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Custom Rod Building Process

Before a project starts, I will take some time to speak with you in detail about what you are looking for and how you will be using your custom rod. I will also take time to do some research on the best blank and components to use for your project. Each rod is built with precision and attention to detail and great care is taken to assure proper fit and finish. I typically spend about 10 to 20 hours building each rod.

Here are a few details on what goes into the production of each rod.

  • I locate the straightest axis of your rod blank. Most every rod blank has a slight curve.  Guides are placed on the straightest axis of the blank which can help contribute to more accurate casting. 
  • I will work with you directly to select the material, shape and design of your rod handle. I then design the handle, glue it up and turn it on a lathe. I use a variety of different finishes based on the particular situation. The end result is a very high quality and extremely durable handle.
  •  A matching reel seat is selected or designed to complete the structure of your handle. I will often custom turn a reel seat insert to provide a direct match to your handle.
  • Handles and reel seats are reamed by hand and mounted snug to the rod blank.  High density foam arbors are used, when appropriate, to snug the real seat to the blank. This assures optimal fit and helps increase sensitivity of your rod.
  • Guide spacing is determined by static testing for custom fly rods and through the new concept guide system for custom spinning rods. Each guide foot is filed by hand before it is installed on the rod blank. This assures the guide sits flush on the blank and helps the thread lay nicely over the guide. Rods are then test cast to help fine tune final placement of each guide.
  • Guides are wrapped and packed by hand with nylon thread. They are then sealed with color preserver, and coated with two layers of epoxy for maximum durability. Guide wraps typically include a foundation color and trim color which adds unique styling to your rod.
  • Whenever possible, thread is wrapped around and behind each guide effectively "locking" it into place.
  • A hookkeeper can be added to your rod for safety and convenience.
  • Decorative butt-wraps, feather inlays or decals can be added to further customize your rod.

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