A few years back an advertiser told me he wanted to buy the cover of RodMaker to highlight a new product he was introducing. When I told him I didn’t sell the cover for advertising he wanted to know why. He had, after all, bought the cover of other trade magazines. I explained that RodMaker isn’t a trade magazine for blank and component companies – it’s a consumer magazine aimed at the end users of the products he sells. The cover therefore, is reserved for custom rod work – art, if you want to call it that.
His request was but one of many in a long line of requests and suggestions from others in the blank and component making/sales field. Many would like to be featured in articles that detail their beginnings, rise to prominence, product offerings, etc., etc. But I’ve never done those type articles and never will. Why? Simply put – rod builders do not want to read that type of stuff. They could care less how company A started or what company B plans for the future. They’re satisfied with seeing that information in the advertising run by those companies. They don’t want to see it in the articles. It’s not what they paid a subscription fee to read about.
So what do custom rod builders want to read about? It’s very simple, really, and reflected in what builder after builder has told me hundreds of times over many years… “Show me how to do something.” It’s a remarkably simple equation for a successful publication. People buy “how-to” magazines for that reason – to learn how to do something. With that in mind, now as always, RodMaker remains the single best source for learning how to do something. Occasionally you’ll find an editorial (you’re reading one now) on some aspect just outside of actual how-to information. But overwhelmingly RodMaker has been built on teaching rod builders how to do things. Step by step, method by method, technique by technique. And this is how it will remain.
The Volume 19 #3 issue of RodMaker will mail on June 1st. Most subscribers will receive it during the 3rd week of June.
Often there are arguments as to what constitutes a “custom rod.” Different people have different definitions and without any definitive definition from any sort of governing body or overseer, it’s fair to say that none of them are necessarily wrong.
There are however, certain examples of “custom” that tend to stick with me. It’s one of those that’s hard to describe but you know it when you see it. One good example are the custom rods being built by Bill Balou featuring his signature wooden fish grips. Could there be any more perfect match between what a fishing rod is intended to be used for and the grips fitted to it? The concept is obvious but not previously explored. It is at once novel and yet highly functional.
Custom rod builders seeking to gain an edge in the market and not wishing to simply compete with every “look alike” rod out there would do well to consider what Bill is doing. There is always a niche market out there – you just have to find and develop it.
For the remainder of November, those who are not currently RodMaker subscribers have an opportunity to obtain FREE copy of the magazine for only the price of postage. That’s right – just send $2 (cash or stamps) to RodMaker Sample Copy, PO Box 1322, High Point, NC, 27261 and I’ll get a copy (my choice) right out to you. I’ll even toss in a Custom Rod Building Symbol decal to boot!
Only one sample per person, please.
Got this today from Capt. Mike Pedersen at Riley Rods. Most of you know he’s been the major proponent of the foam-core/carbon-fiber grips over the past few years and certainly pushed the envelope with their continued development. It took awhile, but this may well be the major commitment that brings them to the mainstream fishing public.
Here is a big positive for you. 2500 carbon grips on the way to Shimano GLoomis by Oct 15, 2015 (w/500 per month to follow for three years for one rod series). Another 2300 by May 1st 2016 (w/500 per month to follow for another three years on the second series). With one article you created a half a dozen jobs and injected over a million dollars into the economy! More once these hit the streets and the big name catalogs.
Andy and I knew these were going to be big when we introduced them, but the fact that they were so very labor intensive to make made them a risky proposition for any manufacturer to undertake. No doubt they will still be a hard sell, initially to the public, but with the resources and weight of the Shimano/G. Loomis companies behind them I fully expect they will be the future of grip and handles for many rod types in the years to come.
And by the way, Mike will be presenting a new seminar at the 2016 Expo on his advanced carbon skin techniques, such as creating differenct shapes, painting, coatings, etc. This will go well beyond the basic seminars he has been presenting the past few years.
Capt. Mike Pedersen and his wife Vikki are owners/operators of Riley Rods. Find them at www.rileyrods.com
2015 RodMaker Magazine Article/Photo Submission Fee Schedule
Feature Articles – $50.00 to $100.00
Short Articles, Tips, Etc., – $15.00 – $25.00
*Payment will vary low to high based on article length, quality of accompanying photos, etc.
Color Photos for Photo Gallery – $25 per photo published.
If more than one photo is used in the same issue for different images of the same rod, the fee is $25 plus $10 per additional photo, maximum of 3 photos.
Articles – Should be submitted in non formatted plain text, preferably in email text, not as formatted attachments. Spelling and grammar need not be perfect – will edit on this end at no payment penalty. Can take photos here if author does not feel compentent enough for that portion of any article. If photos are supplied, background and lighting from photo to photo should be consistent.
Photos – Good quality, high resolution tiff or jpeg files required. Photos must be clear, in focus and well lit. Use of suitable background is required. Good background images include: single color foam colored foam sheets, colored aquarium rocks, beach sand, water, etc. The idea is to draw the eye to the rod, not the background. “Busy” backgounds are not ideal. The more simple the background, the better the rod will be showcased. Shoot for good contrast – dark colored rods on light backgrounds and light colored rods on darker backgrounds.
Payment is made by company check or may be taken in subscription or renewal to the magazine – author’s choice. Payment or subcription/renewal is made upon publication of issue containing article/photograph. Articles and/or photographs that have been previously published elsewhere in print or on the internet will not be considered. Articles/photos that promote or advertise the author/agent’s product or service may be published but are not eligible for payment.
Contact Information: RodMaker Magazine PO Box 1322 High Point, NC 27262 336-882-3226 firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m often asked to provide sample issues of the magazine to interested parties. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of producing and mailing the product, it’s something I’m unable to do. Even one sample copy mailed to you would require that you buy at least a 3 year subscription in order to make up that initial cost of providing and mailing the “sample.” For that reason it’s not something I’ve ever been able to do.
As such requests have yet to abate in our nearly 18 year publication history, I have decided to offer a short term offer in order to gauge response.
So for a limited time, I’m willing to split the cost of a “sample” (70/30 actually with the bulk being on me). Anyone that will send sufficient postage ($2.50) will be mailed a sample copy at no further charge nor obligation. You provide the postage and I’ll provide the magazine and envelope. I’ll even kick in a free International Custom Rod Building Symbol Decal to boot!
Here’s the address:
RodMaker Sample Copy
PO Box 1322
High Point, NC 27261
Please send only USPS stamps as postage. Thanks!
*This offer is good only one per person.