Custom Fishing Rod Building Glossary

An increase in speed or velocity. Can be measured by units of ft/sec squared.

Acid Wrap
Another term for the spiral wrap. The term originated on the West Coast when one proponent of the wrap, rod builder Jim Racela, was asked if he was on "acid" when he wrapped his rod in spiral fashion. The name stuck.

Where most of the initial flex in a rod blank takes place. Fast Action rods will flex mostly in the upper 1/3rd of their length. Moderate Action rods in the upper 1/2 of their length. Slow Action rods flex along their entire length. *See also "Progressive Action."

Action Angle
A relative measurement of rod or blank action. Originated with the Common Cents System.

Bonding agent made from chemically synthesized materials.

Adhesive Failure
Condition that exists when bonding agent pulls loose from a surface.

Adhesive Strength
Strength of the bond between a bonding agent and the surface of the item being bonded.

Back Bouncing Rods
Stout medium action rods designed for use with Back Bouncing rigs consisting of a heavy sinker which holds a swimming plug near the bottom. Rigs are lowered to the bottom, not cast. Back Bouncing rods can be used for other types of fishing as well.

A machine, generally automated to some degree, used for milling cane sections into beveled strips.

A naked rod shaft. The shaft upon which a handle and guides are added to create a fishing rod.

Generally refers to a rod blank that has been culled by the manufacturer and not offered as a first quality product due to a cosmetic flaw. Sometimes offered for sale, but rarely comes with any sort of warranty.

To join by means of a chemical system.

Butt Cap
Fits on or over the end of most fishing rods. Helps protect the rod blank and handle butt end. Usually made from plastic, rubber, wood or aluminum.

Butt Grip
The grip installed behind the reel seat, on the rear portion of the rod.

Butt Guide
The line guide closest to the reel.

Butt Wrap Alignment Tool
Specialty rod building tool used for laying out and marking center points on a rod blank for any decorative cross wrap.

Calcutta Cane
A type of bamboo cane. Once used to make saltwater surf and boat rods. Normally used in "as-is" form and not cut or split in any way.

Tungsten Carbide. One of the earliest materials to be used for making non-grooving line guide rings. Still popular with wire line fishermen and some surf fishermen.

Center Pin Reel
Simple, single action reel most often used for float or drift fishing.

Term used somewhat generically to describe any of the various synthetic materials used for guide ring material.

A type of cross-wrap where each additional thread is wrapped to the same side rather than on each side of a pattern, as in a "Diamond Wrap."

Choke Guide
Part of the "New Guide Concept System." The guide located at that point along the blank where a line drawn from the reel spool centerline will intersect the rod blank.

Cigar Grip
Fly rod style grip. Shaped like a cigar. Slightly tapered and rounded on each end, larger in the middle.

Coarse Angling
Name given to bait fishing for "coarse" fish. In most parts of the world this is generally any fish other than a salmanoid.

Cohesive Failure
Failure of a bonding agent when surface adhesion remains intact and failure occurs within the bonding agent itself.

Cohesive strength
Strength of the bonding agent itself.

Color Change Weave
A decorative thread weave in which the color of the thread may change along any particular thread line.

Color Preserver
A type of sealer/filler normally used on regular nylon thread to keep the thread from turning translucent when the final wrap finish is applied. Types include nitrocellulose lacquer (clear), acrylic (white), and urethane/acrylic (cloudy).

Common Cents
A complete system for taking relative measurements of the action and intrinsic power of rods and blanks. Also can be used to correctly match the correct casting lure or fly line weight to any rod.

Rounded inward. The inside of round hollow vessel or bowl.

Cone Of Flight
Common and traditional method for sizing spinning rod guides. Each guide is slight smaller than the previous one. Together they frame a cone shaped area extending from the outer edges of the reel spool to a single point at the tip of the rod.

Rounded outward. The outside of a round vessel, circle or sphere.

Cross Wrap
A method of overlaying/wrapping threads to form decorative butt wraps on fishing rods. Generally based on threads crossing each other in such a way as to form an "X" at each intersection.

A stalk of bamboo.

Any system which, when set in motion, creates a force which inhibits that same motion, is said to exhibit damping. Damping forces are usually created by friction, either aerodynamic (external) or material (internal). *(Most true damping with regard to fishing rods is caused by air friction. Some internal material friction does exist, however.) Although most often incorrectly used within the confines of rod building, the term is generally used and understood to describe how long a rod takes to return to straight or stop, after being cast or flexed, i.e "This rod damps quickly."

