Caiden Strosahl with the American flag fishing rod that won him the purple ribbon at the State Fair this year.

Caiden Strosahl has only made a few fishing rods, but his recent work brought home a purple ribbon, the highest honor given by the 4H at the Minnesota State Fair.

The Minnesota 4H Project General Evaluation said that Caiden’s fishing rod is “very skilled work, the work is neat and attractive, and the exhibit is well done — everything precise and finished off.” The judges’ critique also stated “a good presentation on how you completed your rod, the threads used, the detailed description of how you completed the design. It is clear that you have learned a great deal from your grandfather. The finished product is beautiful. This could make a little side business for you in the future.”

The 15-year-old Walker-Hackensack-Akeley sophomore, who learned from his grandfather how to make fishing rods, was notified by email that he won the purple ribbon, which he recently received in the mail.

“I decided to challenge myself and make an American flag fishing pole,” Caiden said during his presentation at the State Fair. “I made this pole for myself to use for all kinds of fishing.”

Caiden has been in 4H for seven years and this was his second straight year he has made a fishing rod in the craft project.

He was awarded a blue ribbon in the initial judging when he attended the State Fair at the end of August. All the judges come together after the fair is over to decide who gets the purple ribbon.

“I thought I had a good chance from the other projects that I saw,” Caiden stated, which he said included bead art and paper projects.

The time Caiden put into the project, which also included a detailed binder of notes that identified all his steps and photos, took nearly two weeks. He spent anywhere from three to four hours each day, which also included drying time.

The rod features an 8-inch mahogany wood handle with 1.5-inch fore grip and a butt cap engraved by Archie McCarty. On the handle, Caiden engraved his name and a fish logo. The reel seat is a custom rod building product from the Mudhole company, and the guides are from Baston Enterprises. The total cost is $117.18.

This is not the first time Caiden has won ribbons at the State Fair. He has won multiple blues for other projects and his pigs.

And yes, he plans on making another fishing rod for his 4H project next year, adding he wants to do one that features a fish design.

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