How to Build Fishing Rod Handles

How to Build Fishing Rod Handles

Constructing a custom handle for your fishing rod is easy, just use the following instructions to build your high-performance handle assembly in no time.


Options For Handle Assemblies

As one of the most customizable components of rod building, fishing rod handles are built according to your own preferences. Whether building based on ease, weight, durability, or fishing application, there are endless possibilities for personalizing your handle assembly.

Due to durability, functionality, and price, both cork and EVA foam are incredibly popular for building a custom fishing rod handle.

Visit Mud Hole for all your custom rod building components, questions, and needs.

A Guide to Cork Handle Construction

The handle section of a fishing rod is the portion you can customize the most. Tailoring the handle to match your grip, technique, and style, brings many benefits in boosting your fishing performance.


For a cork handle, begin by reaming out some of the inside diameter so that it will securely fit the tapering of the rod blank. Using a razor wand or an extreme reamer will give you the best results.

Remember, you can ream the cork more, but you can't replace what is already reamed out. To avoid over-reaming, ream in smooth even strokes and frequently test the cork by sliding it onto the rod blank.

You will know when you've reamed enough because the cork will slide down the blank, but stop in the location of your desire. Once the inside diameter of the cork fits snugly, apply epoxy on the rod blank where the handle will go.


Then, slide the cork handle down the rod blank and over the epoxy until it reaches your desired position. Make sure to leave a half an inch of the blank exposed below the cork to install a butt cap.

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How To Build EVA Handle

In some respects, an EVA handle is much easier to install because it often doesn't require any additional reaming.

Start by sliding the grip down the blank to the binding point. The binding point is where the EVA first meets resistance and must stretch to proceed any further. Using a china marker, label the spot about 8-10 inches above the binding point.

Apply an epoxy glue from this mark down to the butt of the blank. In addition to securing the EVA, the epoxy will also act as a lubricant as you slide the grip down into place.

If you need any extra leverage, place the butt end on the floor then stand over the blank and push the EVA downward. Push the grip into place so that there is ½ an inch of blank exposed to mount the butt cap.

Finally, use some 91% rubbing alcohol to wipe away any excess epoxy glue.

Check out Mud Hole's extensive inventory for your fishing rod handles.

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Installing A Butt Cap

In an event where the butt cap's inside diameter is larger than the butt of the blank's outside diameter, use masking tape to build an arbor. The arbor will bolster the rod blank to make it fit more precisely in the butt cap.

You want the arbor to be big enough for the butt cap to slide over while only adding a little pressure.

Next, apply epoxy glue to the inside of the butt cap. Install the butt cap by sliding it over your arbor and twisting it 360 degrees for a great epoxy bond.

Did all this talk about custom handles give you the rod building bug? Check out these new, all-inclusive Turnkey Kits to get a great experience and performance at a low price.

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