American Tackle Sponsors International Rod Building Challenge!

The 2021 International Rod Building Challenge, hosted by American Tackle, put the

best custom fishing rod crafters against each other to find out who is the

top rod builder in the world!

The 2021 International Rod Building Challenge hosted by the American Tackle Company featured craftsmanship and impeccable builds from some of the very best custom rod designers and builders from all over the world. This year’s competition featured many entries from throughout the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Canada, and Portugal. 


For the competition, rod builders were presented a mystery American Tackle Bushido blank to build their creation; everything else was left up to the builder for creativity, design, and craftsmanship. Each builder was able to showcase their version of a highly ornate yet functional fishing rod in hopes of capturing the coveted 2021 title. The entries submitted featured both spinning and casting rod configurations including one spinning / fly convert-able design. 


The judging panel was comprised of 10 noted fishing and rod building industry professionals with an extensive diversity of experience in rod manufacturing and custom rod building, as well as noted anglers and editors of well circulated fishing media. Each judge scored to a list of criteria ranging from design, theme, functionality, and craftsmanship in 11 categories. Judges spent hours carefully grading the top 10 rods for the final results. And in the end…. Mark Crouse was declared the winner taking the 1st place title in one of the tightest races this competition has ever seen. 


Mark’s entry into the 2021 IRBC featured custom created acrylic grips, custom fabricated/machined highly polished aluminum reel seat/handle trim, custom fabricated extendable rear handle grip and impressive ultra-smooth epoxy finish over finely detailed thread work. His entry was designed into a spinning rod configuration utilizing the titanium version MicroWave Guide, Line Control System for better balancing and enhanced performance. Mark is no stranger to winning rod building competitions and has been a true craftsman in rod building for many decades. His rod beat out Wade Christensen and Mark Blabaum who earned second and third in the competition respectfully.

1st Place Winner - Mark Crouse

2nd Place Winner - Wade Christensen

3rd Place Winner - Mark Blabaum

Did you miss out on the 2021 International Rod Building Challenge? No problem! Make sure to visit the official group on Facebook, join the group and prepare

for the 2022 Challenge, hosted again by American Tackle!

Visit & Join: 



With more than three decades servicing the tackle industry, Team American Tackle is still leading the way with innovations and improvements that every angler will appreciate. Being avid anglers and rod builders ourselves, we take pride in offering the ultimate in diversity, durability – and above all – performance.



© Copyright 2018 American Tackle Company International, Inc