By Eric Harrison
Some rods are only available as blanks, especially some of the small rod companies that do not offer a factory-built product. Some of these companies produce cutting edge rod blanks by using state-of-the-art materials and processes. Here’s a quick list:
Lamiglas is by far the most popular choice when it comes to blanks for custom-built surf rods. The GSB series blanks, made from Lamiglas’ G1000 graphite, have been the gold standard in surfcasting for more than 20 years, as they make for a very versatile rod. But Lamiglas produces blanks from several different kinds of graphite, as well as from E-Glass and Titanium, giving anglers a lot of blanks to choose from to fit their fishing needs.
Composite Tube Systems is a New Zealand-based company that utilizes tube rolling technology to create thin-walled, extremely light and incredibly powerful rod blanks. CTS makes tuna jigging, inshore and several surfcasting blanks, many of which are available in a wide variety of colors. CTS rods are available in the US through RH Custom Rods.
Manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility in the United Kingdom, Century Rods use advanced technology to create long-casting rod blanks that still fish comfortably. Some of their blanks undergo an Autoclave curing process, which creates a denser and stronger composite structure. This also makes the blank slimmer for its rating, which reduces weight. Century Rods are available in the Northeast though KM Custom Rods.
These rods are extremely popular on the West Coast for monster yellowfin tuna, but they have a following on the East Coast as well, both for pelagics and groundfish. The blanks are available in a wide variety of materials and actions, specific to certain types of fishing from trolling to jigging to live-baiting.
Another Southern California-based company, Calstar made its name in the Long Range Tuna market, but makes popular trolling and groundfish blanks for Northeast Anglers as well. The rods are built to be durable and perform well, even under the abuse of big, hard-fighting fish.