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Maine Fly Fish

Epic 686 Build

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I recently built my first ever rod.  Thought I would share.  I got the Epic "ready to wrap" kit.  I wanted a top shelf fiberglass rod, and while I was willing to drop some coin, most of what i was looking at wasn't going to leave much in my pocket.  I decided to try to build one and with some help from Swamptrout picked out the Epic from Swift fly fishing out of New Zealand.  www.swiftflyfishing.com.  It was quite a learning experience, and I made my fair share of mistakes, and learned plenty from them.  While its far from perfect I am very pleased with the result.  I will say my fly tying experience was a huge help both in the patience and wrapping department.  I can see how if one had never worked with thread much, the silk i used on this one could be the cause of heavy consumption of adult beverages and foul language!  I experienced very few issues with the build though, and it was a pile of fun.  I built this in a week before and after work, and with the excitement to get on to the next stage I didn't get a whole lot of sleep! 


Basically everything you need short of a dryer and denatured alcohol/ acetone, comes in a box.


Once I spined the rod I got the seat and handle mounted up first.

epic build.jpg


Got my guides aligned tried it real quick and started wrapping.  3/0 silk thread natural color for clear wraps.  The box came with "rod stands".  I built this rod with the exception of the dryer motor, 100% cardboard box and my fly tying bobbin.  No special equipment needed nor did I feel the need, this method worked great!  The added bonus was it kept any spillage and epoxy off my desk (which is fly tying desk and has plenty of head cement on it already).  


Next started with the first coat of epoxy, ie the moment of truth!




My only regret and if I had to do it over again, I felt I got the epoxy on a bit thick.  Not that it will affect the performance a whole lot, but i would have prefered a bit slimmer wraps.  I wanted to see how the clear guides would look before I did any trim and decorative stuff on the butt section.  I knew I wanted the ferules and guides just plain clear "no frills".

Decided on a "steel blue" with silver sparkle trim for the label and winding check.  It it ended up a lot darker than I expected but i think the contrast is quite striking and looks good. 


Completed rod.


The weather here has been pretty rotten this week and I cant wait to get it outside and get some proper pictures of it.  Think I may try to get it up to the local school gym and give it a go.  I still have bout 3+ feet of snow on the ground here so its gonna be a month or so before I can get it out on the water.  Everything I have heard about these rods is they are a cannon especially for fiberglass.  I can't wait, it should be a lot of fun to cast!






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Looks good

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Really nice work my friend!  It came out really nice, you are really going to enjoy this rod.

Just a little bit more info on the epic series for those interested.

The EPIC series of fiberglass rods are not anything like the heavy glass of years past.  They are made from S-Glass, not your typical E Glass.  Whats this mean? That means you get a fast action, full flexing, lightweight powerhouse of a rod thats tough as nails and fun as hell!  The 686 is readily regarded as one of best 6wt glass tapers on the market today.

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Nice looking rod.  Good job.   Nothing beats building your own rod.

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