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You may like to visit:

BigBass

the definitive South African trophy Bass fishing site

SurfMaster

The South African Saltwater Surfcasting site

RODBUILDING

 

You can probably build a better rod than you can buy, choosing your own Blank and Components. For those willing to try, this page will be a useful place to start!

 

 

A. ROD BLANKS

 

Step No. 1: Find the right Blank

Various Blank manufacturers, both local and overseas, offer Blanks which are suited to South African Surfcasting.

 

Generally, look for a 2 piece Blank with a carbonfibre butt section and either a carbonfibre, composite or S-glass tip section. Total Blank length should be from 11'6" - 13'6".

 

I really lament the passing of the availability of the great Fenwick Big Surfstick Blanks (black carbonfibre butt sections and yellow-gold high modulus S-glass tip sections)! These blanks made tough, long-casting, easy-fishing rods! I personally fish rods (built in the late 1980's) on a Fenwick SS 1385 blank (11'6"; rated for 5-8oz): in my opinion a sweeter all-rounder you would not find!; and on a Fenwick SU 1688F blank (14'0"; rated for 6-12oz, if I recall correctly): strictly for the "big stuff"!

 

If you can pick up any Fenwick blank or rod today, go for it and refurbish with new grips and Fuji guides and reelseat ...

 

The old ABU Atlantic 474 and 484 surf rods were not bad either ... If you can pick up one of these today, strip it and refinish with Fuji guides and reelseat and new grips, you'll have a great rod ...

 

If I were considering building a Surf Rod today ...

... I would probably opt for something in the Century Kompressor range. Western Accessories in South Africa are the SA agents/ retailers for Century blanks - award-winning, record-holding, cutting-edge technology British-made blanks (scroll down to see link and contact details below).

 

For all-round rock and surf fishing, the two-piece 13' Century Kompressor Sport (4-7oz weight sinker plus bait) would be a good choice. If you want to go heavier (for non-edibles and sliding, perhaps), the Century Kompressor WR300 (up to 8 oz or more sinker plus bait) would fit the Bill. Some British anglers rate the Century Kompressor WR300 as the best all-round performer ...

 

I may also consider the  Rainshadow and Seeker for two-piece USA-made Surf blanks (see links below).

 

BUT there are other alternatives which you may like to check out for yourself ...

 

Recommended South African Blank manufacturers are:

 

1. The oldest and most trusted South African Blank manufacturer which offers quality products.

 

Click on the logo on the left to access the Purglas USA website. Purglas now also offers their products in the USA, Britain and Australia. The USA website contains a lot more info. To access the South African website primarily to get the local contact details, go to www.fishing.co.za. Purglas rods and Blanks are available in 1 piece or 2 piece (equal length sections joined by a spigot). You will not go wrong with a Purglas Blank. Also click here for Blank specifications.

 

* For throwing lures (3/4 - 3 oz) in the Surf, check out the 4m (13'2") Purglas PSFB 4000-0 or the PSFB 400-0 (2,8mm tip and 31,0mm (1.220in) butt) carbonfibre Blanks.

 

 

2. Blue Marlin Fishing Rods is the other South African Blank manufacturer. I would probably not ever buy a Blue Marlin Rod, but may consider their blanks ...

 

Blue Marlin produces 1, 2 and 3 piece Blanks suitable for Surfcasting. If you see a 3 piece South African Blank or Rod or a 3 piece rod with multiple tips, whatever the brand name, it is most probably built on a Blue Marlin Blank! Food for thought!

 

Click here to find out about 2 and 3 piece Blue Marlin Surfcasting Blanks. The new T53 blanks not yet shown on the website, are also available.

 

For retail sales of these Blanks, speak to Rob at Gremlin's (in Margate: (039) 317-3233).

 

 

Recommended International Blank manufacturers are:

 

Award-winning, record-holding, cutting-edge technology British-made blanks. Western Accessories in South Africa are the SA agents/ retailers. Speak to Abdul (tel.: (011) 660-5705; fax.: (011) 660-5779) or Yusuf (tel.: (011) 894-4858; 084-246-3869).

