April 28th, 2003

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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Build Your Own Fly Line Winder,
By Jeff Ehasz, Glen Gardner, NJ

A fly line winder can be made at home easily and inexpensively.

To make the base and arbor support you'll need two pieces of plywood. The base should be approx. 6"W x 24"L and 3/4" thick. The arbor support should be approx. 3 1/2"W x 4 1/2"L and 1/2" thick.

Mount the arbor support to one end of the base on it's side, using three 1 1/2" long sheet rock screws.

Assemble the arbor handle into one of the inner holes of an old fly line spool. The handle shown here was salvaged from a table saw bed crank but can be substituted with a similar handle or a 1/4"x 2" bolt.

Assemble the spool and attach the arbor axil through the center hole in the fly line spool.

Drill a 1/8" Dia. hole in the arbor hub to allow the end of the fly line to be inserted. Use this hole to pass the fly line end through when starting winding.

Top view of the arbor attached to the arbor support.

On the opposite end of the arbor attach 2 broom hangers to hold the fly rod handle. Take care to position them so they align with the center of the arbor hub at the other end.

Cut the rod off a discarded fly rod to salvage the handle and reel seat. Snap the handle into the broom hangers with the seat opposite the arbor.

Below is a complete parts list I used to build my line winder. With the exception of the broom hangers all other parts where selected from the salvage depot in my basement. Modifications could produce a deluxe model, such as the addition of a clamped-on mini vise to hold on to a nail knotting tool.

    1: Empty fly line spool
    2: 2 1/4" x 3/16" hex bolt
    3: 1/4" flat washer
    4: 3/8" flat washer
    5: 1/4" ID copper tubing 1/2" long
    6: 1/4" flat washer
    7: 1/4" flat washer
    8: 3/16" hex nut
    9: 3/16" hex nut
    10: 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 1/2" plywood
    11: 3 sheetrock screws 1 1/2" long
    12: 3/16" hex nut
    13: 3/16" hex nut
    14: 1/4" flat washer
    15: 1/4" ID plastic tubing 3/16" long
    16: Old table saw bed crank handle
    17: 1/2" x 1/8" wood screw
    18: 1/2" x 1/8" wood screw
    19: broom/rake hanger
    20: broom/rake hanger
    21: Old flyrod handle with reel seat
    22: 6" x 24" x 3/4" plywood
    23: 2" c-clamp
    24: 2" c-clamp ~ Jeff Ehasz


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