How I Became a Better Fisherman


Over the years my fishing knowledge has improved greatly. Yet even as my knowledge improved, I did not dramatically increase my ability to catch fish.

Custom Fishing Rods I am like anyone else and use a variety of baits, lures and techniques. If a fish hits a lure, I generally react appropriately. At first, using live bait did not go as well as hoped. Relying on Lindy Rigs or bottom bouncers in swallow or deep water, in holes or up against rocks, I did fine as long as fish hit hard. The problem was the soft or light hits. I could not feel them and only realized I missed something when I reeled in to check my bait.

Back in the 80’s I was introduced to Jim Grandt at a sports show. He tied a line on the tip of an All American Pro fishing rod and asked me to hold the rod. Jim then flicked the line with his finger and asked if I felt the vibration. One look at my face gave him the answer — a resounding “Yes”! It became clear that my “clumsy” hands needed a more sensitive rod. Since that time I have enjoyed much better success fishing. As in most things in life, to be good, the right equipment is everything.

I have been fortunate to improve my equipment with the every increase in sensitivity of fishing rods. Obviously, my favorites are Grandt Rods. Currently my favorite is the 7’0″ Cuda medium spinning rod.

I choose this rod instead of the medium light fishing rods that I normally prefer. The medium power rod is rated for a little heavier line at the top end. Yet it is light, powerful and sensitive. I generally fish a Canadian river system that has a hard bottom. Current is what distinguishes good areas of fish from the peaceful areas that few fish hold. If the gates of the control dams are opened, current can be very heavy. Current is where more and bigger fish concentrate to ambush whatever is being swept through the area. Even here light hits are numerous. I use a 1 1/2 to 2 ounce bottom bouncer and hope it is heavy enough to stay on the bottom. If not, it is time to relocate.

The 7’0″ medium Cuda allows use of a heavier line (usually 8 lb. with a 10 or 12 lb. leader). If current is not as fast as normal, I can still use the same rig in a more typical lake style fishing environment. The Cuda also has the fast action needed to fight bigger fish yet still provides the sensitivity needed.

Everyone is different. You need to determine what you like based on how you fish. Grandt Rods are built to last and give you the sensitivity needed. They come with a lifetime warranty! The 7’0″ Cuda custom rods are on sale in both casting and spinning versions now! See and click on the “Featured Rods” on the top.

Tips for Maintaining Your Fishing Rod

Fishing Rods Whether you’re an occasional fisherman with one fishing rod or an experienced fisherman with 20 of them, you should make sure you maintain each and every rod you use. It will extend the life of it and ensure that it delivers optimum performance when you’re out on the water. Here are some maintenance steps to take to keep your fishing rod in like new condition.

Wash your fishing rod after every use.

After a long day of fishing, you might not necessarily feel like spending time maintaining your rod. However, it’s prudent to do it.  All you need to do to wash it is use hot water and a small amount of soap. This will remove any dirt from it and get the salt off it if you were fishing in the ocean. It will only take a few minutes to do, but it will be well worth your time.

Check your fishing rod for signs of damage.

Once your fishing rod is all clean, you will be able to spot signs of damage more easily. You should keep an eye out for scratches on your rod, and replace any portions of the rod that are scratched up beyond repair. A simple way to detect scratches on your rod is to run a cotton ball over it. If scratches are there, the cotton ball will get snagged on it, and you’ll know that you have an issue that you need to deal with accordingly.

Store your fishing rod in a rack.

Far too often, fishermen will take a fishing rod and lean it up against a wall in their basement or in a shed when they’re not using it. This is just about the worst way to store a rod. It can cause it to warp pretty quickly, and when that happens, it won’t be safe for you to use it. You should also take measures to avoid banging your rod against hard surfaces when you’re not using it.

If you need a hand maintaining your rod or if you need to obtain a new rod to replace an old one, Signature Fishing Rods can help. Call us at 630-530-8775 today for all your fishing rod needs.

The History of the Fishing Rod

History of Fishing Rods Fishing has become one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. over the course of time. As of right now, there are almost 50 million Americans who go fishing on an annual basis, and that number seems to continue to climb year after year. As a result, the fishing rods that are used have become more advanced than ever as fishermen try to get every competitive advantage they can when they hit the water. But fishing is something that has actually been around for centuries now, and the fishing pole itself has evolved quite a bit since it first came into existence.

The Invention of the Fishing Rod

So, who invented the very first fishing rod? It’s actually impossible to say! Based on stone inscriptions that date as far back as 2000 B.C, there were many people in ancient Egypt and China using fishing rods. Those in ancient Greece and Rome used them as well. It seems those who lived in prehistoric times caught fish by using their bare hands in shallow water. But over time, people realized how inefficient it was to go after fish like that, and they also wanted to d a way to fish in deeper waters. So they started using a hook and line to do it before eventually tying the line to a long rod and using that to help them fish.

