Applying Custom Fishing Rod Decals: A Complete Guide

Applying Custom Fishing Rod Decals: A Complete Guide

If you want to learn some new pieces of advice on applying custom fishing rod decals and customizing fishing rods in general, make sure to read this blog. I will give you steps to apply decals for your fishing rod with precision and improved appearance.

When it comes to applying custom fishing rod decals, most decisions you make are tailoring the rod’s components to improve both performance and appearance. Sometimes, all you need is a well-placed decal to transform your old and standard finished rod’s looks to change your fishing rod fit for your needs.

With new custom fishing rods, adding your decal choice to your fishing rod is an excellent way to customize it. You have unlimited options until you find the best setup that’s unique for you. Not to mention, you can do it with no sweat at all. So, let’s start working on your custom fishing rods.

How to Improve Applying Custom Fishing Rod Decals?

Whether you want to add your name, contact number, favorite sports team, or other random designs, you can improve its look by correctly applying custom fishing rod decals. When you do it right, a well-finished decal will wow your friends as well as other anglers. It will give you more pride that you’ve just done with your custom fishing rod.

1.Trim Excess Material from the Decal’s Edges

You can enhance your rod decals’ appearance by simply reducing the amount of excess material around the decal to start with a simple one. For example, a text decal sometimes comes with a lot of blank space around the words, and when applying the decal, this can be cut down to prevent some common problems. Right off the bat, it is evident that during the application, larger decals are bulkier. Big decals are not always avoidable but should be trimmed down to look and run easier on the water, more challenging to deal with, and require more epoxy to add.

Although it is tougher to apply a decal with more surface area, it also takes more epoxy supplies to install. Sure, this epoxy difference is fractional, but it will quickly add up and take away from your supply inventory over 3 to 4 rod builds. It is best to trim these decals down as much as possible to minimize supply costs and avoid compromising the appearance of custom rod decal. Then, watch as you enjoy the benefits of a better looking finished rod.

2.Hide the Seam Underneath the Rod Blank

From a combination of practice, experience, and visibility, the best rod builders earn their status. Some tips seem apparent but still deserve more consideration to support rod builders around the board, from customizing handles and threadwork to adding decals. For instance, hiding the seam of a decal on the rod’s underside may seem as simple as it is obvious. Still, it takes a keen sense of rod design to know exactly how to do it.

Let’s say you’re constructing a spinning rod, meaning that the guides line up on the blank rod’s underside with the reel. Whereas, if you are building a casting rod, the reel and guides match along the rod’s top. Since on opposite sides of the blank’s spine, a spinning rod and a casting rod are created, you can use this information to notice the top of the rod from the bottom.

Keep in mind this top and bottom theory of rod design; you can easily cover the decal’s seam on the underside where it is much less visible to you. For a more professional final appearance, positioning the decal’s seam along the bottom of the blank rod perfectly covers this slight imperfection.

3.Efficient Epoxy Process with Rod Decals

It is another tip that works to cover the unsightly seams on a rod decal expertly. Many rod builders would tell you that adding a light layer of epoxy before applying the decal would look much better when it comes to final results. But few want to describe why that’s the case.

The decal’s seams on the rod blank will be visually disguised by adding a thin coat of epoxy to start before laying the decal flat. Not only can the decal’s adhesive adhere better to the epoxy film, but once the second layer of epoxy is applied, the original epoxy layer will cover the decal’s seams.

4.Let Mixed Epoxy Sit for 15 Minutes

When using an epoxy finish like the two-part epoxy, equivalent sections of a resin and a hardener must be blended to achieve the required finish. The correct blending process is significant, but there is more to consider when using a two-part epoxy. Before you begin lathering it over the rod decal, there is also the state of the chemical reaction to take into account.

As referred to by rod builders, the hot finish is when the finish is freshly mixed, and a large amount of heat is generated by the initial reaction between the resin and the hardener. Hot finishing is not what you want to use over the decal when dealing with rod decals since the heat will interfere with the decal’s adhesion. 

Applying a hot finish is a simple way to damage the rod decal by slowly allowing the decal’s edges to peel back. Let the mixed epoxy sit for about 15 minutes before applying it directly over the rod decal to solve this problem.

5.Avoid Fingerprints, Hair, And Dirt On The Adhesive

Possibly the most common issue when applying decals, having fingerprints, or even strands of hair stuck underneath the decal is an easy way to ruin the decal’s appearance on a custom rod. Not to mention that the decal’s distraction would be there for a lifetime after applying an epoxy coating. While the epoxy decal may not be visible initially, the hair or fingerprint may stand out like a sore thumb.

Guide On Applying Custom Fishing Rod Decals

If you’re serious about making the appearance of your fishing rod decals more appealing, here are simple steps that you can follow. You don’t need to buy fancy tools and equipment. It would be best if you simply were patient in applying your custom decals.

Step 1

Apply scotch tape over the decal’s top to create a tape handle; the tape should be slightly longer than the length of the decal.

Step 2

Next, add a tiny strip of tape to the decal’s back to remove the backing from the adhesive side of the decal.

