The most common question asked by those looking to take the plunge and join the community of custom rod owners, “Is it worth it?” Most people want to know what the difference is between a custom rod and one they bought on clearance at a big box store. Well I am hereto tell you that it is most definitely worth it and hopefully by the end of this article you will understand why.
- Put that backbone where it belongs
Every graphite blank has what is known as a spine. The spine of a rod is where the fibers overlap the most and it is the most powerful part of the rod. When a rod is under load, i.e. when you are fighting a fish, it will naturally begin to work its way into a spine up position. If your rod has not been spined properly then it will begin to twist in your hands. This puts the pressure in a strange angle and can cause you to lose fish. Many fishing rods that are built in a commercial setting are not correctly spined. You might get lucky, but why risk it.
- Let your conscious be your guide
Guide spacing is another important aspect of custom rod building. Every blank is like a fingerprint and has its own unique points of strength and weakness. The distance between the guides is dependent upon the particular curve in each blank. Most commercial rods are built on a preset spacing for what has been determined to work best for that blanks length and weight. This will get you very close, but custom rods are put under tension and then fine-tuned so that the guides will give each angler the maximum advantage when fighting a fish.
- Don’t make fishing a balancing act
A good rod-smith will try and determine the type of reel you will be using on your custom rod, so that he can do his best to balance your rod to that particular weight. A properly balanced rod will lessen the fatigue on your arm and wrist. Sure, this may seem like a small thing, but the average tournament bass angler casts somewhere between 500 and 750 times a day. Do you really want to spend that much time holding a rod that isn’t maximizing your endurance on the water?
- Eliminate “The one that got away!” from your vocabulary
If the spine is working against you it changes the direction that pressure is applied and can assist the fish in throwing the hook. If the guides aren’t spaced appropriately then you are not getting maximum power on your hook set and depending on your species of choice this could be critical to successfully landing your fish. Also as fatigue sets in with an unbalanced rod you may decide to call it a day just before the bite picks up. When you purchase a custom rod you are making the choice to improve your hook up ratio and get one step closer to showing your buddies pictures instead of telling them stories.
Hopefully this article has helped you realize it is totally worth biting the bullet and investing in a tool that will help you land more fish. Even though it may cost you a little more money up front, in the long run I am fully confident that you will be happy in your investment. If you’re not sure where to start looking please feel free to drop me a line and I will do everything I can to help you out. Maybe even have you hitting the water with a brand new Texas Flat Rat Custom Rod. Thanks for reading and as always tight lines, tall tales, and full stringers!