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What is the favorite Ultralight spin taper?  I want to make a birthday present for my father who is an avowed bluegill fisherman.  (Joe West)

    The Thomas and Thomas Classic Spin 5.5' UL taper is very nice.  I built a 2/2 version for my fiancé and I even enjoy it's action. It handles a 2-4 LB line with up to a 1/4 oz lure.  (Robert Sherrill)


I need an Ultralight spinning rod and I would rather build a nice bamboo one than buy an Ugly Stik.  Does anyone have a taper or an idea for a taper for a 5' or so Ultralight that they would be willing to share?  (Hal Manas)

6' - up to 1/4 oz. Lures   

    Station  Measurement  Setting

    1 1/4"        0.079         0.0395
    5"             0.081         0.0405
    10"           0.096         0.0480
    15"           0.119         0.0595
    20"           0.134         0.0670
    25"           0.151         0.0755
    30"           0.161         0.0805
    34 1/2"      0.171         0.0855
    38 1/4"      0.186         0.0930
    40"           0.192         0.0960
    44 3/4"      0.203         0.1015
    50"           0.216         0.1080
    55"           0.231         0.1155
    60"           0.241         0.1205
    62 1/2"      0.246         0.1230
    65"           0.251         0.1255
    70"           0.251         0.1255
    72"           0.251         0.1255   

    From Richard Tyree   

    5' 6" - 2 piece - UL   

    Station  Measurement  Setting

    0"            0.070          0.0350
    5"            0.920          0.4600
    10"          0.104          0.0520
    15"          0.110          0.0550
    20"          0.124          0.0620
    25"          0.144          0.0720
    30"          0.166          0.0830
    35"          0.182          0.0910
    40"          0.188          0.0940
    45"          0.206          0.1030
    50"          0.236          0.1180
    55"          0.250          0.1250
    60"          0.250          0.1250
    66"          0.250          0.1250

    Ferrule:  #11   
    Tip Top:  4 1/2   
    From Richard Tyree   

    7' - 2 piece - UL - 6 to 10# line   

    Station  Measurement  Setting

    1 1/2"       0.100          0.0500
    4 1/2"       0.115          0.0575
    6 1/2"       0.120          0.0600
    10"           0.132          0.0660
    15"           0.146          0.0730
    19"           0.154          0.0770
    21 1/2"      0.167          0.0835
    25"           0.179          0.0895
    30"           0.194          0.0970
    35"           0.206          0.1030
    40 1/2"      0.214          0.1070
    44 1/2"      0.238          0.1190
    50"           0.252          0.1260
    55"           0.267          0.1335
    60"           0.280          0.1400
    65"           0.294          0.1470
    70"           0.308          0.1540

    Ferrule:  #15   
    Tip Top:  6   
    From Richard Tyree  

    5' - 2 piece - UL   

    Station  Measurement  Setting

    0"              0.072        0.0360
    5"              0.074        0.0370
    10"            0.092        0.0460
    15"            0.104        0.0520
    20"            0.110        0.0550
    25"            0.124        0.0620
    30"            0.144        0.0720
    35"            0.166        0.0830
    40"            0.182        0.0910
    45"            0.188        0.0940
    50"            0.206        0.1030
    55"            0.236        0.1180
    60"            0.250        0.1250   

    Ferrule:  #11   
    Tip Top:  5       
    From Richard Tyree   

    Sharpes - 7' - 2 piece   

    Station  Measurement  Setting

    1"             0.114         0.0570
    5"             0.126         0.0630
    10"           0.147         0.0735
    15"           0.169         0.0845
    20"           0.178         0.0890
    25"           0.197         0.0985
    30"           0.210         0.1050
    35"           0.233         0.1165
    39"           0.244         0.1220


    45"           0.280         0.1400
    50"           0.294         0.1470
    55"           0.304         0.1520
    60"           0.318         0.1590
    65"           0.325         0.1625
    70"           0.333         0.1665
    72"           0.343         0.1715

    Bernard Hills - 7'6"   

    Station  Measurement  Setting

    0"             0.103         0.0515
    5"             0.136         0.0680
    10"           0.136         0.0680
    15"           0.154         0.0770
    20"           0.172         0.0860
    25"           0.184         0.0920
    30"           0.196         0.0980
    35"           0.216         0.1080
    40"           0.229         0.1145
    45"           0.239         0.1195
    50"           0.254         0.1270
    55"           0.269         0.1345
    60"           0.271         0.1355
    65"           0.284         0.1420
    70"           0.312         0.1560
    75"           0.327         0.1635
    80"           0.327         0.1635
    85"           0.327         0.1635
    90"           0.327         0.1635


    4 1/2"
    10 1/2"
    17 1/2"
    25 1/4"
    33 1/4"
    42 1/8"
    53 1/2"
    63"    (Timothy Troester)

    There are several in David Ray's Taper Library.

