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Newbie Help with Picking out Blanks

Last time i wrapped a rod was mid 90's on a friend's rod building system.  I still have several of those rods that I use today, but I recently decided I needed a couple new rods.  Spoke to a couple local tackle shops and got some quotes on 4 new rods made to my specifications.  When the quote came back, I about passed out.  Each was north of $600-800.  So guess what... I'm back in the rod building game!  Just finished a low budget spinning rod that came as a kit from Mud Hole as a refresher and to refresh my experience/ skills.  But now its time to tackle 2 rod setups, and I'm looking for help and feedback with blank selection.  Here's what my goal is:

Rod Pair #1:  6'-6'6" trolling rod setup for use with Penn International 12 size reels loaded with 20lb mono.  Use will be trolling for 5-20lb  Mahi and blackfin tuna off of South Florida/ Keys area and we fight fish out of the rod holders (my daughters) or in a light belt/ standup style.  I will be using Aftco #2 unibuts and plan using a 6 or 7 guide, plus tip, setup with turbo style guides and a roller tip.  I like a rod with a good parabolic curve because my pre-teen daughters fish with me and I like that they can load up the rod and its very forgiving, so thinking an IGFA/ medium action style blank.  Due to the metal reel and the unibut I'm not concerned about weight of the blank.  In my mind I'm thinking a Calstar E-GLass 20lb IGFA (RT-20) blank or maybe a Seeker Glass/ Carbon composite (SIGFA-20) blank as I used to build off of Calstar blanks a long time ago, but I'm looking for thoughts and any ideas on either of those blanks o even the IGFA style itself.

Rod Pair #2:  We fish yellowfin tuna in the Bahamas from time to time, usually chunking cut bait.  Fish are 35-80lb normally, but we need to put pressure on them to get them in before the tax man takes his toll.  I have a pair of International 16vxs reels loaded with 65lb braid/ topshot that we use fighting fish standup style.  I'd like to build a pair of 5'6" standup style rods.  Probably need a MF or fast blank as I m thinking a long foregrip and turbo guides with a roller tip.  I'm thinking I'd build it off of a standup style 50lb class rod.  Again blank weight is not important so just looking for a good responsive blank.  I'm completely at a loss on whcih blank to look at here... maybe a blackfin standup 50 blank?

Maybe I'm over analyzing...  but I'm looking for thoughts.  Tight lines!
Intrepid 370 - "My Favorite"


  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,561 Captain
    https://forums.allcoast.com/33-rodbuilding/ is a left coast saltwater site, that I belong to, that has good information.  Another is "rodbuilding.org".
  • probate-rprobate-r Posts: 418 Deckhand
    Thanks Alex.  I appreciate the guidance!

    Intrepid 370 - "My Favorite"
  • kcquekcque Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Try the Bloody Decks rod building forum. and use the search bar. They have builders from both coasts. and are pretty active( alot of builds are for longer rods, so weed through them).
  • Russ57Russ57 FloridaPosts: 44 Deckhand
    probate-r, I have been a little reluctant to answer because I can't agree with what you want for rod pair #1.  So I'll leave that alone and talk about rod pair #2.

    Names I'd look at for blanks would be, in no particular order, NFC (Northfork Composites, think Loomis), Lamiglass, Seeker, Calstar, Rainshadow (Baston).  I would go with a composite over a straight glass blank for bait fishing as I would be holding the rod a lot (weight would matter a lot to me).  I would build blank through and use a slick butt with a (ball?) gimbal.  The Fuji heavy graphite reel seat will do.  Roller guides are probably worth it, and a must at 80# class.  Now you may prefer a curved unibutt and an aluminum reel seat, that is your choice but you are going to have to decide where to cut the blank.  I would not build over a 50# class rod unless you are a big man with a lot of experience.  You don't want to have a reel lock up and not be able to break the line.

    Okay, can't help myself....why such tanks for 20# and under fish?  You could get something like a Penn 525 or Avet SX and pair it with a St. Croix SC5/Lamiglass tri-flex/Rainshadow Judge rod and come in at 25% or less of the weight.  In a couple/few years those girls are going to be sight casting to dolphins and loving those outfits.  For now you just have them sit in a chair and hand them the rod.  Sorry, couldn't help myself
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