How to Build your own Game Rod

fishing rod, game fishing rod, Alutecnos, short stroker rods, short lever rods, fishing rod construction, Snyder glas rods, Alutecnos bent butt, Alutecnos roller guides and curved butts, shark fishing rod, Freeway rod components

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Welcome to this page on building your own rod. This was an interesting project that I had in mind to do for some time now, and finally its done.

I have been building rods for several years now and have become quite good at it. I started for 2 main reasons, the first was cost the second was customability. I needed a special purpose rod that just was not available "off the shelf". Fishing out of a chair setup all the rods that I were after were just too expensive, so I honed my skills as an up and coming rod builder, and guess what ??? It was not that hard to do.

As the years went by, my fishing techniques changed somewhat and became more efficient. I like many other rod builders, I started to understand more about the science and mathematics associated with rod building. Wow you say,... mathematics hey ..- must be serious!!! Well basically game rods are the art of science, to be exact Leverages and that leads to Math's. When you see big fish upwards of the 700 pound range you say to yourself I need a big heavy rod. The bigger the better. In fact I have a 130 pound bent butt rod that a US Navy Aircraft Carrier would have trouble putting a bend in. That means that I am fighting with a broomstick, and that means the rod is not working - I am !!!. Too much hard work, how do I know, well I caught a 700 pound plus on it and it nearly killed me. !!

So as time goes by you tend to look at what works and how you can apply this type of setup to catching good fish.

I have therefore built what I regard as AN ULTIMATE STANDUP HEAVY DUTY FISHABLE GAME ROD. The difference in quality between this rod and say Ian Millers set up would be the blank. However would that blank difference be worth an extra $1000 Australian dollars - mate you have got to be joking of course not. Does he use a better blank yes, but not that much better. In fact the blank that I have chosen is built up by the same manufacturer that builds "Status" blanks and rods, and they are amongst the best in the world. 

Now what makes a great fishing rod. Well contrary to popular belief the shorter the rod the better. This is due to the fact that the shorter the rod is, even by a few inches the more pressure you can apply. In fact the setup that I have built is 4 foot 11 inches tall from butt to tip. If you can imagine from an extreme point of view how hard it would be to catch a big shark on say a beach rod, as the rod bends over you are more likely to lose balance, however if the rod was so much shorter that it hugged you closely, you are less likely to be tipped over and in fact would be able to sit back into the rod and apply pressure to your advantage. It is this very fact that "short stroker's" revolutionized game fishing in the early 90"s, with big 1000 pound marlin being brought in on just small gutsy 5 foot fishing rods. So there it is, smaller is better !!!

Now a run down on the rod that I built. I was looking for a good quality rod that would last many many seasons of hard fishing, something that perhaps would be out of the reach of many fishermen if they were to buy this finished product off the shelf or have it custom built, but if they were to build it themselves would not only be able to afford it but would have the immense satisfaction that they caught some very big fish with it. 

I hunted around for something that would not only have the quality needed for this task but would be practical, innovative and very stylish. So began my association with a guide and butt manufacturer by the name of Alutecnos.

When looking for items such as guides I was overly impressed with Alutecnos's "fast guide removal system", this basically means that the guides can be removed from the foot of the guide for impeccable maintenance or in the event that you need to pack the rod for travel etc. I have already knocked Aftco guides around because they jut out so far off the blank. As with so many Italian products, their quest for quality is world class, just look at their Duel Reels, engineering and clothing. To compliment their guides Alutecnos also make a fine array of removable fully finished lathed Butts available in both straight and curved butt configuration. In fact the recently developed 80 pound short stroker bent butt that I chose  was partially developed here in Australia. One thing to watch out for on many custom made 80 pound short stroker's is that they only use a 50 pound Aftco bent butt, which not only looks small but cant fit any big 37kg reel on it from a Penn 12/0 upwards. Basically they are only capable of taking the Penn 50sw or similar. Kind of stupid I thought!!! 

The other major component is of course the Rod Blank itself. Now was this a major problem or what?. Its absolutely amazing how little people know about rods, blanks and their quality. Remember we are trying to balance high quality with reasonable price. We have a couple of manufacturer's of Blanks here in Australia that are good quality, and some from the States. Now this is where I listened to an independent man by the name of Don Freeman, who gave me some very good advice as I was to find out soon after. Don expressed to me his concern with my choice of Sabre blank and its similar copy by Pacific Composite due to their rather fast radical taper, This means that the last portion of the rod bends only, about the last 1/3, or 30%. This puts immense pressure on that part of the rod, with cracking of the composite material most noticeable around the second roller down from the tip.  In some instances this can cause the rod to snap, and that is just what happened to me recently with a 300kg ray on a Penn 50 pound short stroker with a fast taper as per the Sabre design, I could not believe that this snapped but under load it did and with a bang at that!!. The beauty about the rod Blank that I use is that although its a moderately fast taper it starts back at about 40-43% of the rod down from the tip acting as a great shock absorber but still with plenty of bottom end grunt to pick up the most resilient fish. You feel a lot more confident that the rod is absorbing the shock of bending well without the fear of breaking.

Purely as a matter of aesthetics and to add a opulent feel of quality to the rod, and to teach anyone that is interested in building up super quality, I opted to put on a cork and leather foregrip. Every high quality rod on the market over a grand has one of these and what the heck hey , why not ?!!

So that is it.

In a nut shell to achieve this exact quality rod you will need to look at the following components.

As we progress with you I will go through in detail all the steps and components used and how to simply put these all together to build that super rod.