Customized fishing rods offers the dual advantages of better performance and the coolness factor.
The Perfect Fit: Talented Cast
A customized fishing rod offers the dual advantages of better performance and the coolness factor. Henley Shotwell, co-owner of Surf and Turf Custom (239-417-4640), is happy to help with both. Shotwell, along with partner and master rod builder Robbie Turner, manufacture Outlaw Custom Rods—a line of fishing rods known for specialized construction and aesthetics.
“When we build our rods, we make sure the spine is dead-on perfect in relation to how the rod will load when you’re fighting a fish,” says Shotwell.
While it is common for rod manufacturers to use cardboard to make up the difference between the inside diameter of the reel seat (what holds the reel on the rod) and the outside diameter of the rod blank (the main part of the fishing rod), this can lead to problems if water seeps in and the cardboard gets wet. To eliminate this potential, Outlaw Rods opts for fiberglass epoxy. It is one of many detail differences, along with a choice of handle material, which appeal to avid fishermen. Outlaw’s customized thread patterns and designs are wrapped on the rod bank, added purely for individual expression.
|Creating these stunning customized thread patterns on fishing rods is an intricate, time-consuming process.
“The thread patterns, designs and all the things you can add to the rod make it personal, make it pop and make it stand out in the crowd,” says Shotwell.
Clients choose from a seemingly limitless choice of color combinations and patterns, as well as other unique touches, whether they add their initials, their boat’s name, or their favorite sporting team logo.
Depending on the level and type of customization, base rods start around $200 and can go as high as $1,500. The intricate process of using extensive patterns, which when finished, are only 8- to 16-inches long, can take upward of nine hours to create. And be prepared to wait much longer for one of Shotwell’s unique works of art; lead-time on a customized rod is typically two months. Just keep reminding yourself: good things come to those who wait.
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