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Probably going to build a 6wt soon whats a good 6wt blank? I see batson makes a few. I build all my own rods for inshore and have yet to try a fly rod so figure ill give it a shot. Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks
 

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CTS........pricey and a bit of a wait but I've built a 7,8 and 10 using their Affinity X and haven't been disappointed. Have a 9 on order just because......
 

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To me Batson = Chinese junk

I’d look at some RodGeeks fly rod blanks. They merged with St. Croix
Can't speak for the 6wt but the RodGeeks 8wt is pretty slow. They are also hecho en Mexico. Only the st. Croix blanks are made in the US.

CTS has a cool glass 6wt on sale right now. The Epic 686 and 690C are awesome blanks, especially the 686. If I were to build a 6wt it would be a 686.
 

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Maybe not ideal for saltwater applications but I built an Epic 686 glass rod recently and it's one of my favorite rods to cast.
 

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NFC makes a great American made blank but they have poor service and the wait time is at least a month. I have had good results using the MHX brands but like the Batson blanks they are mostly Chinese made. The actions they advertise are precise and the blanks are consistently the same. Even though they are made in Korea, the TFO blanks are quite nice and well made with several different models. Go a little more high dollar and you may be able to find a Sage One on sale or pay full price for the X. They are American made and have great service and offer other models to choose from. If you know the characteristics that you want in a blank then you can narrow it down to certain models. There really is no best blanks but rather what you want your finished rod to be and how much you want to spend. I am not recommending St Croix because they are no longer selling blanks to the public, but you may get a good deal on their discontinued product. G Loomis did the same thing when Gary sold the company to Shimano.
 

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NFC makes a great American made blank but they have poor service and the wait time is at least a month. I have had good results using the MHX brands but like the Batson blanks they are mostly Chinese made. The actions they advertise are precise and the blanks are consistently the same. Even though they are made in Korea, the TFO blanks are quite nice and well made with several different models. Go a little more high dollar and you may be able to find a Sage One on sale or pay full price for the X. They are American made and have great service and offer other models to choose from. If you know the characteristics that you want in a blank then you can narrow it down to certain models. There really is no best blanks but rather what you want your finished rod to be and how much you want to spend. I am not recommending St Croix because they are no longer selling blanks to the public, but you may get a good deal on their discontinued product. G Loomis did the same thing when Gary sold the company to Shimano.
My pet peeve with rod blanks is straightness and passing the flex test.
 

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Depends on your price point,and application. TFO makes some decent blanks for an affordable cost, and you can cast them before buying a blank. The margins are so high on blanks its crazy. On a side note, I have been to some rod factories in China that are much nicer than some of the ones in US. So not everything that comes from China is crap, just some of it.
 

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I've built on a bunch of different blanks and I like the MHX blanks for inshore salt. I've had customers that wanted higher end stuff and obviously I'll build whatever the customer wants. But my personal inshore salt rods are all MHX now. Like somebody else said, they are consistent and accurate in their description. 4-10wt are all exactly as advertised. And if you ever have an issue Mudhole has proven to be quick to correct it in my experience.
My freshwater fly rods are all Rainshadow blanks. Their customer service is excellent. A customer of mine just recently sent me a fly rod I built for him a year ago, that I'm fairly certain he stepped on, and they had no problem replacing the blank under warranty.
 

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Man I just committed the ultimate sin and bought a 9' NRX 8 wt on sale. This is the first complete rod I have bought in the last 19 years because I have straight up made everything I use (really more like 30 years but I was away from home and bought a cheap 2 piece rod and reel to fish at the place I was at 19 years ago). My North Fork Composite 8 wt tip broke and it will take an act of God to replace it so I guess I had a moment of weakness. I will fish it and compare it to the NFC rod I built that is now broke.
 

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Back in the late 90's we built lots of Cabelas (FT blank for saltwater) and they were great. Rumor was that they were made for Cabelas by Loomis. Once TFO started making good fly rods, I mostly quit building rods as it just wasn't worth my time, especially if you break one. I have fished everything from Cabelas, to Sage, Scott, TFO, etc. TFO now makes a line of very high quality, and diverse rods so they are worth checking out. Disclaimer: my 14 yr old is sponsored by TFO so I do have that bias. Nonetheless, I can buy any rod I want and choose TFO because I believe in the product and company. TFO did it right when they hired Lefty, Flip and others to help them design good tapers for different situations. My new favorite is the Axiom II in 8wt.
Best,
Matt
 

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I forgot to say, if you have a local rod building shop to purchase components from, I highly recommend you patronize them as it's a) good to support the local guys and b) helpful to have someone around to answer questions, when they arise. My 0.02.
 

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The high-end ones are US made. I believe the new Sage are from those blanks.
I have a bundle of shattered Batson blanks that I’d rather use for lathe mandrels than pay $30 each to have replaced. 5 of 5 shattered in several pieces during flex test. I have over 50 NFC blanks that have passed the flex and straightness test with zero failures and two sent back due to imperfections (not up to my straightness standards). Too bad NFC is such a pain in the ass to deal with.
Build on what you want, I’m just stating my opinion.
 

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The Sage One is a great blank for a 6W if you can find one. No way I would use TFO blank on any rod I built. When it breaks and it will endless times, you will need to rebuild after getting it sent back every week. No thanks.

I would also really like to try one of these Northfork composite one. Supposedly it is a loomis blank and has no connection to tfo.
 

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Dang. What the hell are you doing to break all these rods? I've never seen one fail that wasn't operator error.
Everyone in this area has broken them. They are junk. I broke two and sold all of mine including two that were brand new. Sadly the people I sold them to also broke them. It really annoys me when people tell new fly fishers to buy a TFO BVK since they are the ones most likely to be learning to cast and make mistakes. And they will be sending them in when they break endlessly.
 
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