Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Sunset Red Fiberglass Blanks

New from Custom Fly Rod Crafters
Sunset Red Fiberglass Blanks

Introducing a very affordable fiberglass blank from Custom Fly Rod Crafters!


  • Gorgeous sunset red blank color
  • Available in 6'7" 3wt or 7'8" 4wt models
  • 4pc design; yet light and smooth with just enough power!
  • Includes a  Free rod sock with each Sunset Red blank

Has 'Add a Rod Tube' option. A 2"D brushed aluminum rod tube for Only $19.99!

We have put together the blanks with a component kit.
Check them out; Fiberglass Rod Kits: 6'7" 3wt  OR 7'8" 4wt

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Custom Fly Rod Crafters' New Website

Happy Holidays!

We Have Upgraded our Web Store
Custom Fly Rod Crafters has moved to a new web store platform.
(We are still Custom Fly Rod Crafters at www.flyrodcrafters.com)

Our new site has:

  • Improved shopping features
  • Improved customer account features
  • The highest level of online shopping security.
  • Plus a new expanded inventory for all of your rod building needs.

Please note: As a result of moving to a new hosting company, we tried our best to migrate all of your account information. You may have to update your personal information and reset a new password. Thank you for your patience and thank you for your business.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Custom Fly Rod Crafters' Fishing Moolah Promotions!

Fishing Moolah!
CFRC promotions:
  • Spend over $30 - get $5.00 off your order! Enter FM5 code at checkout.
  • Spend over $130 - get $25.00 off your order! Enter FM25 at checkout.
  • Spend over $300 - get $50.00 of your order! Enter FM50 code at checkout.

And Remember - Free Shipping in US for all orders over $400.

Promotions end 1 December 2014.

Other Great News!
We are upgrading our store
Custom Fly Rod Crafters is in the process of upgrading our web store. Our new site will have improved shopping features, improved customer account features and the highest level of online shopping security. Plus a new expanded inventory for all of your rod building needs.

Watch for our 'New Web Store' in December!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Epic Reel Seats

Epic Reel Seats from Swift Fly Fishing

Although these seats have been available for a while, we feel that they have not received the attention they deserve. These reel seats are some of the best quality heavy duty seats being made today. They are precision made from tough aircraft grade aluminum and have a super hard anodizing available in either black or silver finishes. The reel seat has a unique triangle design with a self locating hood so you don't have to contort your head to find the reel foot cut-out. The locking nut has a very easy grip machined design that makes it also very easy to tighten onto the reel foot.

The Epic seats are perfect for medium to heavy trout rods and even the lighter switch rods.
Inside diameter: .515
Each seat has the 'Epic' logo; price: $51.95

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cork & Handle Kits

Cork & Handle Kits

These cork/handle kits make the decision of which parts go with each other much easier for the novice rod builder. The grip is matched to the reel seat hardware and comes the appropriate recess for the uplocking reel seat.

Custom Fly Rod Crafters offer two choices in the freshwater kits and two choices in the saltwater versions. The freshwater kits come with a western style grip and has several sizes of winding checks to complete the transition from cork to blank. The saltwater kits come with full wells grips, saltwater safe reel seats and a cork fighting butt, also with several winding checks.
Premium freshwater handle kit
Nickel chrome reel seat w/wood insert
Premium saltwater handle kit
All metal saltwater-safe reel seat w/fighting butt

These cork/handle kits come un-assembled. Prices start at $25.95.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Accel Blabnk from Sage: VXP on Steroids

The New 'Accel' series from Sage

Utilizing the same basic design tapers of the Z_Axis and VXP; Sage has incorporated the new Generation 5, Konnetic technology. Very light and responsive this new blank is what I call 'The VXP on Steriods'. Most of the new rods debuted at the Fly Tackle Dealer Show focused on the standard "Faster is Better" axiom; pleasantly surprised is this new 'tweaked' straight progressive design. Casting these rods gave me the impression that will work at all ranges and with a variety of tackle rigs, from dry flies to heavy double nymphing. Build one of these new blanks and you won't be disappointed.