Since then, fishing rods have come a long way. While the earliest versions of fishing poles featured the line tied to a single point on the rods, running rings leading from the bottom of the rod to the top eventually replaced the early models. Then, people started making rods out of different materials like bamboo to improve the flexibility of them. But it wasn’t until the 20th century when manufacturing made it possible to employ materials like fiberglass and graphite to build fishing rods. These are some of the same materials used to make fishing rods today.

If you’re in the market for the most sophisticated and responsive fishing rods available right now, Signature Fishing Rods has plenty for you to choose from. Call us at 630-530-8775 to order one of the many rods we have in stock.

Do Left-handed Anglers Have a Built in Advantage?

Left-handed Fishermen Being left-handed can be tough. About 90 percent of Americans are right-handed, and as a result, most products are manufactured with right-handed people in mind. Scissors, computer mice, and other things that people use on a daily basis are better suited for those who use their right hands than those who use their left hands. And even when things are made for lefties, they can be hard to find in certain instances.

That’s not necessarily the case with left-handed fishing equipment. There are quite a few left-handed baitcasting reels out there, and believe it or not, there are actually many right-handed fishermen who prefer using them. One of them is none other than Patrick Pierce, a professional fisherman who takes part in Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens. Pierce prefers using left-handed baitcasting reels even though he is right-handed.

Is it because left-handed people have a decided advantage when they fish with the equipment made specifically for them? Not necessarily. Pierce has talked about how he uses a left-handed baitcasting reel because it allows him to be more efficient. With a left-handed reel, he can cast out with his right hand and then keep the reel there while reeling with his left hand. It frees his right hand up to control his bait, set his hooks, and fight fish when he feels a bite rather than relying on his weaker hand to do it. Therefore, it’s not that lefties have better equipment than righties or anything; it’s that righties can, in Pierce’s opinion at least, utilize left-handed equipment to their advantage better than they can right-handed equipment.

No matter which hand you use when you fish, Signature Fishing Rods can provide you with custom fishing rods that will allow you to bring in more fish. Just take a look at all of the products we have in stock right now. Contact us at 630-530-8775 today to place an order or ask any questions you might have about our rods.

A Guide to Selecting a New Fishing Pole

Multiple All American Pro Series Fishing RodsPurchasing a new fishing pole is an important investment. Those who love to fish will often spend a decent amount of money replacing their existing pole with one that will work best for them. Before you decide to pull the trigger on a new fishing pole, you should take the time to consider a few factors. Check out some things you should keep in mind when you buy your next pole.

Length of your new pole

You can find fishing poles in a range of different sizes. They tend to range from about four feet long all the way up to 14 feet long. The length of your pole should depend on what you plan on using it for. If you are going to be casting your line out great distances all the time, a longer pole is best. If you are going to be going after larger fish, a shorter pole might be better. In general, most anglers prefer a pole that is between six and eight feet long.

Material used to make your new pole

Fishing poles are usually made out of either graphite or fiberglass, though some poles feature a combination of the two. Graphite rods are usually the lighter of the two types, but they can also break more easily if you bend them too far. Fiberglass rods, meanwhile, are heavier and almost unbreakable. You will want to choose your material based on what kind of fish you will be going after. Graphite is ideal for smaller fish and lighter bites, while fiberglass is perfect for those who need the durability it offers when chasing larger fish.

Handle on your new pole

The handle that comes on your new fishing pole will usually be constructed out of cork or foam. Choosing the right handle is usually a matter of personal preference, so you will want to test out different ones before settling on the handle that feels the best to you.

Do you need help picking out the right fishing pole? Signature Fishing Rods would love to give you a hand. We have plenty of options and can show you many types of poles. Call us at 630-530-8775 today to test out our selection.

Tips for Becoming a Better Angler

Fishing Tips  Does it feel like you’ve fallen into a rut when it comes to fishing? It can, unfortunately, be very easy to get stuck in place and feel like you’re not making improvements as an angler. However, there are some simple steps you can take to change that. Let’s take a look at a few tips for becoming a better fisherman.

Switch up your routine early and often.

It can be easy to get into the habit of using the same equipment all the time and fishing in the same spots. This might make you feel comfortable, but it can also hold you back as a fisherman and prevent you from improving. When you use different equipment, you will be forced to learn about it and try new techniques, and when you fish in new spots, it will force you out of your comfort zone and make you learn about a new place. These things will ultimately benefit you in the end, even if it doesn’t feel like it at first.

