Chippewa River Custom Rods – Tailored gear without the ridiculous price tag.

If you are anything like me, the idea of having a custom built fishing rod seemed way outside the realm of practical. Tom Schenk, the co-owner of Chippewa River Custom Rod Company, changed my mind. Tom was able to walk me through the design process for two different rods that will cover nearly all of the fishing I do. Taking into consideration how I fish and what I fish for, we were able to create “all-purpose” rods that I can take anywhere.

I had the opportunity to test both a one-piece and three-piece pack rod built by Chippewa River Custom Rod. They are nearly identical from a performance and component perspective. Around 7 feet long, medium action and stiffness, incredibly sensitive tips, and plenty of backbone for those jaw dislocating hook sets. The craftsmanship is great, I couldn’t find a single miswrapped thread or bubble in the epoxy. Both these rods explored the Boundary Waters and tamed Smallies and Walleye with expert precision. I think if I had hooked into a monster Northern Pike it may have been a challenge, but either rod could have handled it.

Tom is one of the few custom rod builders I have met who understands the need for a good 3 or 4 piece pack rod. Being able to break your rod down and store it in a manageable container is incredibly convenient and reliable. I have done many a portage with my rods either in my hand or strapped in the canoe and far too many times the rods did not make the trip unscathed. Busted off tips or crushed guides turn an otherwise great rod into a mediocre shadow of its former self. They may not show up on the site, but they have access to a variety of pack rod blanks. Tom will be able to find you exactly what you need. is the place to start. You can either begin with a pre-designed package or go completely custom. The pre-designed packages are priced roughly from $120 to $200 and you choose the rod blank and thread colors. With the fully custom rods you pick everything; blank, guides, reel seat, handles, threads. Surprisingly, the fully custom rods work out to be nearly the same price, but you can go crazy with the options if you want to.

If you are in the market for a new rod, but never dreamed of spoiling yourself with a custom rod, you owe it to yourself to at least take a look. With off-the-shelf rods from companies like G.Loomis and St. Croix starting at $250, for the same money Chippewa River Custom Rods can build you the rod of your dreams or maybe 2.

Chippewa River Custom Rods
N615 Chippewa Ave
Holcombe, WI 54745
Phone: 715-312-0509

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