The Accel is a medium-fast action blank and will be priced at about the $300 range. The blank color is Emerald Green just like the city where Oz lives.

Buy one now at Custom Fly Rod Crafters.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Fuji Ultra Poly Rod Thread

Exciting new thread from Fuji - Ultra Poly

Unlike standard nylon thread for rod building this is a new Polyester thread especially designed for rod wrapping. This specialized polyester thread accepts rod finish beautifully and resists UV, aging and abrasion better than nylon.

Custom Fly Rod Crafters has used this thread and we were amazed at how well it comes off the spool, lays flat and burnishes wonderfully.

  • It wraps just right!
  • It lays just right!
  • It packs just right!
  • It burnishes just right!
  • It finishes just right!
What more can you ask for it a rod wrapping thread?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Epic Fiberglass Double Handed Blank

Epic Fiberglass Double Handed Blank

New Double Handed Epic Fiberglass Fly Rod Blank from Epic. This is a totally newly designed two handed/switch blank that was thoroughly tested before being released on a limited basis. We are lucky to get one of the first blanks rolled out.

11'6" 4pc
New 'Slate' color
Grains: 320-540 (~7-8wt lines)

The line rating will depend on what line system is being used (long belly spey, shooting head, Skagit, Scandy, etc.); that is why Epic is using the grain weight specifications.
The DH11 is extremely versatile, handling a wide range of line weights and types with ease.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Custom Rod Builder Showcase

Custom builder - César Galván from Guadalajara, México

Blank:  Batson XF864-4
Grip:  Cork Struble grade Flor
Reel seat: American Tackle
Insert: Exposed blank. Very cool!
Stripping Guide: American Tackle Titanium-Nanolite
Snake Guides:  REC single foot
Thread:  Gossamer Silk in Sage

A peek at César's rod building workspace.

Another fine custom fly rod from a Custom Fly Rod Crafters' friend.
Keep up the excellent work!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The New 'SALT' Series from Sage



For the incredibly diverse range of casting demands placed on the saltwater angler, the accuracy, strength and precision of Konnetic Technology® has enabled us to craft a fly rod like no other saltwater rod before it. The SALT is a fast loading, high line-speed salt-action rod that gives you the confidence to know that you’re ready for anything the salt can throw at you. Sight casting smaller flies out to nervous bones finning along the flat in only four inches of water? Quickly and precisely drop the fly where they’ll see it without spooking. Casting to tarpon that appear suddenly in a gusting wind? The SALT’s decidedly robust salt-action taper gives you the power to maximize today’s heavier fly lines to deliver flies of all sizes at all ranges with effortless precision.

Look for the new Sage blanks available at Custom Fly Rod Crafters in the near future!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sage Xi3 Saltwater Fly Blank Sale!

Sage Xi3 Saltwater blanks are on Sale for 20% off!

Sage Xi3 blanks are going away!
Now for the remainder of the CFRC stock,
you can save 20%!

And still get a Free aluminum rod tube and rod bag!!!!
A $41.98 value!

Sage Xi3 Fast Action, Saltwater blank. G5 technology make these blanks lighter and stronger than the Xi2. Strong, fast-action, high-performance saltwater blank.
All Xi3 blanks are 4pc. Electric Blue color.

Discontinued series of Sage blanks, sale is for existing stock, no special orders or backorders.
NOTE: Although these blanks are discontinued, the lifetime warranty is still effective.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sage VXP Blank Sale!

Sage VXP blanks are on Sale for 20% off!

Sage VXP blanks are going away!
Now for the remainder of the CFRC stock,
you can save 20%!

And still get a Free aluminum rod tube and rod bag!!!!
A $41.98 value!

Fast Action. The VXP combines the VT2's versatility with the performance and power of the renowned XP rod series. Exceptionally light, lively but still produces a high line speed for easy distance and wind penetration. Sage green color.

NOTE: Limited to stock on hand, no special orders.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Switch Rod Combo

CFRC is offering a Switch Rod Combo

If you have a hankerin' for getting into the 2-Handed/Switch game; here is the perfect opportunity at a very affordable price.

