The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Milwaukee Board of Directors recently made a $525 donation to Head­waters Chapter of Muskies Inc., in memory of Roger Stanislawski, the father of NARI Executive Director Diane Wellhouse. 

The money was used to pay for much of the rod building materials used in the chapter’s youth rod building class. 

Seven youths, Chase Mork, Easton Buschke, Olivia Haygood, Isabelle Haygood, Alexa Dahms, Keaton Maulson and Trevor Barber, each built a 6-foot, 6-inch ultra-light spinning rod at the Masonic Temple in Eagle River March 27.

Dale “Musky Pete” Peterson glued the cork handles and reel seats so all the youths had to do was wrap the guides on and add some artwork. 

Peterson, Ken Pedersen and Bill Jacobs set up the class area Friday night so things were ready to go on Saturday morning. Marie Simmer of Snipe Lake Custom Rods helped out on Saturday.

The first thing on Saturday was to pick out the thread colors the youths wanted to tie on the guides. After that, it was learning how to wrap the guides without any gaps between the threads and to avoid overlaps of the thread. 

After the six guides were wrapped on and the tip glued on, it was time for the fun part. It’s called “marblin” as small batches of finish are mixed up with different colors. These were applied above the foregrip for about 6 inches. The youths could add the colors and mix them around to their hearts content. Their custom “Made By” decals (made by Simmer) were applied. The last thing to do was apply finish to the guide wrappings. 

All the youth finished their rods by 2 p.m. and the rods were put in rod dryers so they could spin overnight without the finish dripping. Sunday morning they all came back to pick up their finished rods and take some photos. 

Peterson also showed the youths how to use slip bobbers and tie on panfish jigs.

The Headwaters Chapter bought spinning reels and line for everyone. National Muskies Inc. helped buy the rod kits supplied by Mud Hole Custom Tackle at a discounted price. Al Hutchinson of Whitewater Rods picked up the rod kits for the class.