ThreadCentral is a collaboration

Bringing together individuals who are passionate about rod building, the vision of ThreadCentral is to be “the” place to go to learn and practice the artistic aspects of custom rod building.

Why build and decorate your own fishing rod? For some it is the satisfaction of making something unique, for yourself or others. For some it is the challenge of creating a thing of beauty and pushing the envelope of your creativity. And for some it is the sense of belonging to a greater community of like-minded souls who appreciate that it’s not just about blanks, threads and components, but a pathway to learning, friendships and the opportunity to build lasting memories.

Welcome to ThreadCentral! 

Who we are

In any creative profession, there are standouts. People whose personality, skill set or contributions set them apart. And it’s no different with rod building. Meet Billy Vivona — a 46 year old veteran builder who’s known not only as an innovator, but as an educator as well.

Vivona resides in Staten Island, New York, where he’s been building rods for 20 years. In that time, he’s built thousands — most of which were designed for inshore saltwater species, such as striper, fluke and blackfish. 

Vivona also authored the book “Decorative Wraps” — a must read for anyone interested in the craft of rod building. In 2004, he founded the North East Rod Builders (NERBS) organization — a passionate group dedicated to pushing the limits of creativity. Today, they have more than 7000 followers.

Known for his incredible speed and talent, Vivona is a virtuoso at the lathe. His wraps and inlaid EVA foam grips are not only stylish and unique, from a builder’s perspective, they’re absolutely mind-blowing. Yet, he readily shares his knowledge with others. He’s a firm believer in promoting the art of rod building to any and all who are interested … especially kids.

Vivona builds rods for seven months of the year, then shuts down his operation to fish the remaining five. He frequently takes low-income children, so that they, too, can experience the joys of angling. When he’s not fishing or building rods, you’ll find Vivona conducting seminars nationwide — teaching others the various aspects of his craft.
In his own words: “Rod building is an art form, and it should be shared with others. And that is my mission.”

Credit: Fuji’s Profiles In Rod Building (2019)
Featured Builder: Billy Vivona

Mary Christy is a custom rod builder with ten years of experience working alongside her husband Wes Christy. Mary specializes in teaching decorative wraps to other custom rod builders using various forms of education. She has an online decorative wraps school in which her students can learn to wrap at their own pace and also educates through various social media sites.

Mary loves to create one of a kind custom rods and believes that every rod builder should have the opportunity to learn how to do decorative wraps. She enjoys helping the community grow and learn how to think outside the box and challenge themselves to become the best that they can be.

Mary formed The Decorative Studio LLC to teach other builders how to do “All Things Decorative” and is excited to be working alongside Billy Vivona and David Boyle in furthering the craft through education, gatherings, and classes.

In the early 90’s, David Boyle made his first fishing rod, and from that moment onwards he was hooked on custom rod building. Fascinated by cross wraps, he wanted a way of designing his own, and by drawing on his engineering & software background wrote the VisualWRAP software.

Launched in 2002, the software is now the standard tool for working with decorative wraps, with thousands of licenses sold around the world.

A tinkerer by nature, David authored various websites over the years, including the VisualWRAP bulletin board, providing a forum where thread artists could share information and patterns, long before social media was a thing. He also hosted the online guide wrap color-combo tool, introducing the concept of web-hosted selection tools for rod builders.

To promote and share his love of rod building, David launched the Sydney Rod Builders Club in 2003, which met monthly for 2 years. In 2007 VisualWEAVE was launched. Following this was Decorative Wraps Pattern Animations, a DVD showing wrap patterns developing thread-by-thread.

In 2018 the Taper Offset Spacing App was launched, bringing users the ability to calculate cross wrap spacings on a smartphone.

Passionate about finding new applications for technology, David combined his love of rod building and 3D Printing to create a brand new photo sweep stand for rod builders called the Snapper. The Snapper was launched at the 2019 ICRBE and is a no-nonsense, low-cost photographic kit designed to give rod builders the ability to take high-quality shots of their rods, with no particular knowledge of photography or specialized equipment required.

David is a proud supporter of the NERBs and various other rod building groups. The architect of ThreadCentral, his focus now is on making the best rod building resources available to everyone interested in the art, through online learning, physical products and collaboration.

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