The Redington 'Dually' rod, couple with a Sage 2280 fly reel and a Rio 'Switch' or 'Chucker' line for under $490!
Redington 'Dually' fly rod
The Redington 'Dually' rod has received tons of positive feedback from novices and experts alike. The rod is super smooth and delivers on target. What more do you want? The price is only $249!
Sage 2280 fly reel
The Sage 2200 series of reels are a great value for a very durable and smooth operating fly reel for under $150.00!
Rio Switch or Chucker fly line
The Rio switch or chucker fly lines are a great compliment to this package. 

Check them out at Custom Fly Rod Crafters; each item is sold separately and to top it all off, we offer Free US shipping for all orders over $490!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ask Flyrodcrafters - How to Use an Alcohol Lamp

How to Use and Not Abuse an Alcohol lamp

Besides the cleaning aspect, we use denatured alcohol in our alcohol lamps for singeing and for 'heat flowing' the finish which I don't recommend for the faint of heart. The heat flowing is something Lee (our master rod finisher) has used and she has developed a particular technique over the years and it scares the crap out of me; but that's another blog.

Anyway, I do use the alcohol lamp for singeing and sometimes if I'm not careful with my tag trimming, I have to deal with that piece of nylon thread sticking it's ugly little head out from under my wrap. Curses!

I use this technique to avoid the tag end:
Cut your thread at a angle with pulling pressure from you tap end fingers. I pull with my left hand and push the thread back against the thread line from where it was pulled under and then using a #10 scalpel I pull the blade across when the thread meets the wrap.

If you do end up cutting badly and have a tag end, singe it with the alcohol lamp, let the thread ball cool and then you can take your burnishing tool and by applying pressure against the melted nylon and it will usually snap off. No matter whether you have a thread ball or not, I always burnish the thread wraps and I always burnish from outer edge to center of wraps.

The thread wrap is rotated/moved continuously through the flame, and I don't spend more than 1/2 second for each wrap! It doesn't take a lot of heat to ruin your thread wrap or even damage your blank. Be very cautious and careful when you are singeing.

By tilting the lamp it is sometimes easier to see the flame. I always put a dark background behind the lamp to see what the flame is doing. Alcohol flames are very clear and hard to see and that is a problem if you are not aware of the flame. You can leave the heat on the wraps too long very quickly.

Never use anything butt Denatured Alcohol for fuel; do not use rubbing alcohol.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Introducing the NM Fish on Film Fest also known as NMF3!

Introducing the NM Fish on Film Fest also known as NMF3!

Produced By: Fish Enchantment & Where The River Runs
Hosted by: New Mexico Trout (Abq), Truchas Chapter TU (SF), Enchanted Circle TU (Taos)

The New Mexico Fish on Film Fest NMF3 is a video competition that gives NM anglers the opportunity to show off their fishing and productions skills for the chance of your video to be included in the Film Fest and win BIG PRIZES! 

NMF3 Contest Timeframe: February 15th 2014-January 31st 2015.

Submit your videos to win big prizes! See the 'About' page and the check the 'Rules' and 'How to Win' pages at www.nmf3.com

Can't wait to see the videos, in the mean time submit your photos to the photo competition and start planning your video submission!

Thanks to all these great sponsors for making the NMF3 possible!
  • Zia Kayak Outfitters
  • Hobie Kayak
  • Muskies For Life
  • Simms Fishing Products
  • Abu Garcia
  • Berkley Fishing
  • The Hopper Juan Dynamic Lures
  • Jaw Jacker
  • Goat Head Sole Spikes
  • Fish Enchantment
  • Where The River Runs
  • Taos Fly Shop
  • Custom Fly Rod Crafters
  • Truchacabra MOFISH Rattle Baits
  • Jewelry by Maurice.
Team NMF3 wishes everyone good and safe fishing for 2014!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sage 'GRACE' blanks

CFRC now has in stock the new Sage 'GRACE' blanks.

