One thing I love about Pinball Collecting is just how customizable the machines can be. There are tons of great upgrades available for most machines and I had a lot of fun upgrading mine over the years. One such upgrade I’ve seen quite a bit lately is adding a custom shooter rod. There are several companies that sell them for almost every pinball machine imaginable. I’ve always wanted one of the cool soccer ball shooter rods that can be found for World Cup Soccer, but they can be pricey. I see them for sale quite a bit but $70 is a big too expensive in my opinion. I decided I’d make my own instead.
To make a custom shooter rod, you need a “knobless shooter rod.” I picked mine up at Midwest Gaming Classic last spring, but they can be found for as little as $4 at Pinball Life. Here is a link to theirs: Pinball Life Knobless Shooter Rod These rods have a knurled end that you can glue your own knob to. For the knob, I found a soccer ball ceiling fan pull chain knob at my local Lowes for $4.
To assemble the rod, I cut off the chain from the ball, then drilled a 1/4″ hole in the middle. I had to cut down the protrusion that was used to hold the chain, so it made a nice flat spot in the center for me to drill the hole. After that, I put a little glue into the ball then pressed it onto the knurled end of the blank shooter rod. After the glue dried, I installed it in the machine. Looks great!!!