Hey everyone, I'm new to rod building and looking for any good advice. I just recently took a mudhole rod building class and put together my first rod. I really enjoyed putting the rod together and am in the process of buying a new blank to build along with all of the other items I would need.
I have a CRB rod wrapper that came with the class and will be using it for the first couple of rods that I build and then maybe upgrade in the future. Do you guys have any suggestions on a rod dryer and what RPM to get. I also would like any suggestions on what rod blanks I should start with. I don't want anything expensive for my first couple of builds.
I prefer American made and am looking at the gator rods (the ugly stik finish doesn't bother me). Anyone have any opinions on these blanks or any other blanks that I should start with. I live in Maryland on the Chesapeake bay and mainly fish for stripers, blues and redfish when I can get down south. I also fish for largemouth bass on the Potomac a few times a year. I mainly light tackle fish with soft plastics on the bay but also live line and chunk with cut bait.
I'm sure I left something out that would help with making suggestions so just let me know if you need any further info. My first couple of builds will be considered learning experiences so I don't want to drop a lot of money. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions.