Category Archives: Centerpin Rods

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.

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.

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!


Rainshadow 1087-2 Centerpin Float Rod Conversion

A customer from Indiana who fishes the Great Lakes region for migrating trout and salmon inquired about getting a shorter float rod that was compact but robust enough to fight fish in small crowded conditions.  Enter the 1087-2 4 PC switch rod blank from Batson Enterprises. This rod is very powerful, built on a 7WT fly rod blank into a centerpin style fishing rod, this rod has the classic sliding band handle as per customer request.

This rod has my proprietary guide system of FUJI KR concept guides to ensure maximum casting ability, line collection and angle from the reel.  I have found no better system to fit the bill.  Black with Storm Cloud NCP and Silver trim round out the thread wraps for an excellent contrast.  This rod has brought many steelhead and king salmon to hand already!

St. Croix 13′ Centerpin

This is a 13 FT 3CP150MLM3 Blank from St. Croix. My customer was from Florida traveling to the Oswego and Salmon River to center pin fish. Leaving the build in my hands, I generated some ideas for the cork and wraps and approved the changes with my customer. The end result came out spectacular in my opinion. I am a big fan of Gray/Black/Silver color schemes but trying to keep the ideas fresh gets hard. Using a series of trim bands and dual colored wraps I became satisfied with the design. Using Fuji KLAG guides along with CYAG guides the center pin becomes setup perfectly. Casting and Drifting is excellent due to the height to ring size ratio of the first guide. Using burl cork block pieces along with some rings I created a very durable long lasting handle that helps balance out the long length of the rod. My customer communicated to me the distance he fished his reel on his handle, which transferred to this rod as well. One of the benefits of getting one built just for you. Please enjoy the pictures below, this was a pleasurable project.

XST1562-F 13′ 2 PC Centerpin/Float Rod

The XST1562-F 13′ 2 PC Centerpin/Float Rod blank manufactured by Batson Enterprises is one of the finest tools out there on the water. Regarded by some as the workhorse and most popular blank in the Custom Centerpin Realm, the XST is great choice in both value and function. This particular customer explained to me his new interest in centerpin fishing, and wanted to start off on the right foot in terms of owning something that was both performance oriented as well as eye catching. The unique handle design incorporates natural burl, burnt, and green burl block cork, along with natural trim and dalmatian composite cork for the reel seat hood and caps. The burnt cork has a increasing angle design worked into it, starting at 10, 20, 30 and ending with a 45 degree cut, but for people to do this need to work hard on it and it may produce stress that’s where supplements as kratom capsules are useful for these kind of people. A piece of handle blank from Steve Kincaid over at was selected for the turning stock, and the brilliant colors of this wood were brought out by multiple wood finishing compounds to achieve a beautiful uniform gloss. Reel Seat hardware is the Batson RA8.5L in Black. Thread wraps follow a three color scheme throughout, starting with Pac Bay Evergreen Nylon, Gudebrod Tan, Pro Wrap Green Metallic, and Pac Bay Gunsmoke Metallic, the colors blend together nicely without being overly exotic or flashy. Guide selection is critical on a centerpin, and this rod employs a very viable guide arrangement combining both strength and light weight. The first three guides are the Fuji KR concept, the taller stanchion guides allow for a builder to use a size 20 ring on a high frame, allowing more uniform line flow from the bottom of a large spool reel. Choked up to a size 12 TKTAG low stanchion guide, this allows the transition to the tip guides to tame the line on its way out from the tip. REC Black Pearl in size 8 and 8L including the tip round out the rest of the guides, allowing for a durable light-weight setup. Had a lot of fun doing this rod for a fellow PA angler.

Dan Craft FT1003-4

This rod inquiry came from Eastern New York from a customer looking to do some trophy stream trout fishing with a float/centerpin setup.  A 4 pc fly blank was selected  because of length and action, and also because of it’s ease of a pack-ability if on a long day trip.  Dan Craft Enterprises was called upon for this job because of his odd-ball blank selection offered, filling the blanks of most rod models people wish were available.  This rod features a custom turned spalted maple reel seat using a stabilized wood piece from reel seat blanks.  The fighting butt is spalted maple with composite cork on the bottom for durability.   Handle is entirely composed of custom turned burl block cork treated with Teak Oil to darken the grain.   Forecast RA-7 Hardware was selected to fit the Milner River Wraithe reel.  Guides start out as Fuji TYSG followed by REC wire guides up to and including the tip to preserve lightness.  Wraps are Pro Wrap forged steel and gunmetal to match the blue characteristics of the Milner reel.

Rainshadow XST1382-F Centerpin Float Rod

This rod was built for specifically fishing in Steelhead Alley, mainly in larger Pennsylvania tributaries such as Elk Creek.  This blank is the perfect medium for an all around float and centerpin rod that can handle any steelhead encountered in the surrounding area.  This rod features a burl block and rubberized cork schematic, with an inletted fighting butt for balance, RA-8 reel seat with black carbon fiber insert, and ALPS Y guides, a very popular and quality guide offered at a reasonable price.  Thread is gudebrod gunmetal and black with metallic silver trim wraps with additional ferrule decal, and three coats of threadmaster lite on the finish.

CTS FF1503-3

This is a CTS 3 PC 15′ FF1503-3 4-8 lb Centerpin/Float Rod.  Designed in New Zealand and received via Canada, this blank was selected after a careful consulting process for a prospecting customer.  Looking to target fall and winter steelhead on the Salmon River, this rod was asked to be the perfect balance of simplicity and durability while maintaining a lightweight profile.  In order to meet these needs the Fuji TYSG Spin Guides in the concept arrangement up to and including the tip top were selected, along with a complete flor-grade natural cork handle with Fuji graphite spin seat.  A Struble black winding check was selected to match the Gudebrod black NCP wraps, which minimized toward the end.  Coupled with the Forecast aluminum fighting butt to balance out the naturally tip heavy blank resulted in a very low profile, light build for a rod of this caliber.