Pimp my rod!

Make of the title what you will. :p

Sandy Claws was kind enough to bestow upon me a fine 7'6" 3wt Blue Halo glass rod blank for Christmas this year.
Not the 3wt, but a sky blue build seen on Fiberglass Manifesto:

I've built a few rods (though it's been some years since my last), but all my previous builds have been from kits. I didn't have to put any thought into components.

For this project I want to pick and choose the parts and I'm looking for suggestions. Basically what I have come up with so far is that I want to pick up an agate stripping guide from J.E. Arguello, probably the blue one.

I've seen plenty of recommendations here and elsewhere for Snake Brand guides, I'm guessing the universal ones are the way to go. I'm thinking black nickel. For no other reason than I've not owned one before, I was thinking about a cigar grip and a downlocking slide band reel seat. Any suggestions on where to look for that stuff? So many varieties of woods/colors, I don't know what would look nice on this light blue rod. Hoping for this look in the grip/seat:

I have no idea on sizes needed for all this stuff, but I figure I'll email the various companies for their input when the time comes to start ordering.

So what would you put on a rod build like this one?


Active Member
I would start with -
They should have everything you need.
-Universal guides are simply the best if you want snake guides. For a lite rod you might want to look at REC recoil single foot guides. If you are going translucent for the wraps the single foot guide feet are not as nice, but the guide is lighter and requires half the thread and finish. I like the black guides, but on that blank chrome might look better?
- thread they would have silk (two sizes) or nylon, either should work fine. If you want translucent you can wrap with white, it turns clear.
- handle cigar would be great, make sure it is 6"-6.5" and not 7" as that would be to long for that rod. I really like Struble grips, very nice cork and I like the shape better than REC cork. The Struble modified wells is also a very nice grip (really comfortable for me).
- for finish I would use spar varnish. Anglers has a bottles of their formula, different than Helmsman or Ace? Just looking at glass builds you can always tell epoxy finish, slightly thicker.
- reel seat - check the diameter of the butt. Some glass rods have a large butt. Depending on the size this maybe an issue with a routed insert. I think that is why you see so many with cork reel seat inserts. I like Struble and Bellinger seats, REC makes nice seats as well. There is a guy who makes cap an ring reel seats from Moscow and sells them on ebay. They are made by him, nickel silver and a good value at $20-30 with the insert. But he only has routed seats.
Good luck and have fun - post some pics of the finished rod.
I like the look of titanium guides. You can get guide sets from mudhole. For the grip I like wood handles from a seller on eBay. The wood handles are more sensitive to.
Thanks for the ideas. I'll try to post updates when I get around to building it.

Josh, it's even cooler in person. It's hard to find a photo that captures the color well, particularly when sunlight hits it.
I would use Black nickle universal snake brand guides
Lemke Black nickle LC14 down locking skeleton or LC5
Cork reelseat insert to match the cigar grip
light Baby blue Nylon thread to accent the darker agate from Arguello. If you have worked with silk then my vote would be White silk & spar varnish

The only probablem with my list is no one shop has everthing so you would be left paying a few shipping charges. LD has a good option with Anglers workshop
I just checked out the Blue Halo site... "kinda fruity" :D But, I think that by next month I'll be getting a glass blank from them to build on. :) I like how they have it all set up, with reels and lines etc. Complete outfit. I noticed that all the blanks I looked at stated that they were 5/6 wt. I don't know much about glass (which is why I want to build one and fish it), but wonder how fun a 5/6 would be on small creek for small Trout sub 12 inches or if I should try and locate a lighter weight glass rod for those occasions.
Alexander, for fish that size - 12" and under, I would probably go with their 3 weight. In fact, that is precisely what I did. Well, my wife did. 90% of my fishing is small creek stuff or bluegill. I already have a 2wt graphite, but I am really looking forward to fishing this thing come spring.

It was never my intention, but I seem to have become a 'glass guy over the past few years. I picked up one of those sweet little Eagle Claw Featherlites for $25, then a couple different folks gave me some older fenwick glass rods in various weights, and now this.


dead in the water
Oh man, I just checked out their site. I would totally rock a couple of those rod colors. Outstanding.

Anyone know how they cast? Particularly in comparison to older glass like lamiglas or fenwick?
I think they are generally a bit faster and lighter than vintage stuff. Don't quote me on that, though.

Chasin' Alice

I heard of the company because a co-worker of my wife is childhood friends with Cort, one of the owners I believe. He loves his 5/6, swears it's a fantastic do-it-all rod. Not that he's an unbiased source, but I trust his opinion.

Apparently Cort digs his glass enough to trust it with some Utah Muskie.