Buying A Used Fishing Rod: What You Need To Know

Ice Fishing Buying a brand new fishing rod can be pretty expensive, leaving many fishermen considering the purchase of a used rod. However, there are a few things to think about when venturing into used fishing rods. For example, it’s most important to check the overall quality of the fishing rod before you consider buying it. The condition of the rod is indicative to how long it will last you going forward and if it’s what you’re looking for in a rod.



Specifically check the joints and make sure everything fits together perfectly. If the joints are worn out, the rod will wobble during casting and have the potential of cracking when reeling in your catch. Make sure to also check the rod rings, which if in bad condition can damage the fishing line and negatively impact the fisher’s distance of casting. In addition to the condition of the fishing rod, you should also consider how much any repairs would cost if they become necessary now or if you think something might become an issue in the immediate future.



Spending a few hundred dollars on a user fishing rod seems like a cost-effective purchase. However, if you need to put another few hundred dollars worth of repair into, you would have been better off just purchasing a brand new fishing rod from the beginning. For veteran fishers who know exactly what type of fishing rod they want to help them catch specific types of fish, buying a used rod can be a detriment to their skill level. In fact, taking a used and potentially damaged fishing rod out for a day can end up just being frustrating and unproductive.



There are five things you should know about a fishing rod before you purchase it, especially if it has previously been used. First of all make sure you know the length and duration of use. A ten year-old fishing rod is a riskier purchase than a rod purchased six months ago and only used twice. Also ask what water the rod was used in and to catch what types and weights of fish. This will help you determine the wear of the rod. Also inquire about the action it has and most importantly why the seller is getting rid of the rod.



Through the inspection and questioning process you will be able to tell whether or not purchasing a used rod is a good decision. You should also weigh the benefits and features of the used rod against the benefits and features of a new, customized rod that you could purchase designed exactly how you want. Remember to always look, inspect and ask before you leap into purchasing a used fishing rod.

Tournament-Style Fishing Charters for Corporate Events and Family Reunions

Signature Fishing Rods knows equipment, but we also know how to use it. Keeping up with the latest trends in fishing experiences is integral to providing our customers, family, and friends decked out in equipment that will enhance their fishing ventures. Here are three trends that we’re expecting to take fire in 2014.


Overnight and multi-day charter experiences are becoming more and more popular as the public becomes aware of the lure of deep sea fishing. Many chartering services are now offering trips that generally leave at night, waking your party up with the sun to unbeatable middle-of-the-ocean views and life-changing all day fishing experiences. The bonds formed between parties and crews on trips like these are well-worth the extra time. And the prospect of coming home with a huge catch doesn’t hurt either.


Competition isn’t a trend – it’s an integral part of a fisherman’s lifestyle. It’s all about reeling in the big one and coming home with a catch that will blow friends and family away. With shows like Reel Rivals become more and more mainstream, Signature Fishing Rods is expecting a huge rise in tournament-style charters for corporate events and family reunions. The captains and crews are getting involved too, adding fire to these private competitions in an effort to boast their skill in selecting the most fruitful fishing spots and whispering advice to parties on each boat involved.


We would be remiss to not mention the importance of YouTube and video footage of reeling in a 500 pound Tuna or 700 pound Mako. With technology now catching up to all of our ventures, the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen,” has never been more apt. And the GoPro camera allows everyone to catch their moment along with their big fish. Never end a story with “the one that got away.”


Outfit your fishing party the right way by checking out Signature Fishing Rods before your next adventure. We’re waiting to meet all of your reel needs.







Great Lakes Custom Fishing Rods

Asian carp infestationIn the Great Lakes region, fishing makes up a large part of the tourism industries that bring more than $6 billion to local communities around these lakes. However, a natural threat has been spreading across the country like a virus, threatening to upset the delicate practice that provides such great fishing throughout the northern Midwest and parts of the Northeast.


During the 1970s, Asian carp were introduced into waterways in the American South as a natural alternative to using chemicals to clean catfish pools. Unfortunately, this hardy species was able to thrive and escape to other parts of the country, eventually reaching the Mississippi River.


There are plenty of issues that have arisen thanks in large part to the Asian carp infestation. These fish are a very large species, adult sizes reaching up to a yard in length, and they can jump out of the water with enough force to knock a human out. Dozens of fish have been known to leap into the air as boats pass by, startled by the motors. The incredible feeding habits of these fish also make it difficult for other, more prized species to thrive.


Now, the U.S. government is getting involved to make sure that the delicate ecosystems of the Great Lakes are protected for years to come. A recent report released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suggested that physically separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River may be the best shot we have to stem the tide of this invasive species. As this article published by Britain’s Telegraph suggests, Chicago may even seal off its canal system to address this issue.


