Did exactly as you suggested. I purchased 4 12 inch long 1/4 round titanium rods. ($26, cost including S&H) I cut one to around 5 inches and bedded it in the forend. I put it deep of enough that it still had a 1/8 of clearance at the top. I was hesisitant to make it longer than 5 inches because of the needto put the rifle sling stud in the forend.
It turned out really well. I don't really know if the rod will help, but I like the thought of it being there.
Pro-God, Pro-Gun, Pro-USA