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The Fun, Art and Science of Rod Building
Passions can be short and quick, but some can last a lifetime. Lifelong passions can wind us through different stages. The novice – a beginner eager to learn and explore something new. Next a deeper exploration that often steers our interests to a more narrowly-defined genre or category. When greater knowledge approaches mastery, perhaps some competitiveness emerges too – a desire to always improve, achieve, demonstrate one’s mastery. For some, the final stages is a level of contentedness – derived from the pure pleasure of simply doing something well, while still learning, and perhaps sharing the fun with others.
There are many reasons to build fishing rods. Some might not really fish that often, but love assembling simple rods for friends and family. It’s all about the giving. Some love the craft, and become immersed in fashioning extraordinary works of art, with exotic wood handles and woven thread art patterns that are one-of-a-kind showcases of the art that emerges when skill and passion are combined. Others are into the pure science of building, combining just the right components, tweaking blanks and balancing handles to create the lightest weight, best balanced, most sensitive rod possible, designed and built to perform a specific task, right down to an exact lure and technique.
It’s very common in many industries where the passionate focus of the “mad scientist” in his home shop leads to innovations that entire industries later recognize, then follow.
If you’re into custom rod building, no matter what stage or level you’re at, creating a rod with your own thoughts, hands and skills, then landing fish with it creates a GREAT level of satisfaction, enjoyment and fun! Whether you’re a beginner, or a master, it’s all part of the Fun, Art and Science of rod building.
About Gregg Thorne
Allow me to introduce myself, and tell you a little bit about where we came from, and why we’re here. The “get” in getrodblanks.com comes from my name: Gregg Elliott Thorne. Since about the time we started to crawl, my brother Paul and have been drawn to outdoors with a passion so strong that it led us both into full time careers in the outdoor industries where we’ve spent more than 30 years – our entire professional working lives.
As young men in 1981, Paul and I launched a small business in Fridley, Minnesota called Thorne Brothers Custom Rod and Tackle Inc. What began as a small custom rod shop quickly expanded into a do-it-yourself rod building education center, with one-on-one, in-house rod building instruction as well as custom rod building. Learn more…
Syncork: What’s it all About?
Many rod builders know that cork comes from just one place in the world: Portugal. Cork is the harvested bark off a cork tree, and harvests are monitored and regulated to ensure the health and life of the tree. As the world’s population continues to expand so does the need for more cork. But the supply is far from infinite – especially when it comes to premium quality grades that are being used in wine bottles, and, of concern to rod builders – premium cork for rod grips. With increased demand, and afinite supply, there’s only one direction for the price of cork to go: up.
In 2006, the cork handles on several of my favorite fishing rods were worn out, breaking down and in need of replacement. The constant process of absorbing moisture and drying out – inevitable with a fishing rod handle – eventually breaks down cork’s cellular structure, and handles begin to deteriorate. Learn More.…
Hidden Boot Comfort Seat Design
Get a Grip On! With total comfort in all fishing conditions with the heavily field tested Hidden Boot Comfort Seat. We’ve always been a fan of the old school Tennessee handle design however many folks look at them as crude and difficult to switch out or remove reels. Watch the tutorial video on how to assemble and shape one of the most functional and unique spinning rod handle designs a custom rod builder can offer and create a modern twist lock Tennessee style handle grip.
Syncork Cork Screw Fore Grip
If you hold the rods fore grip while retrieving lure presentations especially on the heavier lures used in musky fishing, an offset cork screw design can be an ergonomic, fatigue reducing pleasure to fish with over conventional cone or full wells style designs. Learning offset handle construction also opens up the mind and imagination to many other unique and original functional handle concepts. Watch the tutorial video illustrating the simplicity and ease of offset handle construction. It might take a bit more hand work and manual shaping but the efforts are well worth it in expanding custom rod building techniques.
About Elliott Blanks
Elliott rod blanks are constructed using Toray high modulus graphite materials, Toray is today’s industry leader in advanced graphite technologies. Depending on the character, action and power requirements each model has its own material make up; or recipe. They are designed in taper, tip diameters and wall thickness’s that bring out the very best potential of the materials along with very high quality control tolerances creating quality rod blanks that custom rod builders seek whether building for the everyday fisherman, guide, or professional angler. Elliott blanks are produced in the natural flat grey finish simply because it compliments most every cosmetic color application a rod wrapper inspires to use plus it reduces weight that’s inherent with painted finishes and finally, the flat grey finish is more resistant to cosmetic scaring such as nicks and scratches.