Defined Binding Index. Part of the Common Cents System. Provides a quick reference to the Effective Rod Number and Action Angle (ERN/AA).

To scour or scuff a glossy surface until any shine or gloss has been completely removed.

Weight per amount or unit of volume. Can be measured as lbs/in3.

Diamond Wrap
A type of decorative thread wrap where threads are wrapped to each side of the pattern in order to form boxes or widen the basic "X" shape. Viewed from any corner (and depending upon the elongation of the pattern), they appear diamond shaped.

An instruction used on a weaving "Left List" meaning to repeat the previous step.

Used to describe a reel seat that has been mounted with the fixed hood to the rear (butt) and the movable hood to the front (tip).

Drop Shot Rod
Specialty rod with very light tip used for fishing a plastic worm or lure above the sinker. The light tip allows minute movements to be imparted to the lure. Generally these are light power rods.

Drum Dryer
Type of 'Rod Dryer' where large round flats are used to hold a number of rods on the circumference and the entire assembly turns around a center shaft. Resembles a drum mounted and turning on a center axis.

Drying Motor
A slow RPM motor used to rotate a fishing rod to prevent slow curing thread finishes/coatings from dripping or sagging until they have set.

The international standard for measuring hardness of rubber, plastic and other non-metallic materials. Often used to define the hardness of fishing rod grip materials. Also, the instrument for taking these measurements is referred to as a Durometer.

Equal-Angle System
A guide placement system based on consistent protracted angles plotted to intersect a rod blank. Develop by rod builder Don Morton.

Equal-Distance System
A guide placement system based on each guide remaining an equal distance from both the previous and subsequent guides.

Effective Rod Number. Part of the Common Cents System which provides a relative measure of intrinsic power.

Ethylene Vinyle Acetate synthetic foam material. Available in various grades and hardnesses, the more firm variety makes an excellent and lightweight rod grip material. Not as resilient as Hypalon, but considerably lighter in weight.

Exothermic Heat
Heat released from a chemical reaction. The opposite of "Endothermic Heat." Normally rod builders exerience this heat when mixing two-part adhesives and finishes. The reaction of the parts creates and releases heat.

Fast Tip
Normally used to describe a rod with a very fast action. A rod with a powerful butt section and a much softer tip.

Feralite Ferrule
A type of Tip-Over-Butt ferrule designed by Jim Green at Fenwick. The first Tip-Over-Butt ferrule.

An item which allows sections of a rod blank to be joined together. Can be either separate or integral to the rod blank sections.

Fighting Butt
Normally used on fly reel seats. A short extension of cork or foam, either fixed or removable, on the rear of a fly reel seat.

Fighting Chair
Special chair mounted to a boat¹s deck and used to allow an angler to fight a fish from a sitting down position. In use, the rod is placed into a gimbal nock on the chair, which then becomes an aid to the angler against large and powerful fish.

First Quality
Generally refers to a rod blank that is offered as a first quality product and comes complete with a manufacturer's warranty.

Five-Minute Epoxy
A two-part epoxy adhesive with a very short (5-minutes or so) working or pot life.

Fixed Hood
The hood on a reel seat that is fixed and cannot be adjusted or moved.

The pattern cut from a prepeg material which is wrapped around a mandrel to form a rod blank.

Flipping Stick
Term popularized by tournament bass fishermen for a stout rod used for accurately "flipping" a lure or bait into close quarters. Usually long (7' or more) and often telescoping to allow fitting into short rod boxes on bass boats.

Float Rod
Used for a variety of species. Available in both very fast, light tipped models, as well as more moderate action models, these rods are usually quite long (12' to 14') and used for fishing with a variety of float styles. Originated in the U.K. for "Coarse Fishing."

Term used to describe the shape of a finished guide wrap when the finish is thicker in the middle than at the edges. Shaped like a football.

The grip installed in front of the reel seat on casting and spinning rods.

Forhan Locking Wrap
Guide wrap developed by rod builder Rich Forhan. Completely encircles and secures single foot guides.

Foulproof Guide
Name associated with a particular type of line guide which is fashioned from a single piece of wire. It is wound into a circle or coil, with the ends of the wire serving as guide feet on either side of the circle.

