This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
By Stillman Taylor
While the action of the one-piece rod is undeniably better than when the rod is made in two or three pieces, it is less compact to carry. To make a 5-ft. two-piece bait-casting rod, the same dimensions as given for the one-piece rod will make a very fine fishing tool. It is well to make two tips in view of a possible breakage. The rod may consist of two pieces of equal length, but a rod of better action is secured by making the butt section somewhat shorter with a relatively longer tip. By making the butt section about 23 in. long, exclusive of ferrule and butt cap, and the are added. The material list is as follows, the attachments being made of german silver: Dagame or greenheart butt, % in. by 3 ft. long; two tips % in. by 3 ft. long; one 3/4-in. reel seat with straight hood; one 1-in. butt cap; one taper, 15/32 in. at the small end; two 3/32 in. offset agate tops; two 1/2-in. narrow agate guides; two No. 1 size onetip section 32 1/2 in. long, a splendid little rod is obtained which will fit any of the regulation rod cases of 35-in. length. To make a 6 1/2-oz. rod of this kind with a cork hand grasp, caliper it in the same manner as the one-piece rod, making the butt section 32 1/2 in. long, tapering from 15/32in. at the upper end of the hand grasp to 19/64 in. at the ferrule. The tip is made 33 in. long, tapering from 17/64 in. to 7/64 in. By making the tip and butt to these lengths, both parts will be of equal length when the ferrules and the tops ring casting guides; one 17/64-in. welted and shouldered f e r-rule, with two closed-end centers, one for each tip; two dozen cork washers, 1 1/4in. in diameter, and two spools of winding silk.
Ill: The Making of a Rod Not Only Affords Much Pleasure, but the Rod can be Constructed as Desired
The three-piece rod should be made up to 6 ft. in length to secure the best action, but even if so made, the use of the extra ferrules makes the rod less resilient and elastic than the rod of one or two-piece construction. The best action is obtained only when the rod bends to a uniform curve, and since the ferrules cannot conform to this curve, or arc, the more joints incorporated in a rod, the less satisfactory it will be from an angling standpoint.
Convenience in packing and carrying are the sole merits which the many-jointed rod possesses. Complete specifications for making a three-piece bait-casting rod, together with a material list, is as follows: A rod, about 5 1/2 ft. long with a single or double hand grasp made of cork, will weigh about 7 oz. Caliper the butt so that it will taper from 15/32 in. to 11/32 in. at the cap of the ferrule, making it 81% in. long. The middle joint is tapered from 21/64 in. to 15/64 in., and is 21 3/4 in. long. The tips are 21 in. long and are tapered from 13/64 in. to 7/64 in. Dagame or green-heart is used for the butt, joint, and tips, and german silver for the fittings. All pieces are 2 ft. long, the butt is % in., the joint and tips, 3/8 in. One 3/4-in. reel seat with straight hood; one 1-in. butt cap; one taper, small end 15/32in.; one 21/64-in. welted and shouldered ferrule ; one 15/64-in. welted and shouldered ferrule with two closed centers, one for each tip; two 3/32 -in. offset agate tops; two 1/2-in. narrow agate guides; two No. 1 size one-ring casting guides; two dozen cork washers, and winding silk, size 00 or 0.
Having made a good bait-casting rod, the amateur will find little trouble in making a rod with a number of joints, and no special instructions need be given, since the work of planing and smoothing up the wood, and finishing and mounting the rod, is the same as has been described in detail before. For fly fishing for trout, accuracy and delicacy are of more importance than length of cast, and the rod best suited to this phase of angling differs greatly from that used in bait casting. A stiff, heavy rod is entirely unsuited for fly casting, and while it is, of course, possible to make a rod too willowy for the sport, the amateur, working by rule of thumb, is more likely to err on the other side and make the fly rods of too stout a caliber. The idea is simply to help the amateur over the hard part by giving a list of dimensions of a representative trout and a bass fly rod. To make a 9-ft. trout fly rod, with a cork grasp having a length of 9 in. above the reel seat, caliper the material as follows: The butt is tapered from 7/16 in. to 7/16 in. at 1 ft. from the butt end; 1% ft., 1 1/2 in.; 2 ft., 21/64 in.; 2 1/2 ft,5/16 in., and 3 ft., 19/64 in. The first 6 in. of the middle joint is calipered to 9/32 in.; 1 ft., 17/64 in.; 1 1/2 ft., 15/64 in.;
2 ft., 7/32in.; 2 1/2 ft., 13/64 in., and 3 ft., 3/16 in. The first 6 in. of the tips are calipered to 11/64in.; 1 ft., 5/32 in.; 1 1/2 ft., 1/8 in.; 2 ft ., 7/64 in.; 2 1/2 ft., 3/32 in., and 3 ft., 5/64 in. All joints are made 36% in. long. The material used is dagame, or greenheart, the butt being % in. by 4 ft., the joint % in. by 4 ft., and the tips % in. by 4 ft. The attachments, of german silver, are: One 3/4-in. reel seat, fly-rod type with butt cap ; one taper, 33/64 in. at the small end; one 9/32-in. welted and shouldered ferrule; one 11/64-in. welted and shouldered ferrule with two closed-end centers, one for each tip ; two No. 4 snake guides for the butt joint; three No. 3 snake guides for the middle joint, and six No. 2 snake guides, three for each tip section ; two No. 7 agate angle fly tops, the kind to wind on; one dozen cork washers, and two 10-yd. spools of winding silk, 00 size.
