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The new

The new "Wonder Rod" Build by Bill McGuire

Did you ever wonder which rod to take when traveling to a fishing location?  Ever wish you had a rod that was versatile enough to use for different species or application so you didn’t have to overload the boat with rod cases?  Problem solved with the new Wonder Rod being built by Bill McGuire in Rock Island, Washington.
McGuire is a legend in the world of sport fishing and competition casting, and has been experimenting and building rods for decades.  Not long ago he and his friend Buzz Fiorini came up with a rod design that allowed anglers with limited mobility and novice anglers to cast like a pro with a flick of their wrist.  After much thought about his own fishing and travel challenges he came up with this new design for a multi-purpose rod.
The basic idea is this:  a four-piece rod that fits into a 33-inch case that, with the use of special handle extensions, will allow anglers to use it as a fly rod, a bait casting or trolling rod, a spinning rod and even two-handed fly casting rod.  You can take it anywhere in a suitcase and use it for a wide range of species with a variety of techniques.
McGuire will build the Wonder Rod from any weight blank that an angler would prefer.  I chose a 9-foot, six-inch, 8-weight.  For the fishing available to me here in Central Washington and it has worked great.  I have had a great time with it!  I have fly fished for rainbow with the rod, and caught fish to 8 pounds.  I have stuck it in a holder and used it back trolling for steelhead with a casting reel.  I rigged it with a slip bobber jig and used a spinning reel to catch steelhead.  I have even used it for perch fishing and found it sensitive and the length of the rod an advantage on a steep bank.
When choosing the materials for the various components for the Wonder Rod, McGuire was so particular and the concept so unique that he had to look all over the country and even sent his own templates and jigs to manufacturers to get everything he wanted, the way he wanted it./div>
The blank was an easy choice.  He ordered these from Sage, the model SLT 4 GRAPHITE 111e.  In other words, he got the best available.  The rod seat is specialized, of course, to accommodate the larger “foot” that some casting and spinning reels use.  The end cap is also very special.  It needs to be drilled to accept the two handles that make the rod unique.  Even the “button” that fits into the end cap is so hard to find that he simply bought the entire supply to ensure that he would have enough for building his Wonder Rods.
The guides are made of the most advanced materials available, too, and are gauged for the use in a spin cast mode.  The rod casts a bobber and jig easily, which can be expected.  But it will also cast light gear, like a couple of split shot just as well.
It is really fun to hand someone the rod set up for fly-casting and then add the handle for bait casting or trolling and watch their reaction.  The whole character of the rod changes and they get a sense of the power and capability of the Wonder Rod.  They can see how anything from perch to Chinook salmon on the Columbia is within its range of fish-catching capability./div>
Any angler who has owned high-quality rods will appreciate how the Wonder Rod is finished.  It is obvious that this is a custom rod and it appears as such.  Experienced anglers will see at once that it has the fine touches of a master craftsman, but also has features, such as the handle materials, that will make it function like new for years and years.
The Wonder Rods is one of those “you have to see to believe” kinds of items.  More importantly, it is one of those “you have to have it in your hands and try the different functions to believe” kinds of fishing rods.
I would encourage any well-traveled angler who is serious about their tackle to give Bill a call and let him show you his latest labor of love--The Wonder Rod.  You can reach him at (509) 884-6021.  Whether you order a rod or not, just talking and meeting Bill McGuire is worth the experience.