Since the first willow branch and bone hook was used to catch a fish rods have been designed to bend and recover in a million ways or more. Essentially there are no new rod actions; however there are always new rod trends and rod actions supporting these trends, preexisted. New improved graphite materials and processes continue to make rod blanks lighter and stronger and that’s where the rod blank evolution remains.
When deciding on model selections our intent wasn’t to cover it from ice fishing to ocean rod blanks but instead to present a series that represents rod actions and configurations that roughly 80% of most all inland and inshore anglers use with confidence and trust earned from experience on the water with great success.
Our rod blank mission will to be present top quality high performance products with commonsense pricing, we believe in the community of rod building, we get it, we live it and it’s obviously our passion. We hope you’ll enjoy our product selection and watch our product portfolio slowly expand. Now that fishing seasons are open in the Midwest we’ll be on the water almost weekly creating video’s on each Elliott model so please visit us often, we’ll strive to bring you great rod building ideas innovations and fishing content that you’ll enjoy!
Elliott Rod Blanks Deliver Top Performance & High Value
Created for the chore at hand Elliott Rod Blanks deliver high quality rod blanks that provide the right feel, speed, power and accuracy that devoted fisherman need. Elliott Blanks will deliver performance, value and satisfaction for your hard earned time on the water.
Why Rod Guides & Balance Are So Important
It was proven to me decades ago that a properly balanced tubular fiberglass rod can be more sensitive than an expensive graphite rod. While trolling live bait rigs for walleyes, I would use the fiber glass rod, then the graphite using the same presentation, and it was a night and day difference in sensitivity…in favor of the fiberglass rod. It was a valuable lesson for a rod builder on how rod weight distribution and balance in the hand plays a critical role in feeling – or not feeling – everything a rod blank can offer. It doesn’t matter how high tech and expensive the graphite is. If the rod is not properly balanced in the hand, all the technology put into the blank, to say nothing of the expense, can be severely dampened or lost.
There are factors other than the physical weight of the graphite in the rod blank that can add weight to a rod blank, such as a painted finish on the blank, line guides, wrappings, epoxy coatings, etc. Want to see it first hand? Place all the components of a typical rod in an empty tea bag, and tie it to the end of the rod. It’s an eye-opening demonstration of how what seems to be a minimal amount of weight can be multiplied over the length of a rod.
There are weight factors we can’t eliminate like guide wrappings and thread coatings. But choosing the lightest possible guide your budget will allow will most often be the correct choice for a better balanced sensitive fishing rod.
Commercial rod manufactures are always pressing guide manufacturers for lighter weight rod guides because weight reduction that seems minimal in isolation are in fact a large variable factor in creating a better balanced, sensitive fishing rod. Today’s light weight stainless steel frame guides with stainless steel or chrome plated ring inserts offer a durable and practical option for cost vs weight factors. Thermal conductivity and line noise reduction factors aren’t as high as with the new ROSL ceramic inserts from Sea Guide that are 45% lighter than Silicon Carbide, while offering superior heat dissipation and line wear factors.
There are so many excellent rod guides available today for every application and budget. We’ve included rod guide recipes to compliment each Elliott rod blank that will fit your needs and desires in price ranges to make your selection decision more enjoyable and the ordering process easier.
Why We Chose Sea Guide Rod Components
There’s an ocean of great rod building components out there and we chose Sea Guide as our main component offering for their scope of selection, quality and cost. We’re particularly impressed with the ROSL ring guide selection which offers new high performance standards at lower costs over other brands. In the future we’ll offer other brands in the mix as well however with Sea Guide’s innovation, quality and value it made it a very easy choice, we’re certain you’ll agree and be more than pleased when using Sea Guide rod components on your next custom rod master piece.
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Elliott E-86MUSK-MH-F Bucktail Crankbait
Designed to be extremely effective at casting and presenting bucktails, topwaters and crankbaits in the 1 to 4 oz range, the E-86MUSK-MH-F has fast action tip, blending into the mid-section power curve, so it loads and releases perfectly for smooth and effortless casts making your day on the water more comfortable and productive.
Bass tactic survey?We will post the results in 30 days.
A handle thought.
The Tennessee handle was once a popular handle choice and today it’s hard to find on a finished rod. Consider building your next spinning rod with a Tennessee handle. The Tennessee handle gives rod feedback to your entire hand, the grip has direct contact with the blank and it’s an easy and comfortable option.