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                                       Putting it all together

Rod Blank selection can be a major cost component, selecting the right blank is the first step to building your custom fishing rod.  When selecting your rod blank, consider the type of fishing you’ll be doing, an idea of the size and weight of fish you’ll be targeting will help and of course your personal preference matters.  


Next, lets determine the action and weight of your rod. Every fishing rod has a weight rating, which also referrers to its power rating. This rating is given on a scale from Ultra-Light to Extra-Heavy and indicates how much weight is needed to bend the pole under pressure. A fast action rod bends less and is better suited for casting, while a slow action rod bends more and is better for fighting fish.  Keep in mind that one-piece rods are more sensitive.

To minimize the chances for a rod break we recommend using your rod at an angle of 45-degrees or less, it is also the range where you'll find the greatest power from the rod and best control over the fish. Angles greater than 45-degrees transfer undue stress to the tip section of the rod practically eliminating the ability of the stronger butt section to carry any load, and in extreme cases can result in rod failure with very little directed pressure. Most importantly, using fishing line within the rods rating will break before the rod does.

Lure ratings are a range of lure weights for best performance. Using a lure that is lighter than the listed weight will not properly load the rod, casting distance and sensitivity will suffer. Using a lure that is heavier than the listed weight will overpower the rod. Again, distance and sensitivity will suffer, along with the compounded problem of overstressing the blank fibers.

Before assembling your custom rod, I will locate and mark the rod spline (spine). The spline is the backbone of the rod and the linear reference from butt to tip for where the guides will go. For example, when building a spinning type of rod, the spline is marked, and the guides are placed opposite the spline. On a casting type rod, the guides are placed on top of the rod blank. The spine allows the guides to be placed to provide the greatest rod strength for the blank itself. This improves the balance and performance of your rod,


Guides and guide layout are critical in the structural design and casting ability of any custom rod and can really set your custom rod apart from all other rods. A custom rod build allows us to really dial-in guide components and their placement.


When select your guides let's consider the line you’ll be using. Some guides work better with the type of line you use braid, monofilament. etc. Rod guides guide the line while you’re casting and retrieving, spreads the pressure when you’re pumping in a fish as well as ensuring the rod loads evenly and the line goes on the reel correctly.  Having the wrong guides on your rods can lead to issues in all these areas. A rod with additional guides casts better. It will be easier for the rod to bend more consistently throughout its length allowing it to use all of its power for longer casts and fighting fish. 

I am a long time Fly angler, tier and fly rod builder. On average I include one, two and sometimes three additional guides depending of course on the rod weight and length. On a Fly rod for example the fly line will Belly in the spaces between each guide affecting a solid hook set. 

The quality of a guide depends on the composition of both the guide frame and the ring insert. If anything compromises the insert ring of the guide, it’s time to replace that guide. Anglers ask me, “Can I replace the missing ring?” and the answer is, no. We will have to replace that whole guide.


 Rod grip/rod handle are terms that are often used interchangeably, it’s typically made of materials like cork, or EVA foam. The handle’s design, length, and material can significantly impact leverage, how the rod is balanced, how it transmits vibrations, and how comfortable it is to use for long periods. In a more technical context, the grip is the part of the handle that you actually hold onto when using the rod. The handle includes the grip, the reel seat, and the butt of the rod. 


Each type of material used for fishing rod grips/handles has unique characteristics that can make them more or less suitable for different fishing scenarios. Below are examples of advantages and disadvantages of the two, more well-known fishing rod handle materials:


  • Advantages: Cork is a classic choice for fishing rod handles due to its lightweight and comfort in the hand. It’s also highly sensitive, allowing anglers to feel bites more easily, and has a traditional aesthetic appeal.

  • Disadvantages: Over time, cork can degrade and chip, especially lower-quality cork. It’s also generally more expensive than synthetic materials.  

  EVA Foam Fishing Rod Handles

  • Advantages: EVA foam is durable, lightweight, and water-resistant. It’s more durable than cork and can handle rough treatment, making it a great choice for those who frequently fish rods that may take a beating.

  • Disadvantages: EVA foam isn’t as sensitive as cork, meaning vibrations may not be transmitted as effectively. Also, some anglers find it less aesthetically pleasing compared to cork.


These components are significant in your angling performance, comfort, control, sensitivity, and the durability of your equipment. Choosing the right grip and handle will overall improve your fishing experience.  

The market has produced many great reel seats – many styles, colors and sizes, up lock/down lock, etc.  Matching the correct reel seat with your particular reel is important to rod balance.

​When designing your stand-out custom rod, Thread selection is another area where you can choose great colors and patterns. We have mylar materials, metallic threads, and a host of standard thread wrap combinations and designs working in concert with your rod color, your boat color scheme or tournament team colors. This is really where you separate your custom rod from all others.



Fishing Reels and Rods

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