Sometimes people who are trying their hand at making their own fly rod will contact me to ask questions. I always encourage this, as the guidance of another rod maker can be invaluable. We all learn from each other. I've also been asked in the past if I offer rod making classes of any kind. The answer is no, I don't, but I'm always willing to take the time to answer any questions you might have.
For those of you looking to get your feet wet in rod making, I can offer some suggestions that might help get you started. First, read every book you can on the subject. See how different authors / rod makers approach the craft. Next, think about taking a good rod making class. This can really help you overcome some of the problems you'll face starting out. Also, try to cast & see as many different rods as you can. Knowing what's out there is a great help in seeing what you need to do. Also, befriend a more experienced rod maker & listen carefully to what they have to say.
There is, however, a misguided view among some that once you learn how to make a rod, your rods will soon be as good as the others you see on the market. If only that were true, we would all be successful, master rod makers. (by the way, you can count the number of "master" rod makers on one hand, of which I'm not one). The hard truth is that once you learn how to make a rod, you've only just begun. You need hours & years of hard focused practice in order to become truly good. It's the same in all endeavors, not just rod making. For example, do you want the mechanic who just started learning how a car works to fix your engine, or the mechanic who's been working on vehicles every day for thirty years?
The truth is, we can accomplish most anything we set our mind to, but only if we work hard at it & have a love for it that will sustain us when the going gets tough. It takes a lot of practice to get good at anything, & the same is true for making rods. Recently, rod maker Jeff Wagner summed up everything I'm trying to say here much better than I can. I highly recommend that you read Jeff's thoughts by clicking HERE.
If you think you'd like to make your own fly rod but haven't yet, then by all means, give it a try. You may come to find that you truly enjoy it. Just don't get discouraged if your first (or second, etc) rods aren't as good as others you've seen. You will get there with patience & practice.