Graphite Rod header image -  blanks

Part Ten

  • Montaje de una caña de grafito

  • Wrapping the guides.

    by Al Campbell

    It's finally time to wrap some thread on the guides.  Before we can wrap the thread, we need to get prepared.  Do you have a stand designed for wrapping the guides?  You could buy one, the selection is great.  The catalogs are always full of rod stands.  If you need a look at one, go back to part four of this series and take a look at the selection offered by the catalogs mentioned there.  If you plan on building more than one rod, a good wrapping stand is a great idea.

    Rod Wrapping Stand

    You could make one if you don't want to shell out the bucks for a factory wrapping stand.  All it takes is a few boards, a little hardware and some time.  You could incorporate a drying motor for the finish too.

    A Few Boards

    If finances are real tight, you can make a rod stand out of a cardboard box.  Cut a couple of notches in the ends and poke some holes in the front for a fly tying bobbin and you'll be ready.  The fly tying bobbin will serve as a thread holder and a tensioning device.


    Cardboard Rod Stand

    Or, you can provide thread tension with a book that has the thread running through the middle of it. 

    Thread Tension and Cutting

    In addition to the rod stand and a thread tensioning device, you'll need a few other tools.  A pair of fine point scissors will be needed to cut the thread.  A razor blade is required to cut the thread flush with your wraps after you wrap the guide.  You'll need a burnishing tool to smooth the thread wraps after you wrap the guides.  You can use a fingernail or a fingernail care tool for this if you like.

    Guide Setting Tools

    Got the tools ready?  Don't forget plenty of lighting. And, you might want a lighter handy to burn off any fuzz you create on the wraps.  A geometry style compass is a handy tool also.  I use the compass to mark the starting point for the thread wraps.  This keeps the thread wraps even from guide to guide.

    Guide Wrap 1 Let's get started.  You have the guides attached to the blank, but you need to mark the distance from the guides where each wrap will start.  I use a compass to perform this task.  I measure from the loop of the guide to just beyond the foot with the compass and make a small scratch on the blank to mark the spot where the thread wrap will begin.  You don't have to scratch it very deep, just enough to be able to see where to start wrapping the thread for each guide. You'll also need to cut a six to eight inch piece of thread and set it aside for later.

    I usually start wrapping with the stripper guides on the bottom section of the rod.  To start the wrap, wind the thread around the rod once with the tag end toward the foot of the guide. Manipulate the thread angle so it wraps over the tag end and starts building toward the foot of the guide.  Snug the first few wraps by hand, then clip the tag end short enough that you only have about six to ten wraps of thread over it.

    Guide Wrap 2

    Continue wrapping the thread up to and onto the foot of the guide.  You must keep thread tension reasonably tight to ensure a solidly wrapped guide.  Manipulate the thread angle to prevent any gaps in the thread. If the thread starts wrapping the wrong way (over the previous wraps), back up and change the angle to continue the progression of thread up the guide foot.  If you filed the guides properly, you won't have any problem getting the thread to wrap up the guide foot.

    Guide Wrap 3

    When your thread wraps get within ten to fifteen wraps from the loop end of the guide foot, make a loop in the six to eight inch piece of thread you cut earlier, and insert it in the thread wraps as shown in this photograph.

    Guide Wrap 4

    Continue wrapping the thread to the end of the guide foot, then tension it by hand and hold tension on the thread while you cut the thread free from the thread spool.  Hold pressure on the thread you've wrapped with a thumb or finger while you insert the tag end of the thread into the loop you inserted under the thread wraps earlier.  Next, pull the loop through the wraps so the tag end of thread pulls through with it.  Tension the thread again by hand and pull it up under the wraps snug enough that it won't slip out or become loose.

    Guide Wrap 5 Lift the tag end of thread and very carefully, making sure you don't cut or fray the guide wraps, cut the tag end with a razor blade even with the thread wraps.  You shouldn't have any excess thread sticking out of the guide wraps when you're finished with this step, and if you use a sharp razor blade, you shouldn't have any frayed fibers sticking out of the wraps either.  If you do have fibers sticking out, singe them with a butane lighter or an alcohol burner.  Don't use a candle, a match or a lighter that uses lighter fluid since these will cause soot that will discolor the thread. 

    Guide Wrap 6

    Once you have the guide wrapped and the thread cut, use a finger nail, a burnishing tool or a similar device to smooth the thread wraps until there are no gaps in the thread.  If you were careful in your wrapping, this should be easy.  If you have gaps that just won't go away, remove the thread and wrap the guide over.  It's a lot less expensive to waste a few inches of thread than it is to have a fly rod you don't like because you did a poor job wrapping one of the guides.

    Guide Wrap 7

    Repeat the wrapping process for every foot of every guide and the hook keeper, starting each wrap on the blank and working up the guide toward the loop of the guide.

    Ferrule Wrap 1 Once you have the guides wrapped, wrap over the female end of the ferrule for at least three fourths of an inch to prevent the ferrule from splitting.

    Ferrule Wrap 2

    You also need to wrap next to the tip-top to strengthen it and keep it from splitting.  A nice touch to any rod is to wrap some thread that will bracket in your signature on the finished rod.  If you want, you can measure from the butt of the rod and wrap this bracket a set distance from the butt to use as a quick fish measuring device on the finished rod.

    Thread Wrap Brackets

    Next week we'll give the rod a custom signature and apply a coat or two of finish to the thread wraps.  Take your time and wrap those guides right, the finished rod's performance and appearance depends on you doing a good job wrapping the guides. ~ Al Campbell

    [ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ] [ Part 3 ] [ Part 4 ] [ Part 5 ] [ Part 6 ]
    [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12]

    [ HOME ]

    [ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice