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How to Build a Shop-Made Clamping Jig for Making Fly Fishing Rods
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Clamping fishing rod with string and weights This shop clamping jig, developed by Everett Garrison, uses upholstery string and fishing weights to bind the rod tightly together.

The strips that make up a fly rod aren’t going to clamp together with even the best clamps, so rodmakers clamp them with a shop-made jig (designed by Everett Garrison) that binds the pieces together in taut, spiraling wraps of upholstery thread. Glue is applied first, using a toothbrush to spread it over all six strips, which are lined up side-by-side on top of a piece of masking tape.You roll the pieces together and then run them through the binder. A drive belt made of kite line turns the rod and moves it forward as upholstery thread, fed from above, wraps tightly around the rod.

Clamping fishing rod with upholstery string The string binds the pieces of the rod tightly together, which will create some bends and twists, easily straightened out by a brief application of a heat gun.

The fishing weights hanging from the drive belt determine the pressure with which the string is applied. On a tip as tiny as this one, as I discovered, the weight of anything more than the pulley is enough to snap the rod until you get a good 10" from the tip. At that point, I add a 12-ounce weight. I use a 16-ounce weight on the butt section. Once the rod is wrapped, you remove any twists, and then roll it under a board, a J-roller or both, to straighten it. I set it under weights on the planing form to keep it aligned while the glue cures.There will still be minor twists and bends when the glue dries, but you straighten them out with gentle heat from the heat gun.

posted on August 1, 2009 by Jeff Day
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