With several thousand rod builders attending, the International Custom Rod Building Exposition is arguably the world’s largest custom rod building event. And by a wide, wide margin. But what is the world’s second largest custom rod building event? The answer may surprise you…
It turns out that the RodMaker Magazine Reception is the second largest rod building event held anywhere in the world. This year, just over 430 custom rod builders attended the event in its new location – the Winston Salem Embassy Suites Grand Ballroom.
The RodMaker Reception is open to all subscribers of RodMaker Magazine. It is funded by the magazine with over 100 door prizes donated by RodMaker advertisers and sponsors. There is no fee associated with the event. The food, the entertainment and the merchandise is provided free of charge to the subscribers.
While not part of and nowhere near as large as the “Expo” the RodMaker Reception is noteworthy in its own right.
All too often custom rod builders find themselves competing with commercial rod companies. No doubt, there are certain things that the custom guys do better than the commercial guys. But for 95% or more of fishermen, it’s all about marketing, warranty and price, all areas where few custom builders can match the factory builders . Thus, any custom builder who chooses to go head to head with a commercial manufacturer experiences a tough road.
Over the years new technology and techniques appear and the smart custom builders, the ones who manage to make a few bucks, are quick to jump on the better ideas. And quick is the key – any good idea is going to be swiped up by the commercial makers the instant they figure they can make a killing on it. Figure that it takes a bit of time before they can prototype, test and get a new rod in the inventory pipeline, and the custom guys have got maybe 6 months to a year before any non-competing item is going to wind up on the rods at the local sporting goods store.
Much too frequently, great sales opportunities elude the custom builder. Most of the money made on rods featuring the Fuji NGC would up in the pockets of the commercial builders. The new KR Concept is heading that way as well. What a pity that custom builders, to whom most of the new products are initially made available to, are so slow to get on board. These great systems should have put a ton of money in the pockets of the custom builders. Sadly, most were too slow to react. Now the scenario is about to repeat itself.
How many of you reading this have even considered building a line of rods with the new MicroWave spinning guide system? No matter what your opinion of the guide may be, we already know that at the very worst it works at least as well as anything else out there. You give up nothing by using it and in many cases stand to gain quite a bit, not the least of which is the novelty which it currently enjoys. Make no mistake, it is going to wind up on commercially produced rods very soon – it casts great! – and a ton of money will be made by somebody. Why not you?
Until the first commercial rod manufacturer gets the MicroWave into their inventory pipeline, you have the chance to step out front and offer the consumer a product that he cannot get anywhere else, yet. And that means you have the opportunity to offer it at a premium price with little to no competition. A year from now, however, will be too late. It will be a pity if custom builders let this one get away before they’ve had their day in the sun with it. Why leave money on the table for someone else to pick up?
Here’s the recent article from Tackle Trade World on the upcoming ICRBE:
The exhibitor list has grown a bit since the article was published. It follows below:
Exhibitors and Booth Numbers
Aftco Mfg - 107
Advanced Fishing – 504
American Tackle - 201, 203
Angler’s Envy - 708
Angler’s Resources - 604, 606
Angler’s Roost - 101, 102
Axii Rods – 302
Batson Enterprises - 904, 905, 906, 907, 908
Bingham Enterprises – 601, 603, 605, 607
C. Boyd Pfeiffer – 309
Century Rod Blanks – 506
Cork 4US - 507
DBlue Fishing - 702
Decal Connection - 310
Expo Rod Display – 106
Fishsticks - 701, 703, 705, 707
Get Bit Outdoors - 900, 901, 902, 903
Goin’ Postal – 105
Hydra Fishing, LLC - 404, 406
Ken Preston Rods – 305
Klingspors Woodworking Shop – 206
Klondike Rod Company - 706
Lamiglas Inc. - 203, 205
Manley Rods – 508
Merrick Tackle – 306
Mickel’s Custom Rods – 113
Mudhole – 208, 210, 212, 214, 216, 218, 220, 224
Munich Rod Man – 307
NERBS – 115, 117
Pacific Bay Int. - 501, 503
Renzetti, Inc. - 112
Riley Rods – 502
Roddancer Products – 705, 707
RodMaker Magazine - 108, 110
Schlesinger Wood Turning - 202
Seeker Rod Company – 114
Skin Shop USA – 704
St. Croix Rods - 608
Sticks ‘N Bones - 308
Swampland Rods - 401, 403, 405, 407
Talon Graphite – 109
Trondak U-40 – 602
United Composites - 1101
Wind Rods – 303
Winston Salem Tourist Information – 304
YakBuddy – 111
The first RodMaker issue of each new year always mails a week or so early to accommodate those who are planning to attend the RodMaker Reception at the International Custom Rod Building Exposition. As such, if you’re needing to renew or wish to start a new subscription prior to the Expo, you’ll want to do so before January 21st.
When RodMaker was launched in early 1998, there weren’t a lot of advertisers willing to jump on board. In fact, it took four or five years before the industry really caught on to what they’d been missing. Since that time, the majority of the most important companies in the rod building industry have taken advantage of the truly broad circulation which RodMaker offers them. But it is possible to have too much of a good thing…
In the past year as even more advertisers have come on board, we’ve simply run out of advertising space. Sure, I could dump some content and replace it with advertising, but at some point the readers wouldn’t be getting the amount of information they’re paying for. Granted most magazines are at least 50% to 60% advertising, but I’ve always kept RodMaker at no more than 25% advertising, which is the maximum that I believe a publication should carry if it wishes to offer its readers the greatest value in terms of actual information.
Why not just add more pages? Well, if only it was that simple. Publications are printed in something known as signatures and in RodMaker’s case a signature is 8 pages. So to add any more pages I’d have to add at least 8, and due to the high quality paper we use that’s a lot more weight that requires additional postage fees. Thousands of dollars a year more in postage fees to be exact. Even if 2 or 3 of those pages were advertising, the magazine would still come out behind on the deal. And no, I have no plans to raise the subscription price in the near future to cover such a postage increase.
So for now, no more pages and no additional advertising. I suppose having more business than you can handle is an enviable position to be in these days but I do regret not being able to get more companies into the pages of RodMaker. I plan to keep searching for an alternative solution but for the time being, RodMaker will remain composed of mostly rod building information with less than 25% advertising.
Tackleworks, the North American Directory of Rod and Reel Service persons and custom rod builders, turns 12 years old this month. A new round of long overdue advertising for the service will begin in earnest towards the end of November.
Following are the companies that have purchased booth space for the 2013 International Custom Rod Building Exposition. Expect to see about a dozen additional exhibitors on board prior to Thanksgiving.
Seminar Presentations are being decided upon now and I’ll add those here in about two weeks.
As of November 1, 2012
Angler’s Resource (Fuji)
C. Boyd Pfeiffer
Get Bit Outdoors
Hydra Fishing, LLC
Klingspors Woodworking Shop
Klondike Rod Company
Mickel’s Custom Rods
Mudhole Custom Tackle
Pacific Bay, Int.
Schlesinger Wood Turning
Seeker Rod Company
St. Croix Rod Company
Sticks ‘N Bones