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Pick your guide wraps!

I've found a lot of folks have difficulty in deciding this one - I guess it's like picking furniture or drapery or literally have unlimited possibilities. This is also where the artistry of the rod builder comes into play.

Thread Colors

You have every shade of the rainbow at your displosal. In addition to standard nylon, there are also metallic threads as well as braided threads that combine two colors in one thread (creates an unusual pattern in the wrap). I work exclusively with Gudebrod thread producs (as there hasn't been any need to ever go anywhere else). You can view the Gudebrod Color Chart to see what's available to you.

My suggestions in chosing your thread color are as follows, you will either go conservative or liberal (no, not a political joke). Basically, what most folks are used to are conservative color schemes; it's what you see on most all production rods; colors that "blend in" to the rest of the rod, i.e. gray wraps on a black blank. Conversely, it may seem daring but often what gets attention are the high contrast colors, i.e. yellow wraps on a blue blank.

In any case, I've picked up a few things. First, my tastes always lean to the conservative. Second, it's often a good idea to match up colors with the other components on the rod. I.e. use metallic gold thread when the hardware is gold, use metallic silver with chrome etc. Third, especially in the high contrast colors, having the thread color mirror something in the reel seat (if a wooden insert) is ideal...i.e. yellow and garnet really bring out the colors in tulipwood. Red looks dynomite with a Bloodwood insert. Purpleheart Reel Seat? Perhaps purple wraps are in order?

Finally, the best bit of advice - EVERYTHING looks good on a matte black blank. I can't say the same for the other common blank colors (gloss green, gloss blue, gloss brown).

Thread Patterns

Again, anything you think of can be done. Many poeple are happy to have me come up with the pattern.

My suggestion is to look through the rods I've built, look around on the net, and just see what catches your eye. Some folks simply like a wrap of one straight color. Others like a main color and a trim color. Still others like really whacky stuff! So, when looking at wraps, look at the PATTERN of the wrap (i.e. two turns of trim color, two main color, two trim, the rest main). Make note of patterns you like. Then, once you've picked the pattern, you can apply your color choices to it and viola, your guide wrap has been designed. I've included some sample wraps below to give you an idea of straight colors and patterns with trim etc...

Straight White Straight Blue Gray with Metallic Silver Trim
Gray with Orange Trim Classic Twist White/Black with Metallic Copper Trim Spring Green and Blue Dun trimmed with Black
Goldenrod with Garnet Trim Goldenrod with Garnet Trim Navy Blue with Metallic Gold Trim
Straight Classic Twist Green/Black Garnet with Metallic Silver Trim Brown with Metallic Silver Trim
Orange and Goldenrod with Garnet Trim Gold with Black and Metallic Gold Trim Straight Classic Twist Orange/Black
Gradient from Spring Green, Medium Green to Dark Green Gray with Black and Candy Apple Red Trim Blue with Black and Tan Trim
Straight Metallic Copper Classic Twist Scarlet/Black with Tan Trim Garnet with Metallic Silver Trim

The best part about it? If you're unsure of what you've selected, I can do a single wrap and show you how it looks. You're not committed to the wrap until I've started building the rod!

Ferrule Wraps

The ferrule is the female portion of a rod section in a multi-piece rod. These are wrapped with thread and finished to fortify the ferrule and help prevent it from splitting. It is my normal recommendation that these wraps be made in a color that is similar to the blank color (i.e. Navy Ferrule Wraps on a Gloss Blue Blank). In the overall composition of the rod, there is a natural progression of the guide wraps; especially in high contrast colors, having the ferrule wrap follow the guide wrap throws off the spacing. In other words, it just looks plain odd! I'm happy to wrap your ferrules a differently, i.e. same as the guide wraps, just let me know because otherwise I'm doing it my way ;)

Ferrule wrap in Navy on Gloss Blue Blank Ferrule Wrap in Black with Green/Black Classic Twist Trim Navy Blue Ferrule Wrap on Gloss Blue Blank
Gray ferrule wrap with alignment dots on matte black blank Gray ferrule wrap on matte black blank Navy ferrule wrap on gloss blue blank

Next - Decorative Wraps?
Previous - Chose your Guides


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