Rod Builders Institute

Whether you are just starting out or you are an experienced craftsman, we offer a variety of programs and courses designed for the custom rod builder at any level.

Your busy schedule is easily accommodated as our programs cycle at regular intervals throughout the year. Classes are small to allow plenty of individual attention and our location provides some of the finest fishing opportunities in the Rocky Mountains. Combine relaxing time on the water with stimulating time in the classroom learning new techniques or a whole new craft; sign up today!

Locations:

Rod Builders Institute (RBI) (a subsidiary of Black Dog Custom Rods) currently offers classes in Clarkston, Washington. The natural beauty, scenic mountains and abundant nature draw visitors year round to the area to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including world-class fishing and hunting.

We do, from time to time, conduct classes in other population centers in the northwest by special arrangement. Contact Joe directly for information

 

Class Descriptions

All classes offered are a combination of instruction, demonstration and hands on workbench time spent actually using the techniques learned and building a rod, making a repair or mastering a technique. We offer a variety of classes and we are constantly adding classes and adjusting the offerings to provide the latest information in the craft and to meet the needs of our students. If you have a particular technique or topic you would like addressed, please contact us directly with suggestions and requests.

Basic Rod Building – the first step for all custom rod builders is to gain a good understanding of the basics of the craft including theory and application. Our Basic Rod Building class includes topics and activities like the following:

Rod Building Basics Components

NomenclatureBlank SelectionWrapping GuidesMaterials UsedEquipment Used
Handle SelectionTipping WrapsTools RequiredReel Seat SelectionIntermediate Wraps
Guide SelectionDecorative WrapsThreadsHandle SelectionFinish Application
BushingsReel Seat InstallationDryingDecalsGuide Spacing
Correcting MistakesAssembly ProcessGuide PreparationRod Care and Usage

Basic Rod Building classes are scheduled to last 32 hours, typically spread across 4 days. We offer M-T-W-Th classes for those who are able to attend during the regular work week; and we offer Sat-Sun classes spread across two consecutive weekends for those who are limited to weekend time only.  Although many of the concepts and techniques apply to any type of rod, Basic Rod Building classes are offered as either fly, casting or spinning rod classes. This is done to simplify the instruction and demonstrations in each class. Students will build a complete rod during the course of the class. Each class will utilize a rod kit assembled by RBI and made available to you at an economical rate. Basic classes will rotate throughout the year to allow you to match the class you want with your time schedule.

We also offer an accelerated Fri-Sat-Sun class compressed into one weekend, beginning Friday evening, that is only 20 hours long. This is fast paced class and best suited to those who have some knowledge or catch on to new concepts and techniques very quickly. It is always a crunch to make sure sufficient time is available for proper finish application and drying of the completed rod in this class format.

Advanced Rod Building – for those who have mastered the Basics, this class offers additional concepts and techniques to be applied by the rod builder to create a custom rod that is both functional and uniquely attractive. The use of exotic materials, modifying components, custom wrapping and special design considerations allow you to meet the unique needs of the future rod owner. This class gets you started on the road to creating truly custom fishing rods. Intermediate Rod Building classes include topics and activities like the following:

Advanced Rod Building Components

Modifying BlanksFeather InlaysPhysical LimitationsPainting Blanks
Fitting FerrulesFishing StyleModifying Reel SeatsCustom Wraps
SaltwaterModifying HandlesUnderwrapsFreshwater
Custom Purpose RodsThread InlaysExotic MaterialsPainting Components
Intermediate WrapsButt Wraps & WeavesMaking ComponentsMetallics, Tinsels, Wire
Tubes & BagsRepairing BlanksInvisible WrapsFinishes

Advanced Rod Building (Overview) classes are scheduled to last 32 hours, typically spread across 4 days. We offer M-T-W-Th classes for those who are able to attend during the regular work week; and we offer Sat-Sun classes spread across two consecutive weekends for those who are limited to weekend time only.  Advanced Rod Building classes are offered as either a comprehensive overview class or specialized classes (Advanced Topic) dealing with one or more related topics in greater detail. This is done to simplify the instruction and demonstrations in each class. Advanced classes are offered throughout the year to allow you to match the class you want with your time schedule.

Advanced Topic classes vary from one day, two day, one weekend, or up to 4 day classes depending on the specialized topics presented. These classes are typically taught by recognized experts in the topics presented, and are geared toward those who want to gain specific knowledge and learn application techniques. Advanced Topic classes are subject to the availability of the instructor and are scheduled to accommodate the instructor. We offer these classes multiple times during the year to provide the student multiple opportunities to attend.

Rod Builders Institute is an actual classroom based environment you can attend and learn how to build your own fishing rods. You may be interested in this as a hobby or as a part time or full time professional pursuit. This is the place to begin your education in the craft of custom rod building.

Students will receive instruction regarding the theory, concepts and methods involved in designing and building a fishing rod. Class time will be followed by practical rod building workshops in our facility. Basic tools and materials required to build a complete rod will be provided for the use of each student. A list of recommended tools and materials will be provided so you can set up your own rod building workbench at home.

Instructors are a combination of resident rod building professionals and visiting professionals with expertise in specific rod building techniques. Classes are taught by individuals qualified to answer your questions and explain each step in the process of custom rod building.

For your convenience, individual components and rod blanks for each class will be acquired by RBI and charged to each student in addition to the appropriate class fee. If you wish to bring your own rod blank and components, this is allowed as long as you provide a list of items to the instructor prior to registering for the class.

Classes will be of limited size and, typically, will be devoted to one type of rod per class to maximize our ability to provide help and give individual direction to the students.

Make sure you pick the right class for the type of rod you want to build.

Opportunities abound in this area for fishing after classes have ended for the day. Located in north central Idaho we are situated within a pristine, and highly productive, wilderness fishing area…one of the best in the country. Students will receive a package of information about lodging, restaurants, travel suggestions and local recreational opportunities.

Students will also receive information providing access to reference materials, web based resources, printed resources, associations, industry suppliers and our online courses. This information will allow you to conduct your own research and study into the craft and build on the things you learn at Rod Builders Institute.