Build the Best Drift Rod for Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead fishing is an exhilarating experience and this is the drift rod recipe ready for all the action.

The Steelhead Rod You Need Before Winter

When drift fishing, it’s hard to beat the rush of hooking up on steelhead. Since the moment changes from serenity and the slightest bite to intense fish fighting in a matter of seconds, it’s crucial you and your equipment are always ready to rock.

The best way to guarantee your rod has all the performance specs you need is simple, build this awesome rod yourself!

Steelhead Rod Recipe Components

Here’s the components to build this steelhead drift rod:

Rod Blank: MHX Steelhead Rod Blank—ST1083F-MHX

Reel Seat: CRB Premium Graphite Spinning Reel Seats—GSRS-17-S

Rear Grip: 13″ Tapered Cork Rear Grip, Super Grade—RG-13T-300

Foregrip: Tapered Cork Foregrip 3″ Super Grade—FGT-3.0-250

Winding Check: Rubber/Vinyl Winding Check—CK-11B

Guides: CRB Elite Spinning Rod Guides—3GKSC-3

Tip Top: CRB Spin Top—Model LT—ECLT-5-4.5

Thread: ProWrap Nylon Thread—RN-A-510 & ProWrap ProFX Premium Metallic Thread—PMS-A-9865

Step 1: The Rod Blank

MHX ST1083F Steelhead Blank

  • Length: 9’0”
  • Line: 6-12 lb.
  • Lure: 1/4-5/8 oz.
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Extra Fast Action
  • Finish: Slate

For drift fishing, rod blanks don’t come much better than the ST1083-MHX.

Besides helping mend line, the 9’0” length helps cast small lures further upriver to increase your lures strike range as it drifts back down. Plus, this length provides pinpoint accuracy whether casting towards target structures for holding fish or drifting lures into steelhead travel lanes.

Since steelhead can have subtler takes, the ST1083F-MHX also has on an extra fast action for better line control and hook sets. Along with the extra fast action, this blank’s medium power gives the perfect flex for fighting steelhead and maintaining control.

If you’re looking for a longer option for fishing a side drift instead, check out the ST1144F-MHX…

Step 2: Attach Rear Grip and Butt Cap

Ream the full cork rear grip to fit the steelhead blank and put the butt cap over the rear grip’s exposed tenon.

Step 3: Mount Reel Seat and Foregrip

After the rear grip, mount the reel seat and follow that up with the foregrip.

Step 4: Slide on Winding Check

Winding checks help clean up the transition from grip to rod blank, so slide on the winding check after the foregrip.

Step 5: Wrap and Finish Guides

Luckily, CRB Spinning Guide Kits come with general spacing based on the length of your rod. With spacing provided, lay out your guides along the blank.

Then, wrap the guides with thread and finish each wrap with epoxy.

…unless you want to customize further!

Step 6: Customize Rod with Decorations

Put the custom in rod building and add your own decorations.

The threadwork on this rod draws inspiration from the silver underbelly and green back of steelhead.

By adding some black glitter to the epoxy finish, the final wrap has similar dark speckles to the steelhead species.

Custom rod building gives you the ultimate control over your rod’s design and decoration, so you can build exactly what you want to fish.

Catch the Drift of Custom Rod Building!

From the performance driven MHX rod blank to the custom components engineered for steelhead fishing, this drift rod will easily exceed your expectations in the water.