So for fathers day my son and wife got me a rod that I could build for my new baby boy. This would be the second rod that I will have built, my first was a g.loomis GL3, so all I need to do is go out and get the parts. Being a little slow to jump on things I have yet to go out and buy all the things I need. I first I thought I would just buy one of those kits on cabelas or some other site, and then I thought I would do up a more custom type of rod.

So I am wondering if people have suggestions for blanks. Now my boy is currently less than a year and this will be his first rod. This also means I have time to do work on this project. I am thinking a 9ft 4wt, something I can take him out to rivers for some dry fly fishing when he is a little older. I am open to the idea of a 5wt, but I want to make sure a young kids can cast it without problems.

Also, I would like to do a feather in lay so if there is a good tutorial out there please pass it my way.

I would build him a 7'6" 4wt.
I don't know what your price range is. I would go with a IF764 from Batson or the American Tackle Matrix AMF764. They are both between $45 and $50 bucks. You can go cheaper with something like the RX6 F764-2 from Batson and save $20 bucks. I have found that a little faster blank is a lot easer for a little guy to cast and learn on. I don't know where you live but if you wanted to stop by my shop I have a blank and guides that will work for you. I'm sure I could package something up for you. I live in Puyallup if your ever in the area.
Here's a weird suggestion that I think makes a lot of sense: make him a child-size spey rod.

Hear me out: younger children are weak, compared to adults or larger children. That's obvious. But what is equally true is that they're not well coordinated. And any casting is better handled with two hands. If spey casting sounds too esoteric, just watch a kid cast with a spinning rod. Of course, they usually grip it with both hands. Why wouldn't they?

Something like a nine-foot 4-weight blank should be excellent. A slow- to medium-action would be perfect, so you can use an inexpensive, lower-modulus blank. A Fuji graphite reel seat is easier to operate than most fly reel seats, tough and cheap, too. The lower and upper grips should be about half the diameter of an adult rod, to fit little hands. Use foam or cork; he won't care. A double taper line, perhaps a size larger than the rod's rating, should be all he needs. Put such a rod in a four year-old's hands, and I'll bet he'll be making several different kinds of overhead and spey casts in a few minutes, without any idea that there are names for those different casts. He'll just be fishing, and having a blast.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Nooksack Mac is amazing. I struggled with what rods to get my girls, now 5 and 7. I decided on Echo Geckos because they were a touch shorter 7'9" I think, rated at 4/5wt have EVA foam handles in narrow child hand friendly diameters and has a lower handle just big enough for them to use two hands to control it. On the first outing, my 5 y/o was roll casting that rod and shooting line, 20' to 30' pretty regularly. She quickly tired of the yarn and wanted a real fly to catch a small SRC that was working the area. A simple WF 5 F line and they are fishing and smiling and I love that.
Tyler - Thanks for the info. I will probably be contacting you at some point in the future.

Nook - That's an interesting idea. I like the logic behind it, I am going to have to think about it. I just started using a spey so your idea really interest me.

Mumbles - I have admired your adventures you have posted about you and your girls. Hopefully in a few year I will be making some of those same reports. I also thought about the echo's for a while, but then my wife suggested for me to build one and I jumped on her suggestion.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Wes, the only reason I suggested the Echo Gecko, knowing you were going to build, was to draw attention to the slim handles with a lower handle. Make it switch like and follow Nook Mac's suggestion and you will have built perfection! I'm not sure if any such handles are stock anywhere but I'm sure that with patience knowing who you are building the rod for that you'll be able to get it turned down to tiny hand narrow.

Do you have a blank already, or one in mind (line weight and length). I bought a bunch when I retired from the Navy and got a grown up job. I have not built them all so a few blanks left over.


Active Member
I have built several rods for clients children. Tyler and Mumbles are right on IMO on length and I personally like a 5wt in a fast action. I think it is easier to learn on and they can usually cast it pretty quickly. Children are great imitators and can learn very quickly, unlike us older people. I used Sevier's Tiger eye blanks for those rods and a one piece handles with slip rings from NetCraft. The handles are on the narrower side and if you mount the reel forward it does give you a small butt to hold onto if you wished. Here are some pics of those rods


Ed Call

Well-Known Member
NIrondeck, amazing work as always. Mind telling me where you got those handles? I do have some blanks from my "I'm retiring for the first time" buying binge. I might build my girls rods of slightly heavier capabilities and see what they might do with them. Thanks.


Active Member
The handles are from Jann's NetCraft. They cost $10.95 so don't expect flor or AAA select cork but they are pretty good. The buttons on the ends are actually Tandy leather conch's in a 1" size.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Thank you. $10.95 may not be top shelf cork, but kids are pretty rough on stuff. You should see me wince when the girls ask to try a few casts while we are walking the beach and I'm using my helios switch. I always let them, of course, but often I'm holding my breath. The two handed rod for them has been a very big improvement over me trying to teach them with a single hander...but they are still trying that too. Thanks again.

Went to that site and found a few interesting items that I might get to build up some of my blanks that are sitting around collecting dust!

Latest posts