Think about ways you can improve.

Take a look at everything that you’re doing when you’re fishing. Are you reeling your line in too quickly? Are you casting into the wrong spots? Are you growing impatient when the fish aren’t biting? Chances are, you can pick out different things that you’re doing wrong and make improvements. By being honest with yourself about your fishing skills, you can find ways to get better over time.

Buy better equipment.

Whether you’re a new fisherman using equipment meant for beginners or an experienced fisherman using old equipment that doesn’t feature any of the latest technology, the solution to becoming a better fisherman might be as simple as just buying new equipment for yourself. Outside of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone as we mentioned above, the latest fishing equipment will usually make you a better fisherman right away since it has the technology you need to catch more fish.

If you want to see exactly how the newest fishing equipment can help you, Signature Fishing Rods would love to show you some of it. Shop our entire inventory now or call us at 630-530-8775 for more information on the equipment we currently carry.


Spinning Reels Vs Conventional Reels

If you’re in the market for a new fishing reel, you are probably trying to decide whether you want to go with a spinning reel or a conventional reel. There are many people who simply prefer one over the other. However, if you are interested in figuring out which one would be better for you and you don’t necessarily have a dog in the race, then you should consider a few key factors.

Spinning Reels Spinning Reels

Spinning reels have come a long way in recent years and have become very popular as a result. They are now known for having more drag power and line capacity than they typically have in the past. In addition, have also gotten a lot easier to use and, in many cases, it’s just as easy to use a spinning reel as it is a conventional one. Therefore, you’ll get all of the benefits of a spinning reel without any of the frustration that sometimes comes along with it.

Conventional Reels

Conventional Reels There are still plenty of positives when it comes to conventional reels, though. Conventional reels are known to be much lighter than spinning reels. When you match them up with the right lore, you will also be able to cast them much further than you would be able to cast a spinning reel. Additionally, there aren’t many moving parts that come along with a conventional reel, which isn’t usually the case with a spinning reel. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about your reel giving out on you when you’ve got a fish on the line.

Whether you ultimately decide to go with a spinning reel or settle on a conventional reel, Signature Fishing Rods can help you with your final decision. We have plenty of reels available at the moment and would be happy to tell you the pros and cons of all of them, based on your needs. Stop by our store or call us at 630-530-8775 for more information on different reels.



Why You Should Teach Your Children How to Fish

Fishing is a really fun activity, and if you have kids, it is a blast to teach them how to do it. Children today spend so much time wrapped up in their electronics that far too many of them miss the opportunity to go fishing with their mom or dad. Don’t allow them to miss out on the great experience that comes along with fishing! Here are some of the reasons you should teach your child how to fish.

It will improve their confidence and make them feel more empowered.

Teaching Children How to Fish Do you remember the first time you reeled in a fish? You felt so proud, and you couldn’t believe what you were able to accomplish, even though you were “just” a kid. Your children deserve to have that same feeling when they start reeling in fish. Moreover, once they start catching them on a regular basis, it will do wonders for their self-esteem and their confidence. You will notice a real change in them as they become more and more involved with fishing.

It will give you time to talk to your children.

When you take your children fishing, you will focus on more than just the fish at hand. You will also have plenty of time to sit around and talk to one another, and you will be surprised by what comes up during the course of a natural conversation with your kids. They will talk about everything from how much they love fishing to how they are coping with certain things in school. You will learn so much about your kids when you spend a few hours out on the lake fishing.

It will allow you to teach them more about being outdoors.

Believe it or not, many kids today spend so little time outdoors that they don’t know about things like conservation and caring for Mother Nature. When you take your children fishing, you will be able to give them all of the information they need to gain a better understand of the outdoors. They will also see how much fun it can be to do something other than play on their cell phones and tablets for a little while.

Before you take your next fishing trip with your children, you should make sure you have all of the right equipment. Signature Fishing Rods can provide it for you. Call us at 630-530-8775 today to place an order with us.

The Benefits of a Custom Fishing Rod

Custom Fishing Rods You don’t necessarily need to buy a custom fishing rod in order to fish. You can purchase a factory fishing rod at a sporting goods store and start fishing all the time with it, if you want to. Nevertheless, if you want to make the most of every fishing experience and feel as comfortable as possible when you fish, then purchasing a custom fishing rod is the way to go. You will be able to customize every single feature on the rod to your exact specifications. Check out some benefits of doing it below.

A custom fishing rod will perform better than a factory fishing rod.

When you customize your own fishing rod, you will get to pick out every single detail that goes into it. From the grip to the guides, you will be able to make everything the way that you want it, and this will pay off once you start using your rod. The goal is to make the custom fishing rod feel great in your hands. When that’s the case, it will perform well under any conditions and react to situations in exactly the way you would expect.

