As someone who only uses custom fishing rods, I get a lot of questions from readers about them. The most common of these is usually somewhere like, “Why should I spend the extra money to build a custom fishing rod when I’m perfectly happy with the rods out of the rack?” Well, the obvious answer to that is if you’ve done your homework and found factory rods that perfectly match your fishing needs, there’s no reason to consider customizing and you might as well stop reading here. But if you’re one of the many anglers who are happy with factory fishing rods because that’s all you’ve ever used, I’d like to take a moment to explain the benefits of going tailor-made.
Ideally, when in use, the fishing rod should act as an extension of the fisherman which allows him to maximize his distance and accuracy when casting a bait or lure, allows him to manipulate this tender in a manner attractive and, once a fish is hooked, allows them to fight it effectively. The point is, everyone has different body sizes, throwing styles, favorite picks, and fish fighting techniques. Considering this, the chances of someone simply grabbing a mass-produced rod at their local hardware store that fits all three criteria perfectly are slim to zero.
Personally my biggest issue with factory rods has always been the length of the rod’s grip. At 6’2 ” long and the reach of someone several inches taller, my somewhat simian stature means the rear grip of every factory cane I’ve ever picked up is too short.
Does a few extra inches of rear handle matter as much?
You bet it does. By shortening my grip, I limit my throw distance (it’s like choking on a golf club or baseball bat). It also makes the butt fun in my armpit when I pick up the lure, resulting in a sub-optimal presentation that can cost some stinging. And if I hook a big fish onto my poorly swimming lure, I’m going to sacrifice the pulling power because the reel will be too low for me to lift the rod the way I’m most comfortable. If only the heel section of the cane has so much effect, you can imagine how important everything is, from there to the toe.
Rather than giving you an exhaustive list of benefits, I’ll discuss the merits of rod building by walking you through a series of articles that will cover everything you will need to know to start building your own rods. I kind of learn as I go here because I stopped building my own rods when I was still a teenager and need to relearn a lot of stuff after my 30 year hiatus. The good news is that I have had my rods built by some of the best in the business over the years, including Bill batson and Marc Higachi so even though my packaging skills are a bit rusty, I know it’s less about cosmetics and more about proper design and I’ll focus on that in future posts.
One of the things that kept me from starting was that I thought I didn’t have the room to do it. Well, as you can see in the photo above, if you can find a 10 foot clear section of wall, it’s pretty easy to use a closet shelving system from Lowes to build a station. packaging. The good news is when I’m not using my packaging I can move it to the top shelf of the rack so it’s out of the way and use the bottom shelf for whatever I need.
Are you ready to get started?
The video at the top is the first in a series that will walk you through everything you need to know to start building your own custom fishing rods.
Building Your Own Custom Cane Part 2
Building Your Own Custom Cane Part 3
Get more information from Erik Landesfeind on BD.