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ww2farmer

So It Begins...........

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As I mentioned in another post, I am tired of store bought production rods, and have a good buddy who is a custom builder. He has two rods he's building for me as we speak...and I am like a kid waiting for Santa. LOL.

 

The details (or as much as I know, I am not too "up" on custom rod speak yet)...he's building them with components I picked out. Some because I have had them on rods before and liked, and others he "guided" me towards, based on his exp. as a builder.

 

Rod # 1: 7'3" H/F casting.....being built on a MHX MB-874 blank, with split cork rear grip, no foregrip, PacBay Minima reel seat, and PacBay Minima guides. Will be used for pitching jigs and T-rigs into all but the thickest cover on my lakes. I really liked the Minima guides and reel seat on a St Croix Rage rod I had, but not the grip, that's why I went with them.

 

Rod #2: 6'8" M/XF spinning............being built on a Batson/Rainshadow Immortal IMMS68MXFTC blank with, also, a split cork rear grip/no foregrip, a PacBay Minima reel seat, and Fuji K series guides. Will be my Shaky Head, flick shake, and light weightless plastics dock skipping rod.

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Sounds good! Can't wait to see a few pics as well as here your feedback. I always appreciate your simplistic and "cheap" mindset. What I mean by cheap is that you don't need expensive gear to catch fish. I have seen your arsenal go from $150 plus rods to essentially lightning rods and such. Not sure what these rods will cost you but regardless it will be interesting to see where they fit in with your needs/wants.

 

I got my first custom rod earlier this year. Thinking about adding more in time as money allows. I too hate selecting all the component crap but most good builders can help fill in the gaps.

 

Looking forward to Santa bringing your gifts! :respect-059:

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You'll like that Minima reel seat. I put one on a 10' 3wt euroymphing rod I built this spring and will definitely be putting one on my next spinning rod. Super light with no wasted space/material. Make sure you post pics.

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Sounds good! Can't wait to see a few pics as well as here your feedback. I always appreciate your simplistic and "cheap" mindset. What I mean by cheap is that you don't need expensive gear to catch fish. I have seen your arsenal go from $150 plus rods to essentially lightning rods and such. Not sure what these rods will cost you but regardless it will be interesting to see where they fit in with your needs/wants.

I got my first custom rod earlier this year. Thinking about adding more in time as money allows. I too hate selecting all the component crap but most good builders can help fill in the gaps.

Looking forward to Santa bringing your gifts! :respect-059:

The great thing about having a buddy who builds rods, is that he's building them for me "cheap".... Cost of materials (retail cost,not his cost,he gets a discount) plus a few bucks for his time, and some horse trading....IE,a bunch of my jigs and home made stuff. Yeah the lightning rods are great for what they are, and will still be my back up, loaner, and toss in the jeep rods, I just miss a few of the refinements of the higher end stuff I used to use, and have not been able to find mass production rods that had things just the way I want.... So this is the way to go.... I think, lol.

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You will have to tell us or show us when they get finished up. The only drawbacks of customs regardless of what anyone will tell ya is resell value is low and generally you are paying $ for someone to build it and ship it. I have mixed emotions on custom rods so I can see both sides of the equation.

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He delivered rod #1 (the 7'3" H/F) to me this am, at sign ups for our tournament today. It was a pleasure to fish with. The build is very clean, and simple, and just what I was hoping for. I can't wait till the spinning rod is done...I'll get pics of them both when they are finished.

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What did you think of the performance of the rod and feel compared for what you paid vs similarly priced rods you have used in the past?

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What did you think of the performance of the rod and feel compared for what you paid vs similarly priced rods you have used in the past?

Initial impressions are this:

 

Lighter, better balanced and "crisper" than the rod I replaced with this ( Gen 2, Abu Vendetta 7'3" MH/XF), and that rod's (the Vendettas) predecessor, a 7'6" MH/MF "Pitching rod" St Croix Legend Tournament Bass.  To be fair to the St Croix, the LTB was the older, 1st generation, full cork grip, telescopic model, and was one of the few "dud" rods I had from St Croix, that I liked in the store, but hated once I fished with it.

 

Power: It is not a broom stick, despite it's H power rating, it reminds me very very much in power to a 7' MH/F St Croix Avid that I fished with for many years, with a slight edge in the "umph" department to this new MHX blank. It is no where near the hoe handle that just about every St Croix, and Abu H powered rod I have owned has been....which is good, because I wanted to avoid that. It is more in line with what I have exp. with from Fenwick,  Loomis, and Kistler H powered rods, or St Croix and Abu MH powered rods.

 

Feel/Sensitivity: Not mind blowing, yet I didn't expect it to be, it is a $70 blank after all, but, I would put it against any $100-$150  production rod I have owned, and it would be right there. If I had to pin it down, I would probably rate it above SCII, and more towards SCIII. I had no problem feeling bites, the bottom, and my way through cover with it. I flipped a t-rigged plastic with it a fair amount in the tournament, and on a day when the flipping bite was off, and the bites were light and mushy "pressure" bites, it performed well, and helped boat enough weight for a money finish.

 

I am smitten with it, as it's "new and shiny" a more detailed and perhaps less biased report will be made after I have fished with it for a while. I will say this though, I am very impressed with the builders work, and his ability to put a rod configured exactly the way I want it, in my hands. I will have him build me more on these MHX blanks, as I am pleased for what my $$ is buying balnk wise.

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Thanks for the great reply! Sounds like a winner though I don't have much experience with the St. Croix rod lines. How would you compare it to the Gen 1 Fenwick Elite techs? Similar but more crisp?

The key will be how much you like it once the honeymoon phase is over!

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Thanks for the great reply! Sounds like a winner though I don't have much experience with the St. Croix rod lines. How would you compare it to the Gen 1 Fenwick Elite techs? Similar but more crisp?

The key will be how much you like it once the honeymoon phase is over!

I never owned one of the original Fenwick Elite Tech Bass rods that were out before the Smallmouth series, but had quite a few HMX's, HMG's, and a couple of the Smallmouth Rods.

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Sorry, I should probably re-phrase that... Referring to the Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth series rods that feature the olive/greenish colored blanks and not the new brownish colored blanks.

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Sorry, I should probably re-phrase that... Referring to the Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth series rods that feature the olive/greenish colored blanks and not the new brownish colored blanks.

I had three of the Smallmouth rods, two of them I liked, one I didn't care for. The ones I liked were the 6'9" MH/F casting, and the 6'9" M/XF spinning. The dud was the 6'9" M/XF casting, if it would have been built on the same blank as the spinning rod, it would have been great, but it was not, and it was not true to it's XF rating, it was more of a Mod-F. To compare these rods to the new custom built one would be tough because of the power/action/length difference.

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Thanks for the replies. Good luck with your customs!

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