What our students are saying
What a great class. On arrival you pick your rod color, thread colors, and component type (spin or casting pre-ordered at sign-up). The instructors (Todd, Buzz, Jesus, Cindy) were fantastic. They are all very knowledgeable and will help and answer your questions. They go through each component step by step and will walk you through the process. Once everyone is ready, they will proceed to the next step. As you are wrapping the guides on your own personal rod, the instructors are walking around the class checking on your status and answering any questions that may arise. Day 2, you pick-up your completed rod, hand wrapping equipment, threads, electric dryer, certificate of completion. The instructors demonstrated guide placement, different finishing techniques (marbling, abalone shell). Great Class!
I just finished the online basic spinning rod building class this weekend [Aug 2022] that Mud Hole offers for $199. I am brand new at this hobby and figured this would be a great way to get started. What an amazing opportunity. First of all the amount of equipment and supplies I received was more than the cost of entry.
Then class time came on Sat/Sun and it was two instructors Cindy and Mike and two students myself and another student from Oregon. We had personalized instruction, plenty of time to ask questions, they could see us working and helped along the way, we could see them working and they had multiple camera angles. Everything about the class was superior. I’ve done training, recently had online college courses, been in multiple online meetings/presentations and this class was better than anything I’ve seen. In fact it was better than most in person classes.
Just a 65 yr old guy trying to learn a new hobby and I feel like I’m off to a great start. I would highly recommend this class for new and even experienced rod builders.
What a great Father’s Day weekend thing to do with my oldest son! We had such a great time and the instructors were great! We both are hooked and looking forward to taking some more classes and learn some other things! I got my son a rod building kit for last Christmas and he has been playing around with it. He said he was so happy to take this class and learn the right way to do things. If you have a 16yo+ child that loves fishing this is a great thing to do with them.
Cindy does a great job of covering not only the basics of rod building but advanced techniques as well.
Her product knowledge coupled with teaching ability gave me the fundamentals to build a great rod.
This is one class you will be thankful for.
Buzz and Mike both have the product knowledge and most importantly the ability and desire to share their knowledge. Their patience and ability to communicate fundamentals helped considerably. Will be watching for this pair to team up again and will be first in line if you offer the ice rod class referred to. Thank you Mud Hole.
Buzz and Mike ran a spectacular class. They were very knowledgeable, thorough with their presentation, and patient when students struggled. I've always thought of taking this sort of class, and can say that the online format was great. I loved being able to build a rod in my work area, with Buzz and Mike appearing virtually. The price of the class was reasonable considering everything I walked away with, and that does not include the value of the knowledge. I am anxiously waiting for Buzz to teach his ice rod class, I will be a repeat customer. Thank you for a top notch experience!
Good morning Todd… I just finished your course on the weekend through zoom. It was an excellent course with excellent instructors both Buzz and Mike were very patient which made it to be an awesome course. They took the time on an individual when one of us was having trouble they spent the time to make sure we were looked after. I ended up in the breakaway room which is an excellent idea for students that are a little bit slower than the others I had never taken a rod building course but they made it like I had done many before. There was one item that was wrong in the kit; a few of us had the wrong tip top which did not hold up the course but we were not able to finish our rods but they explained to us how to do it; showed us how to do it so we will not have any trouble completing our rods. I give this course a five star rating if I could I would give it more. I was very impressed, also they have given us their emails for the future if we have any questions or need some advice on how to build different rods.
Very fun and informative class. The instructors took the time to answer all questions and were very patient. The cost was very reasonable. I would highly recommend this class.
curt was an amazing teacher learned so much from him and jesus had a great time definitely worth the price
Let me just start by saying this was the best $229 I have ever spent!!!! Mike and Jesus were great the class was a blast we had fun while we all learned. Both Mike and Jesus were quick to answer question and concerns and gave us plenty of tips and tricks on different ways we could do some of the steps to ensure we found a way that was comfortable for us to do each step. I commend them both for being so knowledgeable and at the same time being very enthusiastic about our efforts. They were attentive and took the time to focus on each of us when we needed extra help or another demonstration. If you are debating whether to take the class online or in person I can without a doubt say it is more then doable online and I can confidently say that having the small class online I feel like gave us a chance to make it more personal with each of us when we needed help. Thank you guys a bunch. Looking forward to many more rod builds to update my arsenal
This was a really great experience. Cindy does a fabulous job at really making sure that you understand process and will keep explaining it until she is certain that you understand it. She doesn't leave anyone behind. An added bonus was Cindy's backup, Curt.
