Historical Interviews

RodMaker has been proud to lead the way in introducing the vast majority of the newest and most important rod building techniques and methods of the past 15 years. But we’ve been equally busy during that same time period documenting important rod building history of the past. Part of that endeavor has included a series of interviews commissioned by the magazine and with only a couple exceptions, conducted by Andy Dear over a several year period. The result has been a record of some of the most influential persons in the rod building and fishing industry, preserved for posterity.

Some of these interviews have been bittersweet. Both Jimmy Green and Press Powell passed away shortly after publication of their RodMaker interviews. In fact, these were the final public interviews given by both men. Those interviews were considered so important and so timely, that other editors contacted me and requested permission to reprint them in their own publications.

Other moments have been completely uplifting. Most folks in the custom rod building field assumed that Gene Bullard had passed on years earlier. That is, until Andy Dear found him alive and well in a small Texas town, selling jewelry and flower seeds by email list. Shortly after Andy conducted the ensuing interview with him, I commissioned and paid Gene to write a serious of 12 articles for RodMaker on various aspects of custom rod building history. He finished all but one before he, too, passed on.

Of course there have been other “mini-interviews” in RodMaker with notable  persons on a variety of specific rod building topics (Jason Brunner at St. Croix has done several for us), but those listed below constitute the full fledged memories and thoughts on rod building and fishing from a “who’s who” of well known rod building personalities.

Gary Loomis (LCI, G. Loomis, Inc. North Fork Composites) Volume 2 Issue #5.

Wayne Fowlkes (Wayne’s Custom Rods/Gudebrod Catalog) Volume 2 Issue #6.

Roger Seiders (Flex Coat, Co.) Volume 5 Issue #4

Jimmy Green (Fenwick) Volume 5 Issue #5.

Tom Morgan (R.L. Winston Rod Company) Volume 6 Issue #1.

C. F. Burkheimer (Burkheimer/Peak Rods) Volume 6 Issue #2.

Dale Clemens (Clemens Custom Tackle/Numerous Books) Volume 6 Issue #3.

Dick Kantner (Graphite USA) Volume 6 Issue #6.

Press Powell (Powell Rod Co.) Volume 7 Issue #2.

Tom Dorsey (Thomas & Thomas) Volume 8 Issue #2

Gene Bullard (Bullard International) Volume 8 #6

It has been a privilege for me to publish the thoughts of these gentlemen over the past few years. I hope you’ve enjoyed each one, and if you haven’t read them, you still have time.

Tom Kirkman


1 Comment

  1. John Britt on October 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Tom, I for one completely enjoyed reading the articles I think Andy did a great job on his interviews, having been fortunate enough to meet a few of the individuals involved, for others the only contact they might ever have is through reading the articles, a must if you want to get some ideas on the earlier days of rodbuilding and those in the forefront of the craft.