Step 3

Place the decal over the decal with the scotch tape. Then, burn out all the air bubbles from under the decal.

Step 4

With the decal fully adhered to the blank rod, remove the tape from the decal slowly.

Step 5

Then, apply epoxy over the decal and let a fantastic custom rod decal heal the finish.

How To Choose Your Rod’s Custom Decals?

Whether you want something patriotic or rooting for your alma mater – custom decals can give your fishing rods a new look. However, it would be best if you started with choosing the right custom rod decals. How? Here are some types of decals to consider.

Applying Custom Fishing Rod Decals: A Complete Guide

Custom Decals With Text

Make a statement with customized fishing rods. You can put your names with incredible graphics that can include two lines, add your favorite line and contact number. You can choose from many options as long as you open your creativity.

Custom text decals are a perfect way for your fishing rod to be customized. In case it is lost, put your contact information, your company info, or add any text you want. All you need to do is pick the desired size decal and up to 3 lines of custom text for each line, with individual fonts. 

Use these quick application decal kits to easily customize your fishing rod with your name, company info, and more. Every kit comes with all the materials you will need in no time to add custom text to any fishing rod. Here are the different sizes of custom text decals.

  • Small decals are ⅜-inch high and suitable for less than 12# line class fly rods and spinning and casting rods.
  • Medium decals are ½-inch in height and appropriate for rods and fly rods over ten weights in the 12# to 30# line class.
  • The size of broad decals is ¾-inch and suitable for rods over the 30# line class.
  • Depending on the amount of text, all decals are approximately 1-inch to 1 ½-inch long.

College Rod Decals

Now you can sport on your next custom rod with your favorite college band. These officially approved full-color college decals are printed with UV-resistant inks. Moreover, some decals feature a thin white margin around the contour with “laser cut” edges to contrast the blank of your rod. Decals are around 5⁄8-inch in size and ideal for both freshwater, fly, and inshore rods. Regardless of what you get, make sure that you get the right size that fits your fishing rod.

How To Build Custom Fishing Rods?

We are not all born artists and with creative minds. Sometimes, it takes time, especially for first-timers, to build their first custom fishing rods. So, here are some factors to keep in mind. From the handle to the guides, let us help you make your custom fishing rods.

Handle Selection

The style, material, and length of the handle will depend on the blank fishing rod you select, the way the rod should be used, as well as personal preference. Grips are usually made of cork or foam. Cork grips have a high-performance look, and other materials sound unrivaled. Foam grips can withstand more punishment than cork. They are ideal for rods with broad butt diameters being used in rod holders or rods.

In general, cork grips have small internal diameters so that they can be used on several different blanks. Most cork grips will enable the inner diameter to be widened to custom suit the blank. You can accomplish it with a cork reamer or a rat tail register. Grips made of foam are made of EVA rubber. They are available with several different inner diameters that do not need enlargement. It accelerates the process of installation.

Guide Selection

When constructing a custom rod, there are several types of guides to choose from. A couple who throw in different color frames with five or six different ring materials and then you might just be asking yourself what guides should I place on my custom rod? Select a type of frame first. For extra power, double foot guides are selected. For light weight and efficiency, single foot guides are selected.

Choose a material for the ring. The most frequently used ring materials are Alconite and Hialoy. Both have a long-lasting, smooth surface. At an increased cost, other ring materials such as silicon carbide provide premium performance and appearance.

If you use abrasive lines (Spectra, Dacron) or fishing for species that make long, short runs, consider using silicone carbide or titanium carbide ringed guides. Wire guides are very lightweight, but more than ringed guides prefer to wear them. For most personalized rod builders, cosmetics are essential. Usually, the guide frame color matches the hardware of the reel seat.

One of the rod wrapping questions most often asked is “What thread should I use?” In most fishing rod building applications, Nylon thread is used. The thread size will depend on what kind of rod you’re making. When selecting a rod wrapping thread, here are some guidelines. 

  • Size A thread is ideal on freshwater spinning, casting, and fly rods, plus light saltwater rods.
  • Size D thread is for heavy freshwater and saltwater spinning, casting, and fly rods.
  • Metallic thread is only widely used as a wrap or accent wrap for trim. Stay True, and other NCP lines (No color preserver) typically do not need color preservers to be used.

Fishing Rod Wrapping Finish

The custom fishing rod builder has several high-quality one, and two-part fishing rod wrapping finishes available. Most rod builders use Two-part rod finishes. Some use a high-build formula requiring just one coat application. In contrast, others choose a light procedure requiring many thin coats.

If you choose a high construction or light formula, note that mixing the finish correctly is the most critical aspect of using a two-part rod finish. To precisely measure equivalent portions of the resin and hardener, use the mixing syringes supplied with the rod finish. Rod’s poorly blended finishes will never recover and remain tacky to the touch.

A poorly healed finish will force you to add another finishing coat or cut off the wraps of the guide and start over. For their ease of use and thin build-up, one part rod finishes are preferred by rod builders. In fishing rod repair and rod restoration, they are also used.

All fishing rod finishes are self-leveling and, for better results, involve turning while being applied and drying. With a drying motor, we suggest turning the rod. You must regularly rotate the rod and long enough to prevent the finish from sagging if a drying motor is unavailable.