We’re hopeful for the future of Great Lakes fishing here at Signature Fishing Rods. With the power of the Army Corps of Engineers behind it, this project to keep Asian carp from important waterways will likely gain a lot of steam. If you plan to visit the Great Lakes, take a short stop in Hinsdale, IL, and pick up a custom fishing rod that will add to the enjoyment of your fishing experience.





During the Holiday Season, Come Together With Custom Made Fishing Rods

Holiday FishingThere are few more peaceful experiences in this world than sitting out on the open waters for hours, not breathing a word while you wait for fish to bite at your baited line. In a world filled with war, strife and constant technology, fishing may be the last respite some have for enjoying peace and quiet in their lives. Throughout history, fishing has even been able to bring together people from very different backgrounds, even when they’re coming from different countries that are in conflict.


During the Cold War, one fishery operated by U.S. and Russian fishermen flew directly in the face of the prevailing sentiments of the time, that capitalists and communists couldn’t cooperate. However, as this radio report discusses, the area of Seattle, WA, was home to one of the biggest collaborations between Russian and American fishermen during the height of Cold War tensions.


The Marine Resources partnership was dreamed up by an American fishery in response to U.S. legislation in the late 1970s that gave priority to American fishermen within 200 miles of the American coastline. A provision of the law gave some priority to American fishermen working with foreigners, and a shrewd businessman realized that the immense Russian fleet and their knowledge of processing fish far outpaced the skills of their American counterparts.


While political conflicts raged all over the world between the superpowers, both the American and Russian fishermen involved in this venture gained a lot from the partnership. Green American fishers gained a lot of valuable experience from expert fishermen. The Russians also found a business partner that could navigate the open markets in a way that communists couldn’t.


Although the fishery only lasted a matter of years, it showed an incredible amount of cooperation among people from different sides of the global political battleground of the day. With the holidays coming up, now might be a great time to find some peace in your own life through a little fishing. For the fishing fanatic in your life, Signature Fishing Rods is bound to have exactly what he or she needs.




Operation HOOAH and Custom Fishing Rods

There’s hardly a more relaxing pastime than taking a boat out onto open waters and sitting back with a fishing reel for a couple of hours. Whether or not the fish bite, the time spent either meditating by yourself or enjoying the company of others is very helpful in its own way. For some battling intense emotional and physical traumas, this kind of relaxation can be very therapeutic.


Operation HOOAH is a military program occurring within the United States that’s designed to get recuperating soldiers out of the hospital so that they can enjoy their lives. The program, which stands for Healing Outside of an Army Hospital, recently took a group of 20 wounded veterans from the 101st Airborne Division to Florence, Alabama, according to this story from

Healing Outside of an an Army Hospital

This program, now in its second year, helps to heal many of the emotional wounds sustained by soldiers that cannot be treated with pharmaceuticals or surgery. One soldier interviewed for the above story said that he didn’t catch any fish, but said that the real value for him was getting out into the community and getting to forget about his injuries.


Organizers of this program believe that these events can even be lifesaving, given the concerns over returning wounded veterans who have been inclined to cause harm to themselves. One sergeant who brought soldiers to Operation HOOAH in the past said that the emotional and mental well-being of all the attendees was incredibly improved, including those who were incredibly afflicted with depression.


Even if you’re not a soldier serving in foreign wars, it’s likely that you have a stressful lifestyle. Whether you have a loved one who is a warrior for your country or at the workplace, giving them a customized fishing rod may be the perfect way to suggest taking some time off from all of the stress and worry. Now with the holidays approaching, let Signature Fishing Rods help you create a custom gift that can be enjoyed for years.


*Image courtesy of




43 Trout Fishing Locations in Illinois

Fishing for trout is a pastime that can be enjoyed in waterways all over the state of Illinois. Anglers who plan on scouring various lakes and ponds for the popular catch will be able to by the end of October, but there are a number of rules and regulations that anyone fishing for trout will have to take into consideration. Doing your homework to ensure that you’re fishing properly in state waters will keep you on the right side of the law and away from any fines.


In Illinois, there will be 43 trout fishing locations that will be populated with catchable trout for fishermen. Many will open at the start of trout season, which begins this year at 5 AM on October 19. However, not all fishing sites will open their waters right at the start of the season. Those who want to find out about when a favorite spot will open up should contact the public parks authority that maintains the fishing area.


