Fishing for sport or food, whatever you find yourself doing, you are going to need the proper equipment. With years of experience in the fishing industry, our experts have come to understand the ins and outs of building a quality fishing rod and what makes it so. Outlined below is how Hogman’s Custom Rods decides on the best rod parts for the client. Let us dissect, part by part, what you will need for various forms of fishing.

Basic Fishing Rod Building

The first step to building a great rod is choosing the components that will not only suit your style of fishing but also suit the type of fish you are after. When building a custom rod, you need to consider a variety of elements such as fish species, power, action, and budget.

Rod Blank Selection

When selecting the Rod Blank, it is important to understand what type of fishing rod you are looking for. Do you want a bait caster, a Spinning rod, or a fly rod? Additionally, the type of fishing you do will determine the parts used. What is the weight of the most common lures that will be used? Do you commonly fish in a stream, lake, or river? What species do you fish for? What pound test line will you use? The answer to these questions will help determine the best products for your specific fishing need. What action do you like? 
Different material combinations in the manufacturing process can greatly affect the cost of a blank. The vast difference in rod blanks from different manufacturers is reflected in the price points and can be discussed with your builder or supplier at the time of purchase Finally, we decide on whether you need a one-piece, a two-piece, or a travel blank for compact storage and travel.

Handle Selection

Cork Grips 

These grips have a classic look and feel unmatched by other materials. Premade grips are less expensive but are also made of lower grade cork. Custom cork grips are more costly, but their durability outweighs the added upfront investment. The quality of a handle or rod blank is especially important and sets the base for the entire rod so getting better quality materials is strongly suggested.

Foam Grips 

These grips are made from EVA rubber. They are inexpensive and easy to work with. Foam grips will absorb more punishment than cork but also have some vibration dampening tendencies. They are perfect for rods being used in rod holders or rods with large butt diameters. The many colors of EVA produce an almost endless variety of combinations and patterns that will suit any eye.

Carbon Fiber Grips 

Carbon fiber grips that are the most sensitive, however, also usually cost more. They are extremely durable and lightweight. These are more for those looking for a high-performance fishing rod where weight is a priority

Custom grips

There is also the option of having grips made from a combination of different materials. This is generally some combination of the above-listed material with the added options of wood, plastics, and acrylics.

Guide Selection

There are many styles of guides to choose from when building a custom rod. Breaking down the guide selection comes down to function and cost.The first and most important rule of guide selection is as owner Ken says “Keep it simple!” First, pick a frame style.

Double Foot Guides

Double foot guides are chosen for extra strength and are typically used on casting rods.

Single Foot Guides

Single foot guides are chosen for lightweight and performance and are commonly used with spinning rods.

Frame Material

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is the most common material used for guides. It has excellent corrosion resistance, good aesthetic appeal, and is cost-effective. 

Titanium Guides

Titanium guides are used for their lightweight, corrosion resistance, and almost indestructible properties. However, they are on the higher end in terms of cost.

Ring Material

Choosing a ring material is another aspect of a guide that is quite important. Different manufacturers have different names for their inserts. A good rule of thumb to note is the harder and smoother the ring material is, the higher the cost of the guide.

Harder Ringed Guides

Harder ringed guides should be considered if you use abrasive lines (Spectra, Dacron) or if you're fishing for species that make long, fast runs.

Wire Guides

Wire guides are very lightweight but tend to wear more than ringed guides.Aesthetics should not be ignored. The look of a rod can change the entire flow or feel when building a custom fishing rod. For example, the guide frame colors can be matched to the rest of the rod to achieve a good flow to the design as a whole.

Reel Seat Selection

There is a vast selection of reel seats to choose from. 

Graphite Reel Seats

Graphite reel seats are found on most commercial rods and are proven effective. Whilst a cost-effective option these reel seats have little in the way of customization. They are available from aftermarket vendors in different colors. There are higher-end graphite reel seats that offer colored hoods or soft-touch coatings that will add to the custom look of your rod. 

Aluminum Seats

Aluminum seats are similar in sturdiness to Graphite but have a more metallic feel along with a slicker sensation. The difference between aluminum and Graphite is more just a hand feel. Both are quite sturdy, but graphite feels less metallic. Aluminum comes in a wider variety of colours as well, for all kinds of different customizing options.

Compressed Carbon

Compressed Carbon is newer fishing technology. Lighter and more sensitive to touch and movement, they are a great choice for any angler, with a variety of design choices.

Trim parts

There is a large variety of trim parts available in varying costs and material types. Trim parts can bring a fishing rod together, and have it looking finished and perfected. Whilst trim parts do not add any structural value to the rod, they do add color or flare allowing for a wide variety of customizations. 

Wrapping and Finish

The selection of colors is finalized in the planning stages of the rod building process and is solely at the request of the client. The level of difficulty of the wraps will impact the final cost of the rod.One of the most asked questions about rod wrapping is, What thread should I use?
"Nylon thread is used in most fishing rod builds as decorative wraps and trim."
"Metallic thread is commonly used only as a trim wrap or accent wrap." 

NCP(No color preserver) type threads do not require the use of a color preserver and are typically used on guide wraps which allow the absorption of epoxy into the thread when applying a finish.Once you have chosen each part and assembled them accordingly, you will be left with your very own custom rod, decked out to your liking. The only thing left to do is to visit your favourite lake and reel in a hog!