GRAPHITE ROD BUILDING ARTICLES
by Al Campbell
Hopefully you've built a rod and are ready to fish with it by now.
Congratulations, you've accomplished more than many people accomplish in
their fly fishing lifetimes. Here's a few things you can do to protect
that new custom rod and keep it looking new for a lifetime.
First, put a little candle wax on the ferrule. Wax keeps the ferrule
from sticking and helps it stay together too. If you turn the
ferrule when you assemble it, it will fit together better and
resist separating during the cast.
Once in a while, it's a good idea to wash the rod with warm, soapy
water. It doesn't take a lot of soap, just enough to suds a little.
This will keep the rod shiny and new over its lifetime.
Always transport the rod in a protective case. More rods are broken
by transporting them uncased or during the loading-in-the-car-uncased
moments than any other time. If you use a case that allows you
to keep the reel on the rod during transportation, it will only
take a few moments to break it down and put it together again
when you move to another fishing spot.
Allow the rod to dry thoroughly after every use. If you remove
he cap from the case for a few days, or in the case of rod-reel
cases, leave it unzipped for a few days, it will have a chance
to dry out and prevent mold, mildew or swollen cork and wood.
Graphite is easily damaged by impact. Dropping your rod on a
hard surface, hitting it with a bead head or epoxy fly, or hitting
limbs during your cast will fracture the graphite. Although
your rod might not break at the time, the fractured graphite
will eventually result in rod failure. Using the rod to dislodge
a snag will often damage the rod too. Instead, grab the line and
pull the fly loose or break it off.
Use the hook keeper. Hooks are hard and usually
have barbs that will damage the guides if you hook the fly to a guide.
Hooking the fly in the cork handle is just as bad; it damages the cork
and eventually ruins the handle.
Use a good fly line. Cheap lines are abrasive and eventually 'sand'
the guides to the point that they are sharp and cut the line.
Good lines are smooth and slick so they won't damage the guides
or the finish over the thread wraps. It's a good idea to
clean the line and apply a dressing (only the ones recommended by
the manufacturer though) to prevent dirt from sanding the guides like
a cheap line can do. Never use Armor-All on you fly line; it will
damage the line and the finish of the rod blank and the guide wraps.
Heat is hard on fly rods. Never leave your fly rod in a hot car
for long periods of time. Keep it out of the sun when not in use,
this especially applies to car windows and trunks. Heat will
start to soften the resins in the rod blank and guide finish,
eventually resulting in rod failure.
Finally, have fun. Now that you have a new fly rod, get out
there and catch some fish. That's why you built it isn't it?
If you take care of your fly rod it will be a pleasant
companion for a long time.
Thanks for joining me in this series. As I mentioned last time,
I built a rod for myself while doing this series. The pictures
in this article are of the rod I built. I hope yours looks as nice
as mine. ~ Al Campbell
[ Part 1 ]
[ Part 2 ]
[ Part 3 ]
[ Part 4 ]
[ Part 5 ]
[ Part 6 ]
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