How to Build a Split Grip Fishing Rod

How to Build a Split Grip Fishing Rod
Split grip rods provide higher sensitivity to the angler, allowing them to feel for subtle fish strikes with species that are both elusive and gentle on the line. By using a split grip rod, anglers feel strikes earlier, letting them try and set the hook earlier, especially important with species known for being elusive or for not taking the hook fully into the mouth. Making a split grip rod can be done with existing rods and a retrofit kit available at bait and tackle stores.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Split grip handle kit
  • Fishing rod
  • Sandpaper
  • Ferrules
  • Fishing guides
  • Grease pencil
  • Epoxy
  • Cork handle tape
  • Ruler or cloth tape measure
Step 1
Unwrap or cut away the butt end tape or cork on the fishing rod. Gently sand the butt end of the rod to smooth out any glue residue or epoxy residue left from the tape or cork. Use the measuring tape and mark one inch from the butt end of the fishing rod with a measuring tape and grease pencil. Move up the rod marking every inch from the first, going up a maximum of six marks, or six inches.
Step 2
Glue or epoxy the fishing guides onto the rod at each of the 1-inch interval markings. Make sure the new guides are aligned with the rod's existing guides. Let the glue or epoxy dry.
Step 3
Push the split grip handle from the kit onto the old fishing rod end. Affix it firmly into position until the split grip handle will go no further up the old end of the rod.
Step 4
Wrap both handle grips with the cork tape. Wrap until the grips are at your desired depth for your grip size and fishing needs. Use epoxy to seam seal the cork wrapping.
Step 5
Slide your fishing reel onto the fishing rod's reel sleeve. Attach with the screw cover attachments found on the rod and turn them to the right to tighten over the rod handles. Pull out 2 to 3 feet of fishing line from the reel's spool and thread it through the first few fishing guides. Continue to pull line out from the spool and thread all the guides until you reach the tip. Pull 2 to 3 feet of fishing line out from the tip and tie your lure or hook to the line using a Palomar knot.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.