Not only are you getting great tips from Cindy but Curt even shares his knowledge of the craft. I'm already planning builds 2 & 3 as this first one spins in the dryer. Great kit and even greater instructors. You wont be disappointed taking this class.
I’ve never built a rod before and when I seen the virtual rod class I thought it would be fun. It is worth every penny. Cindy is a super knowledgeable, patient, and kind instructor. She makes sure everyone is getting the help they need, the pace is great, and she helped out those who needed a little bit extra attention. My first day of class I was on my PC and didn’t have a webcam, which is important because it helps the instructors help see your build and what you’re doing. I switched to my phone the second day and unfortunately I received two line thread epoxy hardeners and no resin so I couldn’t finish my rod but Cindy is making it right and seeing it through that I’ll get my rod finished. So glad I took this class and really happy with this rod.
The value of this online class is incredible! For the cost of the class you get everything you need to build a fantastic all purpose bass rod, and 2 days worth of instruction to learn the skills needed to build rods into the future! The instructors were very informative and patient! Even for someone who’s built rods before, this class is worth the cost, and you’ll probably learn something new.
This was an awsome class!! Great instructors who had a lot of patience and were able to work with members in the class working at different speeds. It was a great experience and a fun time. I will be taking another class soon!!! And it was a great value!
AWSOME is the best word to describe this class.
This was my first time attempting to build my own fishing rod. The class was taught by a team of instructors who provided the right amount of time helping me learn the basics of building a custom fishing rod. The student to instructor ratio was outstanding. Whenever I had a question about a technique I was having problems with, an instructor would be at my side before I even summoned their help. Instructors casually watched every student's technique as our rods progressed toward completion. The team of instructors were very experienced and enthusiastic about teaching their rod building craft. What was most evident was how well the instructors worked with each other. I appreciated learning different techniques from various instructors while building my custom rod. I am glad I listened to the advice of a long-time rod builder when starting my new hobby. He indicated the investment in taking the Mud Hole class to learn the proper techniques would save me time and money. The class provided me with the right equipment to begin my rod building hobby saving me lots of wasted money buying equipment I did not need. Without a doubt, he was right and I started building my second custom rod the day after completing the In-person Beginner Rod Building Workshop. The training was time and money well spent!
Meet the Teachers
Todd Vivian has been building custom rods for 35 years.
After spending 20 years as lead rod designer for Lamiglas in Washington state, Todd relocated to Florida to develop complete lines of blanks for Mud Hole.
12 years and 600+ blanks later, Todd is still just as passiontate about fishing, sharing his knowledge as lead instructor for Mud Hole's education program.
Buzz Butters has been building custom rods for 35 years.
He began teaching high school students about 20 years ago and joined Mud Hole as part of the Teaching Staff about 8 years ago.
His company, B&B Custom Rods is a well-known purveyor of Walleye and Ice fishing rods in the Wisconsin-area.
As a school teacher, Cindy McKay first came to Mud Hole with the intention of sharing rod building with her students.
She quickly realized that parents were just as eager to learn, and joined Mud Hole as an instructor in our nationwide on-the-road series of classes.
Cindy has been with Mud Hole Custom Tackle as a regular instructor since 2017.
Jesus Peña was a student in our very first rod building workshop over 10 years ago!
He flew to Chicago from South Texas to take this class in 2009. Soon after, he began helping instruct Mud Hole classes in Corpus Christi, Houston and Dallas.
Jesus has been with Mud Hole Custom Tackle as a full time instructor for over 5 years.
Mike Kosiba has been a rod building instructor with Mud Hole for about 5 years, though he began his rod building career in the late 90’s – bringing decades of rod building experience to Mud Hole.
Mike grew up in Florida but has been able to sharpen his skills fishing in places around the country, for virtually every species of fish… although he still prefers the trout and redfish in the Indian River.
Curt Baker has been building and fishing custom rods in the Tampa, FL area for over 35 years.
With grouper, snapper and black tip shark as his favorite species to target, he has built countless rods for them over the years.
Curt has been sharing his knowledge through Mud Hole's education program for over 10 years.