When the University of Florida Bass Fishing Club reached out for a potential sponsorship deal, we were intrigued. However, the thought of a traditional sponsorship arrangement, product or dollars in exchange for a spot on the jersey and advertising, wasn't the right fit. We wanted to try something different and bring something new and fun into a traditional sponsorship. We came up with a unique idea; in true Mud Hole Fashion, we decided to go to the University of Florida, build a fishing rod on campus with the team, and auction it off to help them pay for the upcoming season's expenses.
Here's How It Went Down
A few weeks back, we got up early and headed North on I-75 to Gainesville and met with the members of the Bass Fishing Club. Getting right to work upon arrival, we reamed and glued the handle of the rod in front of the main entrance to "The Swamp", Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
While the glue set up, we walked to the Lee Chira Family Heisman Plaza where we met Elise, Amanda, and Coach Billy Napier to wrap the rod guides. In that moment, Coach Napier earned the title of “The First College Football Coach in History to Wrap a Fishing Rod in his own School’s Colors in Front of his Home Stadium.” Quite long-winded, but we dare not undersell the stat.
The Finishing Touches
After that achievement, we thanked and congratulated Coach Napier and headed to the Century Tower to wrap the hook keeper, and add decals and decorative threadwork. The rod was finished being wrapped, now all it needed was a few coats of epoxy to lock the thread work, guides, hook keeper and decals on.
To ensure the cleanest coats possible and avoid contamination, we brought the rod back to Mud Hole to epoxy. A few coats and a few days later, the custom Florida Gators rod was ready to be photographed for its big week. The rod had done everything it could up to this point. Now, it's up to the people to see how much it can bring in to support UF’s Bass Fishing Club.
Put this Gator Rod in Your Hands!
What will happen with the rod in the hands of its new owner? Will it be fished as someone’s new favorite heavy power casting rod? Or will it be put on the shelf as memorabilia, toting Coach Napier’s first rod build, a great story and a positive impact. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Only you have the power to influence that. Bid now for your chance to win this custom Florida Gators Rod, support the UF Bass Fishing Club and choose what happens with the rod! If the winning bidder lives near Central Florida, we’d love to hand deliver the rod to you! If not no worries, we will ship you the rod free of charge! Good luck!
Check out the full video experience of our trip to the University of Florida and the making of the Gator Rod with Coach Napier and the Bass Fishing Club below...
And, a final "Thank You" to the University of Florida Bass Fishing Club for inviting us to Gainesville for an amazing day of custom rod building!