FLW & IFA Pro Blake Smith Fine-Tunes Fishing

Professional Angler Blake Smith has made a career out of fishing in both salt and freshwater. Recently, Blake fished with an MHX Blank and quickly noticed the exclusive benefits brought by MHX products paired with custom rod building.

Fishing competitively for redfish and bass, Blake has cast too many manufactured rods in search of the perfect cross-over blank that can match his dual fishing skill set. Finally finding a match with the MB873-MHX, Blake wondered what other custom rod building tactics MHX and partner Mud Hole could offer to improve his fishing performance.

The custom MB873-MHX provided the proper performance that complemented Blake’s own fishing skills. Excelling in sight fishing for redfish and the multi-purpose nature of bass fishing, Blake experienced exactly what a peak performing custom fishing rod can do for him in competition.

Dual Pro Angler Makes His Cross-Over Match

The combination of MHX expertise and Mud Hole’s brand of custom rod building brought about a rod performance that was specifically tailored to the abilities of Pro Angler Blake Smith. Built by Todd Vivian, who is the Rod Designer for MHX, Blake decided to follow the blank’s unique performance straight to the source and decided to visit MHX partner Mud Hole Custom Tackle.

At first, Blake admits Mud Hole’s number of custom rod building options were overwhelming. But after a brief, yet knowledgeable discussion with Todd’s MHX Rod Design Consultant Bob McKamey, Blake Smith realized he was hooked on a revolutionary movement in the sport of fishing. Listening to an angler’s many techniques and fishing applications is all it takes for Bob to diagnose the right rod blank to enhance that particular pro’s performance.

For instance, Blake Smith is a dual professional fisherman in search of a custom rod that brings high performance in both salt and freshwater. Smith was really impressed by the MB873-MHX, but wanted something even more dialed in to his skill set.

With that in mind, Bob recommended Blake build his first rod on the HM-SJ842-MHX from the MHX line of Spin Jig Rod Blanks. The High-Mod version of the SJ842-MHX is not only a great starter blank for custom rod building, it is also one of the best and most versatile blanks available in the fishing industry.


These HM Generation II Blanks feature a 100% Japanese Toray Fiber and a new Hardened Resin System.

Truly hard to beat across the board, the HM-SJ842-MHX incorporates the medium-light power that dominates brutes like redfish with the tip sensitivity to feel the smallest of bass bites. Whether Smith uses this High-Mod blank to feel bait as it runs across rock transitions, or to sight fish in the open water with heavier line, the HM-SJ842-MHX brings the perfect balance of performance to each application.

Find out more about the HM-SJ842-MHX Rod Blank!

Custom Rod Building Proves Performance

In rod building, the blank is only the first option. As Smith moved forward in selecting his custom components, he actually learned more and more about fishing in general.

For example, while researching the right guides, the current micro guide craze tempted Blake, but ultimately, he selected size 5 CRB running guides. Although these guides are only one size larger than what’s considered “micro”, size 5 guides bring identical benefits without the added limitation that micro guides can’t pass any leader knots.

It was decisions like this that helped Blake Smith realize that dialing-in his custom rod also meant fine-tuning his fishing knowledge. Building, learning, and fishing are all integral parts in the growth that it takes to become a successful professional angler and needless to say, Blake Smith is on his way.


Dual Pro Angler Blake Smith loves the competitive edge of MHX and custom rod building.

Simply by listening to the input of Pro Anglers and infusing that feedback along with decades of rod building knowledge, Mud Hole has enhanced the performance of talented fisherman to make them even more lethal on the water. Empowering Professional Fisherman with the knowledge and equipment necessary to heighten their personal performance, Mud Hole and MHX alike have forged a fool-proof path to greatness.

Get to know the rest of the Mud Hole Team!