Build The Ultimate Saltwater Tuna Trolling Rod

This tuna rod recipe is one every saltwater angler will have to build before heading offshore.

The Offshore Fishing Rod You Have to Build

Offshore anglers are eager to get back to school… schools of tuna that is.

From stand up and trolling rods to chair rods, offshore fishing applications can call for different methods to catch the biggest game fish. So, deciding on your target fish and fishing preferences are a great place to start.

Since tuna are a popular target that are a blast to fight and a true prize to catch, we’ve decided to dial in a trolling tuna rod as an example for the benefits of rod building.

Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of hearing that drag sing and knowing there’s a tuna bolting off like a bullet on the other end. This moment happens in a flash, but the fight will take a bit longer.
From the sudden surge and fierce fight to landing your prize gamefish and hoisting it up in victory, these moments create memories that will last a lifetime.

But these moments also count on one constant… the perfect performance from your fishing rod.

With spring and summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to start building an offshore rod to haul in these muscly monsters, and we have just the rod recipe to do it!

Trolling Tuna Rod Recipe Components

Here the component list to build your new favorite trolling rod:

Rod Blank: MHX Power Tip Offshore Rod Blank—PTSW60XXH

Handle: ATC Complete Aluminum Butt—AUB-2-BG

Foregrip: ATC EVA Grips Straight Tapered (12″ x 5/8″ ID)—ST-12-5/8

Winding Check: Black Vinyl Winding Checks—VWC-11/16

Guides: ATC Turbo Boat Guides—GZBTR

Tip Top: American Tackle Black Boat Top—BGSGT-10-12.0

Thread: ProWrap Nylon Thread—RN-D-325 & ProWrap Metallic Thread—MS-D-9120

Step 1: The Rod Blank

MHX PTSW60XXH Power Tip Offshore Rod Blank

  • Length: 5’0”
  • Line: 50-80 lb.
  • Power: 2X Heavy
  • Action: Fast
  • Finish: Satin Black

When it comes to the rod blank, the best bet in heavier fishing applications is the MHX Power Tip Offshore Rod Blank. Between its 2X heavy power, tubular structure and solid fast action tip, this offshore rod blank brings serious performance to deep-sea fishing.

Step 2: Add Tape Arbors & Mount Blank to Uni-Butt Ferrule

First, add some small tape arbors on the butt end of the rod blank to fit inside the ferrule of the aluminum uni-butt.

Then, use a epoxy paste like ProPaste to bond the blank to the ferrule of the uni-butt.

TIP: Remove the ferrule from the uni-butt before installing the rod blank. To remove the ferrule, simply unscrew the top ring on the uni-butt and the ferrule will easily slide out.

Step 3: Screw Ferrule back onto Aluminum Uni-Butt

After the bond between the blank and the ferrule has fully cured, screw the ferrule back into the uni-butt.

Uni-butts are common components on offshore rods because uni-butts make switching out reels and handles easy, especially while out on the water. Uni-butts are also used to extend the length of shorter offshore rod blanks up to 20 inches.

Step 4: Install the Foregrip onto the Rod Blank

Next, add some epoxy paste and slide the foregrip down to meet the edge of the uni-butt.

Step 5: Wrap Guides on with Thread

After the guides are spaced and aligned accurately, attach each one with rod winding thread along the rod blank.

The Custom Metallic Underwrap Effect

One of the most overlooked ways to use metallic thread is an underwrap. Underwraps add that extra pop of color to a guide wrap, but when wrapped over with nylon, you can make an incredible custom thread wrap.

Since nylon becomes translucent without a color preserver, you can use metallic thread as an underwrap and then wrap nylon over it. This creates an amazing shimmer effect that looks incredible in sunlight.

Get your thread from the best and buy ProWrap rod winding thread!

Step 6: Finish Wraps with Epoxy

Once your wraps are done, chuck your rod up in a rod dryer, and begin mixing up your epoxy. A two-part epoxy like ProKöte is a great choice because it is the clearest option when it cures and has an excellent working time.

Finally when the epoxy is mixed clear, apply it over each wrap as the rod spins and then leave it to cure for a full 24 hours.

TIP: Slowly churn the two-part epoxy together rather than mixing it at a fast pace and adding more bubbles.

For more helpful epoxy tips, read our blog: 4 Ways for Better Epoxy Finish

Add a Custom Decal

If you build a custom fishing rod to target a species like tuna, why not add a Tuna decal for the perfect custom touch!

Check out these awesome Gamefish decals to match the rod you’re building…

Watch How to Build a Custom Offshore Fishing Rod:





Build Your Own Offshore Trolling Rod

From the performance driven MHX Power Tip Offshore rod blank and sturdy uni-butt to the turbo guides and custom thread wraps, this trolling tuna rod recipe is one you have to build.

Start building your new favorite trolling rod now!