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Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (107.119.41.---)
Date: January 21, 2023 11:29AM

This sort of thing always interests me. Being new to this, I read a LOT, pretty much any and everything I can get my hands on to the point that I'm neglecting my book club readings, lol. One of the things that caught my eye was a gentleman stating that his rod is "on par with high end $300 production built rods". I built the exact same rod he did. It's a kit off of Mudhole (MHX MB843 7'0 MH power / Fast). It's a $126.00 kit. How do you go about determining it's actual value once built? In other words, what would it compare to in the production world? I don't know about $300 rods as I don't own any, but build compares very favorably to my Dobyns Fury. They have very similar components. They're both very light and have great balance. Are the Fuji guides on my Dobyns better than the CRB Elites on my home built rod? I don't know. Is the full cork handle on my build better than the split cork on the Dobyns? Again, I don't know. The other reading that piqued my interest in this was another new member on this forum basically asking the same question in his introductory post.

Anyway, just curious how one goes about valuing a rod. And, this is just curiosity. I have no interest in selling rods. I'm retired and like it that way. lol



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2023 11:32AM by Daryl Ferguson.

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Re: Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: Kevin Fiant (---.oh.cpe.breezeline.net)
Date: January 21, 2023 12:26PM

I'm relatively new to building as well. Below thread had some pretty good feedback from several on the site here about how they would typically price a custom built rod.

[www.rodbuilding.org]

Regarding the term "Value" it may be a bit more subjective. As an example someone may value more highly very intricate thread work and other decorative features and therefore may be willing to pay a bit more to have that one of a kind artwork. While others may value having the absolute lightest possible rod that can be built for a specific fishing task and would be willing to pay more for the weight savings. And, of course, marketing plays a role too. If something is marketed well people think they have to have it and will be will to pay more. Fairly easy to put an "accounting" value on a rod (basically just costs of materials and labor) but much harder to add in all the other value adding features that one might get from a custom rod.

Comparing rods to production rods you would have to take into account many production rods are likely sourcing materials and/or labor oversees where rates are much cheaper. In my opinion, a custom rod builder would have a hard time making a custom rod that would be "better" than a store bought rod in the $100-150 range. I think once you start talking factory rods in the $300+ range and definitely factory rods in the $600-700 range a custom rod could be built that was just as good (or better) than your high end factory rods. Again, I'm a newbie and this is just my opinion. I don't want to highjack this thread but would be curious if other rod builders believe similarly.

Enjoy your retirement and your new hobby!

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Re: Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (---)
Date: January 21, 2023 03:12PM

Kevin Fiant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm relatively new to building as well. Below
> thread had some pretty good feedback from several
> on the site here about how they would typically
> price a custom built rod.
>
> [www.rodbuilding.org]
>
> Regarding the term "Value" it may be a bit more
> subjective. As an example someone may value more
> highly very intricate thread work and other
> decorative features and therefore may be willing
> to pay a bit more to have that one of a kind
> artwork. While others may value having the
> absolute lightest possible rod that can be built
> for a specific fishing task and would be willing
> to pay more for the weight savings. And, of
> course, marketing plays a role too. If something
> is marketed well people think they have to have it
> and will be will to pay more. Fairly easy to put
> an "accounting" value on a rod (basically just
> costs of materials and labor) but much harder to
> add in all the other value adding features that
> one might get from a custom rod.
>
> Comparing rods to production rods you would have
> to take into account many production rods are
> likely sourcing materials and/or labor oversees
> where rates are much cheaper. In my opinion, a
> custom rod builder would have a hard time making a
> custom rod that would be "better" than a store
> bought rod in the $100-150 range. I think once
> you start talking factory rods in the $300+ range
> and definitely factory rods in the $600-700 range
> a custom rod could be built that was just as good
> (or better) than your high end factory rods.
> Again, I'm a newbie and this is just my opinion.
> I don't want to highjack this thread but would be
> curious if other rod builders believe similarly.
>
> Enjoy your retirement and your new hobby!

Thanks Kevin! Value probably wasn't the right way to word it. What I'm really interested in is how the rod I built, for example, compares to production rods from a price perspective. And, assume for arguments sake, that it's built with the same quality. In other words, if I could by an MHX MB843 off the shelf and ready to fish, what would it cost.

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Re: Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: January 21, 2023 03:52PM

That last question is impossible to answer, without knowing; where was it manufactured, how many were produced, what are the component costs, how long has it been in inventory, plus shipping costs.

Any attempt is only a guess!

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Re: Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 21, 2023 04:58PM

I find that I if I play my cards right I can equal or exceed a $500 factory rod for about 1/2 that. If said rod comes with a lifetime replacement warranty, I'm dead meat! Sometimes there's more in the factory price than meets the eye. A lot of people break rods. Lol. I fully guarantee my builds until they leave the house. After that we'll have to work something out! I am after all a hobby builder.

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Re: Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: January 21, 2023 05:51PM

It depends on the value and performance of the blank you build on, the value and quality of the components, and your craftsmanship.

Much of the differentiation or value in a custom rod is how you can "customize" it with components and wraps that the customer, or you, desire.

I will speak to fly rods, as that is what I know. You can buy a good TFO fly rod, such as a Blue Ribbon, for $259, and with rod sock and tube. Their ability to produce large numbers of rods in a factory in Korea drives down their hard costs due to scale and lower labor costs. The real seat, guides and grip on a Blue Ribbon are not terrible, or even bad, they are average, but they can buy them quite cheaply from a supplier as they are buying in huge numbers.

If you took a Batson Unity blank and bought a rod sock and tube you would already be at close to $150, so you would be hard pressed to produce a rod like the Blue Ribbon for what TFO sells it for, unless you added some very inexpensive parts to the $150 you already invested. And you would have no ability to charge for labor.

NFC sells a Gamma Beta finished rod factory direct for $500 with sleeve and tube, while a blank of the same rod is $200.

Of course if you buy blanks and components on sale or on deep discount, you can cut your materials costs a good chunk.

In general, I think a rod you build, as indicated above, probably would cost you twice as much at retail.

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Re: Actual Value of a Custom Rod
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (---)
Date: January 21, 2023 10:44PM

Thank you Lynn, and David. That's pretty much the info I was looking for.

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