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First Fly Rod Build

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#16 Steve C

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 06:57 PM



On the line, is the RIO good stuff, what If I order a 3wt instead of a 4wt? I'll confess I'm mostly attracted to it due to the discount, maybe I'm getting played.



Rio is good stuff, and that's a good price.  I wouldn't rule out Scientific Angler Frequency at just under $50. I've been using the SA Frequency Boost on rods with similar actions.  The Boost is a 1/2 size heavy.  The heavier lines will load with 5-10 feet less line out, enable short casts, less backcast room, and larger loops for heavier flies.  I don't know what the effective line number is for that blank but I'm guessing it loads best between 130-140 grains, or 4 1/2- 5 wt lines.  The rod doesn't know it's a 4wt, it just loads when it has enough line weight, i.e. 35' of 3 wt line, 30 4wt, 25' of 5wt, 20' of 6wt, etc.  


I "over-line" for shorter cast and more wind, and "under-line" for when I need to cast long with tighter loops, lighter flies.  The Grand will not overload the rod. The extension sounds pretty cool by the way.  Looking forward to seeing pics and hearing how it fishes.  

#17 River Rat

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 10:01 PM

Lots of good information above so I'll just add a couple of comments here.  First, I've found this calculator to be quite accurate for spacing and sizing on graphite, fiberglass and bamboo:  Use the Clemens spacing.  I always do a static load test after taping on the guides sized and spaced as suggested by this calculator and only once have I found it wise to add a guide and change the location of the first guide and that was because of an unusually slender tip.


Also, I'd rethink the butt extension on this light a fly rod.  And I've become very fond of downlocking reel seats on fly rods because they lack the extension of the rod butt behind the reel that tends to wind up with line wrapped around it - usually at the wrong time.  Unfortunately this tends to limit the manufacturers that you can get screwing reel seats from but cap and ring seats work just fine and don't stick when they get sand in them.


I am not familiar with the reel manufacturer but if the drag is smooth it can't be a bad deal. The excessive clearance could occasionally cause a problem but you'll probably learn quickly how to avoid that.  As for fly lines, I've had good experiences with Cortland lines.  If you keep them clean and treat them a couple of times a year you should get several years out of them. I've not had that experience with several higher end lines.


Good luck with your project.

Cliff Parmer

If it's worth your time to do, it's worth doing to the best of your ability.

#18 Goduster

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 10:32 PM

I have actually notice a trend in sales increasing a bit on the downlocking seats, both threaded and cap and ring style 5wt and down builds, to include some that I am also building

Ron Weber
Southwest Custom Rods


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Authorized  Snake Brand guide dealer

#19 Bigdadyrods


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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:49 AM

Not to change the talk about the build and go to fly lines but the guys above are right. I've bought and used a ton of different lines but I do like the Grand. Also, just for some info that I always post when we talk about this.
Cabelas sells fly lines under their name--Prestege and Prestege plus. Prestege is made by Cortland and is their standard 444. The plus is made by SA and is their old GPS. You can get a better deal if you buy Cabelas line as opposed to the true manufacturer. Most Chinese lines are way under weighted to their specific weights.
If you find a reel with a good drag, no matter who makes it, hang on to it. I prefer to stay with an all aluminum, machined cut, reel with a sealed drag with cork or delrin as a drag. No more graphite or plastic or cast investment for me.

As for the seat, the A4 is a little smaller than the A5 and is mortised. I got scared years ago with the A3, as they didn't fit some of the reels. A3 was a really small seat. Since I make most of my own and I don't cut the mortise, that was why I chose the A5. If your buying one and not making it, nothing wrong with the A4. It is a bigger version of the old A3.


#20 smalliesteve

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 08:59 PM

Thanks again for all the good intel.

I'm going to stay away from mortised inserts now. The more I look at them the less appealing it looks to make one with my current tool selection.

I'm starting to backoff the agate too. I've got another casting rod to build this winter and the $30 can go to upgrades on that as its a higher-end build.

Downgrading the tip top as well, but still staying with ceramic... may be overkill but I like it. Plus the one I picked out is only $5. I'm assuming a size 6 ring is appropriate?

I'm not in a rush to get it done as it'll be late March before I can fish it, but I'll post it on here when it's done.

Just to clarify, I'm not adding a 4" fighting butt, I'm building the rod 4" longer. From the comments it looks like this wasn't clear.

#21 Muddler4

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:58 AM

One word of caution before you spend serious $$$ on a 4wt line, the Matrix is known to be about one line weight over by AFTMA/AFFTA standards.  I've built three of the 5wt blanks and all were about 6.5 ERN.  The CCS databases (including the one here) typically show Matrix in the 4 - 8 wt range to be about one over.  That said they are great blanks for the money, you just need to know how to line them for your application.

#22 Goduster

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 10:06 AM

That is exactly what I discovered on the last 10' 5wt matrix I built, it definitely did not like a 5wt line

Ron Weber
Southwest Custom Rods


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