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Choosing Grips For Your Custom Rod??

Choosing Grips For Your Custom Rod??

You have done your due diligence to find a rod that is light and with the perfect action for your application. You grasp your new fishing machine in your hands only to realize that it feels awkward and uncomfortable. This is one of the most important pieces of the rod because it is essentially the only portion of the rod you will be touching. Now, trolling for micro mahi mahi it may not seem important due to the short fights and lack of casting. On the other hand, if you are throwing lures for 10 hours straight or fighting a massive amberjack I promise you comfort is on your mind.

The first thing to decide is the configuration of a grip, specifically the rear grip. If you grew up as a pier/shore fisherman like myself, most of your current arsenal will have split grips. This means that there is a gap in grip material in the rear grip where the blank itself is visible. The primary reason for this design is the reduction of weight but, there are a few other pros as well. Pier fisherman deal with something that boat anglers will not understand, competition. You have to be ready when you see that fish to be the first to have your bait presented to the fish to ensure the guy next to you does not. The split grip design allows for reduced friction when the rod is resting under your arm which allows for quicker casting. Although this may seem minor, I assure you cobia fisherman in the panhandle of Florida would disagree.

The downfall of the split grip is you're exposing your blank to possible damage in the uncovered area where the grip would normally be. This is a big problem if the rod will be set/moved in and out of a rod holder frequently. When I was a teenager I had a beautiful Seeker custom rod with a split grip that I used on my father's boat at times. I had the rod in the rod holder and was slow trolling a live bait around a wreck. The bait got smashed and the fish went straight down and my poor beautiful rod snapped at the split grip. Luckily, I was able to catch the rod before it dove to the depths with my mystery fish. So, the lesson learned is if you are going to be using the rod in this manner always choose a full grip over a split grip. Also, if you are going to be in and out constantly, consider using a slick butt.

Grip material is the most important factor for me when choosing a grip. Even if the grip is in the perfect position, if it is not comfortable then it doesn't matter. The traditional choice for grip material that you will see on 90% of rods off the shelf is cork. I will be the first to admit I love the look of cork but, the function is not there. You will notice we have very limited options for cork on our site and that is for a reason.

Cork is so popular because it is cheap, water resistant, and a classic. What you may not know of cork is it's heavy, brittle without a coating applied, slippery when wet, and just not as comfortable as other options.

Eva foam on the other hand has a comfortable feel, waterproof, and takes a lot to damage. We take this a step further by offering at no extra charge a layer of heat shrink. The heat shrink will add a little more cushion as well as a tacky feel you can easily grip in any condition. You also have several color options to have a more custom feel.

Winn grips are relatively new compared to the previously listed options but, are a fantastic option. For the golfers reading this you may recognize the feel from a good set of clubs or those that have been regripped. Winn grips are Eva foam that is wrapped in a proprietary material that surpasses other options. These grips are extremely comfortable and you could still grip the rod if it was completely submerged in the water! They are also offered in several colors including natural (my favorite) that looks like cork.

 Whatever grip you choose take a hard look at all the factors before making your decision.

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