.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Casting Flies on Yellowstone Streams (and most anywhere else
for that matter) - Part 4

How Fly Rods Are Made
Back to the blank manufacturing, these rolls of flat, thin, graphite material are
cut into triangle shaped pieces according to a specific plan for the particular rod
being made. The fiberglass has a sticky side that is wrapped around a mandrel
or a metal rod the size and shape of the inside of the particular section of the
rod being made.

The fibers are all running in the same direction as the rod section. Additional
graphite material called scrim is used to give the rod strength in the opposite
direction of the fibers running long ways with the length of the rod section. In
other words, adding scrim results in fibers running in both directions - linear
along the length of the rod, and the scrim fibers running around the rod.

If it were not for the scrim fibers, the rod would flatten when it was bent. These
fibers are "tacked" to the mandrel in just the right amount and places necessary
to provide the flexing and strength of the rod according to the design. The
design of the mandrel (size and shape) and the application of the scrim
determines the rod's flexing characteristics or action.

The mandrel with the graphite fibers tacked to it is placed in a machine that rolls
the fibers on the mandrel at a certain preset pressure. Extra material is added
for the ferrules and rolled into place by the machine. The section of the rod is
then covered with a heat resistant film and placed in an oven to bake. It is
curred under relatively low heat. The mandrel and the film that covers the rod
section is removed leaving the hollow rod blank section. The rod is then painted
with an epoxy type paint and allowed to cure.

Now, I wonder why a fast action rod usually cost a lot more than a slow action
rod? They remind me of the price of shrimp. A few year ago, I asked a guy in a
sea food store in Orange Beach, Alabama, what was the difference in his $5.00
per pound shrimp and his $8.00 per pound shrimp. He gave me a grim look and
said "the price".

Copyright 2009 James Marsh