Ah, this one seems just a little too much for one prompt. I hardly know where to begin with.
I’ll make do with this. I’m a rodbuilder. I quite enjoy the process of selection and combination, the modest craftsmanship I put in that lead to a rod that’s truly mine. There are probably as many reason to build your rod as there are rodbuilders, but it seems to me no less obvious that building the rod is part of the fishing process than it is obvious to most of us that tying the fly is.
Now, let me throw my .02 in the common pot. For me rodbuilding is essentially a process of elimination, a Mies van der Rohe-ian less is more ethics. And namely:
- Cut the hype. Try to get a blind go at a couple of blanks. Honestly. Do some casting in the dark. Let your arms feel what they feel when the verbose part of your conscience (the one filled with marketing crap) is shut. You might well be surprised at what your hand feels is best.
- Then cut the expenses. My first reason to ever wrap guides on a blank. Once you got past the hype, you realize that you can get a heck of a good rod for not that much.
- Loose some weight. Wiggle a bare blank (a good one), that’s the ideal rod for me. Then you add things to it and it’s downhill from your initial ecstasy of light crispness. So keep everything to a minimum: min number of guides, as small and light as possible, single footed, short wrap, thin finish.
- Shrink the handle. I find most of them too long, I end with 2 inches of useless cork. So short handle it is then.
- Throw that hook keeper away. What would you want that stuff for anyway?? Your leader is longer than the rod. You don’t want to have the line down the guides when you walk. So the leader goes down, around the reel’s foot, up again, and you hook a guide. That’s how it’s done.
After that severe trimming, what remains is some high concentrated rod juice. Try one if you haven’t. You may find the experience rewarding.