Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Worried Shrimp Fly Rod... 

Up next is my first fly rod, a Rainshadow 8'6" two piece 6 weight blank.

RXF866 8'6" 2 6 4.5 .365

Featuring TLSG Fuji Concept single foot guides and a bellinger uplocking reel seat.

The tricky bit will be embedding/surrounding the top part of the reel seat in cork and fashioning a gradual taper to the butt end. There will be some mortising involved...

I'll began by fashioning a rubberized cork insert for the bellinger skeletal reel seat. Using my makita 3/8" variable speed drill as a lathe I mount the glued up rubberized rings (Rod Bond) and wrap up masking tape on either end to establish the diameter of the insert. This is the upper end.

And this is the uplocking lower end of the reel seat.

Here is a view just before sanding to size.

Once I've gotten the size correct I'll take some time to mortise one side to accept the reel seat. For this job I've built a sanding tool by using a bit of old rod blank, cutting it to shape and gluing on some medium grit sandpaper.


Here I've slipped the reel seat on to test the fit.

And here an image with the reel attached.

I think I'd like to hide entirely the upper reel seat ring so I've reamed a burl cork ring in which to embed the part.

It will fit like so...

I'll require at least one, prehaps two additional rubberized cork rings to create a sloping shoulder into the insert.

like so...

It's about time to began shaping the burl cork handle.

Dusty work... Hard work...

Okie Dokie... got that done.

I'm fond of mounting parts to make sure all is well and the fit is fine.

Another view...

So now I've roughed out two rubber cork rings to add to the handle portion - note the insert is not yet glued to the handle.

Here it is after gluing. I've slid the insert in to help facilitate a proper fit.

After sanding...

And again with the reel insert slipped inside.

How bout some imges of the parts assembled?

now this view...

and this one.

Well I've decided to commit and Rod Bonded the insert into the handle. There's no reverse in this gear box mate! My fear is that a gap may form in the lower shoulder taper so I've wrapped that area snuggly with masking tape and wound dental floss over that!

After a bit of sanding here are the results.


rotated yet more...

So far so good...

Since this burl is prone to pits. I'll try and fill them with a titebondII glue and burl dust mixture.


Letting it dry. Waiting to sand with fine paper.

Well.... several things...

First of all I found the handle to still be a bit hefty in diameter.

So I continued sanding. Here are the results with components mounted for sighting down the blank aligning the reelseat with the spline.

Additionally I'll mark the blank for Rod Bond application.

Meanwhile I've assembled the reelseat components, applied Rod Bond and clamped and cured the nearly complete handle.

Here than are a couple of views. Notice how I've left the butt end unfinished to be solved a bit further into the process.

One final thing about this aspect of handle construction. Since I was obliged to re-sand the handle I was once more faced with pits and irregular sized cavities which seem to be prone to occur in this otherwise excellent burl cork.

This time, rather than filling the pits with glue/cork dust I've elected instead to dice up tiny irregular pieces of burl cork and poke them into the pits after dabing them in Rod Bond. This is a MUCH BETTER method in my opinion.

Just call me Anal...

Preparing the blank prior to gluing on the handle is essential. After splining the lower butt section and making a china pencil mark to record the effective spine I've taken some Ultra fine Mirlon abrasive pad, similar to the scotchbrite recommended by the helpful folks over at Take a moment to read this article on achieving a Water Break Free surface to get an understanding of strong epoxy bonds.

Well the handle is now mounted on the blank and curing. Next I'll be resolving the butt end. Of course by now you are aware that no rod I build is complete without a Worried Shrimp charm implanted into the handle and so it shall be.



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