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 classes are conducted at your convenience. 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!
Rod Builders Institute (RBI) (a subsidiary of Black Dog Custom Rods) currently offers classes in Wilbur, 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
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
|Nomenclature||Blank Selection||Wrapping Guides||Materials Used||Equipment Used|
|Handle Selection||Tipping Wraps||Tools Required||Reel Seat Selection||Intermediate Wraps|
|Guide Selection||Decorative Wraps||Threads||Handle Selection||Finish Application|
|Bushings||Reel Seat Installation||Drying||Decals||Guide Spacing|
|Correcting Mistakes||Assembly Process||Guide Preparation||Rod 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 Blanks||Feather Inlays||Physical Limitations||Painting Blanks
|Fitting Ferrules||Fishing Style||Modifying Reel Seats||Custom Wraps
|Custom Purpose Rods||Thread Inlays||Exotic Materials||Painting Components|
|Intermediate Wraps||Butt Wraps & Weaves||Making Components||Metallics, Tinsels, Wire|
|Tubes & Bags||Repairing Blanks||Invisible Wraps||Finishes|