What Do I Need ?
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The first step to building a successful high quality rod is to make sure that you have all the components ready and set out.
Use a clean table and have a sheet or some paper that you can cover the table with ready for when you start to use glues and epoxy resin hardeners.
Here is the start of our series in building your own game rod and shows the components and equipment laid out and ready to go.
As you can see in the above picture we have The Rod Blank at the top, underneath the Alutecnos Guides, and from left to right, Rollers for turning the rod, Craft knife, mixing pots, lighter, black, gold and blue threads.
2 part epoxy resins, Black permanent texter, superglue, Shaped cork forgrip, leather grip strap, underneath this a couple of round files
The Alutecnos Curved Butt section, and the electric battery powered rod rotisserie (for turning the rod automatically whilst the epoxy is curing).
Other items to have include a craft air heater or low powered hair dryer, a bottle of Shelite petroleum spirit for cleaning the araldite, 24 hour Araldite not 5 min araldite, box of pins for the leather grip,
CHOICE OF COMPONENTS
The equipment of choice was made after much consideration of what was available on the market that would be able to build a specific instrument to exacting criteria.
The equipment choice had to be readily available to the general public ( no custom designer rods unavailable to no one else), up to the task and most importantly of a very high standard of quality to last A LIFETIME OF FISHING.
The rod chosen was a moderately fast tapered Snyder Glas 37kg short lever 1.7 metres long under the Jig Stick / fast Troll / Short Lever section in the Snyder Glas catalogue. This has a working curve in the top 40-43% of the rod allowing more of the rod to do the lifting as opposed to a super fast tapered rod like Pacific Composite, Sabre or Fenwick etc.
Rods of 24kg and above should be made of rolled fibre glass and not of composite resins and graphite as they simply just break when under extreme pressure. This is exactly what happened to me with a brand new 24kg fully rollered graphite composite Penn II International short stroker rod on a 300kg fish - needless to say I was not impressed and have not fished graphite at that weight and above since.
Therefore due to the excellent characteristics and cost efficiency of this rod this particular blank was chosen.
Guides, they are a an easy one right just put on Aftco.... WRONG. !!
Let it be said that Aftco are firstly a good product, they are strong and proven, but by no means in my opinion the Best. I therefore set out to look for a set of guides that were stylish, feature packed, easy to work with, large enough to fish 37kg-60kg and of course most importantly of an extremely high quality. ALUTECNOS from Italy were the go. The Italians are renown for their machine engineering - look at Duel reels, concrete and fancy buildings. I therefore felt comfortable that their brochure was not just advertising but a real mark of quality.
These rollers are truly innovative thanks to the instant ease with which they can be removed and that has made them famous throughout the world. Scrupulously checked under strict and exhaustive testing, these rollers guarantee a high reliability coefficient even under the most extreme and adverse conditions. These rollers are also distinguished by their high degree of precision, the special care dedicated during the CNC mechanical working, the high quality of materials used, and the perfection in even the finest detail, but particularly the possibility to disassemble them immediately from the support foot, which remains fixed to the rod, by simply loosening the two screws on the sides when ever necessary for replacement or routine maintenance at the end of the season.
The Guides are the only high quality guide on the market that boast this facility and are most convenient for storage and travel, ( if travelling to a destination their is a less likely chance of knocking and damaging the proud guides), not that they are delicate in any way but why take a chance, especially on airplanes. The Guides are available is an anodised gold or an anodised black.
It is therefore my expressed opinion that if you looking at building this type of rod, stick with Alutecnos guides to compliment your rod with regards to quality and durability - you wont be disappointed.
The Guides chosen were a complete set of Gold Anodised Type 3, 37kg/60kg (80/130 lb) You must give the roller tip diameter of the rod. It is unlikely however that you would use the last smaller guide in the set as this rod only has 4 guides plus tip.
The Butt Section:
Once again in the same vein as the guides Aftco is not the only manufacturer of quality Butt Sections, although they would have you believe that. Alutecnos once again make an exceptional product and the one chosen was a newly designed specialty Super short TRUE 37kg-60kg extra heavy duty 2 Piece Bent Butt.
When I say true 37kg-60kg butt, that's what I mean, so many times I see these pathetic so called 37kg rods built up on skinny 24kg Aftco Butts that cannot take the footing of a quality 37kg or 80 lb Reel such as Duel, Penn or Shimano, they are really only designed for a Penn 50 TW or similar spooled with 37kg / 80lb.
Again the butt section is made of a high quality alloy to highly specific machined criteria. The 37kg bent butt's product code is MP03CSOa Curved short butt 80lbs.
Other components such as shaped cork, leather bindings, coloured cotton, epoxy resin, mixing pots, epoxy disposable paint brushes etc etc are all available from Freeway high performance rod components, see link for details of suppliers on the main table of links in this section.