Turns out I kinda liked it 🙂

After the first rod I made for my wife, I decided to build one for myself. I’ve been wanting a good heavy power rod that would be versatile enough to use for Texas rigged worms, jigging in heavy cover, throwing frogs in slop, and I definitely wanted it tough enough to handle some decent-sized catfish.


I know… Lime green right?? Well, it wasn’t actually my first choice. I was originally thinking about going with a much darker forest green, but something made me change my mind at the last minute. I don’t know if the lime green looked more “froggy” to me, or maybe it was because I thought it would look better with the grips, whatever the reason, I’m glad I went with it. The dark maroon thread color is Merlot, and I think it paired really well with the greens.

Since this was only my second rod, and I wasn’t very confident in my talents yet, I decided to go with a blank that was budget friendly, but would certainly stand up to the abuse I’m planning on putting it through. I fish from the bank a lot and sometimes you have to cast in some precarious positions, so I chose to go with my personal favorite length of 7′ for this one. This gives me plenty of leverage to haul bass out of some nasty cover, and still be able to cast from those tight spots. The blank I went with is the IS701-H from CRB. It’s a 1-piece, Heavy Power Moderate-Fast Action blank that is very light weight and has a TON of backbone to winch those bass right out of that cover.

I went with the green and black Winn rear grip and fighting butt, and just a plain black EVA foregrip (mainly for looks). The reel seat is a standard CRB graphite casting seat and together with the Winn rear grip, I know that reel is locked down tight and I’m not gonna slip when my hands get wet from catching all those bass! The guides are CRB SSR casting guides in Black and Polished, and the tip-top is an all-black, medium-duty CRB LZR with a #6 ring (for those leader knots). This setup is really light weight and balanced right at the reel, so it doesn’t wear my wrist out when I’m jigging or twitching it all day.

As with everything in life, nobody is perfect, and the same holds true here. The first rod I built was a spinning rod, and in my haste, I ended up gluing the handle on this one 180 degrees off from the spine of the rod. This meant that the natural bend of the rod was now the exact opposite of how most rods are built. If you are holding the rod straight out with the reel on it, the natural curve of the rod is pointing at the freaking sky… However, as it also seems to be with most things in life, this turned out to be a happy accident. With the rod being a heavy power, it means the tip would normally have been very stiff and would not have loaded up well on a cast with a lighter bait. This is because the rod loads up on the back-cast and that is usually against the natural bend of the rod. Because I built this 180, I actually get a nice load-up on the back cast with lures as light as 1/4 ounce which allows me to fish smaller baits in nastier cover. The bass just can’t stand it!!

Though it’s not really visible unless you know where to look, I learned some valuable lessons about metallic thread and spool tension while building this rod. There are a few spots in the dragon scale where the metallic coating peeled away from the core strands because they were under too much stress coming through the thread carriage. Once I noticed what was happening, I loosened the thread tension on the spool a little bit and the rest of the wrap went smoothly. It looked a little plain though, so I added a simple diamond wrap over the top of it just to add some contrast.

Overall, I’m very happy with how the rod turned out. It fishes like a dream, and when the going gets tough, this rod opens a can of whoop ass and fights back harder! I’ve landed several bass over 7 lbs on this rod already and some of them were in shall we say… less than favorable conditions.

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