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Puzzling Rod Question

mara5mara5 Posts: 162 Deckhand
Most everyone advocates a custom rod vs. factory. If the blank e.g. Phenix, Calstar, Seeker, etc. or any other top brand, how can the action be any better? I understand that guides, handle, can be upgraded, and a fancier paint/wrap scheme. But the basic action of the rod remains the same. Am I missing something?:huh

Replies

  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,663 Moderator
    For the most part, no... you are not missing anything.

    Lighter, low profile, more / less rigid components, epoxy weight, can all affect action, though.

    The big appeal of custom (to mev anyway) is the 1,000s of blanks that are out there. You can find just what you want with some research and experienced hecklers.

    EDIT: experienced help, not hecklers
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 564 Officer
    IMO, customs rods are great when you know exactly what you want. I only get a rod built when I can't find what I want in a factory rod.

    I feel like many people get custom rods just so they can have a rod and reel match colors lol.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,117 Officer
    Panhandler and Chris are both correct. There are many reasons for getting a custom rod.

    1. Some people feel that the quality of a one-off custom rod is better than an assembly line factory rod even though they may be built on the same blank.
    2. Blanks can be shorten or lengthened to meet a person's individual desires (in a size that may not be available from the factory).
    3. The quality or style of grips, reel seat, guides, etc that a person wants may not be available on a factory rod. (In this case, depending what components are used, plus where & how they are installed, can effect the action of a blank.)
    4. Some people may want decorative thread wraps, wraps of certain colors, customized grips, matching spinning, trolling and casting rod sets, etc. (This type of customization usually does not have much effect on the action of a blank.)

    The bottom line is that on a "custom" rod one has a choice of many items, hence the name custom. On a factory rod you usually have no choice other than picking a rod off the shelf that you like.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,246 AG
    90% of custom rod purchases...Is buying a Stradivarius for a 9 year old.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,335 Captain
    - But everyone wants that Strad...

    Seriously, I've been building my own rods since 1971 and all the answers already given are accurate... If you can find what you want in a store bought rod (which is likely to be cheaper as well...) go for it. One of the few "store bought" rods I hand my anglers is a Hopper rod from Capt Harry's. I could have built one but there's no way I could have bought the components for less than the entire rod cost...

    On the other hand, if you need something for a special purpose.. a custom builder is your only hope.... Yes, every blank is the starting point in rodbuilding but the components used vary widely. There's a world of difference between a cheap reelseat and a machined aluminum reelseat by AFTCO... (you may not need the extra strength - but if you do the extra cost is well worth what you spend...). The same goes for guides and tip top... you can buy a cheap set for one price - but top of the line will cost double or triple that... and you will get what you pay for in most cases.... so it's the angler's choice...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 9,044 Admiral
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    90% of custom rod purchases...Is buying a Stradivarius for a 9 year old.

    :rotflmao

    Ugly Stik...you can use the old ones for Stake Out poles....:grin
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,422 Captain
    Production rods usually have inferior components, unfortunately that's the case with most of the custom work I see these days too. A flashy rod built with a chinese blank and a 12$ set of guides says a lot about the guy using it.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 9,044 Admiral
    YUP , Says he's gonna have to use Liquid tape on the eye wraps in a few years...or convert the rods to frog gigging poles .
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • shadowwalkershadowwalker Posts: 2,200 Captain
    If you could buy off the rack the rods I like to build I wouldn't bother building them. Niche markets are every were, most builders don't find or just don't see them. I will say custom pays better but the niche market is much more satisfying to me.
  • seanfishseanfish Posts: 254 Deckhand
    As you can see above, there are many reasons to go custom and many reasons not to.

    It really comes down to what suits you and the reasoning behind it as none of the answers above are wrong.
  • Widespread PanicWidespread Panic Posts: 227 Deckhand
    Production rods are built to be a compromise for different reel manufactures, sizes, etc.... You can tweak a rod to a reel. Small changes can make a huge difference. I have been building my own for 10+ years, took a while to learn to buy a reel first, then build a rod to fit the reel. You can cut the reel seat to fit, cuts down on weight. Use the smallest guides that fit your needs, cuts down on weight. Build grips to the length that fit you.
    Once the grip and reel seat are glued on the blank, the fun starts. Lay out a guide set up based on some method, there are plenty to choose from. Use masking tape to fix the guides to the blank, put on a reel and casting weight that is similar to what will be used on the rod and test cast, measuring distance. Then back to the bench, tweak the guide set up, move first guide a half inch, adjust the rest as needed, test cast again. This will either be better or worse, rarely the same. After several adjustments, the sweet spot will be found. At that point, wrap and finish.
    Distance isn't everything, but if you are casting at 50% vs 80% force to hit your target, accuracy will improve.
    This is what I think most people are missing about a well built custom rods.
  • Widespread PanicWidespread Panic Posts: 227 Deckhand
    Deleted double post
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,663 Moderator
    Production rods are built to be a compromise for different reel manufactures, sizes, etc.... You can tweak a rod to a reel. Small changes can make a huge difference. I have been building my own for 10+ years, took a while to learn to buy a reel first, then build a rod to fit the reel. You can cut the reel seat to fit, cuts down on weight. Use the smallest guides that fit your needs, cuts down on weight. Build grips to the length that fit you.
    Once the grip and reel seat are glued on the blank, the fun starts. Lay out a guide set up based on some method, there are plenty to choose from. Use masking tape to fix the guides to the blank, put on a reel and casting weight that is similar to what will be used on the rod and test cast, measuring distance. Then back to the bench, tweak the guide set up, move first guide a half inch, adjust the rest as needed, test cast again. This will either be better or worse, rarely the same. After several adjustments, the sweet spot will be found. At that point, wrap and finish.
    Distance isn't everything, but if you are casting at 50% vs 80% force to hit your target, accuracy will improve.
    This is what I think most people are missing about a well built custom rods.

    I think you're okay picking out the blank itself before the reel.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,246 AG
    seanfish wrote: »
    As you can see above, there are many reasons to go custom and many reasons not to.

    It really comes down to what suits you and the reasoning behind it as none of the answers above are wrong.

    If I ever thought I needed a Stradivari .... You would be the one who would build mine.

    Maybe when I am so old...that a quarter oz is actually a big enough reason.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,663 Moderator
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    90% of custom rod purchases...Is buying a Stradivarius for a 9 year old.

    Funny you should mention such a thing. I missed using both at age 9 by only 2 years. There was a good spell where I used both, though.

    Granted, the 1980 customs still get more play than the Bach in the closet.

    My wife loves this fact!
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,335 Captain
    One last thing I forgot to mention... Years ago I made matched sets of rods for specific anglers. After each rod was built I made a template (old vertical blind slats work really well for this...) so that I could always exactly duplicate any rod I'd built -even 20 years later with notes on any reelseat cuts, blank cuts, etc. Templates allowed me to duplicate or double any set of rods whenever needed.

    These days I haven't built a rod (except for myself) in some years - but those templates are still hanging in my garage ready to use or refer to.... Custom building really does have its advantages. Years and years ago we had no choice since the rods we wanted just weren't to be found in shops. That's not really the case anymore so you do have choices....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,246 AG
    Funny you should mention such a thing. I missed using both at age 9 by only 2 years. There was a good spell where I used both, though.

    Granted, the 1980 customs still get more play than the Bach in the closet.

    My wife loves this fact!

    So, You have now forced me to find a new analogy....or reduce the age further... :rotflmao
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
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