FORT WAYNE, Indiana-“My grandpa used to take me down to the pier at Blue Lake when I was a kid,” recalls fisherman Adam Bricker, “and I used to catch little perch and bluegills at the end of the pier and I just loved that. I love fishing it’s what I do it’s who I am.”
Those precious childhood memories helped make Bricker the man he is today…fisherman, artist, inventor…and founder of Bricker’s Custom Rods, maker of gorgeous hand crafted fishing rods.
Bricker uses thread, painstakingly wrapped and layered along a rod blank to create intricate patterns unlike anything you’ll find in a store.
“The butt wraps are more like weaving,” Bricker says. “The tiger wraps have multiple layers, like you’ll put thread underneath then you’ll epoxy it then put thread over that to make it crisscross to make different designs.”
The result is just what Bicker calls it, functional art that really performs on the water. And he’s incorporated his own inventions into his rods like removable hook retrievers built into the handle, and something he calls interchangeable blanks.
“Here what we have is a vertical jig rod and what this is made for is fishing right straight over the side of the boat,” Bricker demonstrates, “but if you wanted to change up and have something with a little more shape to the blank you’d just grab a different blank and replace it where the other blank was and now you have a completely different rod with the same handle.”
Bricker markets his fishing rods on his Facebook page and right now he’s swamped with dozens of orders yet to fill. But he says he plans to grow his business, move it out of his basement and, someday, quit his other full time job as a tree trimmer. Building fishing rods, he says, doesn’t feel like work at all.
“I come down here and spend ten, fourteen hour days down here,” he says,” but I enjoy every minute of it. They say if you work at doing something you love you never have to work a day.”
It’s a dream, he says, born decades ago off the end of a little pier, on the shore of Blue Lake. Eric Olson reporting for 21 Country.
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