Archive for the ‘December 2010’ Category

Special Presentation

Several years ago while preparing for the annual International Custom Rod Building Exposition, the nice ladies who staff the Showplace facility informed me that they had recently installed three large video screens – two in the Atrium area and one in a mobile enclosure that could be placed anywhere in the exhibit hall – and they were available for our use.

For the first couple years we played a few of the commercially available rod building DVDs such as Flex Coat’s “How We Do It.” Entertaining as these were, I always felt we could make even better use of this video opportunity.

Just prior to the 2010 event, I began producing a 3-part video comprised of historical rod building items, custom rods and custom rod builders. The final product was unveiled and shown continuously at the 2010 Expo.  The response was so positive that I have decided to continue the same video series for the 2011 event.

If you would like to be included in the 2011 edition, you may send photos of your custom rod/s and/or yourself to this office at I’ll include everyone that wishes to participate but there are a few simple requirements you’ll have to meet in order to be included. Here we go:

1.  Obviously, the photos have to be of good quality. The video screens are large format therefore out of focus, fuzzy photos really don’t fill the bill. It goes without saying that where custom rod photos are concerned, you want to present your work in the best possible manner.  Rods photographed against a dog bed or a ratty floor mat won’t cut it. Look at the photos above to get some idea what we’re after in this regard. This is a high quality, professional presentation and there is a minimum standard we’d like to maintain. See below…

2. If sending a photograph of yourself, please make sure the International Custom Rod Building Symbol is displayed somewhere alongside yourself – on your clothing, shop wall, etc.  The two go hand in hand. See below…

3. Photos should be reasonably large. Jpeg files are fine. Minor editing can be done here.

That’s it! Send those photos in prior to January 5th in order to be included in the 2011 edition.  Every person that participates will receive a free DVD of the presentation just after the Expo debut. Send those photos to:

Tom Kirkman


Special Gift

RodMaker subscribers often send me gifts. Sometimes these gifts are simple items such as a tool or gadget that the reader felt I might find useful in my own rod building endeavors. Other times the item may be outside the scope of rod building and the sender has a totally different reason for sending it.

A few years ago I got a phone call from Mrs. Audrey Pomponio. She informed me that her beloved husband, Richard, a custom rod builder, had died suddenly while on a fishing trip. I assumed she was calling to request that I cancel his subscription. But I was wrong.

Audrey informed me that her husband had left behind several pending orders for custom rods.  I thought that she was going to ask me for the name of a builder who she might forward those orders to. Wrong again.

In order to honor his memory and that of a craft he loved so dearly, she said she planned to learn how to build custom rods and fill those orders herself. She told me she wished to continue receiving the magazine and would talk to me in person at the Expo that year.

She was as good as her word. In fact she’s attended the Expo every year since and has become quite an accomplished rod builder in her own right.

This past year she brought along a special gift – a hand dyed Ostrich egg upon which she had illustrated a pair of trout on one side and the International Symbol for Custom Rod Building on the other. These illustrations aren’t painted, mind you – they’re dyed bit by bit with a technique that is more involved than I have room to explain here.

Audrey’s gift is currently on display in the RodMaker offices. Occasionally I look at it and consider her bittersweet entry into the world of custom rod building.

Tom Kirkman


Letter From Reader…

It’s always nice to hear from RodMaker subscribers concerning their latest successes. Here’s one that came in from Seth Levine at Durango Custom Rods just this morning…

Dear Sir,

Thank you for creating the best magazine that I have ever read. I have just renewed my subscription for another two years, and I just wanted to let you know how much I value your work.  You and your contributors are doing a fantastic job, and every single issue is a keeper!

Thanks Again,

Seth Levine

P.S. – I have attached a neat picture of a recent project that I could not have done without your help and advice.

Special Offer

From time to time I like to get RodMaker into the hands of those who haven’t held a copy up close. So, for the next two weeks, any non-subscribers that would like a sample copy of RodMaker can get one for just $3. That covers 1st class postage and the envelope to mail it in. I’ll foot the bill for the magazine.

There’s More…

And I’m not done yet – if you currently subscribe to another rod building publication and would like to compare it to a copy of RodMaker, just send me a photocopy of the back page of your current publication clearly showing your name and address and I’ll put a copy of RodMaker in the mail to you at no charge whatsoever.

Here’s the address for those wishing a sample copy: RodMaker, PO Box 1322, High Point, NC 27261. Remember, this offer is good for two weeks from today.

I think you’re going to be impressed.

Tom Kirkman