Saturday, November 21, 2009

The blank I chose to use was a CTS blank, from New Zealand. These blanks haven't become popular in the US yet, but their time is coming!I have fished with this model prior to building this one. I was very, VERY impressed with what I saw. It is by far the best rod for me, and my style of fishing. It's not for everyone though!

CTS - FF1104-211' 0" 2pc.
Physical weight - 2.54 ounces (72.0 grams)
Retail cost $168Custom colors are available at an additional charge; per CTS.

Flexilite’s - Ti Chrome.
Total Weight - 5.8 grams.

Natural cork, Laguna Cork, and Burnt Cork.
Reel seat insert is natural cork.
Total weight of handle - 3.05 ounces (86.7 grams)

The weight of the finished rod is 6.34 ounces!
Short of removing the reel seat hardware and switching over to a Tennessee-style handle (sliding rings)... this is about as light as as it gets. I have not fished with this particular rod yet, but I have been outside playing with it a bit. This is my first time using the Flexilite’s and I wanted to get a "feel" for them. So far, they feel the same as Fuji's guides that I have used on previous builds.

Soon, I will be starting on another CTS build, but this time it will be on a 13' 6" 3pc model (FF1363-3). I have not had the opportunity to play with one yet, but the feedback and personal opinions of friends and cohorts - I have very confident that it will mirror the performance of its little brother.

Here's a little something to look at:

Tight Lines!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Future Projects

In the next couple of weeks I will be starting on at least two (2) float rod builds.
These builds will be on CTS blanks from New Zealand:

CTS blanks are not very popular in the United States yet, but that could be due to the fact that there is only one (1) US distributor, so exposure is at a minimum.

My take on the CTS blanks:
I have only fished with one of their float rods; the FF-1104-2. This blank is is designed for float fishing (Steelhead in the winter). It is an 11' 0" 6-10# 2 piece and it retails for $168.00 in the US.
It is by far the nicest float rod I have ever touched... period!
The blank has characteristics unlike any rod I have ever touched/seen/fished. They have a feeling all there own. Anyone who has fished with one, including myself says that the rod morphesizes while fishing. It sounds stupid to think that an inanimate object could change the way it does... but I am of sound mind and body, and I'm tellin' ya it does!

When the rod is static, or at rest it feels very stiff and has little movement at all if the tip of the rod is shaken. When casting a small float the tip remains "stiff" and doesn't show any change, but once you hook in to a fish the rod does it's magic and changes. With the pressure of the fish on the line the rod softens up and becomes more limber. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen in a fishing rod, and I have fished with hundreds of rods in my 30+ years of angling.

In the future I will be building myself an FF1104-2 and an FF1363-3. The 1363 is a 13' 6" three piece blank. I plan to build one of each for myself so that I can better educate myself with the offerings that are available to my customers. I plan to use natural cork and Flexilite guides to keep weight to a minimum; a 13' 6" rod can become over weighted rather quickly when you start adding up all the weight from materials).

That's what's going on in the shop... updates to follow.

Project - Ditch Stick

I built project Ditch Stick for myself because most of my float rods are between 11 feet and 13 feet long. The longer length makes these rods less desirable to fish with on smaller creeks and area's with overhanging trees and other obstacles are abundant.

The Ditch Stick was built on a 9ft 8wt. 4 piece blank. I decided to go with a beefier (8wt.) blank so that I could control the fish better in area's that have submerged timber and other obstructions. Normally a fly fisherman would opt for a 6 or 7 weight rod for Steelhead fishing. This rods has more nuts than I'll ever need on my smaller creeks. I have the power!
  • The guides that were used for this build were Fuji Alconites in standard "float rod" sizes.
  • The handle is custom made from individual cork rings (Natural burl and Burnt cork).
  • The reel seat is also made from cork - warmer in the winter months!
  • The reel seat hardware is an RA8L2 from Batson Enterprises.
I fished with this rod for the first time this past Wednesday, and I am extrememly pleased with the power of the blank and the rest of the build. It will serve me well on my smaller waters.

Here are a few pictures of my lil stick:
Project Ditch Stick 1
Project Ditch Stick 2
(The reel in these pictures is a Torrent from

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Project: Steelhead Seeker

Project Steelhead Seeker has been completed and delivered.
This build was on a St. Croix Wild River blank (2s116LM2).
The guides used were Fuji TYSG's which have Titanium frames and Silicon Carbide (SiC) inserts. These are the finest guides on the market in my opinion. They are extremely light, very corrosive resistant, and the SiC inserts are the best of the best - there is nothing better, period!

