How To Check Quality Control On A Rod Blank (Slot Machine Blank Analysis)
We’re at Mudhole Custom Tackle for a Slot Machine Blank Analysis!!
Today’s video is all about the SLOT MACHINE.
The blanks are coming to Mudhole for Quality Control Assurance to then go out to production to be built out right here in the U.S.A.
Dive into this process with us below!!
Slot Machine Blank Analysis [VIDEO]
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The Slot Machine project has been in motion for about 18 months now.
Luke and I have been working with the rod designers at Mudhole to craft what we believe to be the perfect inshore fishing rod.
So much goes into building and crafting the perfect rod blank.
I have tested at least a dozen prototypes of this rod within the last year, even hooking into my personal best redfish on it.
We thought of everything we could to design a rod blank that has the action we want, desired weight, and the durability we need for inshore fishing.
We’re happy to say the Slot Machine is intrinsic to Salt Strong and we can’t wait for you to hit the water with it.
Assessing Rod Blanks
The first thing Mudhole looks at when they receive new rod blanks are the dimensions of the blank itself.
They make sure the rod is cut cleanly and is precise to their order.
Then, Mudhole uses a gauge to measure the width of the rod tip and butt sections to be precise there as well.
Thereafter, they lay the blank out in front of them to confirm it is indeed straight.
Also, they twist the rod to check all sides and see that it is evenly smooth.
These are custom rods built from the ground up with human involvement in their construction.
Mudhole doesn’t just toss them on a machine to let equipment figure it out.
Before components are put onto the blank, Mudhole hand inspects each blank.
Moreover, Mudhole weighs each blank and in the case of the Slot Machine, it is roughly 2 ounces.
If there are any blanks that are a bit more or a bit less than 2 ounces, then that may indicate slight inconsistencies in the blank.
They’ll then inspect the rod top to bottom for any soft spots or weak points.
A soft spot usually indicates over-sanding in a particular area.
Most graphite rods are sanded down.
When the blanks first come in, they have a sand-paper or cat’s tongue feel to them.
But we as anglers are used to a smooth feel when out on the water.
So there could be a case of over-sanding, scratches, or marks on the blank when it gets to Mudhole.
Checking Rod Blank Action
The rod builders at Mudhole are constantly testing rod blanks and know exactly what the blank should feel like when you give it a deflection.
Mudhole bends out the rod on the floor to confirm the desired action and feel.
They even have a deflection graph that you can use and place weights on the blank to see where the rod bends.
The goal with the Slot Machine was to create a true Fast-Action blank.
We feel that we’ve hit the sweet spot of Fast-Action Inshore Rod Blanks.
This is what we believe to be the BEST Inshore Fishing Rod ever made.
These rods should easily retail for over $300 off the rack.
Be sure to head over to the shop and click the “Notify Me When Available” button because these will be in high demand!
If you know someone who wants to learn more about the Slot Machine Blank Analysis, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Hi. I have a 2500 Penn Clash 2 I’d like to pair with this rod. Would it balance well on this rod given it’s a little heavier but still under 9oz?
Yes, a Penn Clash 2 would pair nicely with the Slot Machine! The weight of that reel is not dissimilar to the BGMQ 2500 and 3000, which is what Luke & I are using on our personal Rods.
Hi – very exciting ! Is there a plan for making a 7’ version or shorter for kayak anglers ? 7’6” is long for kayak fishing. Thx!
Great question, Joy! As you can see from the video footage/B-Roll here, I’m also an avid kayak angler, and actually prefer using a 7’6″ rod from my kayak. We did decide to use an 8″ butt section to the cork butt which makes it much easier to use sitting down in a kayak.
I’d definitely consider this & start the discussion with Luke & the Team. What advantages do you feel a 7’0″ rod offers over a 7’6″ when it comes to kayak fishing? I tend to enjoy the additional length myself, especially when a fish runs around the front or back of the kayak, I can clear the kayak easier with that additional length & not risk losing the fish. Please let me know your thoughts when you can!
