View Full Version : Time for another custom rod...

07-12-2015, 12:31 AM
I feel it's time for another custom rod, I'll build it myself this time. My dad built custom rods and has a several cradles and everything needed. I just need to supply the parts.

I want this rod to be between 6 and 7 feet, either 1 or 2 piece (arguments for either are welcome), light power with a moderate fast action. This will be a general purpose light action rod for any fish up to 4 pounds or so and no more than 10# line (light leaders if running main line that heavy). Trout, bream, crappie, shad, etc. I'm not decided on spinning vs casting, but am leaning toward spinning so the extra length isn't wasted for casting ability with light lures.

For the blank, I would like light weight so something like IM6 or IM7 graphite would be nice, but I don't want to spend over $60-$80 for a blank. Eyes; likely go with single foot and want the smoothest inserts possible. Probably ceramic, unless there's something better, but I don't know.

I'll try and turn a custom wood reel seat if I can, I have a nice selection of exotic woods and a couple lathes. Top quality cork handles too.

So, specifically, help me pick a blank and eyes. I've cruised through some of the vendors that I remember from when my great uncle taught my father how to build custom rods, but seems that things have changed since then.

Thanx in advance for any insight you may be able to offer!


07-12-2015, 08:36 AM
I want this rod to be between 6 and 7 feet, either 1 or 2 piece (arguments for either are welcome) ...

I really see no need for a 2-piece rod in that length. If you want to keep it in the backseat of your car ... maybe.

I'm not decided on spinning vs casting ...

I decided on spinning about forty years ago. For what you're talking about, I wouldn't even consider a baitcaster.

07-12-2015, 09:23 AM
Here is a good place to start. Lots of supplies, great info and just a phone call away.
One piece spinning for what you are wanting to accomplish.

Custom Fishing Rod Building & Tackle Crafting Supply | mudhole.com (http://www.mudhole.com)

07-12-2015, 09:14 PM
Bushido Spin Jig Rod Blank SJ72/4-8 | mudhole.com (http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building/Bushido-Inshore-Freshwater/Bushido-Spin-Jig-Rod-Blank-SJ72-4-8)

that's a great crappie blank! For guides, I'd put some pac bay minimas on it

07-12-2015, 09:55 PM
Bushido Spin Jig Rod Blank SJ72/4-8 | mudhole.com (http://www.mudhole.com/Rod-Building/Bushido-Inshore-Freshwater/Bushido-Spin-Jig-Rod-Blank-SJ72-4-8)

that's a great crappie blank! For guides, I'd put some pac bay minimas on it

That is a nicely spec'd blank, just what I'm looking for! Thanks! Price is good too. This is going to be a project some time this year, not right away, so doing some shopping now will help me plan a budget and save for a reel too.


07-12-2015, 10:04 PM
I know I'm in the majority here, but I fish a lot of creeks and have some challenging trails to get to the fishing holes. I love my 2 piece rods for hiking in and would not even try it with a 1 piece rod.

07-12-2015, 10:58 PM
I have several 1 piece rods and the only concern I have with them is car doors, lol!

Here's my favorite bream hole on the San Joaquin river here, it's pretty typical of a back water on most all the rivers here. I'm never more than 10 blocks from a river/slough/cut/etc here, lots of water and it's all tidal. The lakes are usually pretty clear oround the shores too.



07-13-2015, 08:34 AM
That looks like a great place to fish! I hike into a lot of places and fish around heavy shore cover with a 7', 1 piece st Croix all the time

If you do a google search on that blank you should find plenty of reviews

07-13-2015, 09:17 AM
I build and sell a lot of rods throughout the year. About 80% of my rods are from MHX. They have a great warranty but I have never had to use it for any customer.

I prefer a two piece rod for guys that will be traveling. In fact, most of my rods in my boat (that never leave) are two piece rods. For what you are looking for (and in your price range) I would recommend two different rods.
One is from their spinning rod line and is an S782-2-MHX. This is a 6'6" 2 piece rod in Light weight fast action. and sells for $52.50. It weights 1.25 ounces. I personally use the S841-2-MHX which is a 7ft two piece in Light Power Fast action and I love this rod.

I would also recommend a rod from their High Modulus series. They are a little more expensive and only come in one Piece but they are worth it. I would go with an HM-SJ871-MHX. It is a 7'3" rod weighting 1.39 ounces and costing $92.50. It comes from their Spin and Jig series.

All MHX rods are built for specific versions of fishing. You can also buy the above rods (from Mudhole.com) as a kit with guide eyes.

For the eyes, I recommend two different sets. One is a set by "Microwave". Look them up and you will see that they were designed to throw small baits a great distance. The stripper guide has another guide in the middle that takes the line loop out from your reel and puts it in a straight path down the rest of your eyes. A set for a 7ft rod with Duralite rings would be DBMW-SET and will cost $33.45.