Here are a few pictures of the Steelhead Seeker with its new owner, Todd Smith.
(Click images to enlarge and/or open in a new window)

This is what Todd had to say about his new rod and the custom experience:
I wanted to let you know how happy I am about the custom St. Croix rod you crafted for me. The planning stages were fun and very educational. I learned a lot about the process of a custom build. Your knowledge and professionalism is tremendous. The entire process wasn’t rushed and the results were more than I expected. From the blank selection, guide selection, cork, handle design, weight considerations and all facets of the build went very well. I know I will be stopped many, many times and asked about the rod and I will proudly tell the tale of the “Steelhead Seeker” by “Way Wicked Rods”. I have caught a Pike and some smallmouth bass on the rod and cannot wait to start landing the “infamous” steelhead. I look forward to the next build with Christmas like anticipation. Thanks for a great experience and a one of a kind “Steelhead Seeker”".
Todd Smith

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Customer Testimonials...

Here are a few recent testimonials that I received from customers.
The proof is in the pudding, so to speak:

Donna Godfrey: Belle Vernon, PA.
“The rod I received from Brian at Way Wicked Rods was a complete surprise. I knew that Brian was building a commemorative rod for my Husband Jeff, but I had no idea that I too was getting one. The rod is absolutely beautiful, and is extremely comfortable. I could not ask for anything more!”

Jeff Godfrey: Belle Vernon, PA.
“While I was in Afghanistan on active duty for the U.S Air Force, Brian built a commemorative rod for me. Brian gave me the rod when my wife and I went to Ohio for a visit and to fish with Brian. I was flabbergasted when I was handed the rod. I had no idea whatsoever that I was getting a rod, and the rod I was given was absolutely gorgeous! Brian used military decals and custom labels to make the rod unique. It is truly one-of-a-kind and I will cherish it for life!”

Fred Brown: Grand Blanc, MI
"I have had three custom rods built. My latest was a Rainshadow XST1562-3 float rod built by Way Wicked Rods. The first two were obviously by another builder and there is no comparison between the experiences. Brian and I literally spent hours discussing options for every component (reel seats, guides, wraps, cork, etc.) for the rod. His product knowledge of rod building components is outstanding and his suggestions usually caused me to ask many more questions, all of which he answered. The time spent up front was well worth the effort. We nailed down every detail and then he went to work.
"Building went much faster than planning and the results are superb. When I'm out fishing with it, it's a given that passersby ask about the "unique" rod. I proudly tell them it's a custom build by Way Wicked Rods. I'll proudly use this rod for years to come!!"

I have to be honest; it feels great to have things like this said about something that I built with my own two hands.
It is also a great feeling to know that someone is on the water fishing with rods that I made from them, and that they (my rods) are bringing enjoyment and creating memories to someone else!

Fish on!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Well underway...

Four of the builds that I have to do are underway, and I will be posting photo's of the finished rods soon.

At this time I am working on the following:

  • St. Croix 2S116LM2 - Wild River - 11' 6" 2pc Float Rod for an angler from the Pittsburg area.

  • St. Croix 3S80MLM2 - Avid - 8' 0" 2pc Med-Lite/Moderate.

  • ATC F-908-4 - 9' 0" 4pc 8wt flot rod that is being cnverted to a Float Rod for small streams.

  • American Tackle Matrix - 9' 0" 2pc 4wt. Fly Rod.
Here is a photo of me hard at work on the Wild River.

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Builds on the Way ... the Way Wicked, way!

I am currently working on setting up several new builds.
I will be building an 11'6" St. Croix Wild River for a gentlemen from the Pittsburgh area. He has also shown interested in other rods as well.
I also have a 9' 0" 4wt fly rod and a 5' 6" casting rod I am doing for a friend. These will both be no frills fishing sticks. Performance before beauty!

I will also be starting on a 9' 0" 8wt conversion rod.
This rod is a 4 piece fly rod that I am going to convert to a center pin float rod. I will be building this one for myself. After all, I am my best customer!
I will be experimenting a bit with this build, and using guides that are not common for the type of fishing I plan to do with it.

I also have a rebuild on the way.
It is a St. Croix 8' 0" Avid float rod which will be fished in Ohio for Steelhead trout on smaller streams.

