LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY "SPLINE" A BLANK.

Bob Sands

BOB SANDS TACKLE
Advertiser
Feb 26, 2011
818
1,551
Van Nuys, Ca USA
bobsandsfishingtackle.com
Name
Jamie
Boat
#1 Tackle Shop
Good afternoon all,

No, I am not making a video or a tell all.. I am merely pointing out what some newcomers to wrapping and even some experienced folks are missing. I have seen some guide spacing threads here on this site but I personally have not seen anything about finding the Major spline or spine of a blank. Or maybe I just missed it. Of course finding the spline is just one part of the process but it is normally the first step after purchasing the blank of choice.

This "In Lieu of F.H.Sale" we currently have going on has been a record breaker for the number of blanks we have sold to folks who want to wrap their own rods as well as those who wrap for others.. Many of those great folks come in, purchase the blank and then measure the guide spacing, grip and seat locations or other info from the factory wrapped versions we have in stock... Many of the longer blanks or newest blanks may not have factory wrapped versions so the wrapper is on their own.

So many come in, especially new comers to wrapping, not knowing how to properly spline a rod or provide for guide spacing when no factory rod is available. Getting familiar and comfortable with the preplanning of building a rod is something all potential and new rod wrappers should become familiar with. Once you learn, it is like riding a bike, only a lot less painful, except for the time you might incur when needing to re-wrap an improperly wrapped or finished rod.

Though some folks are being told that Splining a rod doesn't matter with todays blanks, my opinion is that is just not so..Even the Dual Helix or Spiral laid under-layers of some of today's blanks, providing for better hoop strength, using non linear (Not Along the length of the rod) patterns for layup or a better manufacturing process, there is still a spline to be found. In truth, many of todays blanks may have multiple minor splines, sometime more nuanced, but usually have one major or most impactful spline. Finding the proper spline not only provides the rod builder the best strength/recoil location around the circumference of the blank to locate guides but also helps to keep the amount of rod twist to a minimum once the finished rod is in use..

Yes, the use of a conventional reel with the tip top above the center plane of the blank does provide for twist of the rod under load, however, additional twist of the rod in the hands comes from a spline being off line in relation to the placement of the guides. In the old days, where fewer wrappers might have existed, splining a rod was just always part of the deal, at least in the group I was with.

This forum is a wonderful resource for building rods. I know there are numerous Spline or Spine locating video's that exist on the internet.. I am just noting new comers should be aware of the concept. However, one important item that many videos fail to note it to make sure the end you are rolling on the ground to find the spline, needs to be free of burrs or flat spots.. Additionally, the flatter the surface you are rolling the rod on will improve the consistency of the process. Anything that prevents the blanks from rolling freely during the process could hinder the result.

I and others at our shop have shown many new comers how to spline the blank properly but so many come in, ask about which blank might fit their needs and then head out after the purchase.. Many might even call after the fact in order to get their guide and grip spacing correct. But splining is not something we can discuss over the phone. Additionally, with the hand made nature of many of todays blanks, each blank might be just slightly different from another..This is where the experience of a good or great rod wrapper comes into play.

Whomever you newcomers to wrapping purchase your blanks from, please ask the shop of choice, unless you are buying "On Line", to show you how to properly spline your rod..It only takes a few minutes but great wrappers have a life time of experience upon which to draw from. Once someone shows you, then practice at home on your own blank(s). Make sure you can repeat the process over and over again to find the right spline on each single blank. Any great shop that sells blanks should want you to build your rod of choice in the best manner possible. Hopefully, they will have time to show you should you ask.

Best of luck to all.

Respectfully,

Jamie
 
Last edited:

Highwayman

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Jun 25, 2015
    1,359
    974
    Name
    Sammy
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    Party Boats and Skiff
    I bought a blank From the sales barrel at the FG show to learn how to build a rod and went to Glenn’s Tackle in Costa Mesa to buy some components. Bobby Gowan sold me the guides, reel seat, thread and showed me how to find the spine. I have thought of making a jig but once you know how to do it it is a simple process. I can tell a couple of used rods I bought that were wrapped by amateurs who did not locate the spines. I like them anyway. Jamie is offering an excellent tip.
     
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    K. D.

    Member
    Apr 20, 2011
    507
    183
    Bremerton, WA
    Name
    Kerry Hansen
    Boat
    RIVER SLED
    Good afternoon all,

    No, I am not making a video or a tell all.. I am merely pointing out what some newcomers to wrapping and even some experienced folks are missing. I have seen some guide spacing threads here on this site but I personally have not seen anything about finding the Major spline or spine of a blank. Or maybe I just missed it. Of course finding the spline is just one part of the process but it is normally the first step after purchasing the blank of choice.

