In my opinion the best book for the first time fly rod builder is (link to amazon) Handcrafting a Graphite Fly Rod, by L. A. Garcia. I’ve had my copy for about 10 years and I continually go back to it for reference. At 45 or so pages it isn’t long but it is PACKED with great close-up photographs.
The book is written for the first time rod builder with tips and techniques that can come from years of building experience. The book is organized in the same steps used to build a fly rod.
Overview Contents of Handcrafting a Graphite Fly Rod
- Selecting a Fly Rod Blank
- Guides and Hook Keeper
- Locating the Spine
- Mounting Tip Top
- Mounting the Reel Seat
- Wrapping Guides
- I particularly like the guide wrapping techniques detailed in the book. To see one of those techniques Click -> WRAPPING GUIDES
- Attaching the Handle
- Finishing your fly rod
- Materials, Construction and Glossary
Highlights for Building a Custom Fly Rod
Rod Guide Wrapping Technique – I mentioned this earlier the guide wrapping technique details pulling the tag end under the wrap and actually breaking the wrapping thread under the wrap so you don’t have to worry about cutting the thread and fighting fuzz later.Finishing the Fly Rod – What I really like is how the Garcia emphasizes keeping everything clean. Even the pictures show a clean work environment. One thing that is a little different from the book to what I do is that I like the finish to be applied to the thread and the rod blank. I believe it seals any water from getting under the thread or guides.
For less than $20 you can get what I consider the best book for the first time fly rod builder. Copies are available on Amazon. With fantastic photos, clear straight forward written instructions and a focus on the important aspects of rod building Handcrafting a Graphite Fly Rod is a keeper.