More info and lots of pictures coming soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Supreme Xtreme

Project: Supreme Xtreme
Project "Supreme Xtreme" is my latest adventure in rod building, and it just happens to be for me!
The SX is built on a St. Croix 5C70MHF-B blank.
This blank utilizes St. Croix's state-of-the-art technology and their best materials.
As far as St. Croix blanks are concerned; This is the best they offer... period!
The build is somewhat experimental for me. As someone who enjoys learning and expanding my capabilities; I found some information on a rod building forum about something call Micro Guides.
I sat at my computer for the better part of three days reading and learning about the theory behind the guides, and why some builders thought they were awesome; and others thought they were a fad. In addition to using micro guides I also tied up my first "Simple Spiral" wrap.
Spiral Wrap:
With a traditional casting rod setup the guides are placed on top of the blank, and this can lead to a few problems:
  • Line contacting the blank
  • Torque created by the forces applied to the guide when under load
  • Excess weight from the use of double-footed guides
The spiral wrap eliminates these problems - completely!
By rotating, or wrapping the guides around the blank so that they end up on the bottom of the rod; like a spinning rod, line contact issues and torque are removed from the equation.
Micro Guides:
Micro guides are nothing more than extremely small, single-foot fly guides.
The theory is, because of their size and ridiculously light weight; more guides can be added and still weigh less than traditional guides - and/or - excess weight can be reduced by using fewer, smaller (micro) guides.
Traditionally a casting rod is tied with all double foot guides; with the exception of some newer rods that employ Fuji's Concept Guide System.
All of the guides on the Supreme Xtreme are single-foot with the largest guide on the rod being a size 6.
The running guides, or guides just below the tiptop, are a size 4.
To give you some idea how small these are; the inner diameter is .077 inches.
That is just over 1/16th of an inch!
The entire set of guides for this rod including the tiptop weighed 1.1 grams!
Do the Micro Guides create line friction and reduce casting
I have not spent a lot of time fishing with this rod yet, as I just finished it
a few days ago... but from experience casting with it: NO
I was able to cast a 3/8oz sinker more than 60 feet with the flick of my wrist.
This was done with 50# PowerPro braided line.
If those puny little micro guides are able to cast 50# braid like that... I can't wait to hit the water with 12# Flouro!
Here are a few pictures of the Supreme Xtreme that I took during the build process.
More pictures to follow - I'm headed to Enid, Oklahoma to test it out this Friday
My first impression of the micro guides and the spiral wrapped happened before the rod was finished; I was testing guide placement and took it out for a cast or two.
This past week I took the rod to Enid, Oklahoma and tried it out for several hours while casting and flipping various lures with it. To say the least I was extremely impressed.The small diameter of the micro guides did not seem to interfere with casting distance or accuracy whatsoever.
I was using a Pfleuger President with 50# PowerPro and was able to cast a 5/8oz Trap upwards of 100 feet with little effort. Flipping accuracy didn't seem to be affected either. I was dropping 1/2oz footballs in a coffee cup sized target from 15-20 feet away with ease.
The spiral wrap accomplished exactly what it was intended for. The line does not contact the blank; I used fewer guides to reduce weight, and the static guide test was nearly perfect.This certainly will not be my last rod built with micro guides and a spiral wrap.
I would recommend them to anyone who uses a casting rod for Bass fishing. I will surely be recommending them to my customers in the future!

Friday, May 1, 2009


The Sensi-Seat insert is a custom option for any Spinning rod handle, or rod that employs a spinning type reel seat.
The Sensi-Seat insert allows the rod blank to be exposed at the top of the blank. The exposure of the blank permits the angler to place their finger or thumb directly on to the blank; this permits maximum vibration transfer which equates to maximum sensitivity.

The insert material that is recommended is stabilized wood.
The inner diameter, or bore of the insert is sized to fit directly to the blank without the use of any arbors or shimming materials. This also aids in transferring the vibrations to the angler. Only the best adhesives are used to make this bond.

If you're looking for maximum sensitivity with an appealing look... look no further, it's here!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paine Falls Centerpin

Paine Falls Centerpin (PFC) is a local company that is just getting started in the world of custom reel manufacturing. PFC was started in 2007 by Adam DeMarco of Leroy, Ohio. Adam was in the market for a centerpin reel and decided to make his own instead of shelling out the cash to buy one. It made perfect sense seeing how Adam has the experience to do so.

