Caught inside? Mud Gap makes rod-building easy and enjoyable for novice rod builders.

Admittedly, I’ve by no means constructed a fishing rod. For me, it looks as if rod constructing is finest left to the professionals, like Fenwick, Abu Garcia, Lew’s and the like — the parents who do that for a residing.

I’ve a pair buddies, nonetheless, who’ve constructed their very own rods. From time to time I’ve fished with these rods and have been impressed. However impressed sufficient to inspire me to present rod-building a go? Uh, no.

Not too long ago, throughout the shutdown (with time on my palms and abruptly divinely touched with a way of rod-building curiosity) I waded into the world of customized rod constructing.

The Mud Gap web site served as my start line. You see, Mud Gap is the world’s largest rod-building provide home. And—although divinely impressed—I nonetheless had loads of nervousness and trepidation.

Click on to see movies on MudHole merchandise


Mud Gap rod blanks are available in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. You’ll be able to construct nearly any rod your thoughts can conjure up. Their number of blanks and elements is second to none. I select an MHX flip/pitch/punch-style rod equipment since I fish loads of thick stuff right here in Florida.

My equipment got here with all of the elements wanted to place collectively a brand new rod. Guides, rod clean, deal with set, thread to wrap the guides, epoxy, and so on. The very first thing I seen when laying out my elements was that they’re all top quality—nothing low cost right here.

The rod clean, the factor that anchors the construct, was a 7-foot, 9-inch extra-heavy mannequin with a reasonable/quick taper. Rated for 15- to 30-pound-test line, it’s able to dealing with 3/4- to 2-ounce baits—good for flipping, pitching and punching!

Being a rod-building beginner (and petrified of creating a large number of my new rod), I watched the entire Mud Gap rod-building movies on-line. They expertly led me step-by-step by means of the method and left completely nothing to probability.

Picture courtesy of Mud Gap

Those self same Mud Gap movies supply loads of bonus details about rods basically. It’s stuff you don’t must put a rod collectively, but it surely made the method extra attention-grabbing and taught me extra about fishing rods than I might ever have realized elsewhere. It made the construct not solely a artistic endeavor, however an academic one as properly.

All-in-all, the rod constructing course of was extra easy and easier than I anticipated. Probably the most difficult half turned out to be the information wrapping, and even that’s comparatively straightforward when you watch the movies.


As soon as constructed, I took my handmade rod out for a spin. The massive flipper is nimble and handles a variety of bait weights with out fuss. I matched the rod with an outdated baitcaster I had laying round and spooled it up with 65-pound Berkley X5 braid. Whereas designed as a pitching/punching rod, I debuted it with a few heavy swimbaits. I used to be shocked to seek out the rod so gentle that I may throw these large baits for prolonged intervals with out tiring.

Picture courtesy of Mud Gap

And when pitching and punching, the clean is so delicate that I may really feel the kind of backside I used to be on and detect the slightest pick-up. The proprietary MHX grip is the perfect I’ve used. I really like the tactile deal with that doesn’t get slippery, even when moist.

Plus, there was one thing else I had by no means skilled with a “store-bought” rod — a way of accomplishment after I caught my first fish on it (see image). That rod is now my favourite and a staple in my arsenal. It’s the perfect pitching/punching rod I’ve ever used, and I’m already planning to order extra elements from Mud Gap so I can begin my subsequent mission. When you’ve gone tailored, it’s powerful to purchase off the rack. Manufacturing mannequin rods are nice — and I’ll all the time have loads with me — but when I can design and construct my very own rod for the techniques and strategies I exploit probably the most, properly, why not? In addition to, that sense of satisfaction and accomplishment I received when catching fish on a rod I constructed myself is nearly as highly effective because the surge of an enormous bass.

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