A fishing rod is an essential part of fishing equipment. Although fishing rods have been used for catching fish since ancient times, technological advances have transformed crude wooden sticks into modern-day fishing rods.
But how are fishing rods made? Fishing rods consist of blanks and smaller components attached to them. Rod blanks are made by wrapping a fiberglass or carbon sheet around a steel mandrel. Once wrapped, the rod is heated to 300°F. After one hour, the blanks are removed, buffeted, coated, and assembled into a fishing rod.
Keep reading to learn from which materials fishing rods are made. This article will also tell you where and how fishing rods are manufactured.
What Are Fishing Rods Made of?
Materials used to make fishing rods have changed throughout history. Modern-day fishing rods are made from advanced materials such as graphite, fiberglass, or carbon fibers. Some anglers still use bamboo fishing rods, even though these rods are the heaviest.
Graphite Fishing Rods
Graphite fishing rods are more sensitive than fiberglass fishing rods. Graphite rods feature different degrees of stiffness, which is referred to as modulus.
The higher the modulus, the stiffer the material, meaning that fishing rod manufacturers can use less material to create the same level of stiffness. The sensitivity of graphite rods allows anglers to detect fish bites easier, and the rod’s stiffness ensures stronger hook sets.
Fiberglass Fishing Rods
Fiberglass fishing rods are less expensive than graphite and carbon fiber fishing rods. Featuring slow to medium action, fiberglass fishing rods are made of fiberglass and raisin. The rod’s slow action gives fish a better opportunity to get the bait before the angler sets the hook.
Fiberglass fishing rods are heavier than graphite rods and are inconvenient to hold for more than a few hours at a time. These rods are ideal for novice anglers or those fishing in small to medium-sized streams.
Carbon Fiber Fishing Rods
Lightweight and highly sensitive carbon fiber fishing rods are designed to detect the slightest vibration caused by a fish’s bite. The amount of carbon fiber in a fishing rod ranges from 30% to 90%.
Carbon fiber fishing rods are more sensitive than fiberglass fishing rods. The higher the amount of carbon in the rod, the more it will cost. These rods are a happy medium between composite and fiberglass fishing rods and are powerful enough to help you land the next big catch.
How Are Fishing Rods Made?
The manufacturing process of fishing rods is complex. Fishing rods consist of tubular sections, known as blanks, and many smaller components attached to blanks.
Most blanks are made from modern, strong fibers like fiberglass and carbon fiber. But some blanks are still manufactured from bamboo.
Synthetic fiber blanks are made using a flat (fiberglass, carbon, or graphite) sheet, known as Prepeg, which is wrapped tightly around a mandrel. The mandrel matches the taper of a fishing rod.
To avoid flaws and imperfections that affect the fishing rod’s performance and aesthetic, the sheet must be meticulously wrapped around the Prepeg. When the material is rolled in place, the entire rod is heated in an oven to 300°F for an hour.
The heat applies pressure to the fiber, hardening the resin. The hardened fiber is removed from the mandrel by using a pressurized force.
The blank is then lightly sanded to remove the excess raisin and create a smooth surface and is then coated with protective materials. Between each coating, the blank is buffed to create a smooth finish.
When the manufacturer is satisfied with the blank’s quality and appearance, the blank gets turned into a rod. The rest of the manufacturing process involves attaching the rest of the components to the blank.
Ferrules are added to two or three-piece rods, then the handle is attached with epoxy, and guides are set in place and tightened with metal wires. A pre-made graphite or steel reel seat is also attached to the rod.
Where Do They Manufacture Fishing Rods?
Fishing equipment companies manufacture fishing rods in specially equipped facilities worldwide. Most cheap rods are manufactured in China, Mexico, or Korea. High-end fishing rods are American-made or manufactured in Japan.
What Fishing Rods Are Made in the USA?
Many fishing rod brands manufacture their rods in the United States, including Cajun Rods, Falcon Rods, G Loomis Rods, St. Croix, and Orvis. Many other companies produce high-end fishing rods in America, while some of their budget-friendlier rods are assembled overseas.
What Is the Most Durable Fishing Rod?
The Shakespeare Ugly Stick Rods are famous for being unbreakable. The Ugly Stick has been one of the most durable fishing rods since the company started producing fishing rods in 1976.
Ugly Stick rods are made using the Howald process, which combines a central spiral of fibers surrounded by parallel fibers confined in polyester raisin. The patented process allows Ugly Stick rods to bend double without breaking.
What Is the Most Expensive Fishing Rod?
The Hermes fishing rod is currently the most expensive rod you can buy. Costing more than $13,000, this fishing rod is made from luxury materials, including leather and sycamore.
Although Hermes is best known as a fashion brand, this company often makes expensive non-clothing items. Besides this luxury fishing rod, Hermes also sells fishing lures and a satchel for carrying bait.
Manufacturing quality fishing rods is a complex process that involves a lot of effort and knowledge. Creating a perfect rod requires years of experience, research, and technological advances.
Fishing rods can be made from various materials, the most common being graphite and fiberglass. Most high-end fishing rods are made from graphite, while fiberglass is used for making more affordable rods.
Bamboo rods are still popular with some anglers, although they are heavier and manufactured differently than graphite and fiberglass fishing rods.