"Improving quality of life for women with breast cancer".

"Not just surviving, thriving - go fly fishing!"

The GRACE blank is the next generation pink blank offering from Sage and is available exclusively in a 4 piece, 8’6", 5 weight model.


  • Fast action with a soft feel
  • Pink iridescent blank
  • Priced at: $247.50
Each Sage Grace blank comes with an Aluminum Rod Tube and Cloth Rod Bag.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Portuguese Extra Super Fine Cork Rings

Portuguese Extra Super Fine Cork Rings

Custom Fly Rod Crafters has a very good stock level of 'Extra Super Fine' cork rings. These are the very best we can find and as you are aware there are many 'Flor Plus', 'Super-Duper', 'Mom's Very Best' rings out there but they are not what is described.

CFRC's description is what we do, we take the extra time to select the very best rings. We use these rings on our custom builds and rarely do we even consider filling. Yes, they cost more but there is less work for the rod builder and when you consider the overall cost of your custom build, the cork rings which we consider a major component, don't add much to the final cost.

Do yourself a favor, your next custom build deserves the very best cork!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rio Perception Fly Lines

Rio Perception Fly Lines Now Available through Custom Fly Rod Crafters

CFRC is now offering several Rio Products Fly Lines including the Perception Series.

New for 2014. Unprecedented casting control and instantaneous feel.

The revolutionary RIO Perception floating trout line helps anglers connect with more fish than ever before. Built with ultra-low stretch ConnectCore Technology, Perception lines provide groundbreaking levels of sensitivity for intuitively better cast timing, easier line lift and sharp, precise mends. Lack of stretch also means enhanced detection of subtle takes and faster reaction time when setting the hook. Our exclusive SureFire color system (RIO’s uniquetri-color distance measure) improves casting accuracy by making it easy to gauge exact distances with a quick glance. 

  • Unique three-color SureFire system ensures deadly accurate distance control
  • ConnectCore improves casting timing, hook set and mending
  • Easy ID tag to quickly identify fly line
  • Welded front and rear loops

Perception line profile

Winner of best New Fly Line for 2014 at EFTTEX and IFTD shows.
CFRC also has the Rio Chucker, Switch and Light Touch fly lines in stock.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tying The Pitzen Knot

This is a very well done and concise short video on tying the Pitzen knot.

The Pitzen knot made popular by Edgar Pitzenbauer of Germany is easy to tie with not a lot of practice, and gives a knot that retains 95-100% of the tippet's rated strength as opposed to 85% for an improved clinch knot. 

The Pitzen knot is also more compact by about 40% and allows a neat knot between the tippet and hook and is often a favorite choice by tailwater fishermen who typically use very small flies. It also allows a very nice presentation of the fly without the larger sized knot such as the improved clinch knot.

Bill Frangos of New Mexico Trout demonstrates the Pitzen knot for tying small flies to a leader.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fly Casting

A few thoughts about fly casting:

• A stiff, fast action rod will not make you a better caster.
• An expensive rod will not make you a better caster.
• A new fly line will not make you a better caster.
• A casting lesson will make you a better caster.

• Casting practice will make you a better caster.
• Bushmills Irish Whiskey will make you feel like you are a better caster or at least you won't care as much that your wife can cast further.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Gingher Snips

The Frustrations of Cutting Thread and How I Learned to Love Snippers

A long time ago, we used razor blades, tying scissors, Xacto knives or whatever was around the shop to cut thread tags; even nail clippers! Not to cut the final thread pull tag but the starting tags. Wasted time was not a good thing and we looked for way to make any part of wrapping rods easier.

Voila, fly tying snippers was the answer or so we thought. The greatest thing about using snippers is that you don't have to put your fingers in the loop holes to open and close the blades like scissors. And you don't have to hold both ends to use a razor. You can just pick them up and snip the thread. 

After using fly tying snippers (which work very well); we found the 'Ultimate' snippers from Germany. They are: Gingher Snips!

