the 3/4. So everything you just posted is perfect!
 

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My first build, an ARE 12' IM6 3/4 blank. I built it as a single hander for stillwater chironomid fishing. The length helps when using 20' plus .leaders.
The reels are a 3 3/4" St.George and a Zenith.
I was trying to make up my mind which one balanced the rod the best.
I've since sold the Zenith so the St. George it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Lessons learned during this journey...
1: When ordering stuff, ensure you order EVERYTHING you need! Twice now I ordered stuff and either forgot something or didn't order enough of something...
2: When wrapping your guides or anything for that matter, if you think your razor blade may not be sharp enough just get another one! I discovered this the instant I started putting epoxy on my wraps.
3: If you have pets, ensure you are working well above nose and tail level. Either I wasn't paying enough attention to my dog or he simply disapproved of the color of thread or the quality of job I was doing on coating my guide wraps, because he decided to take his head and nose and toss the section I was working on across the room... Landing on the carpet while it was juuuuuust about done being coated.
4: Work in a place far away from anyone, because after you have been turning your rod section to dry the epoxy for the past hour while admiring your handy work, your wife may decide she is cold and toss a hand knit blanket over her... And your wet rod section.


So, during this project of making my first rod, I have effectively wrapped each guide about 3 times, I have epoxied, cut off and re epoxied 2 complete sections, and have made 3 separate orders online... I can't wait for the next rod!

I will absolutely be ordering a rod dryer! The drying process seems to be the critical point in which the biggest mess ups and accidents can happen.
 
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