Anglers will need to obtain both a fishing license and trout fishing stamps before casting their lines. Residents and nonresidents alike can purchase these legal permits at any Illinois Department of Natural Resources office as well as online through the DNR’s official website. Sporting goods stores, bait shops and other retail establishments are also capable of providing these documents.


Trout fishing hotspots are fairly well spread out throughout Illinois, but some counties are home to more locations than others are. Cook County, which borders Lake Michigan and includes the state’s largest city of Chicago, is home to four different locations. Three of those four exist in the Cook County Forest Preserve District, a public parkland spanning more than 68,000 acres, or about 11 percent of the county’s total area. St. Clair County, in southwestern Illinois bordering the Missouri city of St. Louis, is home to three trout locations, including Jones Park Lake, Willow Lake and the Frank Holten State Recreation Area Lake.

Illinois trout season

Now that the trout and other fish are about to start biting, it’s a great time to get your old fishing rod ready or to purchase a new, custom rod that will completely alter your fishing experience for the better. When you want more control over your angling, give Signature Fishing Rods a call. We serve Illinois fishermen from all over the state.




Custom Fishing Rods and Diamonds in the Rough

Midwest public inland waterwaysSeasoned, experienced fishermen are always on the lookout for the next great watering hole where they can pick up some new and exciting varieties of fish. Over the course of years, it may feel like you’ve exhausted every available option and you’re tired for something new. Today on Signature Fishing Rods’ blog, we’d like to share with you a few “diamond in the rough” locations in the Midwest that you may not have considered before now.


The Midwest may not have much coastline compared to New England or California, but there are plenty of public inland waterways where fishing is alive and well. One such area is the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, a 241,000-acre wide region of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota that offers fishing on nearly 261 miles along the Mississippi and other rivers and streams.


Only a three-hour drive from Chicago, this wildlife refuge is home to many varieties of fish, including walleye, bluegill, crappie, perch, sturgeon, catfish and multiple species of bass. Hunters also have a number of game options at this reserve, including white-tailed deer, geese and ducks.


If you’re looking to get away for a day, a 10-hour trip south will get you into Arkansas and put you in our next hidden gem site: White River National Wildlife Refuge. This 160,000-acre wide reserve is situated in and around St. Charles, AR, two hours northwest of the capital city of Little Rock. This region, which marks the convergence of the Mississippi and White Rivers, is a great area for largemouth bass, crappie and catfish.


Finding a new location full of jumping, biting fish is enjoyable, but using a custom fishing rod makes the experience even more memorable. The durability, look and feel of a Signature Fishing Rod makes any fisherman feel more empowered, whatever their experience level. Call us to make sure you have the right tools when exploring a new fishing hole.






*Image courtesy of federico rostagno


Your Fishing Rod is Your Best Friend

custom fishing reelsThe average fisherman looks at a fishing rod as a simple tool, a means to an end. But ask any angler who has put years into the sport and that person will tell you that the right fishing rod means so much more. The enjoyment that comes from casting perfect lines and a comfortable reel can make that simple piece of equipment seem much more like a trusted friend.


Plenty of fishermen take to the water only a few times every year, and most fail to notice the subtleties that make a quality custom fishing rod so valuable. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, there can be no doubt that the custom rod is yours. Rods purchased off-the-shelf from sporting goods stores don’t inspire the same feelings of ownership. It’s hard to build a relationship with something so mass-produced. Why invest lots of time building a custom rod? Let us build a custom rod that’s uniquely yours in a way no other fishing pole can be.


There are plenty of practical ways that purchasing a custom rod will help your fishing ability as well. Custom-built rods tend to perform better than mass-produced rods in a number of ways. Personalized fishing rods can be built to all sorts of specifications regarding rod length, guides, reel seat, handle and more. Each of these modifications can greatly affect how the rod casts and reels, giving a builder ultimate control over the kind of fishing rod they’ll be using. In addition, custom fishing rods can have unique designs to make he rod truly yours.


Many companies that mass-produce fishing rods do not take the time to test the blanks and guides for the fishing line. Neglecting to test and tune these items can actually cause inconsistencies in performance, especially while casting. Custom-built rods use higher quality materials that provide the durability, power and sensitivity needed to catch fish.


A lot of angling hobbyists assume that these custom fishing rods are way out of their price range, but in many cases a custom rod is not too much more expensive than the mass-produced variety. Why skimp on the most important tool used in catching fish? Don’t buy mass a produced fishing rod – get something you can trust like a friend; a sensitive, durable and powerful custom fishing rod. When you’re looking for much more than a tool for your next fishing excursion, call Signature Fishing Rods. We’ll craft a fishing rod that you will grow to love.