They have surgical grade blades and stay sharp for a very long time. In fact I've been using a pair for many years and for many rods. One word of caution; if you drop them they always land points first (as all scissors are prone to do) and they are sharp enough to penetrate denin and flesh. I know this for a fact. But if you dodge the dropped snips, they will land point first on the floor and the snippers are no longer the 'Ultimate' snippers but something you can use to cut string on packages. They come with a handy blade cap for when you need to transport or store them.

This is one of the best investments any serious rod builder can make at only $19.95.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Epic Fiberglass in Mocha

New Epic Fiberglass in Mocha

Custom Fly Rod Crafters now have the new Epic Mocha fiberglass blanks in stock and they're going fast. We received the new 7'6" 3wt, 8'0" 4wt & 8'0" 5wt blanks from Swift/Epic blanks and everybody is really liking the brown mocha color. A little bit traditional but very rich in color.

The 7'6" 3wt is very sweet and we've been anticipating this new lighter weight fiberglass blank that is crisp and very responsive from Epic for a long time.

This 3wt is not akin to any slow, sluggish fiberglass blank on the market today. You will be pleasantly surprised of the action and smoothness of this blank.

All Mocha models in stock!

More news from Custom Fly Rod Crafters.

We are now including our new embroidered Epic rod bag FREE with every Epic blank, a $16.99 value!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ask Flyrodcrafters - Grip/Reel Seat Layout

Jim a custom fly rod builder asks:
Any tips on the sequence and glue placement for the assembly of the reel seat handle and insert?

When I do the 'layout' on a particular blank, I will measure up where the reel seat is going to be mounted, measure for the length of the grip and place a piece of masking tape to show where the end of the grip will slide down to.
Then I will scratch the blank to ensure a good glue bond. The tape acts as a visual indicator because when you put glue on the blank all the scratches will disappear.

Make sure you measure properly as some butt sections are intentionally shorter than the mid sections. If, for example a Sage blank, the butt section is usually about 1/4" short, then you take that into account when measuring on the blank.

For example; if my uplocking reel seat measures 3-3/8" (not including the insert portion that is inside the cork retainer) then I will measure 3-1/8" from the end of the blank to where the end of my grip will be mounted and you will have that 1/4" small void inside your reel seat. Nothing to worry about, the reason is that some reel seats have solid end butts and if you don't compensate for the difference, you reel seat will not fit unless you trim the blank.
The only time I glue on the reel seat first is when I'm building a saltwater or spey rod with a fighting butt or rear grip. Then I will glue on the grip and sill have a small piece of butt section to clamp to during the drying process.

If you have any rod building questions, send them to us and we will try our best to help you out. Email me at BobW@flyrodcrafters.com.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Snake Brand Universal Snake Guide

Custom Fly Rod Crafters is now carrying the Snake Brand Universal snake guide.

Snake Brand, Inc. produces their patented Universal Guide, a precision formed snake guide featuring a concave radius on the bottom of the foot - the only ones in the industry. This breakthrough design results in guides that are self-orienting and self-aligning. Their Universal Guides are constructed of high quality stainless steel, and feature the same exceptional quality that has made Snake Brand, Inc. the market leader in the development of light wire snake guides.

The feet are consistent in length; they have tapered ends, and fit the contour of a round fly rod blank. This equals less time spent grinding, filing, twisting, bending, and wrapping.

Available in chrome or black nickel
To fly rod custom builders, the importance of labor savings, quality, and performance cannot be overstated, and Snake Brand's new Universal Guide is the answer.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Custom Rod Builder Showcase

Custom builder - Flat Creek Rods, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, USA

Blank:  Tom Morgan Rodsmiths Fiberglass 8' 4wt
Grip:  X-Fine Grade Cigar
Reel seat: Joel Lemke Black Nickel Slide Band LC14
Insert: Koa
Stripping Guide: Struble in Black Nickel with Medium Amber Stone
Snake Guides:  Light Wire TiCH
Thread:  Gossamer Silk in Chestnut, Tipped in Black


Ben Casarez
2303 Salinas Ave SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
Click here to email

On Facebook @Flat Creek Rods

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Crafty's Cork Cutter

Boring a cork recess for an uplocking reel seat retainer can be a pain in the rear;
of the cork that is.