Adams' new found hobby has turned in to a full time operation. Adam is now making centerpin reels full time in his shop. Adam offers both custom work as well as standard production models. The reels that Adam produces are A++ quality and have a loyal following of customer already. To date Adam has produced apporoximately fourty (40) reels and overall the reception has been overwhelming.

At the current time all reels have Stainless Steel ABEC-5 bearings. The aluminum parts (Spool and backplate) are hand-turned from 6061-T6 aluminum. Custom options are available on any and all models.
If you're in the market for a Centerpin,whether custom or production run... checkout the Paine Falls website at or the blog at:

Here is a slideshow with some of the reels that Paine Falls Centerpin has produced:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Hammer - Completed!

I am happy to say that The Hammer has been completed and shipped. I certainly hope that the new owner receives it safe and sound, and that he is happy with it.

The build went as expected, with one small hitch. I had an issue with one of the guides used on the rod and had to order a replacement. This added almost a week.

Here is a short slideshow that I put together with the photo's I was able to take:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Hammer Continued!

The handle section is complete and so far the total weight of the rod is 5.48 ounces.
The guides still need to be wrapped and the finish still has yet to be applied, but I am hoping that the total finished weight is under 6 ounces.

The handle came out just as I had hoped.
The Charcoal Silvertone wood has beautiful tones and contrasts, and goes very will with the color of the St. Croix 4F1006.4 blank.

I will be starting the wrapping process today and will certainly post photo's form all to see.
I plan to use Black thread for the primary color. I believe it will accompany the Charcoal Silvertone wood very well. I plan to use Dark Green and Matte Silver Metallic for accent and trim bands as they will accent the Shiny Gunsmoke hardware and the color of the blank.

I believe this is going to be one of the nicest rods I've ever had the pleasure to building, but time will tell.

Tight lines!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"The Hammer" - Updated

I have received most of the components for "The Hammer".
The only item I am still waiting on is the Charcoal Silvertone wood to arrive, and then it's game on!

When the components arrived I inspected everything to make sure nothing was broken or defective. Upon inspecting the guides I couldn't help but notice how light they were in physical weight, so I busted out the digital scale.

To my amazement the entire guide set (10 guides plus the tip-tip) weighed in at .08 ounces, or 2.1 grams! The reel seat skeleton weighed in at .72 ounces.
Together this is combined weight of only .8 ounces!.
The wooden inlays and reel seat insert will add a couple of ounces at most, so the end product should be extremely lightweight and ultra sensitive!

I am even more eager to get started now than I was just a week ago. Getting these items in to my hands has given me the bug. I can't wait to get started on "The Hammer"

Here are a few pictures of the guides, reel seat hardware, and the custom made labels:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recent Project & Fishing Friends!

I put together a short slide show of some of my recent work, and some of favorite fishing pictures. Please enjoy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Project ~ "The Hammer"

I was fortunate enough to be asked to build a Fly Rod for Woodland Rivers Forum, which is based in Michigan (

The rod was raffled off as Woodland Rivers' way of showing their appreciation to their members. The drawing took place January 21, 2009, and I have since contacted the winner (Ta5teless), and together he and I have come up with a plan of action.

The components for the build were just ordered this afternoon, so it will take a week or two before I receive the materials.

The blank is going to be a St. Croix Legend Ultra 10' 0" 6wt, 4pc (model 4F1006.4).
I am using Titanium framed stripper guides from American Tackle, and RECoil single foot fly guides (RSFX) to finish it off. Together this combination should produce an extremely lightweight finished rod. The blank weighs 2.6 ounces, and I'm estimating a complete, finished weight of 4.5 to 5 ounces. Give me a few weeks and I'll have a definite answer on that one.
The rod will have a hand turned wooden insert in the reel seat, as well as matching wood inlays throughout the Full Wells style handle.

I will certainly post pictures of the build process once I get started.
I am very eager to get started on this build, for a few reasons:
* It's nice to support Woodland Rivers, and "give back" a bit of what they've given me.
* I've never built on that St. Croix blank before, or any of the SCIV blanks for that matter.
* I can sense how enthusiastic Tas5teless was about the build, and he has given me full creative freedom. I can do whatever I want!

Tight lines!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Website Currently Under Construction

I am looking forward to get the web site up and running very soon.
The site will contain customer testimonials, a photo gallery, and general information about Way Wicked Rods, and the rods we produce.