Full Wells Grip
Fly rod style grip. Swelled on both ends and in the middle with depressed areas about 1/4 length in from each end.

A butt cap with cross slotting on the end. These slots locate into a pin used in a gimbal nock, which may be located in a fighting chair or fighting harness. Prevents the rod from turning or twisting during a fight or while trolling a bait or lure.

Bonding agent made from natural sources.

Half Wells Grip
Half of a "Full Wells" grip. Swelled at one end and the middle, with the opposite end tapering to a smaller overall diameter.

Hood Liners
Usually made from plastic or nylon and used to line reel seat hoods of steel or aluminum. Prevents marring of the reel foot and provides an elastic cushioning effect.

Small ring or hook wrapped near the foregrip on a fishing rod intended to hold the lure or fly when rod is not in use.

Used to finish off the forward edge of a rod foregrip. Similar to a cap with a hole bored in the end for the rod blank to pass through. Mostly of a decorative nature.

Hot Shot Rods
Stout butted yet very light tipped rods designed for use with swimming/diving plugs which are fished while stationairy or drifting. The river or stream current causes the plug to dive and hold near the river bottom. The angler watches the action of the plug by the movement of the light rod tip and the heavy butt section usually sets the hook on the fish. May be used for many other fishing applications as well.

Trademarked name for a Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene synthetic rubber product. While it is used in a variety of industrial applications, it has long been used with good results in the form of rod grips. Somewhat heavy, but extremely resistant to sunlight, solvents and detergents.

Ice Rod
Generally a very short rod specifically intended for use in fishing through a small opening in ice covered lakes and streams.

Abbreviation for The International Game Fishing Association.

IGFA Class Rod
Rod designed specifically for use with a particular IGFA class rated line. Categories include 12, 20, 30, 50, 80 and 130 pound class.

Term used to describe wrapping to the center of the pattern on a decorative cross wrap.

Can refer to a single thread lnlaid in a wider thread wrap, or a section of grip material inlaid into another section of grip material.

Term used to describe sleeving of a rod blank by means of an internal sleeve or plug.

Intersect Guide
See "Choke Guide."

An aramid/nylon fiber trademarked by DuPont.

Left List
The pattern for making a decorative thread weave. Instructs which threads are lifted and not wrapped over during each revolution of the process.

Live Bait Rod
Rods made for use with live bait. Generally, such rods have extremely soft and flexible tips, allowing the fish to take the bait without pulling the bait off the hook. These light tips also allow the angler to detect movement of the bait or subtle strikes from fish. Butt sections can range from light to heavy, depending on the application, but the tips are usually always fairly soft.

Mandrel (straight)
Shaft of steel or wood used for mounting and turning of grips, reel seat inserts, etc.

Mandrel (tapered)
Tapered steel shaft. Used as the core around which a composite pattern or flag is wrapped during the process of making a rod blank. It is removed after the blank has been heated and cured.

Minus One
Term used to describe the deleting of one thread per pass on a decorative cross wrap.

Common learning device for rod builders.

Or with regard to the fibers used to make fishing rods, "Modulus of Elasticity," refers to the relationship between stress and strain. In more simple terms relative to rod building, it usually defines the stiffness to weight ratio of the fibers used to construct the rod blank. Generally speaking, the higher the modulus of the fiber used to make the blank, the lighter the resulting blank can be for any given stiffness.

Rod blank comprised of more than one piece and joined to make a single unit.

NCP Thread
An opaque nylon thread which does not require color preserver in order to keep it from turning translucent when a wrapping finish is applied. Somewhat dull and lacking sparkle in contrast to regular nylon wrapping thread, however.

New Concept Guides
A particular style and type of guide trademarked by Fuji Kogyo. Not to be confused with the New Guide Concept.

New Guide Concept
A term coined by the Fuji Kogyo Company for a particular system of guide sizing and placement. Normally it employs smaller and lighter guides, and employs them in greater numbers than other guide systems.

Branch joints on a bamboo culm. These are normally pressed, sanded or filed off when making a split cane rod.

Noodle Rod
Soft, light and usually long (9' to 12') rod designed to be used with very light line. The rod's softness prevents even large fish from being able to break light lines. Deemed as "unsporting" by some, as the time taken to land larger fish can be lengthy and extremely tiring to the fish.

O'Quinn Method
Form of spiral wrap which keeps the line between the reel and the first underside guide on a relatively straight path. Developed by rod builder Ralph O'Quinn.

