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Rod Building FAQ

Is it difficult to build my own fishing rod?


Not really! As long as you have the right tools and instruction almost anyone can build their own fishing rod. Just like most other things, you will develop more skill the more you do it. Hand made custom fishing rods are no different; the more you build, the better you get. You should be able to build your own functional custom fishing rod the first time around. The reward? The fishing rod that you build will be one that is better quality than many 'off the rack' fishing rods and will be made to your specifications, colors, highlights, etc.

Really, how hard is it to build a custom fishing rod?


It is really not that hard to build a fishing rod. Some scout troops are using is at as an activity for their scouts, where the kids are taught to build rods, and they do very well at it.

How expensive is it?


If you've ever been to the outdoors department of your local superstore you realize that there are inexpensive rods on the market, however, you CAN save money by building your own rods in comparison to fishing rods of a similar quality. Most folks who decide to try building their own rod wish to use higher quality components than what you would find on an off the rack fishing rod. This may cost you a tiny bit more, but the quality will far exceed what you can purchase on a factory built rod.

What kind of special tools, if any, do I need?


If rod building becomes an ongoing hobby or even a career for you, you may want to purchase some tools, however, it is not necessary to own alot of tools. A few suggestions from Mud Hole on the minimum tools needed:

  • A round file
  • Sandpaper
  • Some type of brush or applicator for the epoxy finish

What kind of instructional books or videos are available?


There are several excellent books and videos available on custom fishing rod building. There are a couple that are adequate for the beginner, and there several others that go into great detail on all aspects of rod building. Click here to look in the books and video section of the rod building store for these.

What kind of components do I choose?


First, you need to decide what type of rod you want to build. Do you primarily troll offshore? Fly fish? Baitcast? Do you want a spinner rod or a saltwater surf rod? Once you have decided that, you will find that most blank manufacturers have made it fairly easy to choose one of their products.

Fishing rod blanks are commonly described with the ratings and specifications for which they are suited. You can pick a blank from either graphite or fiberglass, that has been made for particular fishing situations. Some considerations in choosing your blank include: price, material, power (ultra light to unlimited), action (slow to fast or extra fast) and length.

You'll need to choose your fishing rod guides, there are a host of guides on the market and, like the blanks, the manufacturers have done a good job in defining what each guide offers.

I'm still not sure I can put it all together - blanks, guides, grip wraps etc... It seems a little confusing?


Its natural to feel that way the first time you select your rod components, if your really worried about it, choose a rod kit from the rod building store by clicking here. We've selected several rods with the all the components included, there are kits for several different types of fishing and in different price ranges. Its a great way to "get your feet wet".

What if I start my rod and have questions as I go along?


You should visit Mud Hole's bulletin board by clicking here or clicking the "Message Board" tab on the top of your screen! We've included this on our site for just such a situation! You will not only get advice from the staff here at Mud Hole but also, there are a host of professional rod builders who participate in our discussions all the time. As a new rod builder you'll find that folks are very willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others.

What is the recommended spacing for guides?


Mud Hole has made it simple to space your guide layout by using our Guide Spacing Chart. There are two ways to get the Guide Spacing Chart:

Click here to view in HTML

Download the printable PDF version

What is the best way to apply decals to my rods?


Graphic Decals:

Our rod decals are all designed for easy 'peel and stick' application, and include a transfer tape for easy, bubble-free application.

Custom Text Decals:

To help illustrate how we install rod decals, we've put together a quick video:


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