The other set I recommend is made by REC Components and is called "Recoil". They do NOT have an insert. They are one of the lightest on the market today and are indestructible. You can step on them and they will return to original form and shape. They are NOT cheap and are only sold individually. For a Chrome set, the stripper guide number is RSPG-25 (for a 25mm guide) and that one alone costs 16.25. I personally have these on my walleye jigging rod and would never build another one without them. The weight savings alone is worth it.

Not trying to steer you in any way as I am not affiliated with any company however, I have had nothing but issues with St. Croix rod blanks. They are a rod manufacturer. It seems their number one series rods go to their production line while their seconds seem to go to their blank sales. I received 5 in a row that have had defects. Their guide eye spacing recommendations are way off resulting in rod breakage close to where they recommend their second eye from the tip. I worked with the engineers on one specific model but they were set in their ways. It was funny how their production rod would have 9 guide eyes yet they only called for six on the exact same blank from a custom perspective. Also, while they claim "American Made" they started having issues with their SCIV and SCV blanks when they opened their production shops in Mexico.

Lastly, they have a reputation for a Great Warranty. I look at several threads and people are always happy when they send their rods back and get new ones. One guy I quote as saying: "I have sent three back in the last couple of years and they replace them without issue". My question: "Why are you breaking three rods"? I own hundreds and have only broken them in car doors. Only rod I have ever broken in my life was a St. Croix. Yes, they have a warranty however, the fine print is that you pay to return it, you pay the shipping back to you, and if it is a blank, you pay to build it again! FYI: every company has a warranty. Many of them only require you to cut the rod in pieces and send it to them. They just want to make sure you are not getting a free rod.

MHX builds "blanks" only. No production rods at all. That is what I look for in a company when buying and building.

At a higher price range, I also recommend North Fork Composite rods. This company is owned by Gary Loomis. Not to be confused with G-Loomis which Gary sold several years ago.

Hope that information is what you were looking for.

07-13-2015, 10:57 AM
Excellent info and much appreciated! I will look over the options listed and consider it before I decide to purchase.


07-14-2015, 12:57 AM
I've been looking over the MHX blanks and the White series has a 6'6" 1 piece UL/Fast rod for 2-6# line that looks interesting. Has anyone used this or had any feedback? The kit also is quite reasonably priced at about $60 though I'm not a huge fan of split grips, especially in a rod holder.

As a whole, MHX seems to offer blanks that check all the boxes on my list, even with several options to choose from. Typically, I'm not really interested in UL gear, I have a cheap South Bend microlight which works well enough for that few times I really need UL gear, but the length and line rating for this MHX rod has me interested a little. Also, their walleye/finesse rods look like a good candidate too.

Again, this would be an all-rounder light action rig. Casting lures, bait, floats, shore, tube, boat, it will be able to do any of it well enough without being really specialized for any one style. Trout, crappie, bream, shad, land locked kokane too.


07-14-2015, 08:13 AM
Yes, it is a great rod. Built one for a customer about 3 months ago. He put a 12lb cat in the boat with it.

I am also not a fan of split grips. What I usually do is purchase a handle kit on top of the regular hit. Just gives me a few extra parts. You could also simply buy the butt grip and utilize the fore grip, reel seat, and arbor that come with the kit.
FYI: You can buy the 6'6" 1 piece rod kit with regular handle from them. The kit number is MHXSK-15 and is built on their S781-MHX blank in Carbon Fiber. If you are set on the White rods, I would suggest purchasing an additional handle kit.

As for the Finesse/Walleye rods. I build about 10 of them a year. Most of them are built from the "Spin and Jig" Series however I tailor each rod with the customers wants, desire, and needs so it really depends on what they are using it for. My personal walleye jigging rod is a SJ9000-2-MHX. I use it for jigging 3/4 oz jigs in the Detroit river. Unlike most traditional jig fisherman that want an XF action. I prefer a large bend in the rod upon lifting the jig. It helps me with arm fatigue and allows me to fish with much lighter mono line.

Great thing about custom rods, no two are built alike (just like fisherman). My experience with the S781 blank is that it is a great all around blank for doing a ton of stuff. I call it the UTV fishing rod. I use my 7 footer for throwing 1/32 and 1/16 oz jigs as well as throwing some corks and spinner baits. It is a great rod. I would have no problem taking it to the river and throwing Panther Martins for trout or taking it to the creeks and pitching a worm for Brookies.

Hope this information helps you out.

07-14-2015, 11:11 AM
More excellent info, thanks!


07-21-2015, 09:13 PM
So, I think I have settled on the S781-W-MHX blank. 6'6" ultralight/fast action 1 piece. I am going to go through my dad's supplies to see what he has available before I order so I can get everything I need at once. I think this blank will be best suited to the wide range of fish I have available here. Reasonably sized for hiking in and transport, but long enough to really get tip speed up for long casts.

In a way I have sort of put the cart before the horse and purchased a reel already, lol! I got a good deal on an Okuma SV-25 spinning reel. Have to make a decision on line, but that will be coupled to the guide decision a bit. I'm undecided between 6# braid or 4# premium mono. I've been using Yo-Zuri mono for several years now and like the stuff, but would like to try something else specifically for lighter lures.

Anyways, will update this thread as I go.