Crafty's Cork Cutter in-letting tool is easy to use with a high speed drill or lathe. The tool comes with interchangeable blades for in-letting grips for up locking seats in diameters of; .760, .810, .850, .900 and .950. These are the most common reel seat inlet sizes but blades can easily be made for this tool in any blade size needed. CAUTION! These blades are very sharp, so handle them with care when inserting them into the tool.

Cutter w/Blades Installed

Cutter w/5 Blades Sets
The long shaft at the front of the tool has a 4mm diameter but comes with a 6mm tube or can be easily built up with tape or paper to fit the bore diameter of any cork grip. The shaft is also long enough to stabilize the cutting process so the rod builder can achieve a perfect inlet every time. 

Crafty Cutter in our shop lathe

If you have a lathe or access to one, that is the best way to use the cutter. Again use extreme care when using with a drill motor or similar tool.

Friday, February 21, 2014

To Spine or Not to Spine

Spining or Finding The Guide Side of a Rod Blank

This simple process has caused much confusion and debate within the rod building community. Understanding why there is such a thing in the first place may help to eliminate a lot of the confusion. The act of ‘spining’ is finding the differences in the wall thickness of the blank after the flat graphite (carbon fiber) cloth is wrapped around a tapered steel mandrel and then oven cured. The mandrel has the rod designer’s line and length taper specifications ground to within thousands of an inch. The designer dictates the amount of graphite cloth (combined with a resin scrim) that the finished rod blank will have, how much overlap the cloth will have. The graphite materiel is cut into a tapered pattern, which will be wider at the butt end and narrower at the tip end. Because of these ‘ends’, each blank will have end spots, which will feel like ‘high points’. These high points, which typically run the entire length of the blank, are what we call a spine or spines. Just like the spine in your body, it is a stiff area in your back but different in blanks in that you may encounter several spines depending on how the graphite cloth is applied, or ‘laid-up’ on the mandrel. When the graphite is wrapped with heat shrink tape and oven cured, a ‘natural curve’ will appear along the rod shaft. This natural curve will be apparent when you sight along the axis of your blank and it has a definitive curve to it, if not, you’re lucky and you accidentally got a straight one. Also the curve will be more visible when you rotate the blank shaft when sighting down the length of it. This natural curve is also called the weak side, where the thickness of the graphite materiel is less than the other side, or the strong side. Although I have to admit that the rod companies that 'roll' their own have over the years produced straighter blanks without much curving.

So, we have a weak side and a strong side as determined by the amount of graphite material wrapped around the steel mandrel. You can check this weak side by holding the blank at a 45 degree angle with your one hand near the tip and then by pressing down and rotating at the same time with fingers of your other hand. The resistances you feel on both sides are the high points or spines. On tip sections you can also stand the tip upright and press down on the tip to make the section flex. The concave side is the guide side and obviously this only works mostly for tip sections; it's hard to push down and flex the butt section of a 12wt!

Remember the opposite side of the weak side is the thicker part of the blank and will result in more power in lifting and fighting big fish as the graphite resists compression as a result of more materiel. By putting your guides on the natural curve side, you will prevent the rod from twisting in you hand. If the guides were put off to the side this would cause the rod to twist during the cast resulting in inaccuracy, this is why guides are typically put 90 degrees to the spine as one manufacturer states but this will result in the same thing as putting your guides on the weak side.

Maintaining casting accuracy in trout fishing is more important than lifting power as in big game saltwater fishing. By properly placing your guides; your rod will track properly through the casting plane. Whether you decide to place your guides on the 'weak' side or the 'strong' side is a matter of individual decision. Being aware of a spine or spines and what they do will give you a better understanding of rod design and will help you create a finely tuned casting instrument.

Whether to spine or not to spine will continue to be a question until the end of time. The bottom line is that you are building your rod and you need to do what you think is best for you.