It had to start somewhere.

After years of mulling it over, I finally decided to give rod building a shot. My wife’s birthday was coming up and Mudhole was running a special on their all-in-one rod kits. I placed my order and set off on my journey! The rod kit arrived a few days later and I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning opening it all up. The kit came with all the tools and components to build a complete rod and I couldn’t wait to get started.

I started by gluing up the handles and aligning them with the spine of blank. After that was all dry, I moved on to the guides. I went for a simple wrap just using the purple thread, but felt they needed some kind of trim band to set them off. The only options I had at the time were gold, silver or green metallic, and I didn’t really like either option. I decided to leave them for the time being, and turned my focus to the cross wrap.

This was my first one ever, so I kept it as simple as I could. I opted for a traditional open chevron wrap using purple, green, gold, and outlining it with a single strand of black. It wasn’t until I was nearly done that I realized they were pretty much Mardi Gras colors. My wife grew up near New Orleans, so it was a perfect fit!

It was time to finish off the ends of the cross wrap and I still needed a trim band color. I decided to hand-braid the silver, gold, and green metallic threads together and use that as the trim color. I centered a few wraps under the hook keeper, and put another band at the tip-end of the wrap. Then I used the rest to add the trim bands to the guides.

I had all our kids sign the handle in the split-grip area. Unfortunately, it was with permanent marker, and it turns out that permanent marker isn’t so permanent when it’s been rotating under epoxy for 12 hours… Anyway, the rod still came out amazing for my first one, and my wife was totally blown away!! She uses it every time we go fishing now (and not just to make me feel better lol).

Overall I had fun with my first build; I gained a lot of experience and learned a lot along the way. My passion for rod building had been ignited, and it wasn’t long before I found myself dreaming about the next build.

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