Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Building an 8wt

Finally getting around to building the 8wt Loop Cross S1 Flatsman blank. This blank makes for an awesome rod used to fish for Bass and at the coast chasing reds. The ability to make long casts with big flies or a precise controlled cast are why it is one of my favorite blanks to build on. The grip that I use on most of my builds is a two part foam that is shaped then covered with carbon fiber and then sealed. I'm asked all of the time what the advantage of this grip over foam would be. The grip is tough, it won't pit like cork and is very hard to crush. If you abuse it you then sand it down and add another coat of finish and it's just like new again. If it gets wet it does not become slippery like many would think.
The next step after finishing the grip is reaming it out to fit the taper of the blank. This is done with a reaming tool that has a taper like the rod and covered with sandpaper. You can do it by hand or it can be done with a drill. I usually do this by hand. After sliding the grip down the blank you build an arbor with tape to fill in the void between the reel seat and the blank. To save weight most manufacturers only use a few drops of glue to attach the grip and reel seat. I have repaired many of these for customers after coming loose. For this reason I use plenty of glue to make sure this doesn't happen.
Next up will be to place and align the guides, test cast and adjust, then add finish. I'll post up pictures of the completed build later.