Would you love to build your own custom fly rod? This is the perfect course for you!
Our 3-Day specialized fly rod building class is taught by top professional rod builders with extensive knowledge of all the techniques and components that build today's top-performing fly rods. Hosted in Mud Hole’s state-of-the-art Education Center, this class will teach you how to assemble your own fly fishing rod from the handle to the tip.
Choose to build a 3, 5, or 8 Wt, and enjoy your first fly rod build with personalized instruction!
With hands-on instruction, this rewarding class will bring your dream of a custom-built fly rod to life!
Time & Location – Specialty Classes
Our specialty rod building classes are a 3-day event. During the class, participants learn all of the proper techniques for building a custom specialty rod start-to-finish.
Day 1: The first evening is a technical orientation covering how to spine each section of a 1 pc. and 2pc. rod blank, handle setups and assembly, as well as guide prep and guide spacing through static deflection. With just 4 students to an instructor, students receive one-on-one training and personalized guide spacing per their rod’s specifications.
Day 2: On the second day, you will learn the ins and outs of wrapping guides with thread from some of the most experienced builders in the industry. Next, instructors will explain the best practices in epoxy finish from mixing and application, to proper drying and curing.
Day 3: The final day is reserved for enjoying some exclusive advanced technical seminars and test casting your new custom-built rod. We encourage you to bring your own reel for both setup and casting.
Meet Our Instructors
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.
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.
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.
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.
Class Cancellation Policy
Cancellations made 30 days prior to the class date are eligible to receive a full refund.
Cancellations made 15 to 30 days prior to class date are not eligible for a refund but may be rescheduled up to 1 time.
Cancellations made less than 15 days prior to the class date are not eligible for a refund or rescheduling. All of your class materials, including the instructional DVD will be shipped to you free of charge.
I attended one of the very first Mud Hole rod building classes. I absolutely love the rod I built and still fish with it today. So why take the class again? First, a refresher of the skills I learned is a good thing. Second, things change and techniques improve. I certainly benefited from the skill update. Third, I had access to a team of experts for the weekend. That was invaluable. Most important was the camaraderie with a group of like minded folks who love fishing. I took my son to this class and I recommend it to everybody who fishes!
Thanks to Todd and his crew!
Attended the rod building class in person in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was awesome and really worth it. If you are considering taking the in person class, do it! The 1st day goes by fast and the instructors will make sure everyone has a nice rod built by the end of the day. The 2nd day they provide more information and show you how to static load rods, repair and decorate rods.
What helped me prepare for the class was watching their rod building paylist on their youtube channel. Definitely check it out if you have time.
You also get to keep your guide wrapper and rod dryer! They also sold some items on the 2nd day to help you get started on your next build. The items were even discounted from what you see on their website!
Thank you to all the instructors - Todd, Cindy, Buzz, Derwood, and Jesus (a Texan!).
I ended up meeting the instructors a day before by chance. I was staying at the same hotel they were. I was checking into the hotel with a fishing rod and Todd stopped me and asked what I was doing with the fishing rod.
I attended the Dallas training this past weekend for 101. If you even think you might be interested, then book it and go. It was just as enjoyable interacting with the staff as it was building my first rod. You get to spend one entire day building with zero pressure and all the support and help you need. The instructors will not let you fail to complete an awesome rod. The second day you will get to observe demonstrations and techniques that each of the instructors use in building rods. Again, you don't have to like fishing or want to start a rod building hobby to enjoy this class. I am going to do this class a second time and take my daughter. Shout out to Todd, Cindy, Buzz, Derwood, and the unanimous class favorite JESUS!.... You guys were awesome.