A Glass Fanatic's Guide to Buying a New, Fiberglass Fly Rod

Few fly shops stock fiberglass. Like it or not, glass fanatics must be skilled at internet shopping, phone/email ordering, and dealing with the unexpected. Thankfully, the majority of sales occur without a hitch. Glass forum builders have an excellent track record. However, rods get lost/damaged in the mail, parts go out of stock, and a few, er, select builders have, er, um, cough..., a history of delivery issues. Unfortunately, the FFR admins can't ensure a problem transaction is made right. We recommend that you limit your risk before you buy. To that end we offer this buying guide.

Red Flags are indications the deal is going sour fast. Please take them seriously and act on them. When I hear, "Oh, but he's such a nice guy, I didn't want to cause him any trouble!", inevitably that buyer got burnt. Treat buying a new rod as business, because it is business.

The Buying Options


Order a factory built glass rod through your local fly shop. For most situations, this is by far the best option.

Almost Easy

Order a factory built glass rod from an online vendor.

Usually Safe

Buy an in-stock, ready-to-fish rod from a custom rod builder.

The Custom Build

Commission a rod to be built on an in-stock blank with in-stock parts.

The Advanced Custom Build

Place a deposit on a custom rod to be built with a blank and/or parts to be ordered (or ship a special rod blank to a builder).

A Really Awful Idea

Payment in full for a rod to be completed, sorta, maybe, could be real soon now...

Suggestions for a Smooth(er) Purchase



Delivery and Returns

Dealing with Problems and Red Flags

Red Flags indicate something is very, very, wrong. Please take them seriously and act quickly. For most red flags, the best course of action is to end the transaction.