Make Your Own Rod - Major League Fishing

Make Your Own Rod

What you need to get started builing your own rod
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John Cox Photo by Adam O'Steen. Angler: John Cox.
June 3, 2015 • John Cox • Archives

For a while now, I’ve been wrapping my own fishing rods. I’m not knocking the rods that are produced for the mass market, but there are certain things that I want in a rod. So the small adjustments I can make by tweaking the components are worth the trouble and time it takes to wrap my own. For instance, when I’m building a 7-foot, medium-heavy rod, I’ll load it up and then position the guides so that the line will never touch the blank. This cuts down on friction that might weaken the line when I’m fighting a fish.

I only use MHX blank from Mud Hole Custom Tackle. I like the 7-foot MB-843-MHX, MB-873 (7-3) and MB-903 (7-6) blanks in particular. I’ll use small rubber bands to position Size 5 guides, which are sort of in between micro and regular guides, on the blank and move them up or down where they need to go. If it’s an MB-843 blank, I’ll use 10 guides. Once they’re in place, I’ll tie them in with thread. I use a CRB rod wrapper, then Pro-kote finishing epoxy over the threads, and dry it with a CRB rod dryer.

John Cox

I also prefer the standard EVA foam-grip handle because it’s easier on the hand over a day’s fishing. Another thing I like about making my own rods is that I can make the handles as long or as short as I want; say, shorter for underhand rolls or longer for flipping.

It costs about $100 for me to custom-make a rod that would cost about $200 or $250 in a store. It would cost a lot more than that if you had somebody wrap one for you. I wind up breaking about a dozen rods during a tournament season for one reason or another, so you can save some money by making your own. To me, being able to make a rod that’s perfect for what you want it to do is worth the effort.

John Cox