Kelly Neuman builds custom rods for flyfishing, spinfishing, casting and steelhead drifting. Kelly has been building rods for over 30 years and puts these years of experience and pride into creating a unique rod for all his clients. His rods are known throughout the Great Lakes region as the most beautiful and highest quality.   

The rods can be completely customized to suit your tastes and fit your fishing needs.

  • Fly Rods
  • Spinning Rods
  • Drift Rods
  • Baitcasting Rods

We begin with highest quality blanks and build the handle on the blank. Our years of experience help us decide where to place guides and how many to use.  

We can set you up with a custom rod or a complete outfit including a custom Abel or Bauer Reel.  Call us with your dream rod and we’ll see what we can do to make it a reality.  


When building a custom rod, you need to make some decisions…

  • Rod blank: I build primarily on Sage & Winston blanks, but also use G. Loomis, Scott, Thomas & Thomas and St. Croix. The new North Fork Composites blanks from Gary Loomis have some cool features.   The choice of blank must be made based on desired action and length first…then brand loyalty and aesthetics can be used to make the final decision.
  • Reel seat: I use primarily REC and Struble reel seats. They should be chosen based on the weight and use of the rod (salt, fresh or both).
  • Handle: Cork, cork & burl cork, synthetic
  • Stripping guides: How many, and their spacing: Choose the material (titanium, steel), the color (silver, gold, black) and the ring insert.
  • Snake guides: How many, and their spacing: Single- or double-foot. Steel, titanium or REC Recoil guides.
  • Color of thread for the wraps: Color to compliment rod blank.
  • Any decorative thread wrapping: Accent color to compliment rod blanks and main wraps

My favorite rods:

  • Dry fly rod – Sage ONE or Winston BIII Plus 9’ 5wt. – Great for dry fly fishing for trout.  I build on the Sage ONE if you like a faster action rod and the Winston if you are looking for a smoother rod.
  • Streamer rod – Sage 9’ 6wt thru 8wt.  Sage TCX, ONE, or Xi3 or Winston BIII-Plus – Great for casting streamers on floating or sinking lines. Also, can be used for saltwater flats on very calm days.  
  • Steelhead rod – Sage 10’ 7wt. ONE or TCX or Winston BIIIx – Perfect for drag-free drifting nymphs and fighting big fish.  Looking for more power for swinging large flies the 9′ 6″ 8wt Sage ONE is the perfect rod.  
  • Switch Rod – Another great rod for those looking for more length is the new 11’6″ Sage ONE switch rod blank and come it comes in full range of weight 5, 6, 7, 8wt.
  • Salmon rod – Sage 9’ 9wt. Xi3 & Winston BIII-Plus – The right rod for subduing huge fish. Great saltwater rod, too.
  • Saltwater flats rod – Sage 9′ 8wt. thru 10wt TCX, Xi3 or Winston BIII-Plus – Great casting rods in high winds. Also perfect for Great Lakes Salmon.