Gathering of the Clan

Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011
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Author:  Brian Greer [ Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

This is the next rod that I am making.
It's a 7ft 4wt made on the Dickerson 7011 taper.
The Dickerson 7012 taper is pretty well known, but not so much for the 7011.

The 7011 will/should have a softer action than that of the 7012. It should be great on smaller streams and creeks.
Should be just perfect for those streams in the Smoky Mountains.

Late last year I bought some rod making equipment. A rough beveler, an oven, a set of planing forms, and a string binder.
I'm finally getting to put them to use.

If one has never done it, there's a bit of a learning curve to planing out a strip of bamboo.
You have to set your forms to the proper depth along the length of the strip so that the strip you end up with has the right dimensions. The depth gauge has to be set accurately to achieve the proper strip dimensions.There's a bit more to it than meets the eye.

While planing the strip, you need to keep the block plane even as you cut the strip down. If you tilt the plane as you cut the strip, the triangle is going to come out uneven and not the equilateral profile that is needed.

My first 6 strips for the butt section took a while to do. The first strip took the longest and the last strip was the quickest. The strips for the tips went much easier. Practice and building muscle memory, I imagine.

I am now much more confident with my rod making skills. The last strips were a walk in the park. All the cuts were smooth and the triangles were true. I've got this thing licked.

Here are a couple of pictures.
Six good strips nestled together. This will be one of the tip sections.

This is a pic of the very end of one tip strip. Next to it is a mechanical pencil with the lead sticking out a bit, for reference.

Stay tuned....

Author:  Charlie S [ Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

:shock: :shock: WOW. :shock: :shock:

Author:  Dr. Trout Bum [ Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011


I'm envious - I've long wanted to build bamboo rods, but have finally admitted to myself that I have neither the time nor the skills to really do it. I admire what you're doing and I'll bet that rod will be a thing of beauty and an amazing fishing tool.


Author:  Brian Greer [ Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

So in the last week, I turned all of my planed strips into a rod blank.

I decided on the glue that I am going to use. I ordered some Nyatex glue and went to work.
Nyatex is a two part epoxy glue that needs to be set with heat.
Some builders use one of the Titebond glue. I shied away from that for two reasons. One, it has a short working time. You have to lay it on quick and then get the strips bound up quickly. Two, when cured, it is softer than other glues. That makes for a softer action rod.
Some builders use a urea formaldehyde glue. I decided against that because those glues need to have a certain moisture content in the bamboo. That could pose problems in the winter. Moisture content was just something I don't want to worry about.
Nyatex is easy to use. Mix 1 to 1 by volume, stir it, let it sit for 15 minutes, stir again and use.
It has a long open time. More than enough time to bind up all the strips for a fly rod and straighten them.

The Dickerson 7011 has a steep swell in the taper just in front of the grip. This swell will quicken the action of the rod. Swells can be difficult, especially for a new maker.
Here's a pic of the swell on 6 unglued, nestled strips.
The swell in the picture is not very pronounced because the strips don't want to stay together tightly because of the sharp change in dimensions.

I double checked my angles and took some material off of the angle of each strip on the interior of the rod. That would provide some relief when everything is bound together.
I glued everything up and run it through my binder. I decided to bind over the area of the swell with some fly line backing to provide extra clamping pressure.
It's still a little tough to see the swell. That is because of all the string and glue on the section.

I straightened all of the strips and left them to hang for a while to let the glue thicken up a bit.
After several hours, I put the strips in my over for an hour at 225degF.
After cooling, I took the string off of the sections and sanded the glue off of each rod section.
After all remnants of glue was removed, I wiped everything down with alcohol.
The moment of truth....
SUCCESS! No big, wide, gaping glue lines!!
I was quite pleased with the way the strips came out. Any multitude of things can screw you up making a rod blank.
This blank isn't prefect, but it is pretty darned good. It turned out better that I expected and as good as I had hoped.

Next up is to glue up some cork rings for a grip, make a reel seat spacer, and install ferrules.
Ferrules and reel seat hardware will be here tomorrow, I'll glue up cork rings tonight and let them dry over night.

Thread color is the next to be decided. Since this is a 7ft 4wt rod, I think that maybe some brook trout colors might look good...

Author:  Satchel [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

Looking good Brian. I'm pretty sure my friend Jerry Drake uses the Nyatex glue on his rods.

Author:  Brian Greer [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011


Yes, Jerry does use Nyatex. I had a few questions about the stuff and Jerry was very helpful.

Plus, I figured if Nyatex was holding together Jerry's crazy rods, they would be fine on the trout rods that I will be making.

Author:  Satchel [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

Yea if Brutus is held together with Nyatex it's gotta be good stuff.

For the rest of you, Brutus is a 15 ft. bamboo spey rod that Jerry made. It is able to cast and shoot a tremendous amount of line. Jerry has become pretty well known for his spey rods and has customers in the Pacific North West as well as the Eastern Provinces of Canada and even has a couple of rods in use in Europe now.

Author:  Dr. Trout Bum [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

Nyatex is pretty popular, based on my reading, for all the reasons you mentioned.

Having no discernable glue lines on your first rod is quite an accomplishment and speaks to your eye for detail. Congratulations!

Author:  Brian Greer [ Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

The Dickerson 7011 is finished.
It's a 7ft 0in. rod with 11/64th ferrules.
A softer rod (especially for a Dickerson) made for a 4wt line.

I'm pleased with the final product. Over the last year I had bought several rod making tools and I learned to use them all with this rod. New planing forms, new beveller, new oven, and a new string binder.

I made this rod all on my own. No one standing near me offering advice or stopping me when I was about to do something wrong.

With each tool there was a learning curve. Lots of practice on scrap was the key. Planing strips was probably the biggest hurdle. It seems simple enough to stick a bamboo strip into the groove of planing form and just cut away anything sticking up above the groove. It really takes some practice to develop the skill to keep the bottom of that plane parallel to the surface of the planing forms. Tilting or rocking the plane as you make your cut will lead to bad angles on your strip. Once you have bad angles on your strip, you have to compensate your plane cutting technique to correct those angles. It can be a pain in the rear. We call it "chasing the angle".
After quite a bit of practice, I was making good, long even cuts along the entire strip.

I'll use this rod in a few weeks on a trip to the Smokys to chase brook trout.
I wrapped the rod in some brook trout colors. Orange wraps with black tipping with a few white accents.
The rod casts quite well with a 4wt line. I'll try it with a 3wt line to see how that performs. I'd really like to try it with one of those "heavy" 3wt lines. I think that just might be the ticket.





Author:  Doug G [ Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rodmaking: Dickerson 7011

Brian, good work. I am impressed to say the least.

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