building a rod

Wanting to start building a fly rod, later this spring. Should I buy a exspensive blank or a cheap blank, I have never built a rod before. I am wanting to build a rod for trout say a 5-6 weight, and maybe a rod for steelhead later this summer. Any ideas, help, and or advice would be appreciated.

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
Buy the blank that you want to fish, whether its cheap or expensive. Building a fishable rod is easy, building one pleasing to the eye can be tougher, and builing a piece of art that fishes well, requires an artist that knows fishing rods.

If you are wanting a rod for summer steelhead, a 6 will work well, so you may not have to build 2 rods.

If you live in the North Seattle area, you might want to contact Greg's Custom Rods in the Lake Stevens area. He's a good guy that I visit at least monthly, and I recommend all new people to rod building to. He offers classes, and all kinds of help.

There is also an excellent website on this at Read that before you go any farther.


mike doughty

Honorary Member
This is my personal opinion. i would start with a good,but fairly cheap blank that way if it gets screwed up you didn't invest a whole lot of money and if it turns out good then you have a good rod. i started with a GL2 and the cabelas FT models. both are decent blanks and around $100.


Idiot Savant
Greg, Tight Loops recommendation for Greg's is a good one. Visit him and get a medium priced blank. There's nothing like some guidance with someone to build a rod. It cuts way down on the frustration factor.
You can build one in his shop while taking his class...


Good things come to those who wade...
Build a cheap rod to get the feeling, knowing that no matter how much time and effort you put into it, as soon as you are done, you will be disatified with it. Then on the second go around, you will know enough to build a much nicer rod.
I've built a couple of rods using Rainshadow blanks and I really like both. Greg's carries them and the prices are on the lower end.
Does anyone know what the seconds Greg was selling at the sportsman show are? It didnt have a name but I got a 9' 5wt 4 pc blank and its the matte grey finish. ANyone know what it might be?



Active Member
greg, if you want a discount on blanks i think i can get one. let me know which tuesday you can be there. i dont know if you can email me without me giving you me address. i have had several people email me without me giving it to them. mike

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
If its a medium fast action, probably a Rainshadow IM7, fast action, XCEL.

I have an IM7 4wt that I love. And I doubt I could figure out what the defect is, as its a beautiful rod.

If you are still not sure, send him an email.

Greg, you should build an inexpensive rod as your first project - and it will be the first of several, or many. You will make some mistakes and learn how to do a better job on the next rods you build. Your first one will be a useable tool, and a useful backup/loaner rod for the future. If you shop carefully, you may be able to build the first one for less than $50. And any rod you build will cost less than half of its factory equivalent.


Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs
The other part of your decisionmaking will be the component set used (and that expense can be a surprise!)
You are might be thinking freshwater use for the 5-6 weight but might want to consider an anodized aluminum reel seat and a guide-set that will stand up to saltwater use as well. That way you will have a rod the "swings both ways" ;-) and one that's available for saltwater SRCs when that's the venue. Nickel-silver seats are nice looking, but are not friendly with saltwater environs. I have never been to Greg's (will someday) but I am sure he can fill you in on the options regarding components. You might also check with Shoff Tackle to see if they have any of the 2003 model St. Croix SCIV blanks still available. They had them on "closeout" recently and I think they still have a few left.

Hope is that Thing with Feathers..


The dumb kid
Hey baseball, the rod you got was a rainshadow blank. i have built a second and found them to be just as good as the expensive firsts, assuming that you didnt get one with a defect. and hey JustLearnin, the rainshadow rods are a great intro rod into rodbuilding, they fish well and can be exceptionally cheap. my lastest build was a 9'8wt second for winter steelhead... handles well, fishes well, casts well, and i spent 25 for the blank, 16 for hardware, 4 for a PENN International handle ( greg has a bunch of them) and like 2 bucks for a fighting butt. cheap, but with some nice quality. if you still have questions or are wondering about what blanks greg has, let me know. i live less than a mile away, it would be no trouble to go look:thumb

I will get back to you about going to Greg's to check it out. I am going to have to wait for summer I believe to build one. Some things have come up. Do they have blanks that are seconds? Some guys I work with think thats what I should buy. Being that I live on the east side if you could check that out for me it would be great. Good luck fishing. Anytime you want to go to Rocky Ford let me know. I live about 30 minutes away from there.