Where are ALX Rods built?

April 15, 2020 3 min read

16 Comments

Where are ALX Rods built?

Very often, our customers ask where ALX Rods come from and where we source our components. With the growth and movement towards more US-made products, I wanted to take the time to be very transparent in the parts we use for the rods we manufacture. This topic is very near and dear to me personally. 

Two things primarily impact our decision on how we source our components - availability and economics (cost). Sadly, there are many rod parts that simply aren't made in the USA. Sometimes the parts we can source made here simply don't allow us to make an affordable rod when combined with the other USA made components and labor. Other times, which we search for, the best option is USA made!

Here is a simple summary of what we use and where it comes from:

IKOS rod blanks - I made the economic decision to source the blanks from China. We have worked directly with the same factory in China since first introducing these blanks. We needed to reach a lower price point and I had few options to achieve that final price.

ZOLO and ENOX rod blanks - 100% US-made, including the carbon fiber used for them. I see no reason to ever change this. These are our premium rods. US-made blanks still have more innovation and better overall quality in my opinion. 

Grips - Almost all cork comes from the Mediterranean. That's where the cork forests are in the world. We use two different sources for our finished grips. One is in Canada, and one is in China. I have not found anyone in the USA who can produce grips in the way we use them.

Guides - We work directly with Kigan, a South Korean company that manufactures guides in their South Korean factory. The only US option for guides costs approximately 5x more. The USA has a strong free trade agreement with South Korea and excellent relations. The "premier" guide company in Japan now makes all their guides made in China, as do the other main guide companies, so we are happy to work with Kigan. 

Reel seats - We source our reel seats directly from the manufacturer in China. A US-made reel seat is on our radar for the future.

Rod finish and adhesives - 100% made in the USA

Wrapping thread - There is no US option for rod wrapping thread. The last company closed several years ago, so our thread is imported. 

Labor - Everyone here at ALX Rods is incredibly proud that all our labor for our rods is by US citizens. We build/assemble/make all of our rods in Aiken, South Carolina. We have four employees who work internally and five "homeworkers." Our homeworkers are contract employees who work from home, supplying the labor to wrap guides on rods.

One part of our industry that personally bothers me is our competitors who claim "made in the USA" when using foreign-made blanks. I believe this is very misleading. We recognize this as "assembled in the USA" (IKOS Series) and "made in the USA" (ZOLO and ENOX). I genuinely believe this is incredibly important to distinguish.

I hope you find this article helps you make a more informed decision about ALX Rods, and you appreciate our willingness to be transparent in how we manufacture our incredible rods!

Thank you for reading,

Alex

 


16 Responses

John Peebles
John Peebles

June 15, 2020

Thanks for your honesty

Andrew J Opaleski
Andrew J Opaleski

June 15, 2020

That is fine by me!! I love the ENOX Rod’s!!

Robert Chapin
Robert Chapin

June 15, 2020

I sent you an e_mail a few days ago, thank you for responding. I’m really wanting to try your rods, I was looking in TW and never seen a bad comment about your rods, they also look very good, but thats not why you buy a fishing rod. My previous e-mail was asking about the ALX Zoro 7,11" heavy powerbolt. I know it is a stout rod, I don’t want a pool cue but something for flipping with something of a lighter tip. Is there anyone in our area that sells them (Minnesota) I would like to feel the rod for myself, thank you very much, Robert.

GARY WESTBROOK,
GARY WESTBROOK,

June 15, 2020

THANKS FOR THE INFO, I OWN 7 ZOLO AND 1 ENOX, BEST RODS I HAVE EVER USED AND SO WELL MADE.

Frank Vogel
Frank Vogel

June 15, 2020

Thanks for your honesty.👏👏👏👊

Mark Farabee
Mark Farabee

June 15, 2020

Thank you for your honesty. It is very important to me (number one) that the products produced for you meet your specifications. I prefer the US made over the other options. I have no issue with Korean made products. I do have a serious issue with the Chinese communist government. I bought into the lie that they would come our way in human rights, freedom for their people, etc. What I see is more evil and a move toward totalitarian rule, and a threat to our security. I would like to see more US made but, it is not necessary that everything come from here. Trade was supposed to move our nations together.
Therefore, I will not buy anything from China. Korea is totally different. I have bought (well made) guitars and fishing reels made by them. China products are a non-starter.

John Gullickson
John Gullickson

June 15, 2020

Great statement Alex!!!!!! Your rods are tops!!!!! USA PROUD!!!!! John

Jeff Jackson
Jeff Jackson

June 15, 2020

Kudos to ALX for building high quality rods with an emphasis on local labor and sourcing materials from the USA when possible. I’ve been very happy with every ALX rod I own and will certainly continue to support you.

Joey Weaver
Joey Weaver

June 15, 2020

Thank You for telling the whole TRUTH. There is black and white. My mother told me years ago, “There isn’t any such thing as a little white lie.”
It is nice to see that this thought would ever cross your mind, and your want to be transparent. Thank you, I wish You and Your company Great Success.

Eric Risinger
Eric Risinger

June 15, 2020

Thanks, Its refreshing for a company to be honest about their products.I enjoy using your rods and will be purchasing more in the future.
Thank You

Thomas E Gursky
Thomas E Gursky

June 15, 2020

As good as it gets!

Robert Whetstone
Robert Whetstone

June 15, 2020

Last year I bought a Zolo Deputy. I use this for chatterbaits, swim jigs and spinners. I added the Zolo McSmalls this year. I plan to get a Zolo Toadface next. I really like the sensitivity, lightness and quality of these rods. I have been using another brand from Wisconsin most of my life. Switching has been an internal struggle. The value of the Zolo series is hard to beat!

Michael  Sheppard
Michael Sheppard

June 15, 2020

Thank you for your transparency and honesty, seems to be a rare commodity with manufacturers these days. I for one will continue using your rods , but will be limited to the zolo and enox which won’t hinder my buying since I’m definitely partial to the zolos anyway.

Joe Nance
Joe Nance

June 15, 2020

Thanks Alex for explaining the difference in the models. Appreciate the transparency.

Jeff Hedberg
Jeff Hedberg

June 15, 2020

I appreciate your business transparency and am also a customer/user of your fine products.
I’ll be purchasing again soon.
Jeff

ROGER JENKS
ROGER JENKS

June 15, 2020

I thank you for the explanation and transparency. As a manufacturer myself we understand that not all products are available everywhere. The main importance is being truthful. During these times most want to make a step in the direction of 100% made in USA, but sometimes that is just impossible. Thank you for doing the best you can to maintain a profitable business and offer a quality product.

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