    This "In Lieu of F.H.Sale" we currently have going on has been a record breaker for the number of blanks we have sold to folks who want to wrap their own rods as well as those who wrap for others.. Many of those great folks come in, purchase the blank and then measure the guide spacing, grip and seat locations or other info from the factory wrapped versions we have in stock... Many of the longer blanks or newest blanks may not have factory wrapped versions so the wrapper is on their own.

    So many come in, especially new comers to wrapping, not knowing how to properly spline a rod or provide for guide spacing when no factory rod is available. Getting familiar and comfortable with the preplanning of building a rod is something all potential and new rod wrappers should become familiar with. Once you learn, it is like riding a bike, only a lot less painful, except for the time you might incur when needing to re-wrap an improperly wrapped or finished rod.

    Though some folks are being told that Splining a rod doesn't matter with todays blanks, my opinion is that is just not so..Even the Dual Helix or Spiral laid under-layers of some of today's blanks, providing for better hoop strength, using non linear (Not Along the length of the rod) patterns for layup or a better manufacturing process, there is still a spline to be found. In truth, many of todays blanks may have multiple minor splines, sometime more nuanced, but usually have one major or most impactful spline. Finding the proper spline not only provides the rod builder the best strength/recoil location around the circumference of the blank to locate guides but also helps to keep the amount of rod twist to a minimum once the finished rod is in use..

    Yes, the use of a conventional reel with the tip top above the center plane of the blank does provide for twist of the rod under load, however, additional twist of the rod in the hands comes from a spline being off line in relation to the placement of the guides. In the old days, where fewer wrappers might have existed, splining a rod was just always part of the deal, at least in the group I was with.

    This forum is a wonderful resource for building rods. I know there are numerous Spline or Spine locating video's that exist on the internet.. I am just noting new comers should be aware of the concept. However, one important item that many videos fail to note it to make sure the end you are rolling on the ground to find the spline, needs to be free of burrs or flat spots.. Additionally, the flatter the surface you are rolling the rod on will improve the consistency of the process. Anything that prevents the blanks from rolling freely during the process could hinder the result.

    I and others at our shop have shown many new comers how to spline the blank properly but so many come in, ask about which blank might fit their needs and then head out after the purchase.. Many might even call after the fact in order to get their guide and grip spacing correct. But splining is not something we can discuss over the phone. Additionally, with the hand made nature of many of todays blanks, each blank might be just slightly different from another..This is where the experience of a good or great rod wrapper comes into play.

    Whomever you newcomers to wrapping purchase your blanks from, please ask the shop of choice, unless you are buying "On Line", to show you how to properly spline your rod..It only takes a few minutes but great wrappers have a life time of experience upon which to draw from. Once someone shows you, then practice at home on your own blank(s). Make sure you can repeat the process over and over again to find the right spline on each single blank. Any great shop that sells blanks should want you to build your rod of choice in the best manner possible. Hopefully, they will have time to show you should you ask.

    Best of luck to all.

    Respectfully,

    Jamie
    People might pay more attention to you if You knew that SPLINE came about when One of the giants in rod building,Clemens, made a typo over 40 years ago,( in an era when hardly anyone would share info about how they did things), when he wrote one of his several Rod Building books and typed SPLINE instead of SPINE.
     
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    Bob Sands

    BOB SANDS TACKLE
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    Feb 26, 2011
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    bobsandsfishingtackle.com
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    Jamie
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    #1 Tackle Shop
    Sorry guys but the term goes back at least 60 years when I first started
     
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    Mtnfshr

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Nov 20, 2011
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    People might pay more attention to you if You knew that SPLINE came about when One of the giants in rod building,Clemens, made a typo over 40 years ago,( in an era when hardly anyone would share info about how they did things), when he wrote one of his several Rod Building books and typed SPLINE instead of SPINE.

    Yeah. Dale actually had the earliest cell phone known with Autocorrect. 🤣
     
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    Chad D.

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    Oct 8, 2017
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    Leaburg, OR
    Name
    Chad
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    Willie 1654 Guide
    In an effort to satisfy all, we can petition to refer to this as simply the “figuring out the way the stick is most comfortable bending” technique.
     
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    newtauk17

    Almost A Member
    Feb 5, 2010
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    Arroyo Grande/CA/USA
    Name
    Kohei
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    18',Robalo
    While working at Yo's, that if one of the first things Yo did after selecting a blank - find the spline/spine. I would imagine trying to describe the process by writing it would result in a few broken tips...easy if you do it right. Finding the spline on the short stubby rods (e.g. 6455XXH) was a bit tougher...
     
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