DIY Plans for a Rod Wrapper

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Wrapping guides onto a fishing rod blank is easier than it looks. To wrap your own guides, you need a rod wrapper that allows you to spin the blank smoothly while wrapping the thread from a spool evenly. The components of a rod wrapper are a cradle for the rod blank and a spindle to hold the spool of thread in the right position and at the proper tension.

Building the Cradle

Make a cradle for the rod. Take a piece of wood, 1 inch by 4 inch by three feet long. Cut off two 6-inch-long pieces. Cut a "V" about two inches deep in one of the 4-inch edges of each piece. Attach these two pieces to the ends of the remaining two-foot long board. The cradle should look like a long, skinny football field with two "V" goalposts at either end. You will place the rod across the "field" and into the bottom of the two Vs.

Non-Scratch Surface

Put a non-scratch surface inside the Vs. A strip of felt or soft fabric can be glued along the top edges so when you put a rod blank in, it won't get scratched.

Make a Spool Spindle

Make a spindle for your thread. Make a "U"-shaped spindle-holder out of a strip of aluminum or other material. This should be about 1/8 inch wider than the spool of thread. Drill holes in both arms of the U. Drill a hole in the bottom of the U and attach the U to the middle of the two-foot long board near one of the outside edges. Use a machine screw for the spindle to hold the spool. Thread the screw through one side of the U, through the spool, then through the other side of the U. Use a wing nut to hold the spindle in place.

Using the Rod Wrapper

Place your fishing rod blank in the cradle. Adjust the tension on the thread with the wing nut. With your guide positioned on the blank with masking tape, make one wrap on the rod with the thread. Make the second wrap overlap the first wrap to lock it in place. Continue wrapping the thread under tension to secure the guide. Wrap a separate loop of thread under the last five or six wraps so you can thread the end of the last wrap into the loop and pull it back under the last five wraps to make an invisible end.

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