How to Build a Custom Fishing Rod

How to Build a Custom Fishing Rod
Building your own fishing rod not only gives you bragging rights with your buddies, but also allows you to fine-tune your rod just how you like it. A custom rod is not difficult to build, but it requires great attention to detail and will take some time. Before starting, consider what type of fishing you enjoy, and select the components that best reflect your interests. Look at different blanks (the body of the rod) to determine which kind you like best.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cork grip
  • Blank (rod)
  • Rubbing alcohol (if needed)
  • Masking tape
  • Lighter
  • Rod glue
  • Fishing thread (comes in rod kit)
  • Epoxy
  • Scissors (if needed for trimming)
  • File
Step 1
If applicable, gather the parts from your fishing rod kit, which can be bought at your local sportsman or outdoor retail store. Prepare the blank by rubbing it down with a rag and alcohol. If necessary, trim the butt end to remove its rough edges.
Step 2
Find the blank's spine (the place where it bends) by placing the butt of the blank on a hard surface (such as a cement floor), while holding the tip of the blank in your hand. Apply pressure, and observe where the blank arches. Mark this spot with masking tape or a pencil, and repeat the test several times to ensure you've marked the correct spot. Trace the outline of the butt onto the circular side of the cork grip. Use this circle as a guide and file out the interior of the cork until it will fit over the butt. Many cork handles will be divided into three pieces, as this will cut down on filing time.
Step 3
Slide down the reel seat from the tip of the blank. In the space between the grip and the reel seat, tightly wrap the blank with masking tape. File the part of the cork facing the tip, to allow the cork to slide up to the reel seat. Keep the hole as small as possible, though. You want the cork to be able to slide, but also to be snug.
Step 4
Remove the reel seat and the grip, and apply the epoxy to the blank. Wipe away unnecessary epoxy, and then return the grip and the reel seat to their proper spots. Allow to set for 10 to 20 minutes.
Step 5
Determine where the guides will go by looking at another fishing rod, or consulting the directions that came with your kit. Mark the spots with tape. Run a lighter for five seconds underneath the tape mark closest to the handle. Place rod glue on top of the tape, and press the largest guide against the glue. Repeat this process for the other guides.
Step 6
Prepare your thread by placing one end of it under a heavy book or a brick to create tension. Wrap the thread (from the tag end) around the blank. Let the thread go over itself while wrapping. Wrap the thread around six times. Cut the thread and continue wrapping it all the way up to ¼ inch of where the wrap should end.
Step 7
Take a separate thread and create a loop. Place the loop on the blank and wrap over the top of it. Make sure that the loop points in the direction of the wrapping. Hold this last warp and cut the thread. Run the cut end through the loop. Pull on both the cut end as well as on the loop, which will cause the thread to be held in place. Cut excess thread, but don't cut too much or all of your work will unravel. Repeat this process with the other guides, and watch to ensure the guides line up.
Step 8
Customize your rod by adding your own decorative wrap. You can be as crazy or as conservative as you'd like. Once everything is set in place, apply the epoxy finish to the rod. Set the rod between two objects so it does not touch the ground. Rotate the rod 45 degrees every 30 minutes for three hours as the finisher sets.

Tips & Warnings

When customizing your rod with thread, take some time to plan out your design, and to select the materials. Most people weave a pattern using different colored threads. You could make a pattern to resemble the coloring of a trout, bass, or other type of fish.
The epoxy finish will take about a day to completely dry.

Article Written By Kelsey Childress

Kelsey Childress runs a freelance creative business called Awen Creative that specializes in SEO Web content, social media marketing and blogging. She has been writing for online and in-print publications for over six years, and has a bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University.

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