Thread on a blank

So, as you may have gathered if you paid attention, I’m currently building a 4wt rod. After having derived so much pleasure for so little money with the MHX F906, and since 1. a 6wt is often overkill in France, 2. my old 4wt is a little lackluster after years of inconsiderate abuse, I decided I just had to give the F904 a go.

First contact. The blank is straight enough. Not absolute straight, but good. There’s a cosmetic blemish on one of the pieces, as if someone had smeared a little epoxy on it. Not cool, MHX! Still, good overall.

Wiggle. As I came to expect from those blank, very fast, very light. Low MoI**, and it seems quite stable (no tip bounce). I expect it to yield a fantastic rod.

** MoI (Moment of Inertia) or swingweight: accounts for the power you need to use to accelerate the rod tip (put in motion or stop). lower is better.

For the handle design, and overall feel, I wanted to end up with something looking somewhat traditional but not boring. I also wanted a grip that would give me all the control I could get. Not being one to avoid experiments, I tried the grip a lot while sanding it, and found that a rather large one seemed to allow for a finer control. Extensive field tests will wait for the finish to cure, but I like it for now. I have relatively large hands, but not that big either. Largest diameter of the cork is 3.2cm (1 1/4 in.). It looks sturdy, quite the opposite of those superfine jobs you usually find on a 4wt, which is fine for me.

Batson Y reel seat is quite a fine piece, but the insert gave me some trouble. It was supposed to be a light burl, but the color happened to be more honey-brown or something. Finding a matching thread was not easy. I ended up buying embroidery thread: Mettler Polysheen, which has a fantastic color range (435 tones). Not sure how it would react to the finish, I bought 3 spools: 0851 (Old Gold), 0941 (Golden Grain) and 1342 (Rust).

hard to get the exact original color. the thread is more shiny, the tone more subtle. really gorgeous

I did a first test with Flex Coat (quite a messy job, hand turned a couple of times then forgotten, just a color test ^_^). Results indicated a clear need for color preserver:

941 with a 1342 trim, much darker when seen in natural light

Here’s a test wrap (left) and the same with 3 coats of CP (right):

Finally, I decided that the Golden Grain was the best match for the burl insert. I won’t insist on the signing, it’s in the previous post.

Now that all the wraps are done, I’ll just have to finish building the rod dryer, and put some finish on the rod. I’m not sure yet if I want to use Flex Coat or Permagloss. Slightly partial to PG though.

Stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “Thread on a blank

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