A bass fly rod 9 1/2 ft. long, weighing 7 1/2 oz., with a cork grasp, 9% in. above the reel seat, is calipered as follows: The butt is tapered from 13/32 in. to 25/64 in. 1 ft. from the end; 1 1/2 ft. from butt, 23/64 in., 2 ft, 11/32 in.; 2 1/2 ft., 21/64in., and 3 ft., 19/64 in. The first 6 in. of the middle joint is 19/64 in.; 1 ft., 9/32in.; 1 1/2 .ft., 17/64 in.; 2 ft, 15/64 in.; 2% ft, 7/32in., and 3 ft, 13/64 in. The first 6 in. of the tips, 1 1/64 in.; 1 ft, 5/32 in.; 1 1/2 ft., 9/64 in.; 2 ft, 1/8 in.; 2 1/2 ft, 7/64 in, and
3 ft., 5/64 in. The joints are 36 1/2 in. long. The mountings are the same as for the trout fly rod. Dagame, or green-heart, wood is used, the butt being % in. by 4 ft, the joint % in. by 4 ft. and the tips 3/8 in. by 4 feet.
The two-piece salt-water rod with an 18-in. double cork hand grasp, the whole being 6 1/2 ft. long, is made to weigh about 13 oz, with the following caliperings: A uniform taper of 35/64 in. to 29/64 in, from the cork grasp to the ferrule, is given to the butt. The first 6 in. of the tips is 13/32 in.;1 ft., 1 1/2in.; 1% ft., 11/32 in.; 2 ft., 21/64 in.; 2 1/2 ft., 9/32 in., and to tip, 15/64 in. The
Ill: The Mountings for a Fly Rod Consist of a Reel Seat with a Straight Hood, a Taper, Snake Guide,
Agate Angle Top, and Serrated Ferrule. The Toothed Ends are Wound with Silk to Afford Additional Strength joints are made 36% in. long. Dagame, or greenheart, is used with german-sil-ver mountings. Both pieces of wood are 4 ft. long, the butt being of 3/4-in. and the tip of 1/2-in. material. One 7/8-in. reel seat with straight hood, one 1-in. butt cap, one 7/16 -in. ferrule, one taper with small end 35/64 in.; one 10/32-in. stirrup-tube agate top; two No. 3 bell guides; two dozen cork washers, and two spools, size A, winding silk.
The independent-butt rod, in which the hand grasp contains the ferrule and the tip is made in one piece, is a favorite type with many of the best fishermen. This mode of construction may be used with all classes of rods, the light fly and bait-casting rods, and the heavier caliber rods used in salt-water angling. In rods of this type, it is only necessary to use the same size ferrule to make as many tips as desired to fit the one butt. Tips of several calibers and weights may thus be fashioned to fit the one butt, and if the single-piece tip is too long for some special use, one tip may be made a jointed one for ease in carrying.
The independent butt, or hand grasp, is made by fitting the ferrule directly on a length of dagame, or greenheart, which has been rounded so that the seated ferrule will not touch the wood. The ferrule is then cemented and riveted in place, and a soft-pine sleeve is fitted over the wood core and the ferrule. The forward end of the sleeve is, of course, tapered to fit the taper of the reel seat, and when properly fitted, its lower end will project about 1/4in. beyond the pine sleeve. Glue the sleeve on this wood core, cement the reel seat to the sleeve, and rivet the reel seat in place.
The cork washers are glued in position, working the first one into the metal edge of the reel seat, to make a nice, tight joint at this point. The other corks are then glued in place until the hand grasp is of the desired length. The projecting end of the wood core is then cut off flush with the last cork, and the rod is mounted in the usual manner.
In making a double hand grasp, the forward grasp may be fitted over the wood core in the fashion already described in making the hand grasp for the one-piece bait-casting rod, or the forward grasp may be fitted to the tip, just above the ferrule, as preferred. Both methods are commonly used, the only difference being in the manner of finishing up the forward grasp. If the forward grip is affixed to the ferruled end of the tip, two tapered thimbles will be required to make a nice finish.
The heavy-surf, or tarpon, rod is made up of an independent, detachable butt, 20 in. long, having a solid-cork or cord-wound hand grasp, and a one-piece tip, 5 1/2 ft. long, altogether weighing 23 1/2 oz. It is uniformly calipered to taper from 29/32 in. to 5/16 in. One piece of dagame, or greenheart, 1 in. by 6 1/2ft., will be required. One 1-in. reel seat for detachable butt, including one 3/4-in. male ferrule; one 1 1/8-in. butt cap; two No. 11 wide, raised agate guides; two No. 1 trumpet guides; one 3/8-in. agate stirrup top; two spools of winding silk, A-size, and two dozen cork washers, or sufficient fishline to