    Here's the link.  (Ron Larsen)


I have dug around in the archives and came up the following ultra light taper for a spinning rod and have started to make it for my son:

Thomas & Thomas Classic spin  5'-6" 2/2 2-4 lbs line, lures to 1/4 oz (measured without varnish)

                  Butt                             Tip
    00        .181"                           .072"
    05        .192                             .079
    10        .209                             .103
    15        .215                             .115
    20        .233                             .125
    25        .241@ 23 1/2"           .133
    30        .241 ? under grip      .153
    33.5     .241 ? under grip      .159

Guide spacing from tip top: 6", 15", 26 3/8" ,39 1/2"  (all foul proof wire guides) 10" cork grip with 2 slide bands. If I made one I would allow 1 more guide. Also there is a .022" step at the ferrule stations (step down ferrule or adjustment in the taper). These rods were pretty neat. They came in an all aluminum locking type gun case with foam padding. They were very rare because nobody wanted to spend so much on a cane spinning rod. After  feeling it, I would rate the rod Light to Ultra Light action even though the T&T label  on the case said Ultra Light, 2-4 lbs line,  1/4 oz lures. Kind of sorry I sold them.

Marty DeSapio

Having no experience with spinning rods, can anyone tell me what size the guides and tip top should be. I have no idea what "foul proof" means. Double foot, single foot? REC sells spinning components, any others I should consider?  (Bill Bixler)

    Foulproof was a term for snakes that did a full revolution before returning to the blank. I don't think they made much of a dent in the guide market. I have one English fly rod with them and have seen them on one or two others over the years. Check Anglers Workshop to see if they have them available.

    If I'm not mistaken, the suggestion for sizing spinning guides is to put the reel and a tiptop on the rod and decide roughly where you want your "stripper". Spin the reel a turn or two and see what kind of circumference the line describes at that point of the rod. That's the size of your first guide. It's designed so as to not constrict the spinning of the line and create a choke point. Then find several other sizes that fit naturally between the first and tiptop guides. Your decision may look larger than store bought rods, but will probably work better.

    Keep in mind that if you put a sudden "stopdown" on the running line as it goes down the length of the rod it will sort of "back up" and  balloon behind that guide and check your cast before you want it to.

    Dale Clemens had a formula for how to space the guides out along the blank, but if you plan on one more than the length in ft of the rod and space them so they get closer together as they approach the tiptop, that should be good enough. You can try stringing the rod and seeing if the line (thru them) "follows" the blank as it goes down the length of it and that should space them "custom" to that rod. Lock the rod in some sort of vise (@ maybe a 45 degree angle) and pull down on the line beyond the tiptop, causing the rod to bend and see how well the line follows the curve of the rod.  If you want the Clemens formula and have Excel in Office 2000, I can forward it to you.  (Click here for the spreadsheet.) (Art Port)

    Marty is referring to Aetna's Foul proof guides often seen on Orvis' SSS (saltwater rods). I was looking around for them and couldn't find any at the usual sources. REC does makes a nice spin cast recoil guide that would work. I will warn you they are pricey.

    I just finished one and took the cheap way used some odd sections and stripped a graphite spinning rod that had a busted tip. Built it years ago for a nephew using pac bay seat and Fuji guides, even cut up as section off a St. Croix Fly Rod for a graphite ferrule. Though it doesn't look as nice as the classics should be fun to play with the bluegills when the Potomac is off color tossing small spinners. It will be interesting to see how the graphite ferrule holds up to the occasional 15-16" smallie that hits the spinner. (Tim Pembroke)


My brother and I will be heading up to Black Sturgeon Lake in Ontario this August. He has been several times, my first. Okay, I would love to make a spinning rod, ( Bamboo of course). I am looking for some input on what Tapers might work. They are pulling 2-3 ft Pike out of this lake, as well as Smallmouth and Walleye.   (Dan Weiman)

    Ray Gould’s book has two pages of spinning rod tapers.  (Gordon Koppin)


If there are any spin rod builders out there on the list I'm looking for a taper that would be good for fishing bass ponds and pacific coast surf.  Please forward any recommendations.  (Tom Key)

    I have not made this rod but it appears to have the length needed to get out in the surf and enough backbone to handle surf perch and fresh water bass. If you make it, please let me know what you think, I have been looking at it for some time. (Don Green)

    P.H.Young Exp. 8'-9" x 2 piece. From "Cane Rod Tips & Tapers" by Ray Gould





A few months back I asked the list for spin rod tapers - thanks to those who responded.  The blank is finished and now it's time to start mounting the hardware, but first I have a question for those of you who are in the know.  Should I use double foot or single foot guides.  I appears that most graphite and glass spin rods use the single foot, but I'm thinking the double foot might be more traditional and what a cane spin rod should have.  (Tom Key)

    I vote double foot.  I am a more traditional guy when it comes to Bamboo rods.  I would opt for an Agatine stripping guide and matching tip top (if you can find one).  But that's just me.

