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Custom Rod Building

4/29/14 @ 4:51 PM
User since 1/24/13
Hello all. I am making the decision to get into custom rod building and would like to hear any input or advice from custom rod builders. I am mainly looking for info on the following:

1. Best blanks to use and best priced blanks for the money...I understand that St. Croix and G.Loomis are two of the best manufacturers out there, but it seems they both have gotten a little out of control with their pricing in the past couple years. I would like to find some blanks that are near as good quality and aren't so steep on price and I can still build a good quality rod.

2. Local suppliers of custom rod building supplies/tools in the southern Wisconsin/northern Illinois area that I can view the product in person before purchasing and also cut down on shipping costs.

3. Best adhesive brands out there.

4. Your favorite handles, eyelets, reel seats, wraps etc.

5. Suppliers of original and unique wood rear/forehandles.

6. Suppliers that offer bulk sales of supplies

Thanks for any help you can provide. Happy Building Everyone.


5/3/14 @ 9:23 AM
User since 5/17/05
Check out Utmost Enterprises

Great company. Fast shipping, good quality and super helpful. I have gotten discounts on all my orders with them.

5/3/14 @ 8:30 AM
User since 2/20/10
You will be limited only by your own imagination.

Daughters Christmas rod, handle alone took 9 hours.

Good luck , have fun.

5/2/14 @ 8:21 AM
User since 9/21/04
Doc, I have a couple of Mud Hole DVDs that show step by step on how to build a custom fishing rod. If interested PM me your address and I will be happy to send you one for the cost of postage.


4/30/14 @ 12:32 PM
User since 9/21/04
Doc, Welcome to the exciting world of custom rod building! It can be as fun and as addictive as fishing itself. St. Croix makes very nice blanks. G Loomis does not sell blanks. Mud Hole Custom Tackle makes very good blanks in several price ranges. Local suppliers that have parts on hand might be hard to find. I have a wholesale license and sell parts to rod builders but I rarely keep an inventory. Buying parts with other builders on the same order will save you a lot in shipping costs. Pro Bond is my favorite paste epoxy with Flex Coat 5 minute is my choice for liquid epoxy. Guides and reel seat choice really has to do with the kind of rod and application those parts play in the rod fabrication. Some pre-formed wooden grips are available through some suppliers but remember you are going to have to ream them out to fit the blank you want to put them on. That will take a dedicated wood lathe, even a hobbyist wood lathe will work to center bore them. If you want to buy in bulk Im assuming you want wholesale prices. That means a Tax ID number, an actual business that pays sales and income tax etc. You can buy bulk cork from some suppliers. Great list of parts suppliers on No matter what your experience or skill level I strongly suggest that you attend a two day rod building class put on by Mud Hole Custom Tackle. They go throughout the country teaching their class on weekends. Day one you build an entire rod, grips, wrapping guides, applying decals, putting on finish. Day 2 is a half a day long where there are MANY advanced techniques that are demonstrated. This is THE place for hands on learning as well as getting your questions answered by the people who do this for a living. If you plan to attend a specific class shoot me an email with some of your questions and I will try and bring some mock ups along to demonstrate what you want to learn if we are not already covering it. I help to teach these classes. Go to the Mud hole website to get the schedule for the classes. If there are any other questions please feel free to contact me. Good luck and have fun, Buzz

4/30/14 @ 8:53 AM
User since 1/24/13
Ya,I have been spending a lot of time on mudhole. Great site with a lot of educational info! I just didn't know if there was a site with cheaper pricing or bigger selection. I'd really like to find a site that sells unique handles made from different types of woods from all over the world though...if that exists. I'll check out that rod building org that you recommended. Thanks!

4/29/14 @ 8:11 PM
Lucky dog!
User since 4/1/02
Join That has almost every answer you could want. Great group of guys who are very helpful. That's where I cut my teeth on building rods. I order from mudhole, Jann's netcraft, and a few smaller shops.

I have been building a lot on MHX blanks. Great blanks for the money. I use the hi mod series for sensitive builds, and the standard MHX for everything else. I also build a bunch on rx7, rx8, and rx8+ blanks by Batson. They are very nice blanks and Batson is a great company.

G Loomis no longer offers blanks, but MHX has modeled their blanks after some of the popular G Loomis ones.

I like Pro Kote thread finish.

U 40 rod bond epoxy.

Quality cork is hard to find and expensive. I mostly use carbon fiber skinned foam core or EVA for my handles.

I recommend Pac Bay Minima guides. They are light and tough. Use the Minima match guides on spinning rod builds.

Take your time to read up on that forum. It cut the learning curve in half for me.


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