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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are my first two matched builds that I just finished for a customer. I built up my prototypes a few weeks ago and have been very impressed with the blanks and how they feel. John Madison CT has been looking at various popping and jigging rods over the past year and finally found some blanks that he liked! The OTI blanks feel very smooth when pulling on weights and drag, these will be very comfortable to fish. I can't imagine what their new blanks will be like!

We went with the OTI 600gr jigging rod to pair up with an Accurate BX2-600 for CC BFT for next year. John likes those ball gimbals, so we went with that, pac Bay Channel Lock graphite reel seat with blue hoods, and dark blue underwraps/trims and black overwraps. He liked the blue and the subtle colors. We spaced the handle dimensions based off of an OTI 400gr rod that he has that he liked the feel of. Fuji LRSG 25mm stripper, MNSG guides for the remainder, Sic tip top. EVA foregrip with X flock over it, BFT tuna decal on the split portion over a dark blue wrap.

For the OTI 7'6" 80# popping rod, we got together and tried out some handle lengths. We ended up with it being set up very similar to the jigging rod, with the split grip. He has smaller hands, and wanted a thinner foregrip. We played with some stuff and I tried something new! The foregrip is actually 1/8" thick cork tape wrapped around the blank to leave gaps between the tape. I then epoxied the cork tape so it wouldn't slide around, and X flock shrink tube over that. You get a firm foregrip around 1" in diameter, with grooves for traction. Feels pretty nice, too! Same Ball Gimbal, Pac Bay reel seat, and Fuji MNSG guides and SiC tip top, same colors as above. Reel will be his Spheros 14000 that he upgraded to Carbontex and the Saragosa handle.




Closeup of the foregrip:
 

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Can't beat the OTI blanks for performance or warranty. I know John will be very happy! :)

I've always been a sucker for blue, and I really like the more-subtle one-off look! Very nice!! :)
 

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I haven't touched them yet.....but I'm already HAPPY !!

I've seen many of TAZ575's other builds, and he does excellent work. Needless to say, I highly recommend him for any custom rod builds,and this goes from freshwater Ultralight rods to ultrastiff Planer rods.

The Accurate BX2-600 and it's blue accents match with the 600g Jigging rod perfectly. I'll post up some pics when they get married up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They are the G3 blanks. I bought like 17 blanks recently and started building on them! Next, I gotta do a 300gr one, feels like a very nice blank, too!
 

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Very nice work and thanks for all of the "details". On the OTI popping blank is there just a fiberglass ferrule where the two peices join? Also who is your supplier for the OTI blanks?
Thanks
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The ferrule appears to be graphite, maybe some fiberglass in there for strength. It is a female end upper with the male portion being the lower section, tip over butt type construction. I get my blanks thru OTI from Bret.

John picked his rods up today, and we got some videos of my first 2 builds pulling some drag with them. Once they are uploaded, I will post the links!
 

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Taz - How do you like the ball gimbals? I am building a couple heavy jigging rods this winter and was thinking about a ball gimbal on at least one of them. Never tried them before but I like the concept. Perfection is the only maker I have found, but unfortunately their ball gimbals look like they have the same diameter in the section that goes on the rod as #3 straight gimbals. I would rather find something a little smaller in diameter.
 

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Picked up the 2 rods today................................better than I dreamed.

The wraps, reel seats, gimbels, split grip, etc etc are fantastic. The blue and black primary rod colors work together like an art piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I love the ball gimbals! Braid makes them as well, but I have only seen them at Merrick I belive. I have only found the one size of them so far. They are much more comfortable than the straight gimbals when used w/o a belt, and I finally found a butt cap for them!
 
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