2015 Submission Rate Schedule

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 rodmaker@earthlink.net

Sample Issue

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.

New Issue Mails August 1st

The Volume 17 #4 issue of RodMaker Magazine will mail on August 1st, 2014. Enjoy.



New Issue Ready to Mail

The Volume 17 #3 issue of RodMaker Magazine will mail Monday, June 2nd. Renewals and new subscriptions received no later than Friday of this week will receive it.

New CD is Available, Now!

Finally, the first of the final promised CDs featuring the last few years of RodMaker is available. The Volume 10-12 CD includes all issues as found in Volumes 10, 11 and 12. They are faithful electronic reproductions of the hard copy issues and include a total of 18 individual issues (3 years). Hard copy versions of all these issues are currently still available but would cost you just over $143. By CD, you can have these same issues for just $44.95 ppd.


The initial burn will be for 750 CDs. I suspect this will be sufficient to fill any orders I get this year. A subsequent order may be placed when or if these run out, although there is no guarantee.


I expect to have the new CD listed on the magazine website within about two weeks, but if you’re wanting one a little sooner you can mail a check or money order for $44.95 to: RodMaker, PO Box 1322, High Point, NC, 27262.


The final back issue CD for volumes 13, 14 and 15 is expected to be ready towards July. 

New RodMaker CDs

Several years back I released the first 9 volumes of RodMaker on CD. It has been a tremendous hit and allows would-be readers to obtain bulk copies of this magazine at price which is less than the same in hard copy version, and in what many feel is a more convenient form for them.


About a year ago I mentioned that I was considering releasing volumes 10 through 15 on CD as well. During these past months I have been diligently working an hour or so each day to convert the hard copy versions to electronic PDF versions. It’s not easy – it takes more than the push of a button to convert the PostScript Printer PDF files to Computer Viewing PDF type files. In fact, it requires laying out each and every page of each and every magazine all over again.

It’s been a lot of work but it’s nearly reached fruition. I have decided to release two CDs, one featuring volumes 10, 11 & 12 and another featuring volumes 13, 14 & 15. The reasoning behind the two volume set is to expedite the completion and availability of at least the first 3 volumes more quickly, and to reduce cost for those who may have at least some of the latter 3 volumes. I expect each CD to retail for under $45. The same set of 3 volumes in hard copy would cost you about $145.


As of today, I expect to release the Volume 10, 11 &12 CD on June 1st. The CD featuring volumes 13, 14 & 15 will quickly follow on July 1st. They will initially be sold via the RodMaker Magazine website but may be available at selected dealers in the fall of this year.

New Issue Mails Today

The Volume 17 #2 issue of RodMaker mails today. Most subscribers will receive it around the 3rd to 4th week of this month. Enjoy.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate

The Origin of Foam Core, Carbon Skinned Fishing Rod Grips

How many of you are old enough to remember the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup advertisement? The one where some guy eating a chocolate bar walks around a corner and bumps into a guy who’s finger scooping peanut butter out of a jar. They look up and as they regain their senses, one shouts “You got peanut butter on my chocolate bar!” The other responds with “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!”  All ends well as they taste the combination and decide that something delicious has just happened.

Back in 2003 I began searching for a good do-it-yourself method for creating  flocked grips.  For those unaware, flocked grips are made from embedding short nylon fibers onto an underlying base, generally of cork.   Such grips had long been available from a couple of commercial sources and were often referred to as “the Cadillac of rod grips.”  But there was no simple, inexpensive do-it-yourself method for rod builders to create their own. If you desired a flocked grip, you paid the price – which often exceeded $30 for a single grip!

Borrowing and then modifying a process used by custom furniture makers for lining drawer bottoms, I developed the method I was looking for. I published an article on the technique in the  Volume 7 #4 issue of RodMaker.

Shortly thereafter, I decided that there was no need to use expensive cork as the core for flocked grips.  I began experimenting with mixing, pouring and shaping my own urethane foam to use as flocking cores.  Hold this thought

Down in Texas  Andy Dear  had purchased a large quantity of cork grips from the old  All Star Rod Company  operation. In an attempt to salvage some of the lesser quality cork and create something more novel at the same time, Andy had begun experimenting with glass and carbon sleeving as a covering for the cork.  Hold this thought €¦

In 2006, shortly after researching and publishing an article on  Rod Grip Ergonomics  (Volume 10 #3) I began toying with the idea of fitting a fly rod with a carbon fiber grip. The increased rigidity it would provide over a standard cork grip was bound to increase control and reduce fatigue. Trouble was, any such grip would be limited in size and shape to the commercially available non-tapered carbon tubes often sold for making Tennessee handles. Or so I thought.

