Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Frequently asked questions and the answers !

Q: Is it difficult to build my own fishing rod?

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

Q:How expensive is it ?

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

Q: What kind of instructional books or videos are available?

Q: What kind of components do I choose ?

Q:I'm still not sure if I can put it all together, blanks, guides, grips wraps etc... It seems a little confusing ?

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

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

Q: What is the recommending spacing for guides?

Q: I've looked at the guide spacing chart. How else can it be done?

Q:I'm having problems applying my rod finish. What tips can you give me?

Q: Do you have the conversions from meter measurements to inches?



Q: Is it difficult to build my own fishing rod?
A: 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.

Q: Really, how hard is it to build a custom fishing rod?
A: 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.

Q:How expensive is it ?

A: 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.

Q: What kind of special tools, if any, do I need ?
A: If rod building becomes a on going 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, and some type of brush or applicator for the epoxy finish.
Many rod builders construct their own tools which assist them in building their rods. Several creative devices have been made by rod builders from common household items to make more extensive rod building easier. Look at our tips and tricks section for some of these ideas, some are really ingenious ! (in a McGiver, popular TV show, kind of way ! )

Q: What kind of instructional books or videos are available?

A: 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.

Q: What kind of components do I choose ?

A: You need to do is decide what type of rod you want to build. Do you primarily saltwater troll ? fly fish? baitcast ? Do you want a spinner rod or a salt water 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 heavy), action (slow to fast or extra fast) and length. You'll need to choose your fishing rod guides, there are host of guides on the market and , like the blanks, the manufacturers have done a good job in defining what each guide offers.

The handle and reel seat, there are several choices that can be made here too Cork or foam grip ? Colored, anodized aluminum reel seat or graphite ? The options seem endless sometimes. The choices you make are what makes your rod, custom !

Wrapping your rod, Mud Hole has literally thousands of colors and styles to choose from for your wraps, you can find the assorted colors and styles with photos in our rod building store by clicking here.


Q:I'm still not sure if I can put it all together, blanks, guides, grips wraps etc... It seems a little confusing ?
A: 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".

Q: What if I start my rod and have questions as I go along ?
A: You should visit Mud Holes bulletin board by clicking here ! 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.

Q: What is the best way to apply decals to my rods ?
A: Click here to see the manufactures directions for applying decals.


Guide Spacing

Q: What is the recommending spacing for guides?
A: To see a reference chart on Guide spacing, click here.

Q: I've looked at the guide spacing chart. How else can it be done?
A: Place the guides on the blank with spacing that looks right. Secure the guides with rubber bands, tape or any material that goes on and of easily. Test cast the rod so that the line coming off the reel does not hit the rod before it goes through the butt guide( the one closest to the reel) nor does it gather at the butt guide. When you are satisfied with the placement of the butt guide you are ready for a stress distribution test.
The stress distribution test is done by mounting the rod with reel attached to a secure surface. Then the line is put through the guides. A separate line is attached to the tip top and secured to a fixed surface in such a way as to bend the rod as if you were fighting a fish. Don't over bend it. Now hold the line attached to the reel and see how it follows the curve of the rod. Move the guides in position to have the line follow the curve without touching the rod. You may have to add a guide or two to get it right. This is the proper way to space guides!