Term used to describe wrapping to the outside of the pattern on a decorative cross wrap.

Term used to describe the sleeving of a rod blank by means of an external sleeve.

See "Flag." May also refer to a "Left List" for thread weaving.

Trademarked name for a heavy, paste epoxy.

Plus One
Term used in decorative cross wrapping to describe the addition of one extra thread to the pattern on each pass.

Popping Rod
Rod used for casting shrimp under a "popping cork." Generally these rods have fast, light tips to prevent tearing the bait off the hook during the cast. Can be used for many other types of fishing as well.

Pot Life
Generally used to describe the working time of an epoxy adhesive or wrapping finish. NOT the time taken for cure, but the time period where the adhesive or finish remains workable or easy to apply.

Generally used to describe a rod or blank's stiffness or resistance to bending.

Any substance from which another substance is made.

Press Fit
Snug fitting assembly that requires some measure of force to brings the parts into place.

Professional Overwind
The act of accidentally overwrapping thread onto itself instead of neatly wrapping each thread to the side of the last revolution during guide wrapping.

Progressive Action
Term used to describe a rod blank that continues to bend farther back towards the butt end as load upon it is increased. As the load is increased, the blank responds by shifting the load onto the larger, more powerful area towards the middle and rear of the blank.

Progressive-Angle System
Guide placement system similar to the Equal Angle system but having varied angles rather than consistent ones. See "Equal Angle System."

Razor Blade
Device for slicing finger tips. Also sometimes used for trimming rod wrapping threads.

An adhesive which when combined with fiber material into a prepeg, is used for making a composite rod blank.

Revolver Rod
Trademarked name for a type of rod developed by rod builder Rich Forhan. Normally utilizes either all or a combination of; specific style of spiral wrap, a split rear grip/handle and no foregrip.

Robert's Wrap
Another term for the spiral wrap named after rod builder Chuck Roberts, another proponent of spiral wrapping for casting rods.

Rod Bond
Trademarked name for a specialty gel-type rod building epoxy.

Rod Dryer
Usually comprised of a "Drying Motor" and some type of enclosure or box, to turn, heat and isolate a fishing from airborne dust during the finish curing phase.

RodMaker Magazine
Publication for custom rod builders. Also an instrument for turning publisher's hair grey and decreasing his available time for fishing.

Roller Guide
Guide frame fitted with revolving sleeves or rollers for line travel rather than a standard ring. Minimizes or eliminates line wear/friction. Normally found on larger saltwater rods.

Rolling Table
Used in the rod blank manufacturing process. Composed of two large surfaces or platens above and below and moving in opposite directions. Automates the process of rolling the flag or pattern around the mandrel.

Trademarked name (3M) for an abrasive pad used for sanding, scouring or deglossing various materials.

Lightweight cloth, mat or fiber added to rod blanks to locate structural fibers and resin in a prepeg. Can also be used to contribute to hoop strength.

Generally refers to a rod blank that has been culled by the manufacturer due to a cosmetic or structural flaw. Sometimes offered for sale but almost never includes any sort of warranty. Whereas a "Blem" is usually confined to cosmetic flaws, "Seconds" may involve structural problems.

Security Wrap
Additional short wrap, either separate or integral, on the back side of any single footed guide. Helps secure the guide during heavy loads or long term use.

Slick Butt
Rod butt made of aluminum or nylon and used on place of a rear cork or foam type grip. The hard, slick surface permits the easy removal of a rod from a rod holder even if the rod is under pressure from a fish.

Sliding Bands
Rings or bands which free-float or slide on a reel seat. These rings are forced onto the reel feet and held in place by friction/pressure.

Slip Fit
Condition between two pieces which exhibit very little if any play, yet will still slide on or in one another.

Slow-Cure Epoxy
Generally any two-part epoxy that provides more than just a few minutes of working or pot life. Depending on the brand and type, pot life may be 15 minutes to several hours.

Another material similar in nature to "ScotchBrite."

Snake Guide
Guide formed from single piece of steel or wire. Twisted to form an elongated coil, but not a loop. Generally found most often on fly rods.

Within the confines of rod building it is generally used to define the rate of response and/or recovery of a rod. Otherwise, velocity.

Spey Rod
Name for the type rods commonly used on the river Spey going back some 150 years. Today Spey Rods are generally regarded as any of the longer (11' to 15') two-handed fly rod types that allow long casts without the necessity of making a back cast.

