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!
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.
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.
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.
Dave was a local customer who found me though our Steelhead Video on Leatherwood Outdoors. He expressed to me his need for a better handling spinning rod with his input into the handle and length. He also wanted something on heavier side for the occasional king salmon he might encounter.
Enter the MHX series from Mudhole Custom Tackle. These rods are work horses and no frills. The 9’6” 1142-2 fit the bill perfectly for what my customer wanted to do. This will dog any steelhead or brown trout but still have enough backbone for a 40 LB king salmon.
Featuring a custom turned handle and Pac Bay Aluminum spinning reel seat, the rear handle was kept longer in a true spinning type of setup. Using the KLSG guides from Fuji and finishing with size 8 Running Guides for winter fishing, they are wrapped solid with gunmetal, black and silver trim bands,
Straight Forward attack model XST1141-2. Featuring a 9 inch rear super cork handle from Batson, ALPS reel seat in size 12 and Fuji KR concept guides this rod is the diamond amongst gemstones in steelhead alley. Unfortunately the blank is discontinued, but this is arguably the ultimate Pennsylvania/Ohio/NY Steelhead setup, the Do it All From Jigs, Plugs, Eggs and everything else in between.
This ESS series rod found it’s home in Ohio for spring steelhead. Built on a 10′ 2 PC 6WT moderate action fly rod blank this rod is designed to fish eggs first and foremost.
Featuring the Fuji KR concept Alconite guides and Fuji downlocking reel seat, the handle is kept short to use the entire butt section of the rod when fighting a fish while keeping the shock absorbing qualities of the moderate action tip section. Thread is Prowrap smoke screen NCP with Red NCP and Blue Metallic Trim
This rod is built on what is my opinion the perfect length of blank for fishing any river or stream along Steelhead Alley. 9’6” seems to be the do-all happy medium that we have found, although some prefer longer or shorter. This rod is a 2 PC MHX blank, although I have limited experience building these I was very impressed with this blanks power and action. The customer requested that a Rainbow Trout Skin decal be placed between the split grip handle, which was turned out of some excellent quality cork from Custom Fly Grips.
The Reel Seat is SZ 17 Graphite Hardware with a Green Box Elder Burl insert that was custom turned and polished. Guides are the Fuji K system transitioning to the running guides for optimum casting distance and performance. In my opinion the K guide system is the absolute best option there is. Forest Green Purple and some metallic trimbands accentuate the guides and stand out wonderfully on the dark blank.
If you’d like inquire about a high performance rod geared for steelhead fishing please contact me today!
This is a Fly to Spin conversion for a customer looking to Downsize the ESS series rod and translate it to trout fishing. So is born the TSS series, or Trout Specific Series. This rod features a split grip wave and rubberized cork butt cap. Split Grip Decal, Forecast size 16 Graphite Spinning Seat and FUJI KR concept guides in black. Thread is a mix of forest green and green metallic giving the rod a perfect match to the forest green blank with a bright contrast.
If you are looking for a small stream trout setup to fit your needs, look no further. This is what we do people!
A customer requested a short split grip rod for Panfish and Trout fishing both small streams and lakes. Being a fan of St. Croix I decided I would recommend to him the 6’6” St. Croix SCII Series Freshwater rod. This was designed to be light and sensitive at the same time to feel the soft strike of panfish and trout.
Handle is natural cork with a FUJI graphite seat, along with CYAG alconite guides finishing out the LAG spin guides and top. Thread is a dark forest green nylon that blends into the blank excellently, there is also some silver trim mixed in on the lower section. Not every custom rod has to be haughty to look nice!