11'3" #7 Switch Rod - First build

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Just thought I'd start a thread on my very first rod build.

Although I've never built a rod before I have decided to make all the jigs and fixtures and build the handle from scratch just to make things difficult for myself. . . .

The goal is to make a half decent rod as cheaply as possible, mostly winging it and using common sense :unsure:

Its nowhere near finished so will just add to the thread as I go, maybe some of my daft ideas will help others, I've certainly learned a lot from reading through old posts in this section and haver also learned lots of potential mistakes along the way 🤪

Jigs for making the handle

The first thing was to make a cork clamp for compressing the cork when curing. This was made from 2 plastic blocks that I had lying around and some screwed rod. I countersunk the plastic a little to allow the cork to be perfectly centralised on the jig. Maybe OTT, but thats jus me!

5.jpg


4.jpg


Jig for cutting cork

This is just a piece of scrap wood, cheap and simple but effective

Countersink the wood to the exact depth

6.jpg



Push fit the cork

7.jpg



Use a fine hacksaw blade, keep it flat against the wood and gently saw through

8.jpg



The result is perfectly halved sections which only need a light sanding

9.jpg



Jig for turning the handle

These were made from old MDF skirting board, a drill mount and some runners from an old wardrobe door


10b.jpg
 

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Building the Butt

The Blank

The blank is an Aventik 11'3" #7 Switch Rod blank in a rather fetching green. I have to say, the finish is excellent and it comes with a spare tip and a bag!


1.jpg


Designing the handle

I like to design everything up front as I don't have much spare time for actually making stuff, and this way I can estimate how much cork etc I need and means I can get everything prepared up front.

3.jpg

Building the butt and reel seat

I decided than instead of having decals with the rod details I'd embed a laser etched stainless steel disk into the butt end with who made, when, length and line rating.

Here is hollowed burl with the insert about 3mm deep (doesn't look like that but it has a lens effect) then resined over, the two pieces of cork are glued overnight in the compressor jig

4.jpg




Next is manufacturing the butt end, real seat cork recess, then position the real seat insert and glue together. Left on the compressor overnight.

6.jpg



Next is on with the real seat making sure it aligned to the butt (for alignment of the insert on the end of the butt, my OCD needs them to be aligned) and glued in place.
Next day popped on to the drill lathe

8.jpg



Butt before shaping

9.jpg



Butt after shaping

10.jpg



Finished insert all shaped and polished.

11.jpg



Quite pleased with that as its a bit of a milestone.
 
Last edited:

Grassy_Knollington

Well-known member
Messages
3,618
Reaction score
1,339
Looks like a great job Alan, and an enjoyable one too!

I’m just finishing off a 6 weight ‘switch’. I particularly like the idea of the laser etched butt cap.
 

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Now on to the main handle

Again, its all about the planning, get everything in order before you start glueing, don't want to build your handle only to find you've missed something. I dry fitted everything first

1.jpg



Next, fit and glue

2.jpg



On to the turner again

4.jpg



After profiling

5.jpg


6.jpg



Tidied up a bit

7.jpg


Overall, this was an interesting phase. I based the handle on another rod that I liked the profile but was never happy with the diameter as it was a mm or two too small for me (honestly 1 or 2 mm can make or break a grip).
I think this is about the perfect diameter but I wont really know till it can be casted. In any event I can turn it down if needed. Better that way than the other way lol
 
Last edited:

Bonito

Well-known member
Messages
627
Reaction score
652
Location
Uddingston
Nice job mate. One wee point, rod building threads, you might want to keep them covered from dust as polymer resin does not like dust or contamination. I realise the threads in your pics are fly tying but just assuming the rod building stuff will be exposed the same, (may be wrong)
 

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Nice job mate. One wee point, rod building threads, you might want to keep them covered from dust as polymer resin does not like dust or contamination. I realise the threads in your pics are fly tying but just assuming the rod building stuff will be exposed the same, (may be wrong)
Threads are still sealed in their original packaging as I guessed that might be the case, but welcome tip all the same cheers 👍
 
Last edited:

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Superb Alan....wouldn't believe it is a first attempt !(y)
Could I ask what method you used to shape the handle profile ?
Thanks
I used a small new sharp file to round the edges of the rubber but mostly just took my time with fine and extra fine sandpaper (300ish and 600ish grit)

Its very difficult to blend the hard rubber next to cork without a step as the cork wears really easily and the rubber doesn't want to wear at all, but slowly slowly. It would have been very easy to ruin it by over doing it.

I wrapped the sandpaper round a flat piece of wood, or sometimes the file to help avoid steps, and at the very end used 20mm wide strips of extra fine sandpaper to blend it all in by going up and down really gently.

I'd imagine cork-only, or rubber-only would be fairly easy but a mixture like this was more difficult for a first timer.

I did question why I built the first handle from scratch as you can buy prepared handles of high grade cork very cheaply but I really wanted to challenge myself
 
Last edited:

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Handle looks cracking Alan 👌 I also like the color of the blank 👍 I love threads like this so thank's for taking the time to post it up 👍. Looking forward to to the next instalment 👍
cheers, It'll be a while before I can get the wraps done but will post when done.

. . and of course I'll need to knock up a couple of more jigs for winding the wraps and drying the resin
 
Last edited:

Rennie

Well-known member
Messages
5,855
Reaction score
1,810
Location
Gods County
Loving your handle, I prefer a fat grip due to a damaged grip function in my right hand.Easier for me to grip a fat handle!.
Pedro.
 

lowforcefly

Active member
Messages
489
Reaction score
139
Location
Upper Teesdale
Thanks
I used a small new sharp file to round the edges of the rubber but mostly just took my time with fine and extra fine sandpaper (300ish and 600ish grit)

Its very difficult to blend the hard rubber next to cork without a step as the cork wears really easily and the rubber doesn't want to wear at all, but slowly slowly. It would have been very easy to ruin it by over doing it.

