Our Custom Rods are being built by someone well known on the West Coast, and beyond. The reason for my reluctance to custom rods in the past was pretty simply, finding a reliable, high quality builder was difficult. There are many who can build a rod, but few who can build them correctly in my estimation, few that can build them to a professional level beyond the hobbyist level (and I’ll direct that towards tackle shops who dabble in rod building and the larger outfits that build to a least common denominator). To be done right requires more than labor time, it requires knowledge of the rod, it’s action, components, the proper spacing of guides, the proper materials and skill… The gentleman building our rods is one such a knowledgeable individual, Bill Havens (aka Salty Dog) . I’d suggest, he’s one of the best in the business.
Way back in 2002-2004 we offered GUSA custom built rods, made by the factory. They were wonderful sticks, and folks lucky enough to own one will attest to their excellent fishing characteristics: strong, light, narrow diameter which just seems to feel right in the hands and superb actions for a wide variety of applications. When the old firm began having problems we had to stop doing business with them. The old owner took a great product and ran it into the ground through poor business practices and even worse follow through in production. We missed them. Our clients did too. So, we were very much excited when John Baker told me that through his association with the Australian distributor (Peter Williams of United Distributing) for his reels, they’d be bringing the old GUSA’s back to life and build them as they should be built. We committed on the spot to support their efforts, both in terms of blanks and hopefully with finished rods too. Things have come together!
The Custom built rods featured below represent our philosophy with respect to building a rod off a blank like the United Composites. We are using state of the art components, excellent wraps, perfectly spaced guides and have shaved no corners in trying to produce the finest rod we can possibly build. You’ll note that where appropriate the rods have aluminum ALPS reel seats, Spectra safe guides, gimbals… They’re built the way I’d like my rods built, by someone who arguably knows more about rod building than anyone else on the West Coast.