Overseas Magazines

When RodMaker was launched early in 1998, overseas subscriptions were available. Within a short while, nearly 400 rod builders from outside the U.S. were receiving the magazine. And it was a nightmare on my end…


With each issue published, I had to set aside 3 days to fill out, by hand, 400 individual customs forms. Then, the magazines were taken to the post office, where I stood in line for a bit and then took up a couple hours of a clerk’s time (and mine) while each magazine was weighed and scanned.


From there, about 50% of the magazines would eventually make it to their destinations. The other 50% were lost, damaged or stolen and required replacement.  Keep in mind that the postage cost to send a copy of RodMaker overseas ranged anywhere from $3 to $7 per copy. Thus, when a copy went missing, which was half of the time, the cost for a replacement copy plus postage was more than the entire margin on a year’s subscription.


While I hated to do it, I stopped selling overseas subscriptions after the first 3 or 4 years.  Since then, a handful of dealers in Australia, Europe and Canada have been purchasing RodMaker copies for resale in their respective areas.  They are not my agents nor do overseas subscriptions flow through me – each of the current distributors are independent business persons who set their own subscription prices and handle their own distribution.


While I continue to seek a better and more economical means to again direct deliver RodMaker to locations overseas, none has presented itself at this time.  For now overseas rod builders wishing a subscription may be able to obtain one from these dealers:


Custom Tackle Supply – https://www.customtackle.com/rbindex.html (website)


RodPro – [email protected] (email)


Ian Miller Rods – [email protected] (email)



Tom Kirkman





  1. Michael Danek on June 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Regarding overseas subscriptions, have you considered doing only electronic subscriptions? I have a software I use as treasurer of our local Lions club that so far has converted every document I’ve tried it on to .pdf files. They are quite compact, look great on a computer screen. Not sure what the implications are for something like this, but technically, it may be possible and quite efficient. I do a family history annual update that includes about 6 pages of photos + 8-10 pages of text, and it goes through the email very well. Your publication will be much bigger, but, maybe. . .

    Software is DeskPDF.


  2. Chad on July 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Why would you not file a complaint against the Postal Service for continued delivery failure? Is there a foreign equivalent for guranteed delivery? Why would you need a customs declaration for a magazine? Just wondering

  3. Tom on July 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    The U.S. Postal Service does not deliver magazines overseas – once they leave this Country it’s on the receiving service’s end to get it delivered. Try complaining to the Singapore Postal Service about their poor delivery. Indonesia’s Postal Service is another good one you can check with. Let me know how you make out. I didn’t do very well.

    The USPS requires a customs form be filled out in order to mail magazines overseas. It’s above the weight limit that requires it. As far as why they require it – I don’t really know. But it’s definitely required.

  4. ALP on July 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    As a USPS employee, I can help explain these matters. Anything over 1 ounce mailed outside the USA requires that a customs declaration form be filled out. At 3 ounces and/or oversized dimensions, a larger more detailed customs declaration form is required. The magazine’s size and weight, along with its dutiable merchandise status, would require this second, more detailed form.

    While many postal systems do a great job at delivering mail, we recognize that the USPS is tops in this field. But we do not control the mail in other countries. Once a letter or parcel is transferred to the postal service on the receiving end, it is their job to deliver the letter or parcel. While you can purchase tracking information or request delivery confirmation, many postal services will never follow through. It can be frustrating, but please remember once more that the USPS responsibility ends once we deliver the item to the receiving postal service.

    You can read more about customs declarations requirements here: