About Bill Havens
The story behind how Salty Dawg Custom Rods all started.
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Here’s what our customers and anglers are saying about Salty Dawg Custom Rods…
October 13, 2015
Salty has built 5 rail rods for me with the rail dawg grips….. all of them are beautiful and kill fish….what more can you ask for.
Fishybuzz – BD Outdoors
October 13, 2015
Salty Dawg has made me 5 cow rods and 6 Wahoo/yellow tail rods that are one of a kind. Like Wes said… he gets the job done on time.
Soda Pop – BD Outdoors
October 13, 2015
Bill is very knowledgable and does top of the line work. Along with that. He gets the job done on time. He’s done 3 for me and I love them all!
Wes Cereny – BD Outdoors
October 12, 2015
I have followed Bill as a rod builder for a while niw. He is seriously into this, very knowledgeable about blanks, actions, components etc. And, his quality of workmanship is second to none. I recall when he built a shop for the business, well beyond what’s needed for building one or two rods at a time.
October 1, 2015
Our Custom Rods are being built by someone well known on the West Coast, and beyond. The reason for my reluctance to custom rods in the past was pretty simply, finding a reliable, high quality builder was difficult. There are many who can build a rod, but few who can build them correctly in my estimation, few that can build them to a professional level beyond the hobbyist level (and I’ll direct that towards tackle shops who dabble in rod building and the larger outfits that build to a least common denominator). To be done right requires more than labor time, it requires knowledge of the rod, it’s action, components, the proper spacing of guides, the proper materials and skill… The gentleman building our rods is one such a knowledgeable individual, Bill Havens (aka SaltyDawg) . I’d suggest, he’s one of the best in the business.
November 13, 2013
A few months ago a went out on a limb and had Bill wrap me one of his new SDXXHP blanks. Pulling on it in the shop sold me, and it seemed to have a soft tip but plenty of backbone. I figured this would be the perfect rod to fish a shorter topshot of seaguar premier 130lb. And honestly you can fish a variety of line diameters with this rod.
Fast forward to this past weekend. I had this rod paired up with a Makaira 20SEa with 130lb Seaguar Threadlock braid and the topshot mentioned above.I managed to hook a good one that I pulled on very very hard for the better part of 3 hours. This fish was MEAN. As Jesus on the Maximus said, “it had some damn good moves on it and didn’t want to die.” The rod did very well. I never worried about the hook pulling when the fish shook its head, even with significant drag pressure. With 40 lbs of drag the rod did just fine. Felt good and didn’t beat me up at all. Towards the end I was fishing 50+lbs of drag in full and clinching the spool. This fish was a dick and did not want to die. Anyways, I just wanted to share that Bill’s blanks are legit and are a great choice for those looking for a blank with a lot of pluses and very few minuses. It’s very good choice for those going after big yft. If you are on the fence about a new rod I recommend you give these a shot.
Darrenforeal – BD Outdoors
August 9, 2009
I had an old relic. It was a beat up something or other 9 1/2 foot glass noodle. Bill did a restoration on it that was truly amazing. He refinished the blank and it looks like new. The finish on the wraps is impeccablebest I have ever seen. The first fish on it was a nice 12# dorado, and it performed perfectly paired up with an old Penn Surfcaster and 20# pink Ande. Sorry no bendo shots yet. Thanks again Bill. It is exactly what I was looking for. I will definitely be giving you a call soon about doing some more rods for me.
July 27, 2009
Bill has wrapped and rewrapped several sticks for me. he always goes above and beyond what I asked for and his work is awesome. restoration of older rods and wrapping of new blanks he can do it all. Thanks Bill for all the work.
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