Friend and current BASS Collegiate Champion Brett Preuett stopped by Mud Hole today and we wanted to share his rod building story.
Brett grew up in Louisiana, and was passionate about being a fisherman and a baseball player. While talented in both, baseball took up most of his time, and he was pretty darn good – eventually getting a baseball scholarship to the University of Louisiana – Monroe.
During that time Brett ended up having an accident which left him blind in one eye. While competitive baseball was out, he still had that competitive drive, so he started focusing on his fishing – and how he could build that passion into a career.
Brett’s Dad Meets Mud Hole
Growing up, Brett has always had a tendency to break his tip tops, so his dad started ordering fishing rod repair parts from Mud Hole.
After a short amount of time – and talking with Mud Hole builders, he started thinking about building fishing rods that he and his son could use.
Over time he practiced his rod building skills, and got really, really good at building rods. In fact, Brett’s father now builds all of the rods his son uses in his competitions today.
Starting The Team
Brett started competing in the local bass club tournaments, and started to do very well, while also still attending U of L Monroe.
After watching a few collegiate fishing tournaments on TV, Brett started to research what it would take to start a fishing team at U of L Monroe. One thing he learned was that he needed a trusted advisor to run the team, so he contacted the local chief of police inquiring about his interest – who ended up becoming the advisor and worked with Brett on developing a fishing team at the university.
The First Year – 2011
With a brand new fishing team comes many challenges. First, everything that was needed was paid for out of pocket. They focused on the bare essentials, slept in the truck, and questionable motels, and were frugal with their expenditures.
The first year was more about learning the process of how the tournaments worked, and how to develop the program. Statistically the year ended pretty rough – but at least the students got to travel a bit – but financially it was a challenge for sure.
The Second Year – 2012
With more practice, advice, and more practice – the team started doing better, and often finished in the top 5 at the college fishing tournaments. While gas and most living expenses on the road where still out of pocket, they were able to get some sponsorship to help offset the costs for motels and tournament entry fees.
The team did a great job and ended up second overall for all college teams.
The Third Year – 2013
With the team now up to six members – and a few years of experience under their belt, the team hit the season with optimism and finished as the #1 college fishing team in the nation, and individually – Brett won the FLW national championship that year.
The team even ended up winning a brand new boat, which they sold for $25,000 and used the proceeds to help further fund the fishing team moving forward.
The Fourth Year – 2014
The team finished second overall again – and came in third at the BASS college championship. Individually, Brett won his bracket, and will now compete in this year’s Bassmaster Classic.
Along with his victory came a brand new Toyota Tundra, a new Nitro Z8 with Univ. of Louisiana Monroe custom boat wrap – and BASS Classic entrance was included.
Brett Uses Custom MHX Rods
Fishing with his father over the years, Brett started to take a closer look at the types of fishing rods he needed for his specific applications.
He and his father both started using MHX fishing blanks for their rods years ago, and still use them today. Key MHX features Brett likes is the wide variety of rod blanks available, how such a lightweight rod blank can be so durable, and offer all the sensitivity you need in a high performance rod.
MHX Blanks That Brett Uses Most
While Brett has a selection of MHX rods on his boat, there are a few he tends to use more than others.
The MB874 is a great all around bass fishing rod, especially for the football jigs Brett likes, and also works well for flipping and throwing frogs. Brett likes the white blank because his college colors really stand out when his Dad uses those colors in his wrapping thread and components.
Here are the specs:
- Length: 7’3″
- Pieces: 1
- Line Weight: 12-20
- Lure Weight: 5/16 – 1
- Power: Heavy
- Action: Fast
- Butt OD: .59
- Tip Size: 5.5
- Color: Gloss White
- Recommendations: FROG
- Product Description: Mag Bass
- Applications: Carolina Rigs / Jig & Pig Pitchin’/ Worming
Brett says this is the best crankbait rod he has used. The blended material provides just the right amount of balance in sensitivity and power – and helps keep the fish hooked from hook set to thumbing. Again, Brett prefers the white blanks to bring out his team colors.
Here are the specs:
- Length: 7’6″
- Pieces: 1
- Line Weight: 10-20
- Lure Weight: 3/8-1
- Power: Med-Hvy
- Action: Mod-Fast
- Butt: OD .574
- Tip Size: 5
- Color: Gloss White
- Recommendations: RT, LCB, SWB, JB, TW
- Product Description: Crank Bait
- Applications: Jerk Baits / Lipped Crank Bait / Rattle Traps / Swim Baits / Top Water
MHX Flippin’ & Pitchin’
Next up for Brett is to try out the new Flippin and Pitching rod blanks listed below – which will offer a great choice when you need a heavy action rod specifically designed for punching grass. Take a look for yourself:
Thanks for stopping by Mud Hole today Brett, it was good to see you again, and most of all…
Best Of Luck On Tour – Brett!