Glue and Epoxy

Consider shrinkage, strength, and dry time when choosing glue for bonding cork rings, reel seats, grips, butt caps, etc. In general, the longer the dry period, the stronger the bond would be. 

Fishing Rod Decals Buying Guide

Decals refer to the stickers and static clings that you can attach in another item to add more colors and improve its overall appearance. Like the decals that you can see on cars, decals for fishing rods work the same. It uses adhesive and other sticky-back applications so that you can put it on your fishing rod. However, there are some factors that you need to consider when buying fishing rod decals.

Decal Size and Shapes

In an adhesive or static cling decal, anything from small to large stock shapes can produce fully custom shapes. Over 89 shapes and sizes are available, so rest assured that we will help you find exactly what you need. You can choose from different shapes and sizes below.

  • Rectangles: 5 x 7 inches, or common bumper sticker size: 3 x 11.5 inches,
  • Circles: 6 to 8 inches diameter
  • Ovals: 5 x 8 inches
  • Squares: 6 to 8 inches
  • Octagons: cut from 8 x 8 inches
  • Triangles: cut from 8 x 8 inches
  • Some shapes can have either rounded or square corners.  

Printing Methods

You can pick from your fishing rod decals depending on the printing method. Usually, it involves two standard decal printing methods – screen printing and digital printing.

Screen Printing

  • Lasts 3 to 5 years, outdoor durability
  • Most material options – White, Clear Vinyl or Static, and Chrome Vinyl
  • Pantone matching, Metallic, and Fluorescent Colors
  • Higher price point

Digital Printing

  • Lasts 2+ years, outdoor durability
  • Fewer materials options – White Vinyl or White Static
  • Full color, photo-realistic printing
  • Lower price point

Full color and high definition custom shape decals are used for one additional printing process, offset printing. When you want the highest degree of clarity and detail in your artwork, this is advantageous. On average, high-quality printing comes at a higher cost than screen and digital printing.

If you want quality, sometimes you have to spend more. However, if you’re on a budget, make sure that you stick to the amount that you’re willing to pay on fishing rod decals and stick to it. The most important thing that you should know is to never settle for anything that has low quality because the price is low. Always be patient in looking for decal options that fit your needs without breaking your wallet.

Material Type

To adhere to the desired surface, decals may use an adhesive or static cling. White or clear polyester vinyl may be used in digitally printed adhesive decals, as described in the printing method section. The only alternative for a digitally printed static attachment is white vinyl.

White vinyl, transparent polyester vinyl, and chrome polyester vinyl can be used when screen-printing an adhesive decal. It is possible to print screen-printed static clings on either white or transparent vinyl. For use inside a window, the static is added to either the back of the connection or the front.

You can also choose from different adhesive decal options.

  • Permanent – It has an extra strong adhesive to the point that there will be residue left once you remove it. 
  • Removable – It will allow you to the decal with some effort, but there will be no residue left behind.
  • Ultra-removable – It is the easiest to remove without a residue. This material is used for bumper stickers. However, it is also the least durable.

Static Cling

White or transparent vinyl clings are the ideal, non-adhesive alternative when searching for an indoor application for windows or mirrors. To preserve sticking-power, clings can be freshened with soap and water. Static clings, like a truck’s curved rear window, are flexible and scuff-resistant and easily adhere to smooth surfaces. Depending on where it will be used, choose to add the static to the adhesive’s front or back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most of the decisions you will make when it comes to applying custom fishing rod decals are about tailoring the rod’s components to maximize both performance and appearance. Often, a well-placed decal is all you need to adjust your old and regular finished rod’s looks to make your fishing rod perfect for your needs. Finally, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about custom fishing rod decals.

How much do custom fishing rods cost?

The cost of customizing fishing rods dramatically depends on the style and design you’re going to use. You can expect a custom-built fishing rod to be anywhere between $300 to $600. However, you can start slowly and one design per payday if you don’t have enough money to pay one-time for your desired style. Overall, the amount you’re going to pay depends on too many variables that make a custom rod more beautiful and accurate.

How do I order custom stickers?

You can order custom decals and stickers from different printing services. Ask if they cater to the size, shape, style, and quantity that you need. It is better if you already have a draft of the design that you want to print so that the printer can give you an accurate quote. You can start by searching for different custom fishing rod decal designs by letters, numbers, fish, and other logos that you want to add.

Can you make money building custom fishing rods?

You can make money from building custom fishing rods if you have the talent to do it, and you know how to market your service at the right price. More than the price, quality should always be a priority if you plan on building custom fishing rods. Make it more functional and attractive so that anglers can trust your work. If fishing and arts are your passion, building custom fishing rods. You might also be able to subsidize your fishing expenses by using your earnings.


When designing or customizing your fishing rods with decals, the sky’s the limit. Explore various designs and see what’s available out there. Better yet, you can create your design and look for someone who can print custom decals for you. Always match the color and size of your fishing rod with your decals. This way, you can maximize each space efficiently. So let’s start working on your custom fishing rod decals now.

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