    Pictures, don't forget pictures of the completed art work.  (Pete Emmel)


I'm finishing out a spinning rod bamboo blank for a guy, the first time I've worked on a spinning rig.  Need some help:

He wants a lock-down reelseat (as opposed to 2 rings over cork) - any suggestions on where to buy such a thing?

Any suggestions on where to go to buy guides and tip-top?

Finally, he asked if the 5-1/2 ft blank could be cut down and ferruled.  Anybody have experience doing that, and any comments on how it might change action?  (Lee Koch)


I am looking for an ultra light spinning rod taper and was wondering if anyone has one to share.  (Larry Tusoni)

    5 foot Ultra Light Spinning rod for 2-4# line

    .250  (Jeff Fultz)

    I just feel that I should warn you that there is some serious risk here, that after you have made a spinning rod on your forms, and using your tools, you will not be able again to use them for building real rods: at least, not until they have been thoroughly sterilized in an autoclave  and have had an exorcism performed to banish the demons!

    I think that those people who use a mill to finish their rods are OK, though, on the assumption that you are able to build anything on them without compromising their insubstantial integrity.

    I am currently building a spinning rod (but a Baginski, not an ultralight, I am sorry) and believe me, it is a real worry!  (Peter McKean)

      Peter is absolutely right! There are some serious risks here.

      I have an old medical textbook that mentions "Mono" as a serious affliction, causing a blank, "open-faced" expression in its victims and often associated with a neuromuscular disorder known as "Dervish Syndrome, which causes folk to twirl their whole body, making strange clicking and whirring noises all the while.

      "Graphite elbow" is also commonly seen in this condition and is likely caused by the excessive flicking movement at this joint often observed in victims.

      I'm not sure autoclaving will be that effective at preventing these disorders. It could be worse though; my great-uncle John died soon after making a fish spear shaft from bamboo. I guess that's even worse than making a spinning rod.

      While I do not have any doubts about Harry's abilities,  I must say it did seem a trifle more elegant when we gave by donation for banishment ceremonies, instead of being asked for payment up front.

      On an unrelated note, I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone who has fished or cast the Payne 204, as I am thinking of trying that taper but have no firsthand knowledge of the rod's performance.  (George Deagle)

      I'm here to debunk those ideas straight away!  I built a light bamboo spinning rod for Steelhead fishing.  It performed marvelously the first outing.  13 steelies and 7 browns, some going 10 plus pounds.  This was on a steel form, using hand planes.

      Subsequently I've built a number of fly rods which have all performed very well.  I'm proud to say one even won an accuracy competition this fall at CRG!

      So my tools STILL  work and  the product  of my  tools as well !!!

      Let's not circulate these wives tales :)  (Al Baldauski)


Do any of you have or know of where I can find some spin rod tapers in the 4 1/2 to 5 foot range? I have the Gould book, but nothing in there is of any interest. (Zac Denton)

    You can find some here, but you may have to convert them to 5" stations.  (Ken Paterson)

      I think they're all long heavy weights. In George Leonard Herter's book, he said you could make a good spinning rod by chopping off both ends of a good fly rod. DON'T TRY IT!!! IT DOESN'T WORK!! My very first rod ever was made from a Tiki yard torch. I thought it was too short to make a fly rod so I followed George's suggestion. Tip section isn't too bad, but the whole thing is real floppy and there's a lot of flex in the handle. I used slip rings for the reel seat and can't hardly keep the reel tight. And NO, HELL NO, I'm not going to tape them on!!!  (David Dziadosz)

    IMHO, a fast dry fly action makes a pretty fair spinning rod.  My 20-year-old Walleye live bait rod is a 7-foot Loomis rated for 1/4 oz. lures, and I had often toyed with the idea of getting a blank to build a fly rod.  Then . . . I woke up!

    But, seriously, look at something like a PY Martha Marie, or a Payne 98, or . . . (????).  A well-respected full-time maker once advised me that the tip should be close to 0.100", but I'm famous for ignoring good advice.  So, there are two opinions for you.  (Steve Yasgur)


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