Category Archives: Custom Rod Building

General Custom Rod Building

Rod Geeks 9′ 5 WT 4 PC Fly Rod

I had a customer come to me looking to get a cool and unique fly rod for trout fishing around Western PA.  Offering an option from Rod Geeks was a perfect selection.  Not only do they have a variety of American Made blanks to choose from, they offer some really cool custom painting options in a variety of styles.  Check their site out for some more information. 

The 5WT is a staple in Pennsylvania as a fly rod.  It is the ultimate do all for most situations encountered both for nymphing and dry flies.  My customer selected a red a metallic silver arrangement with a unique carbon fiber handle, Forecast aluminum reel seat, along with ALPS brand stripper and double foot guides.  Binding the guides is ProWrap metallic versa blend in red and silver, the wraps compliment the paint scheme very nicely without being too over the top.  Combining simple and unique, this rod casts like a dream.

Dan Craft GXT-1004 4PC Centerpin

Another request to match a Milner River Wraithe came to me from Eastern PA in late 2016.  Seeing the work of the previous GXT this customer liked the idea of a 4 PC centerpin for trout.  Enter the Dan Craft GXT1004.  It’s my belief this blank is the perfect combination of strength and power suited for both larger trout and small streams alike.  This rod features Box Elder Burl wood accents from, Fuji KLSG guides, custom cork handle and wraps to match the Milner color scheme.  Overall a big hit with my customer and very pleasing to look at.

IF764-2 Fly Spin Trout Rod Conversion

A customer called me with a Christmas gift request for his father.  After explaining to me his desired characteristics and providing some background on the area of PA he would be fishing, I knew exactly what to recommend.  Having great success converting the Standard modulus graphite rods from Batson Enterprises I felt 7’6” was perfect as a small stream trout rod.  The moderate parabolic type flex and action of these rods are superb in being able to register hits when bottom bouncing or fishing small styrofoam and plastic floats. 

Fit with some great looking custom turned cork block and rings, along with a sturdy and attractive blue ALPS reel seat, FUJI K guides and Dark Blue with Gold Trim and Decal, this rod has the perfect amount of contrast and flair without being too over the top.  Very fun little rod to fish!

Dan Craft 4WT Custom Trout and Small Stream Centerpin

A request came for a small stream and trout specific centerpin that was easily pack-able but powerful enough for larger trout.  Being no stranger to fly rod conversions for trout and steelhead, the 10′ GXT 4 WT from Dan Craft Enterprises was the optimal choice.  The perfect blend of power and sensitivity for trout fishing with a center pin.
Fitted with a John Milner River Wraithe, a blue theme carries throughout the cork, reel seat and fighting butt with the thread matching the previous Dan Craft Centerpin fit with this same reel.  The blue burl wood from adds great aesthetics and custom look, along with my favorite guides the Fuji KLSG guide setup.  Thankful for the opportunity to provide a one of a kind custom crafted rod to this customer.  He also wanted me to craft him a click stroller but I couldn’t.


CTS FF1202-2 Centerpin Spinning Rod

My customer had a trip planned to Alaska for Silver Salmon in August of 2016 and requested a 2 piece Rod that can fit the bill for both Centerpin and Spin Fishing in the Bush.  Enter the CTS FF1202-2.  Melding the perfect light weight and strength CTS is known for this rod was a pleasure to build.  Requests were a Carbon Fiber handle that situated an orange acrylic reel seat with Fuji Cobra spin seat, a discontinued rarity I was able to find.  Guides are as usual the Fuji KR-H concept guides in SiC gunsmoke finishing out with KTSG running guides.  To balance out the length of the more moderate action, a Forecast fighting butt was installed on the rear arbor of the handle.

North Fork Composites FW702-IM Spin Rod

Make no mistake about it, one thing Gary Loomis knows how to do is craft a really nice rod blank.  His company North Fork Composites creates blanks that are second to none in quality, design and action.  This 2 PC 7’0″ Fast action spinning rod features REC recoil guides at the customers request, custom turned Tennessee sliding ring style handle with red and silver wraps that I think fit very well together.  Primarily a trout rod fitted with an ultralight reel this rod has a most excellent action and sensitivity to it.  Combined with weight saving features this was a dream to build and most importantly what my customer was going for in his vision.

Forecast F793 Small Stream / Trout Centerpin

This came as a request for a small stream trout fisherman who wanted to use a downsized centerpin setup to target trout.  The chosen blank was the bulletproof RX-6 series from Baston Enterprises, arguably one of the most durable blanks for the money. When converting a fly rod guide spacing is critical, as well as keeping most of the weight towards the back due to the behavior of the moderate bend of the blank.  I turned the handle out of light natural cork with burnt accents, used a graphite seat to conserve weight and ALPS Y style guides up to and including the tip.  I also received this awesome video of the rod in action!


MHX 1141-2 Steelhead Spinning Rod

A Featured ESS (Egg Specific Steelhead) Series spinning rod designed for fishing Steelhead Alley.  This rod is built on a 9’6” 2 PC MHX blank in the ever popular 1141 model.  Perfect for drifting eggs with a float or bottom bouncing with a floating bag, this rod can handle any steelhead situation encountered from a small stream to a larger river.

Elegantly dressed with a custom burl and rubberized cork handle, this rod looks just as attractive as it performs.  FUJI KR concept guides choked down to KTSG running guides allow this rod to cast without effort and maintain contact with baits for shy bites.  I have already received feedback from my customer saying the performance is unparalleled in casting and drifting compared to their previous factory spinning rods.  No matter how fancy you decide to build a rod, what you are paying for ultimately is my knowledge of making a performance rod to fit your fishing styles, which is priceless.

Diamondback Graphite Boron

A blast from the past, the Diamondback Graphite Boron fly rod blanks were considered a marvel of the times.  This blank was found in an old inventory and brought to me to assemble.  My customer suggested the most simplistic and functional build with minimal thread work.  Using a dark brown thread that melts into the rust colored blank, gold single foot guides along with gold trim bands, this rod came out spectacular.

XST1141-2 Third Installment

My best friend Tim and I have spent years adventuring in search of fish all over PA and elsewhere.  He’s been a loyal customer of mine and has a tendency to push his rods to the brink.  After owning the Flagship ESS egg rod and a heavier rod for fishing jigs and lures for salmon, he wanted something in between.

The XST1141-2 was in order to make this a reality.  Using Batson factory cork and ALPS reel seat, up to the KLSG guides, this rod has a serious flare to it.  Tim wanted a bright rod with no metallic, so blaze orange and white were chosen to give it that extra eye appeal.  This rod has already landed hundreds of fish and will continue to do as long as it’s in 1 (two) pieces.