Custom Rod Building Better Than Factory on Your First Attempt with Tom Kirkman
The podcast discusses whether a beginner can build a fishing rod as good as a factory rod on their first attempt. Tom Kirkman agrees it’s possible if the builder has good hand skills and common sense. He emphasizes starting simply with basic equipment like cardboard or wood blocks, thread spools, and brushes. Taking a class can help reduce fear and ensure success.
Kirkman advises focusing on functionality over aesthetics when first starting out. Information overload should be avoided. He recommends books by Boyd Pfeiffer and his own guide as good starting resources. Builders should aim to copy an existing rod design or enjoy the process rather than stress over decorative techniques.
With practice, most builders can create a rod as good as a factory version within a few tries. Diligence, quality control, and not rushing the process are important. Some days everything goes wrong, so it’s okay to take a break from the project. Resources like Rodmaker Magazine provide inspiration for all skill levels. Connecting with local groups offers support. Overall, rod building is an accessible and relaxing hobby for skilled hands.
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