Fly Rod Building Components

Fly Rod Building Components
Fly-rod building is a skilled craft that uses a variety of components to create the finished product. The rod blank is the foundation of the rod, and the components are attached using thread and glue. Rods can be custom-built with distinctive grips and thread patterns. Rods can also be built in any size and weight for which blanks are available. Fly-rod blanks are made of different materials, with graphite and bamboo being the most popular.


Guides are secured to the blank by wrapping thread and covering with epoxy. Guides are used to hold the fly line and are either stripping guides or running guides. The lowest guide on a fly rod is a round stripping guide, and the rods above are typically snake-shaped running guides. At the very top is the tip top. The tip top is the final connection between your rod and the fly line.



The fly-rod grip varies in dimension and material. The standard grip material is cork, but some grips are constructed of foam. The cork grip can be custom-shaped and is either factory-made or made by gluing cork rings. The cork grip on a single-hand fly rod is attached above the reel seat and, in most rods, has an integrated slot for attaching the reel. On double-handed or spey casting rods, two handles are used, with the reel seat in the middle.

Fighting Butt

The fighting butt is a component used on big fly rods in the 6 to 10 weight range. The butt is constructed of cork that matches the grip. The fighting butt is used to balance the rod and is designed to be placed against the fisherman's waist for extra fighting power.

Hook Keeper

Hook keepers are not found on every rod but are a valuable fly-rod component. The hook keeper is a small loop that is attached just above the rod grip. It is convenient for securing your hook and line while you are not fishing. It also reduces wear and tear on the grip, where fly fisherman without hook keepers tend to attach hooks.

Reel Seat

The reel seat uses a threaded metal ring to secure the reel to the rod. The center of the reel seat can be constructed of metal or wood. The wood-style core is popular and gives the rod a distinctive look and custom finish.


The fly rod uses thread to attach guides, but thread can also be used to make designs on the blank. Once all of the components are attached, the rod is finished with varnish and epoxy that is colored according to the builder or manufacturer specifications.


Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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