Monday, 23 September 2013

Rod refurbs...

This year I have been using an old butch light rod for my frogging and it has greatly improved my hook up rate, its quite a bit under rated and I used to chuck 100g on it despite being labelled as 16-50g. Despite this it isn't a heavy or thick blank. I toyed with the idea of buying a blank to build myself a dedicated frog rod then thought why not just strip this rod down and re-build it, there seemed no point buying something that I already had that did the job I wanted well.

The problem I have had with my limited experience in rod building is the fact that you cannot see what your buying so its difficult to gauge scale of anything. I waited up to nearly 4 weeks for my mudhole order to arrive only to find that some of the parts were not suitable. And other parts were different to what expected. The winding checks for example, they are much bigger than I expected and would have preferred something more under stated and subtle but never mind they don't spoil the rod at all but the rod has taken on a totally different path to what I first envisaged. The other problem I had was the butt end of the rod, again the parts ordered were not what I really wanted, I'd bought duplon that was too thin so when I turned it it would be even thinner. In the end I had to buy more parts from guides and blanks and again they were not really what I wanted. I'm happy with the result but there is always somethings I'm not so keen on and would have preferred differently but I'm an artist at heart and that's all part of it, criticising your work and never being 100% happy with it! Its what strives me on to do better next time. So the butt end ended up being as it is but preferably I'd have liked it abit thicker to balance out the proportions.

I've still not got round to making myself a rod turner yet so I'm still using 5min epoxy for my whippings and epoxied sections, it does the job but its not ideal and I know I can vastly improve the next rod if I get a turner made and use suitable epoxy.

I just love doing the whippings and its this part that was quite therapeutic, you can let your imagination go with what you do and even make just abit of string more creative and visual. I like whippings that are subtle on the rod overall but up close show enough to make them look interesting and detailed. I chose brown, black and silver for the the whippings to tie in the mixed handle colour of black duplon and brown composite cork with abit of green on the handle as an extra. Again the most bit I'm disappointed in is the trim cork bits that are a different shade to the handle colour because of the fact i wasn't going to order more from mudhole to finish the rod so had to buy another type from guides and blanks.

I've learnt things while building the rod though that will help improve the next, it is only the second thing Ive built so Ive got to be happy overall with what Ive done. Since i re-built the handle on my spro rod I've realised just how much the customisation effects the way i fish which you wouldn't expect. The very fact that the rods are customised means they are to 'my' taste, its now the first thing that i pick up and i love the way they look, this all makes me happy which in turn builds inner confidence and i think it improves the way i fish. It sounds daft but its true, if you enjoy your gear you enjoy your fishing more, relax, concentrate and fish better.

I hope the photos do it justice as its bloody difficult photographing rods!

I have another couple of rods in the pipeline too, one being a small stream trout rod and the other an ultralight baitcaster. The trout rod won't get done till after Christmas as i wont be needing it till next spring so no point spending funds on that now. I have another Spro pssion UL rod that is rated 2-14g, it has lost the top few inch's so I'm thinking of turning that into a baitcasting rod. I stuck a reel on it today to try it out and it works really well with 5-7g, i tried as light as 3g but it just wouldn't load with that light a weight. cast well though with the 7g and that was just as it was set up for a fixed spool outfit turned upside down. I just tried it to see if it would load.

On the fishing front, I shot out after work to grab an hour or o because my car is in for an MOT tomorrow and wont get it back till the weekend so had to grab my chance. I'm glad I did as it was a fish a chuck, literally! i had loads topped off with the fish below around the 2lb mark. just what I needed before loosing my car all week!
I also found another dead ruffe in the same spot i found another before. This gives me more thought about seriously trying for them on lures one day, they can be quite small so I'd imagine the best bet would be either tiny drop shotted lures or slowly jigged isome maybe? certainly something to give a try one day considering Ive found two dead ones in the same spot. Id love to see a live one in the flesh.


  1. Rod turned out very nice Matt. Now you've given me more to think about, refurbing a couple of rods I have that have seen their better days but fish well.

  2. Thanks Bill, its a good way to bring a rod back to life and make you want to fish with them again

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