Monday, December 23, 2013

Most Valuable Rod Building Tool

The most indispensable tool in our shop is the dial calipers. I use it to measure winding checks, tip tops, butt diameters, reel seats, wood inserts, etc. It is the one tool that makes any rod build or repair go smoothly. Just think if you didn't have some way to measure different points on a rod blank; you would be guessing and collecting parts that may or may not work. We'll you wouldn't be alone. There are rod builders that have collected parts over the years just because they had to guess or let the vendor guess for them. By having an accurate measurement, you will take the guessing out of the project. Don't get me wrong, I have a collection of parts too, but imagine if we just guessed at the tip top size or guessed at the winding check. At CFRC we always take the time to check with the customer to see if they want us to 'fit' their parts and more often than not, we get a message asking us to make sure the parts fit.

I prefer the dial caliper over the vernier calipers only because it's what I'm used to. Digital is the easiest way to go, and either style will do the job if read properly.
Dial Calipers
Digital Vernier Calipers

Caution! When using the steel calipers,
be careful not to scratch your blank.
Carefully close the ends onto the blank
and don't run the calipers down to the
blank to find your measurement.

If the calipers are not your thing, I would highly recommend at least the tried-n-true 'Tip Top Gauge'. This is an easy, inexpensive tool that do 90% of your rod building work.

The Tip Top gauge will also measure inside dimensions such as winding checks and hosels. This is basically a 'Go-NoGo' gauge and we have one of these by our order processing area. It's quick and if you drop it, it won't get tweaked like the dial calipers. Good quality dial calipers will range from $30 to $100. The Tip Top gauge is less the $5.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Redington Butter Stick Fiberglass Rods

Redington Butter Stick Fiberglass Rods

Since the Butter Sticks are not available as blanks, we have decided to offer the factory Redington Butter Sticks through the CFRC webstore.

The Butter Sticks have received many positive reviews including ourselves. When I first handled the Butter Stick, the tip seemed a bit softer that I prefer but under the normal load of a typical 30' cast; the rod really loaded well into the lower half of the rod and it feels nice and smooth. The model I first cast was the 7'6" 4wt but all models follow suit.

So if you're a Redington Butter Stick fan; check them out! And only $249.95 with a lifetime warranty; includes rod sock and cordura case.

And don't forget about our Butter Stick reel seat upgrade.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Those #$%&@^* Cork Glue Lines!

Dealing with visible cork glue lines.

When gluing up your own grips using rings, have you ever ended up with unsightly glue lines? They are caused by uneven cork rings that have not been cut properly. Here are some tips to avoid/prevent ugly, noticeable lines between your rings. We found a very ugly cork ring to illustrate how to eliminate the glue line or at least have a very acceptable one. One of the first problems you may encounter is that some cork rings come bleached and you may have a thin glue line but it's white compared to the rest of your grip. Don't be afraid to use the bleached rings just follow these extra steps and they will disappear too.
Very ugly cork ring
High quality or expensive cork rings do not necessarily guarantee a flat or square ring. It's best to check before mixing your glue.

First, we sand the cork ring flat, either by using our 1/4" sanding arbor (see the image) using the lathe or the old fashioned way of just using a 220 grit sandpaper on a flat surface. Most cork rings you buy will have a 1/4" hole.

Sanded cork ring ready for gluing
After we have sanded all the rings we need for our grip, we use slow set epoxy and glue them together on a threaded rod with the specified bore. For this particular grip we needed a 5/16" bore, so we reamed the rings after sanding and glued them together on the 5/16" threaded rod.
After 12 hours we remove the glued cork from the threaded rod and push onto our 5/16" smooth arbor and then we ready for shaping.
Depending on the style we need, we sand to the desired shape, this grip is going to be a preformed western or reversed half wells ordered by a customer.

We start by sanding off the excess glue and then shape the cork grip.
VoilĂ ! Grip is ready for filling and final sanding. Taking a little bit of extra time you will be able to see the difference in the glue lines and you won't have the white lines either! Your custom rod doesn't deserve any less attention!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Additions To Epic Blank Line-3 wts!

Just a quick note to our Epic fans.

We recently ordered the new 7'6" 3wt; that's correct, the new 3wts from Epic. Communicating with Carl from Swift/Epic they should be arriving in January. The first run of 3wt blanks will only be in brown color but Epic may offer the standard colors in the future depending on the popularity of the 3wt blanks.

We have also ordered the new brown Epic blanks in the 8'0" 4wt and the 8'0" 5wt models, they should also be arriving sometime in January. The 480 brown blank we had, garnered a lot of attention with very positive comments from rod builders who saw the brown color in person. Adding the brown will bring the color choices to seven!

CFRC has received numerous inquiries into a 3wt glass blank and this will certainly fit the bill. We will notify everyone as soon as the new blanks arrive!

Don't forget that with every Epic blank purchase, you get a Free cloth rod bag!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sage Method Blanks Are In Stock!


We just received our first order of the new Sage Method blanks. These blanks are geared towards the expert caster and are very fast with long distance casting in mind. The faster line speeds result in being able to deal with wind conditions and can carry a heavier fly or flies to greater distances.

These blanks replaced the TCX fast-action blanks, but we have found these to be smoother with the same power curve as the TCX. Go and cast one and you will be wowed!

  • All-water capable
  • Ultra-fast action
  • Konnetic technology
  • Magma red shaft color
Sage Method blanks come with a Free aluminum rod tube and cloth rod bag; starting at $400.00; plus Free Shipping (in the US) for all Method blanks!