Can insider members prepay to insure we them
Several weeks ago, Joe created an offer called the “Founders Club”, which gives our Insider Members an opportunity to invest in our upcoming Tackle Shop opening in Winter Haven. By joining the Founders Club, you would also be 1st in line to receive a Slot Machine before they become available for purchase.
Shoot us an email at email@example.com for more info! Appreciate you, Mark.
Great, informative video, guys! Can’t wait to get my hands on my Founder’s Club rod…..so excited to get to fishing with it down here in SW FL.
Yessir! Well worth the wait!
I’ve been a hobby builder for about 10 years and get everything from Mudhole. Their blanks are fantastic. I haven’t had issues with one yet. No breaks at all, and that’s with kids fighting big fish in all the wrong ways. Lots of abuse in boats, kayaks, and surf fishing. Also lots of unplanned catches like oversized reds and sharks on undersized blanks with no issues. When I give a custom rod as a gift, I always use MHX because I know they will have a long successful life. I’ve tried other blanks, but the Mudhole blanks maximize the quality to price ratio which is why I have 5 Mudhole based rods in various stages of production at this moment.
The Mud Hole Team are Top Notch guys. Although they didn’t actually make this blank for us, they have been instrumental in helping us design the Flag Patterns necessary to achieve the action, durability & sensitivity we were looking for. We owe a huge Thank You to Mud Hole for all of their guidance in this Project! I know all of our Insider Members will Love the Slot Machine.
Yeah Buddy! Looking forward to these my man! Thanks for all your work in getting this piece of art together my man!
I can’t wait!!! It’s going to be so awesome…
I am a custom builder, my source of rod blanks and components is MudHole. They have been for so many years I hate to think how long, suffice to say a long time. I have built hundreds of rods all perfect blanks BUT! I received one blank that had a small defect. I even missed it until after I had the grip and reel seat and half the guides placed on the rod. One call and MudHole not only did they rush out a replacement they replaced the components I had already put on the rod. Not all companies would do that, MudHole not only has the best quality they stand behind their products if in the rare occasion a defect should slip through. I am glad MudHole will be making the Slot Machine.
Agreed! The team at Mud Hole do a fantastic job all around.
Keep in mind that the Slot Machine Custom Rod is a Huge project with multiple parties involved. Mud Hole has helped expertly craft the design & layout of this rod, but one of the Top Notch Blank Manufacturers in the USA is actually building the blank itself, then another US Company will be responsible for build-out with components. So technically, the making of this rod is a group effort, in which all parties involved are the Experts in their Field 🙂 We are so fortunate to work with the Mud Hole Team on this project and can’t wait to get these rods into the hands of our Insider Members.
Nice reel seat! Stuart and Jorge are the best…hope you have great success with these new rods.
Only the Best Reel Seat in the Biz, Bill! Thank you for chiming in here, Buddy.
Justin, are the builders aligning the reel seat with the spline of the blank for a spinning rod? Unfortunately, this step seems to be overlooked by even the best production rod builders. Properly splined rods cast more accurately and have the power of the blank directed to fighting fish. I know you understand what I’m talking about Justin. Hopefully this important simple step will be implemented. This is the main reason I will not purchase a fishing rod online.
Hey Brother. I also responded to your question on the YouTube video as well. Yes, all of the Slot Machine Blanks will be built on their spine, simple as that. Most mass-produced manufactured rods today are built on the straightest axis possible (which is almost never on the spine of the blank) simply for aesthetic purposes. I’m sure this has to do with the general end-user being uninformed about how to determine the spine of a rod and therefore having concerns about fishing with a rod that they might say is “not straight”. The spine is not always the straightest axis, and an anomaly like this is purely aesthetic.
Gonna be a sweet rod, no doubt. Will there ever be a two piece version for travel?
Good question, Lee! I believe I answered this over on the Blog Post with Joe where we debuted the Slot Machine Rod on a Podcast (be sure to check my detailed response there).
In short, I think we could definitely look to offer an exclusive multi-piece travel rod for our Insider Members. The real question is whether it’s worth sacrificing the Performance of the Slot Machine in exchange for Convenience. More discussion to come on this soon.