Building the Best Drift Rod for Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead fishing is an exhilarating experience and this is the drift rod that’s ready for all the action.

Build this Drift Fishing Rod for Better Bites

When drift fishing, it’s hard to beat the rush of a steelhead bite. Since the moment changes from serenity and the slightest bite to intense fish fighting in a matter of seconds, it’s crucial you and your equipment are ready to perform.

The best way to guarantee your rod has all the performance specs you need is simple, build this awesome rod yourself!

From the performance driven MHX rod blank to the custom components engineered for steelhead fishing, this drift rod will easily exceed your expectations on the water.

Custom Steelhead Rod Components

Here’s the components to build this steelhead drift rod:


Rod Blank: MHX Steelhead Rod BlankST1083F-MHX

Reel Seat: CRB Premium Graphite Spinning Reel SeatsGSRS-17-S

Rear Grip: 13″ Tapered Cork Rear Grip, Super GradeRG-13T-300

Foregrip: Tapered Cork Foregrip 3″ Super GradeFGT-3.0-250

Winding Check: Rubber/Vinyl Winding CheckCK-11B

Guides: CRB Elite Spinning Rod Guides3GKSC-3

Tip Top: CRB Spin Top—Model LTECLT-5-4.5

Thread: ProWrap Nylon ThreadRN-A-510 & ProWrap ProFX Premium Metallic ThreadPMS-A-9865

Step 1: Pick the Rod Blank

MHX ST1083F Steelhead Rod Blank

  • Length: 9’0”
  • Line: 6-12 lb.
  • Lure: 1/4-5/8 oz.
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Extra Fast Action
  • Finish: Slate

For drift fishing, rod blanks don’t come much better than the ST1083F-MHX.

Besides helping mend line, the 9’0” length helps cast small lures further upriver to increase your lures strike range as it drifts back down. Plus, this length provides pinpoint accuracy whether casting towards target structures for holding fish or drifting lures into steelhead travel lanes.

Since steelhead can have subtler takes, the ST1083F-MHX also has on an extra fast action for better line control and hook sets. Along with the extra fast action, this blank’s medium power gives the perfect flex for fighting steelhead and maintaining control.

If you’re looking for a longer option for side drift fishing, check out the ST1144F-MHX…

Step 2: Put on Rear Grip and Butt Cap

Ream the full cork rear grip to fit the steelhead blank and put the butt cap over the rear grip’s exposed tenon.

Put-on-Rear-Grip-and-Butt-CapStep 3: Install Reel Seat and Foregrip

After the rear grip, mount the reel seat and follow that up with the foregrip.


Step 4: Position the Winding Check

Winding checks help clean up the transition from grip to rod blank, so slide on the winding check after the foregrip.


Step 5: Add Thread Wraps and Epoxy Finish

Then, wrap the guides and finish each wrap with epoxy.


Step 6: Include Custom Decorations

Put the custom in rod building and add your own decorations.

The threadwork on this rod draws inspiration from the silver underbelly and green back of steelhead.


By adding some black glitter to the epoxy finish, the final wrap has similar dark speckles to the steelhead species.


Custom rod building gives you the ultimate control over your rod’s design and decoration, so you can build exactly what you want to fish.

Hook More Steelhead with This Custom Drift Rod  

From the performance driven MHX rod blank to the custom components engineered for steelhead fishing, this drift rod will easily exceed your expectations in the water.


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