What makes a custom rod different from an off the shelf rod, and do I need one?

There are many things that make a custom rod different than that of a store-bought off the shelf rod. For example, you can customize colors, guides, rod diameter, grip and many other aspects, even down to the type of fishing you do. Did you know, for example, rod blanks have a spine, or preferred stress curve that is a result of the manufacturing process. Custom rods are oriented for optimum tracking on the cast. Something that commercial producers can’t do. This reduces effort in casting, reducing stress and strain on the angler.

We’re all familiar with the adage, ‘you get what you pay for’, but we also know there are products out there that are overpriced for what you’re actually getting. Fishing tackle is like any other commodity, there are ‘bargains’ that aren’t even worth the time it takes to carry them out to your car, and there are products that cost so much they should make the fish jump into your boat. Rods and reels are two of the most expensive components of fishing tackle and are therefore the most scrutinized purchases we make. Selecting a good rod can be a bewildering experience for someone who wants the most for their money. We ask questions like “What makes this rod so expensive?” and “Is this $300 rod really twice as good as this $150 rod?” With the unbelievable array of good rods available to serious anglers today it’s easy to find a great rod that is perfect for what you want to do with it. However, at the same time, you could end up with something that might not be right and you’d be spending some good money for something that you won’t use.

A good rod may not instantly make you a better angler but a poor rod will be a limiting factor for any angler. Your rod is a tool, and a good craftsman will always do better work with a good tool. A good rod will allow you to feel much more of what’s going on with your lure. For instance, you’ll be able to tell if you’re dragging your jig through mud, sand, rock, sticks, etc., and more importantly, when you get bit, which can often be hard to detect.

Part of being a good angler is the ability to place your lure exactly where you want it, often as quietly as possible, and a good rod will definitely help your casting ability with more responsive graphite and perfectly engineered actions. The ability to create actions for specific techniques only comes with rod building expertise and the ability to use the best materials, which adds considerably to the expense. As a general rule then, a good rod will help and a poor rod will hurt your fishing ability.

I thought custom rods were all about fancy wraps, colors and decorations?

Some are, and that could be an individual preference of the owner.  A custom rod can be embellished with decorative wraps and distinctive and unique handles and grips. Custom rod builders are true craftsmen that not only build quality rods but true heirlooms. Even if all you want is a ‘special’ color, we still  put a premium on performance and precision and make certain that form follows function.

How much is a custom rod going to cost me?

Since we do manufacture custom fishing rods as unique as the individuals that purchase them, each rod is different.  Therefore it is very difficult to put a price on each rod until we have the opportunity to speak with you about your custom build.  Certainly it will be more than a basic off the shelf rod, and each custom rod.  Custom rods are not for everyone, but many anglers value the higher level of performance and craftsmanship, and a custom rod could become one of your most treasured possessions. You may be surprised at just how affordable a unique custom actually is.

Why should I choose you?

At ZombieStickz®, we only use performance rod components we fish with ourselves, and trust. We craft traditional spinning and casting rods with full or split grip handles, Offer your choice of corrosion-free or corrosion resistant components. Use only the best two-part epoxy for component assembly that is bomb proof. Our mission is the build the highest quality and performance rods that are as unique as you are.  We literally fish with everything we make and sell. The bottom line is this: If we won’t fish with it ourselves, we won’t sell it to you.

Why ZombieStickz®, are you into horror movies?

We do love zombies, but that is only part of the reason we named our products ZombieStickz®.  Our slogan is ‘Rods that bite back!’ and we base this on building a rod off the proper alignment of the spine. When a fish bites, our rods bite back.  The spine of the rod is a critical feature for the overall performance and comfort in a rod. By building a rod properly aligned on the spine, you achieve maximum strength and casting distance as the rod will flex along its natural curve, and not against it. Building on the spine will also increase the rod’s power and strength many times over. A rod built off the spine will want to torque to the side while fighting a fish or making a powerful cast. Torque is created when the rod is flexing against the natural curve and it is trying to get back into position. This will dramatically decrease casting distance, efficiency and strength while creating an unnecessary strain on the angler’s hands, wrists and arms.  Perhaps you have noticed that fishing with one of your rods makes your wrist or arm hurt after a long day of fishing, this is a result of it being built off spine and you are fighting the natural torque of the rod every time you cast or catch a fish.

How do I select a rod blank, and what is power and action?

Rod Power: 

The “power” of a rod refers to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod. Different rod powers are engineered to efficiently handle a certain range of lure weights and line sizes. To select a rod power that will perform best for you, simply narrow your choices to rods designed to cast the weight of lures – and sizes of lines – you’ll fish with most often.

Rod Action:
The “action” of a rod is determined by where a rod flexes along the blank. Faster action rods flex mostly near the tip. Moderate action rods flex more near the middle of the blank. Slower action rods flex down into the butt section.

What forms of payment do you accept?

When we take the order for a custom build, we require a 50% deposit before we will start the project.  Most custom builds for composite rods take between 7 and 14 days to complete (depending on builds we have currently in production, complexity of wraps, trim, decorations, or other custom features).  Bamboo rods take longer as we cure and hand split and hand plane each and every piece to perfection before we even get to binding stage that creates the basic rod. Bamboo rods typically take 30-45 days to complete. During peak fishing season we are very busy.  On completion we will send you pictures of the completed project for your approval and the remainder becomes due before we ship.  We accept the following methods of payment:  Visa | Master Card | American Express | Discover | Paypal | Check (checks must fully clear before works begins or rods ship)