The rod will be fine, (I've actuially used stainless cable on a BowFront tank that had it's brace destroyed. However, I'd caution you about the material you use. It' obviously can't be just any type of metal, and any coated metal needs to be UV resistant. I am in the process of building my first. - I haven't had the $ to build one until now, and still it's slow going... :-( But I have personally been involved in the building of 4, and my friends have build many more. And I am a mod on a site which specialized in plywood builds, and friends with someone who's plywood builds are known throughout the hobby. I've learned alot this way. Also paying close attention to other builds, as well as personal experience. I'd encourage you to check out the site I posted before. There is a plywood forum there that has many many years of experience. I no longer post there as I have had a disagreement with the one who actually runs the site. But it's still a great site for this type of thing.