 

  Composite Developments, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get these Blanks and all other Components from:

 

 

B. ROD BUILDERS

 

Hook up with probably the most competent South African Rodbuilder/ Rodcrafter:

  

PO Box 798, EMPANGENI 3880, South Africa

Tel.: +27(0)35-753-4580 (W); +27(0)35-792-4434 (H)

Fax.: +27(0)35-753-5590

Cellular: 082-496-6382

 

Jan Croeser has been in the business for many years and I recommend his work very highly. So, if you don't have the time, inclination or confidence to build your own dream rod, why don't you contact Jan? You'll be glad you did!

 

If you need to source any hard to get blanks (including Calstar, Seeker, Composite Developments and others) or other quality rodbuilding components and supplies in South Africa, give Jan a call - he will probably be able to assist you himself or give you details of the South African agents/ importers.

 

 

C. THE SPIRAL WRAP

A unique way of wrapping a casting rod ...

Have any of you heard of or had experience fishing a rod using the "Roberts", "Spiral" or "Acid" Wrap?

When wrapping a rod in this manner, the first couple of guides from the tip (including the tip) are placed under the rod as in guide placement for a spinning reel, then the last four guides including the stripping guide bringing the line to the (casting) reel are placed around the blank in a spiral to cause the line to travel from under the rod spiraling to the reel. This wrapping technique is said to eliminate torque and provide a very stable fish fighting platform whilst improving castability and has been used on both saltwater and bass rods by certain custom builders. Those in the know maintain that you will never go back to the conventional way of wrapping a casting rod after trying this! Sounds crazy, but can you argue with results?

The guide placement around the blank looks like this:

 

 

ROD BUILDING TIPS

 

Hot Tip #1!
Struggling to fit EVA Foam or Hypalon grips?

To successfully fit EVA or Hypalon grips that will not even normally come past halfway down the blank, wipe the blank with lacquer thinners, apply the glue to area where you want the grip to finally be as well as a couple of inches above this area. Soak the grip in lacquer thinners for a while and pour lacquer thinners into one end of the hole of the grip, blocking off the other end of the hole with your hand, pour until the thinners "overflow", block this end with your other hand and swirl the thinners in the hole of the grip around from side to side and up and down for at least two minutes. Then, working fast, allow the thinners to run out of the hole, place the grip onto the rod holding only the top end and with one fluid motion, never stopping for a second, force the grip down into position.

 

With some grips and thicker blanks you will really have to apply a lot of downward pressure - but the key is not letting up until the grip is where you want it. You will be surprised how easily (relatively speaking) the grip is positioned and there is never a problem with loose grips as the grip is stretched over a blank diameter far larger than the hole in the grip. It is actually better to use a grip which when just loosely slid over the tip of the blank stops at least a foot or two above where you want the top end of the grip to be finally fitted. Make sure the hole in the grip is a smaller diameter than the thinnest diameter section of the blank you want to fit the grip over. Now all that remains is to clean up the glue residue on the exposed area of the blank with the lacquer thinners. I also find that a contact adhesive commonly used to stick vinyl floor tiles (in South Africa the brand name is Gemkem Contact Adhesive) works well for installing these type of grips.

 

 

Hot Tip #2!
Keep your rods clean and shiny with Pledge Classic or Lemon spray Furniture Polish! Also makes dirt easier to remove after subsequent outings ... Just sponge with mild, soapy lukewarm water - rinse, dry, apply Plegde and buff with a soft, dry cloth. With rods costing what they do these days, you just have to take proper care of them.

 

 

Hot Tip #3!
The best way to clean and brighten up cork grips? Wipe with a cloth moistened in Lacquer Thinners. Guaranteed to make cork grips look like new! Lacquer Thinners is also great for cleaning and de-greasing rod blanks - just don't use on cheap, painted rods and blanks as it will strip the colour. High quality rods and blanks which have their colour pigment added as part of the graphite or fibreglass resin will be fine.

 

 

To chat about rodbuilding in general, e-mail Jacques with your contact 'phone number.

 

 

 

RODBUILDING LINKS

 

www.rodmakermagazine.com
RodMaker Magazine covers the entire spectrum of rodbuilding. Whether you're a beginner or expert, building fly, spin, casting, trolling, graphite or fibreglass,  RodMaker has something for everyone.

 

www.rodbuilding.org
The Internet's gathering place for custom rod builders.

 

www.rodbuildingtutorials.com

Great, informative site with excellent "how to" info for the rodbuilder!

 

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... Before you leave this site, 

don't forget to visit all the links in the blue column on the left ...

 
 
 

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