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Dumb Mistakes


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Being new to bamboo building and having cruised this panel for tips and means I feel compelled to share for other new builders a couple of mistakes I have just made, and possibly save others from the same fate.

I have always been a practitioner of measure once, buy twice in my woodworking. Did it again. I now have a nice 41" tip for a 7' 6" rod. For those of you mathematically challenged that is 5" too short. I believe I will more carefully measure out my bamboo before I start planing. This was just what I needed as I tried to get the rod ready for a scheduled trip June 10th.

Second, never clean glue squeeze out by wiping from butt to tip of a section. Doing so will result in the string sliding from the thicker butt toward the smaller tip. Fortunately I used a slow setting glue which allowed me to start over and rebind the section.

Somehow, I get the feeling that these are just the beginning of the mistakes. Time will tell whether or not I have learned my lessons.  (Steve Shelton)

    Sorry, you're too late! You're going to have to try harder, to be a first on a mistake!! LOL!! Depending on which end is short, you could use Hexrod to create either, a 6'10" rod, or a casting rod. Do you have any hex color try sticks, yet? Did you know that if you rub too hard, while wiping the adhesive off, in the wrong direction without proper holding techniques, you can snap 5 1/2" off of the tip??

    It will get easier to get through that gut wrenching feeling associated with mistakes as time goes on.  (David Dziadosz)

    Seems to be the season, so a cautionary tale from this weekend's misadventure.  Pay special attention if you're using a string-type binder (Garrison, etc.).

    Gluing up a rod Saturday.  Butt goes through nicely, first pass of the tip goes fine.  Second pass, about 2-3" from the very tip, there's a glitch, and before I know what hit me, my tip was in two pieces.  :-(

    In attempting to post-mortem the glitch, what I surmise happened is the following:  I tend to leave the tag ends of the binding thread a bit long (3" or so).  Seems to help keep things together, and easier for my fumble fingers to throw extra half hitches with.  However, one really has to be careful to keep those tag ends away from the binder belt. I've had snags at the start of the wrap, but the motion of the rod usually keeps the finish end tag handily out of the way.  Key operative phrase is "usually"...

    Though I can't prove it, I noticed the finish tag was a bit longer than where the break occurred, and seemed to be laying along the shaft, instead of trailing behind it, as it usually does.  Suspect it snagged the belt, and since it takes very little motion of the belt to get a  revolution of the rod shaft at the end of a tip, came around and got pulled down with the belt, resulting in the snap.

    So, mind those tag ends when you're binding!  I've taken to knotting the tag end after half-hitching, especially with nylon upholstery thread, to keep the hitches together, and trimming it close.  Bit more of a pain in the arse to get the thread loose again  (with just half-hitches,  one can often  just pick them apart),  but at least it's not going to snag on you. Lesson learned.  (Todd Enders)

      Last week I merrily fitted and glued the female ferrule to the tip and the male to the butt.  In correcting my mistake I found that, at least for Tony Larsen's ferrules, the male socket is deeper than the female, so I ended up losing about 1/2 inch of rod. This rod better fish good because its sure been a battle to build.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

      I've had that happen, fortunately without the break, but had to finish binding by hand. This led to a tip that was oblong in cross-section but performs very well.

      Yesterday came the REALLY dumb mistake: after cutting the ferrule stations I dry mounted the ferrules and cut the rod sections so they would be of equal length. THEN I realized that I had the female ferrule on the tip section and the male on the butt. One way to make a 7-footer 6' 10".  (Henry Mitchell)

    I've come to the conclusion that the mistakes are the way you learn this business, otherwise you just freeze up with panic every time you come to the next job and put it off for weeks!

    Why not cut the butt back to match and use it like that, nobody will know if you don't tell them...............  (Robin Haywood)

    I had just dry fit the ferrules for a friend's rod, then cut the sections to equal lengths before realizing that I had the female on the tip section. Would you then cut more off the butt to equalize the sections' lengths, or leave them unequal so that the rod is only 1" short, not 2?

    I'm leaning toward equal lengths.  (Henry Mitchell)

      Here's a simple formula to correct this common mistake.

       [ (L+LS)-2L]  / 2= Sm               

              where

         S   = number of sections
         L    = length of section
         Sm = smithereens
         2    = two

      After cutting the sections to the new length, lay the tip sections side by side on a flat surface.   Grasp the butt section firmly and proceed to smash all sections (S) to smithereens (Sm), whereby, L = 0. Thus, the equation proves itself.

      But really, as long as you have not significantly altered the tip of the tip (lopping off a few inches). I don't think reducing an inch on the butt section would have a serious impact on the rod.  If it had a swelled butt you might be a little more considerate of where you lop things off.

      Now, if I were selling this rod to my friend, I believe a color stick, or the aforementioned formula, would be the appropriate way to deal with these sticks.  (Mike Canazon)

        I have been following this thread with some interest.  Actually, to solve this particular problem, I think I would cut to match and as see if feels good to me.  If not I would probably donate it to the Smithsonian Institution for posterity to cherish.

        Seriously though I have been wondering what the actual effect of varying length sections has on the rod.  I know some rod makers did this routinely, (Pezon & Michel) but I think I recall that even some of the cherished rod makers of the 20th century also experimented. what, for example, would moving the  ferrule of a  2 piece rod two inches closer to the butt?  about 4" closer?, or two inches nearer the tip,  What changes in action would result?  Any comments?  The permutations of a three piece rod give me vertigo, but I have seen a lot of rods out on the stream with short mids and short tips that seem to not bother the angler.  (Ralph Moon)

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