I wrapped the sandpaper round a flat piece of wood, or sometimes the file to help avoid steps, and at the very end used 20mm wide strips of extra fine sandpaper to blend it all in by going up and down really gently.

I'd imagine cork-only, or rubber-only would be fairly easy but a mixture like this was more difficult for a first timer.

I did question why I built the first handle from scratch as you can buy prepared handles of high grade cork very cheaply but I really wanted to challenge myself
Alan, sorry to be a pain, but you have got me interested ?:giggle:
Did you do the rough profile, on a spindle, then transfer to the blank for finishing ?
Just conscious of the amount of pressure being put on the blank.
 

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
o
Certainly is a nice finish, were these just ordered off ebay?
Cheers, Chris
Hi Chris

I ordered off Aliexpress. Ive heard good reports about these IM12 Toray fast action nano carbon rods.

Unbelievably it was only £38 delivered!

The reels seat is also very good quality and was only £12!

For now I'm going for as cheap as possible, just a bit of a game to see if I can make a reasonably decent rod for no money!

20210221_220545.jpg
 

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Alan, sorry to be a pain, but you have got me interested ?:giggle:
Did you do the rough profile, on a spindle, then transfer to the blank for finishing ?
Just conscious of the amount of pressure being put on the blank.
No problem

No I done it all on the blank. In reality there is only 4/5mm to be shaved off the cork at the deepest part.

I put a lot of masking tape neatly around the tip before gripping in the chuck but only tightened it by hand, didn't use the chuck key as I didnt want to compress the blank. That was more than enough to drive it. If the rollers are positioned nicely around the reel seat then it wont go anywhere. I was able to put a decent pressure on it without feeling worried.

Its only terrifying for about 2 minutes but other than that lol.
 
Last edited:

chriswjx

Well-known member
Messages
376
Reaction score
309
Location
Edinburgh
o

Hi Chris

I ordered off Aliexpress. Ive heard good reports about these IM12 Toray fast action nano carbon rods.

Unbelievably it was only £38 delivered!

The reels seat is also very good quality and was only £12!

For now I'm going for as cheap as possible, just a bit of a game to see if I can make a reasonably decent rod for no money!

View attachment 58709

Cool, yeah I tried looking it up on my computer earlier but wasn't showing me anything... then went on my phone and suddenly they had all their blanks... might look into them for my 2nd build, "missing" a 12'6" rod ;)
 

chriswjx

Well-known member
Messages
376
Reaction score
309
Location
Edinburgh
Oh and what was their delivery time like? I've ordered through AliExpress before but it's usually been shipped using AliExpress' own shipping, whilst the Aventik stuff all seems to be sent differently, and with a much larger time frame for delivery.

Edit, never mind me, managed to find the Aventik "Official" Store on AE which uses the normal shipping...
 
Last edited:

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
Loving your handle, I prefer a fat grip due to a damaged grip function in my right hand.Easier for me to grip a fat handle!.
Pedro.
The handle on the right is the shakey oracle switch but I always thought it was way too thin, never liked it.

Believe it or not there's less than 3mm difference between the two handles but are a world apart on how they feel in the hand

20210319_123643.jpg
 

lowforcefly

Active member
Messages
489
Reaction score
139
Location
Upper Teesdale
No problem

No I done it all on the spindle. In reality there is only 4/5mm to be shaved off the cork at the deepest part.

I put a lot of masking tape neatly around the tip before gripping in the chuck but only tightened it by hand, didn't use the chuck key as I didnt want to compress the blank. That was more than enough to drive it. If the rollers are positioned nicely around the reel seat then it wont go anywhere. I was able to put a decent pressure on it without feeling worried.

Its only terrifying for about 2 minutes but other than that lol.
:ROFLMAO: Your a braver man than me Alan !...for me it would be 'Squeaky Cheeks Time' until finished....:eek:
I agree with your thoughts on a 'Thicker handle.' As I have biggish hands, I find it difficult to grip the line on the upper hand, especially when it's cold.
My 1st project may well be to replace the reel seat on an old Pfluger 15'er, it is a lovely action rod, but I haven't used it for years, as the real seat always locks up solid, to such an extent it has to be undone with grips ? Less 'Alps,' more 'Lucky bag' I think ? I just need to work out the best way to remove the existing cork, without damaging the blank ?:unsure:
 

westie4566

Well-known member
Messages
9,292
Reaction score
3,718
Location
Aberdeen
You're not half getting on with that Alan.

AND doing a cracking job of it too - really like the colour scheme (y)

My Loop Cross blank arrived the other day. Just spent the last couple of hours working out the grip dimensions I want. I'm the opposite of you and prefer a slimmer handle. Each to their own, lol.

I might even do a thread as I put mine together.
 

AlanT

Well-known member
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
902
Location
Scotland
You're not half getting on with that Alan.

AND doing a cracking job of it too - really like the colour scheme (y)

My Loop Cross blank arrived the other day. Just spent the last couple of hours working out the grip dimensions I want. I'm the opposite of you and prefer a slimmer handle. Each to their own, lol.

I might even do a thread as I put mine together.
Cheers
I think the handle might have to come down another mm or so but I'll try it out first.

I'll not get anything more done for a few weeks but I'm itching to get on with it.

You should do a thread 👍
 
Top