2017 World Rod Building Challenge selects CTS

March 2016

2017 World Rodbuilding Challenge

New Zealand premium rod blank manufacturer, CTS, has been selected to power the 2017 World Rod Building Challenge. The competition invites custom rod builders from around the world to showcase their finest artistry and craftsmanship – with each contestant using the same high quality CTS rod blank.

The challenge is in its second year, and is run by industry expert Mark Crouse.  The 2016 challenge attracted 24 competitors from 10 countries. This year, based on the heightened interest seen on social media, up to 200 competitors are expected to participate.

Contestants must sign up by 15 June 2016, purchase their specially selected CTS blank and build it in their own unique style. Details about the blank remain secret, apart from the fact that it is 9 foot long and 4 pieces. Crouse says that CTS was selected for the challenge because “it has the best travel blanks and biggest selection on the market, and is highly respected for quality worldwide”.

Judging of finished rods is anonymous, and takes place in February 2017 at the International Custom Rod Builders Expo in Winston-Salem, NC, USA. A panel of five judges will assess each rod for technical and functional criteria, and 30% of judging will be by public vote.

CTS blanks are designed and manufactured in a modern facility in Auckland, New Zealand. Stephen Pratt, Director of CTS, says he is delighted to be the partner for this year’s challenge and that the blank he’s selected is one of the most versatile blanks available. He says the CTS team “looks forward to seeing the results of the many hours of planning and craftsmanship that we know goes into each competition entry”.

Contestants can sign up via the 2017 World Rod Building Challenge Facebook page.

For more information, please contact Gayleen Pratt, +64 9 480 3015


CTS is New Zealand’s world leading rod company. Its modern manufacturing facility is located in one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful fishing cities – Auckland, New Zealand.

Established in 1999, CTS constantly strives to develop new manufacturing techniques, materials and tooling profiles. The company has a signficant investment in design and production tools, with much of its in-house machinery being custom built in order to cater for the ever-increasing demand for stronger, lighter and more highly refined blanks.

CTS’s engineering and design capabilities make it stand out from the crowd. Designs are all computer generated and all feedback from one design is used to improve the next. Each year, most CTS blanks will undergo around 3 to 5 design improvements.


The World Rod Building Challenge was established in 2015 by The Munich Rod Man, Mark Crouse. In its second year of running, the challenge is expected to attract up to 200 contestants who will each build a rod on the same specially selected CTS blank, to be judged at the 2017 International Custom Rod Building Expo in Winston-Salem, NC, USA.