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Looking for a little advice from all you rod builders. My Project Healing Waters group is about to start their yearly rod building class. One of the vets has asked me to assist him with his build. Joe (the vet I'm helping) only has one working arm and can't do it alone. What do I need for a tool kit? Also, any publications that might help us out?  Thanks in advance and I will keep you updated. 


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I'm not very experienced at it myself, so any advice I have to offer plus a dollar will get you a dollar's worth of something.

Anyway, here is what you will need at a minimum:

1. Rat tail file(s) to bore out the inside of the cork handle and possibly the reel seat (if it has a wood insert).

2. A turning jig/wrapper and thread tensioner.  A manual wrapper might be a challenge to operate with one hand, but it's possible and will be slow going (not necessarily a bad thing if this is a first build.)  You could buy one pretty cheap, but they're wicked easy to build out of scrap lumber and a few nuts, bolts, and washers.  A power wrapper would be slick, but quite pricey.

3. Burnishing tool, or two.  Inexpensive, and if you're like me, they're frequently misplaced.

4. Thread puller, or a handful - they're inexpensive and occasionally break.

5. Orthodontists rubber bands.  Great for temporarily placing guides and figuring out proper spacing.

6. A silicone mixing cup to mix/hold your finish.  I've got a spare you can have.

7. An alcohol torch - if you are going to finish the wraps with epoxy.  Essential for removing air bubbles.  I like U-40, a urethane finish, so I've never had the need for one.  I did buy one before I knew I wouldn't need it.  Still in the unopened package, and I'm happy to loan it out for as long as you'll need it.  Inexpensive to buy, too.

8. Razor blade and/or very sharp, very fine pointed scissors.

9. A low rpm rotating motor and chuck to hold the rod as it turns and dries.  I've seen some cool home made set ups on You Tube that utilize electric drills; if you're handy (and I am extremely not handy), you could probably rig one up pretty easily.  You can also buy them for anywhere from about $40 (maybe a little less) to several times that.  I have a $40 base level model and it works just fine.

Book titles....Handcrafting a Graphite Fly Rod by LA Garcia (there's also an accompanying DVD available) and Fly Rod Building Made Easy by Art Scheck are the two that I own. Bought each for well under $10.00 used on a FF'ing bulletin board. I'm sure there are loads of other equally good or better ones out there.  Happy to lend you one or the other of mine.

That's what I know.  Hopefully someone more experienced will chime in to add whatever I missed, delete anything unnecessary, or correct egregious errors.

Happy Wrappin'!



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aldo is on point. well done. only to add,  mandatory on #1, #2, it would be cool if you could borrow a power wrapper, very nice to have. #3, they usually sell plastic for this, I like polished metal, #4, I bought a sac of thread pullers, they seemed bulky and messed with the wraps, for me thread works better. #5/6/7/8, ditto. I saw a fly dryer used as a turner for trying, cheap. 

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