How to Build your own Fly Rod
The first step to building your own fly rod is 'information'.
For the beginner it can all seem a bit daunting, the best way to get started though is to get yourself an instructional book.
There are many available from overseas, 'Fly Rod Building made Easy' by Art Scheck is a good one and is available either as a download or hard copy on Amazon
And of course the Internet provides endless amount of info too; A very useful resource is the Rod Making Forum, absolutely loads of info here. And this is another: Fly Rod Building FAQ for starting out and they have a forum too
And of course we have a section for Rod Building on our own forum where you can ask questions
And you don't need to spend a lot of money on tools, much of what you need can be made at home, a simple rod wrapping stand can be fashioned out of wood. These fit over the far side of the bench, the groves the rod sits in are angled back a bit so the rod doesn't pop out as you wind thread on and are lined with plastic cut from an ice cream container for the rod to sit against, decreasing any friction and protecting the blank from scratches - Easy!
A reamer for sizing the inside hole in the cork handle sounds more of a challenge but I made one from an old rod with a strip of sand paper wrapped around it, piece of tape each end, then fit it into your hand drill, works perfectly adequately.
The two things I would recommend buying are a drying motor, which rotates the rod slowly as the epoxy used to cover the thread that holds the guides in place dries. Again you can turn them by hand but the drying motor save you having to be in consent attendance. And one of the thread tensioners would be useful, I tried to make a home made one and well it just didn't work that well, not smooth enough, though again if you want to keep costs down passing the thread between the pages of an old book will suffice as a tensioner.
Rod Blanks; I now have some cheaper blanks, the Matrix's which are good quality and great for getting started or if you don't wont to spend too many $$. I have some Rod Building Kits here which are a great way to get started.
However I do recommend the locally made CTS brand because they are a very good product, with a growing world wide reputations for quality, plus they're 100% Kiwi made and it's good to support the locals :)
First time round it's good to spend a bit of practice time on the guide wraps and epoxying, just use an old rod, make the mistakes there before tackling the real thing. Anyone who is at all good with their hands and enjoys making things should find rod making an enjoyable pastime, but be warned like many things to do with fly fishing you may be come addicted!