Fishing Rod Building – Guide Placement

Fishing Rod Building – Guide Placement

Salty Dawg Bill with Salty Dawg Custom Rods demonstrates how he lays out the fishing rod building eye guides and tests them when he is building a custom fishing rod.

I first start with a couple sizes of surgical rubber hose that when cut into small bands will fit snug on the blank fishing rod you are building.

fishing rod building guides

Next, I place the guides in their approximate places on the blank.

After all the guides are banded in their approximate places, I chuck the rod up in my lathe. It is a big plus to have a chuck with locks on 0, 45, 90 and 180-degrees.

Clamp a fishing reel of similar size to that which will be fished on the fishing rod in the reel seat, and adjust to 0-degrees top-dead-center.

Tighten up the chuck and glue on your tip-top, sighting down by eye and making sure it is aligned with the fishing reel at 0-degrees.

Rod Building Guide

Now you should have the fishing reel on and all the guides attached temporarily with the surgical bands. Take the fishing rod out of the lathe and pull some line off the reel and thread through the guides and top, hang a weight on the end of the line to keep it taught (I use a metal spring clamp).

Rod Building Guide

Now I have an old fishing rod harness lag bolted to the wall of my shop to put the rod in for static testing, with a strap that holds the fore grip simulating where your hand would be and giving the correct fulcrum point.

fishing rod building guide

With the weight of the clamp keeping the line tight, grab the fishing rod by the tip and put a bend in the rod, adjust the guides by just sliding them up or down to follow the bend of the blank and keeping the line from touching the fishing rod blank, , I do a fine tune with a full bend in the fishing rod.

I find this method much faster and easier than taping the guides on, and from this point, put back in the lathe and start laying out your under wraps.

How the seed was planted: My Step grandfather first taught me how to hand wrap rods in the late 60′s, mostly bamboo rods on a notched cardboard box and a phone book for a thread tensioner. I would do my own repairs and build an occasional rod over the years. Went to work as a sign painter working ...