A type of ferrule comprised of a plug or internal sleeve joined internally and permanently to one rod section and fitting inside another section by means of a friction fit.

Or "Effective Spine" is an effect created by several manufacturing anomalies. The result is that the rod blank will favor bending along a particular axis when load is applied.

Spiral Wrap
A method for taking the line to the bottom of the rod on conventional casting type rods. Results in a rod which will not twist under load and is inherently stable.

Sport Fishing Excise Tax
A user tax levied and built into the price of all fishing equipment. Used for fisheries enhancement.

Stand-Up Rod
Generally used to describe shorter, high-leverage type trolling and boat rods. Shorter length allows them to be used by an angler in a ³stand up² position rather than in a fighting chair.

Static Stress Distribution Test
Method for statically stressing/flexing a rod blank in order to determine optimum guide placement on any blank.

Straddle Guide
Guide style where guide legs and feet are fastened/wound to the side of the rod blank rather than on top. Said to prevent guide twisting under heady pressure.

The amount of material deformation when stressed.

Most often used to describe the durability of a rod or blank. The ability to withstand impact or stress.

The condition of a material when subjected to a force or load.

Stripping Guide
The butt guide on a fly rod. Guide closest to the reel on a fly rod.

Tack Free
Term used to describe the point at which a thread wrap finish is no longer tacky to the touch. The point at which foreign objects or dust making incidental contact will not adhere.

Trim wrap. Can be narrow or wide, but is generally narrower than any main wrap it is used in conjunction with.

Test Casting
Trial and error process of casting a rod while adjusting guide spacing or sizing to determine optimum location and size for guides.

Throop 3D Tiger Wrap
A multi-layered, moire effect decorative wrap devised by rod builder Scott Throop.

Rod construction method where the rod blank is inserted into and extends completely through any sort of handle or butt.

Tip Guide
The guide located closest to the tip of the rod.

Usually describes a type of ferrule where the tip fits into the butt section. Friction fit.

Usually describes a type of ferrule where the tip fits over the butt. Friction fit.

The line guide which fits on or over the tip end of the rod. Usually constructed along the lines of a tube supporting a ring, which can be slid over the end of the rod blank.

Tonkin Cane
A species of bamboo cane from the Tonkin Province in China. Favored for use in making split bamboo fishing rods. A member of the grass family.

Transition Guide/s
Term normally used to describe those guides on a "Spiral Wrap" which take the line from the top of the rod to the bottom of the rod. Located inbetween the 0 and 180 degree axis guides.

Tuff Butt
Rod butt made of aluminum or nylon and used on place of a rear cork or foam type grip. The hard, slick surface permits the easy removal of a rod from a rod holder even if the rod is under pressure from a fish.

Tuna Block
Short piece of aluminum or nylon tubing or sleeve that is fitted between the reel seat and foregrip on heavy duty offshore and boat type rods. Provides a place for the forward clamp on larger reels to mount.

Turk's Head Knot
Large, bulky knot normally used as a covering knot to protect surfaces or provide a better grasp. Often used in multiples on surf rod handles.

A layer of wrapping thread made before the guide is wound on. The guide sits on top of and is wound over this layer of thread. Normally serves only cosmetic purposes, but on larger and heavier rods may provide a non-slip base for the guide. When guides are poorly prepared and contain sharp undersides or burrs, it may provide some measure of protection for the rod blank.

The term "uni-butt" is a trademark of Aftco. It has come to be used somewhat generically to describe any aluminum butt section with integral reel seat for use on heavy duty saltwater rods. Normally, it can be detached from the rod by means of a threaded ferrule just forward of the reel seat area.

Unified Wheel
Somewhat generic term now used for a wheel made of compacted fibers similar in nature to "ScotchBrite" material. Used in a drill or grinder. Depending upon the grade involved, it is normally used for removing burrs or paint

Used to describe a reel seat that has been mounted with the fixed hood to the front (tip) and the movable hood to the rear (butt).

Water Break Free
Optimum surface condition for bonding. Surfaces that exhibit a "water break free" condition will not repel or bead water.

A decorative thread wrap employing the technique of wrapping either over or under threads running lengthwise along a rod blank to form a pattern, item or design.

Winding Check
Washer shaped item used to finish off the forward edge of a rod foregrip. Made from a variety of materials and normally used for cosmetic purposes.