Fishing rods can be expensive. Making a custom rod is a worthwhile alternative for those who enjoy working with their hands. Part of the process of creating a custom fishing pole includes mounting the guides, or eyelets, that run the length of rod.
Commonly constructed of ceramic or metal, guides play a role in rod sensitivity as well as act to keep your test tangle free. Requiring commonly used tools, patience and an eye for detail, wrapping fishing guides can be a rewarding part of the process.
Create a rod wrapper to hold the blank in a horizontal position while attaching guides. Measure, mark and cut lumber to required lengths with a circular saw.
Cut a notch 1-inch deep and 1-inch wide using the jig saw in the top center of the three pieces of 2 by 4 by 5 lumber.
Measure and mark the width of the plywood at 3 inches. Drill a piece of lumber to the plywood at one end with the notched end facing up and away from the plywood. Use two screws. Repeat on the opposite end. Attach the third piece in the center. Line the notches with felt tape to prevent scratching the blank.
Drill a horizontal hole through the middle support with a 1/8-inch drill bit. Slip a 1/8-inch bolt through the hole. Slide a spool of thread onto the bolt. Use a washer and wing nut to lock the spool in position.
Locate the backbone of the rod to determine where to position guides. Place the base of the blank on the floor. Grab the tip with one hand and hold the rod two feet down from the tip with the other hand. Bend this portion of the rod while slowly rolling the rod from side to side. When the bend becomes pronounced, you have found its backbone. Position your guides on the opposite side.
Measure and mark the position of each of your guides. This will vary according to the manufacturer’s suggestion, size of the rod and number of guides you are using.
Lay the blank horizontally on the rod wrapper. Start by heating the base of the largest guide with a lighter for a few seconds before sliding the base over the rod tip glue. Position the guide on the lowest mark made on the blank.
Tighten the wing nut holding the spool of thread in position so there’s tension when trying to pull the thread.
Unravel 4 inches of thread and wrap it around the base of the guide closest to the ring five times. Wrap the thread an additional five times to secure the thread to the blank.
Turn the rod by hand slowly to begin wrapping the base of the guide. Do not overlap the thread and keep each wind as close as possible to the next.
Wrap the blank a few more times once the base has been completely covered. Create a loop with a different piece of thread. Lay it over the top of the wrapped area so the loop is pointing in the direction you’re wrapping.
Wrap the blank and loop an additional five times. Hold the final wrap in position while cutting it free of the spool. Take the cut end and thread it through the loop. Hold the cut end next while pulling the opposite end of the loop until the line you’ve wrapped is pulled under and secured. Cut the excess thread away, being careful not to cut it too short.
Repeat these steps to attach the remaining guides.