One afternoon while conferring with Andy on another matter, we spilled our current projects to each other. In an instant, peanut butter and chocolate collided. A unique idea was borne that day – combining a lightweight, rigid, shaped urethane-foam core with an outer skin of carbon-fiber. Within 72 hours afterwards, the world’s first urethane-core/carbon-fiber skinned fishing rod grip was a reality.  

The world’s first rigid foam, carbon skinned fishing rod grip appeared on the cover of the Volume 10 #5 issue of RodMaker Magazine in October of 2006.

Maybe not exactly delicious, but innovative and important nonetheless, that first grip appeared on the cover of the Volume 10 #5 issue of RodMaker. An article on making your own cores and how to €œskin € them followed in the Volume 10 #6 issue. Scores of rod builders picked up the technique from there and a few are even producing them commercially today. Now you know how they came to be.

Tom Kirkman

Additional Photos of foam-core/carbon-skinned grips. Copy and paste each URL into your browser’s address window.





More Decals Arrive

Free decals featuring the International Symbol for Custom Rod Building are back in stock. I had run out a couple weeks ago so I hadn’t been able to fill the SASE requests that came in during that period. However, I’ll take care of those tomorrow and most guys will have theirs by end of the week or so.

If you wish to obtain one at no charge, send a 5×7 SASE to:

International Custom Rod Building Symbol Decal Offer

PO Box 1322

High Point, NC 27261


Note: Requests sent with a standard letter envelope will not be honored. The Decals are 5 inches in diameter and will not fit in a 3 inch letter envelope. 


Not long after I hosted the very first International Custom Rod Building Exposition, I rocked the rod building world by paying my seminar presenters. This had never been done. Some competitors were outraged at this dastardly act. They said that by paying seminar presenters I was going to ruin the aspect of rod builders being willing to “share” information at no charge. Of course, at the same time, they had no problem charging rod builders for buying their magazines and books, or for attending their shows. I still believe their outrage was more about being able to continue getting ideas and techniques for free, which they could then peddle for profit, thereby increasing their own revenue.


Granted, many rod builders don’t want to be compensated for their ideas – they give and share without any regard for any sort of compensation. But the thing is, I’ve always felt that anyone who adds value to something I’m selling should be compensated to at least some degree, even if it is only a token amount.


At the Expo, the amount I paid varied depending on the presenter, the topic and whether or not the person was doing something else at the event whereby a seminar stood to put a little money in their pockets. Most times the compensation was $50 to $100. Not much, but maybe enough for a guy to pay for a hotel room night, or take his wife out to a nice dinner when he returned home. My point was simply to show these folks that I really appreciated what they brought to the event. Anyone can say “thanks” but paying somebody shows that you actually mean it.


I’ve done the same thing at the magazine for quite a few years, although a bit more sporadically. Payment amounts for articles and photos have varied depending on the quality of the piece submitted and how much work I had to do on my end to prepare and photograph anything required. And often, due to other things involved, no direct compensation was made. Nobody has gotten rich off writing for RodMaker, but the occasional $25, $50 or $75, or perhaps the extension of a subscription by a year or two hopefully helped buy a blank or two for the author.


More recently I’ve been thinking about drafting an ironclad compensation form with specific amounts to be paid for specific submission types. Articles, photos, tips, etc. In fact, this very afternoon I’ve decide to do it. It’s not like I have to – I receive article and photo submissions on a nearly daily basis and very, very few ask to be paid. But that’s not the point – I simply want to compensate the folks that contribute their ideas and techniques, without which the magazine would be far less than it is. I think it’s a good thing to do.


No doubt, some will fuss and scream about this just as they did all those years ago when I began compensating the Expo seminar presenters. But I don’t care – I still think it’s the right thing to do. “Thank you’s” are nice but awfully cheap, and if you really value what somebody has brought to the table, you should be willing to offer something tangible in return.


For a copy of the new RodMaker Article/Photo Submission Compensation rate schedule, please email a request to rodmaker@earthlink.net.  I should have them ready to send by first of next week.


Tom Kirkman