A custom fishing rod will weigh a lot less than a factory fishing rod.

By picking out the various parts that go into your custom fishing rod, you can keep the weight down. Weight isn’t something that companies are all that concerned about when putting together a factory fishing rod. Nevertheless, by bringing down the weight with your custom fishing rod, you can make your fishing trips more enjoyable overall.

A custom fishing rod will look a lot better than a factory fishing rod.

When people look at your custom fishing rod, they will get a sense for who you are. That’s because you will be able to decorate it with whatever colors and decals you want. It will set your fishing rod apart from everyone else’s and give you a sense a pride.

Does using a custom fishing rod sound good to you? Signature Fishing Rods can show you how to start putting one together. Call us at 630-530-8775 today for more details.

Choosing The Right Fishing Line

It is that time of the year when we all are starting to get ready for fishing. Fishing rods to check, lures to replace, reels to clean and finally line to replace.

Fishing line is important and it is recommended to change it every year. But the kind of line to use is often not properly analyzed. There are several considerations that help you make a good decision on the type of line.

First learn about the fishing rod you plan to use. Is the fishing rod suited for the conditions of the fish you are after? Fast action fishing poles are good for fishing heavy cover or fast current. These are usually sensitive rods that allow anglers to feel light bites and provide excellent hook setting with a relativity short motion. They also have good lifting ability. Medium action fishing rods offer greater casting distance and are good for live bait and smaller lures. Slow action rods are excellent in handling unexpected movement of fish near the boat. They are also great for casting distance but their soft action makes it difficult to set hooks..

What are your fishing rod’s characteristics that you need to know? There are two – the action and the power of your rod. Action refers to the point of inflection of the rod when the rod is bent. Power is the amount of force needed to bend a fishing rod.

Rods usually indicate only the power it takes to bend a rod such as heavy, medium or light. Unlike the custom fishing rods sold on action is often not indicated. If you don’t know the action of a rod, grab the rod handle and carefully bend the tip downward. If the rod begins to bend in the upper 1/3rd of the blank toward the tip, it is a fast action rod. If it bends in the middle 1/3rd, it is a medium action rod, and if it bends starting in the lower 1/3rd, it is a slow action rod.

Light power rods are not normally used to fish for bass. You need the strength of the fishing rod to move a bass out of cover. Medium or medium/heavy power rods with fast tips are used when fishing crank-baits, spinnerbaits, and some plastic baits. The pulling of the line under water requires more power than topwater fishing but less effort than a heavy power rod. Heavy power rods are used when fishing heavy cover such as reeds, bushes, deep grass beds, or timber. This rod allows you to set the hook and get the fish out of these types of structures.

Lines also have different characteristics in their ability to “stretch”, visibility, and toughness. The last two are individual tastes but stretch is important to consider.

Toughness is important if you anticipate fishing in areas with rocks, trees, or weeds. Each of these can knick a line that will make it easier to break at what always seems the wrong moment. If structure is not an issue, toughness is not as important. Visibility of line can be important especially in clear water situations. However, be careful with lines that help with visibility. In my experience this type of line tends to be subject to loosing its other characteristics quicker due to the elements.

Stretch is a characteristic that many overlook. It needs to compliment the characteristics of the rod. You do not want to use a line with no stretch with a fishing pole that does not have any softness to its bend. If you get snagged or hook a good fish, either the fishing rod or the line is likely to break. You also do not want to use line with a lot of stretch with a fishing pole that bends easily. This makes it difficult to set the hook.

After years of fishing, I have found it is best for me to buy one brand of line in several different line ratings. With most of my fishing in heavy current or heavy rock structure, I use a cut resistant (extra tough) monofilament  fishing line. Also note that I push the rating limits on my custom fishing rod and fishing line to suit what I feel is best for the situation I am fishing. You should experiment to find what best works for you.

Don’t forget to visit for great custom fishing rods and fishing poles reels made in the U.S.A. All rods come with a lifetime warranty!

The following general guidelines of mine may help you determine the line test that should be used with different power fishing rods.

Power Line Rating Lure Weight
Heavy 15 to 25 lb. 1/2 to 2 oz.
Medium Heavy 10 to 17 lb. 12 to 1 1/2 oz.
Medium 8 to 15 lb. 1/8 to 3/8 oz.
Medium Light 8 to 12 lb. 1/8 to 1/4 oz.
Light 6 to 10 lb. 1/31 to 1/8 oz.
Ultra Light 2 to 6 lb. 1/62 to 1/16 oz.