Raleigh Show

The Raleigh Bass and Saltwater Expo took place this weekend. I traveled over with Rodney Powell and Sammy Mickel. Although our portion of the Country has been unseasonably warm this year and remains pleasant for fishing, it seemed like enough guys stayed off the water this weekend to keep the show aisles crowded.


We ran into Scott Parsons (Fishsticks/RodDancer) in one of the first booths. Scott was staffing a non-rod building booth and we took a moment to speak with him. Around a few corners we ran into the Cashion Custom Rods booth where they’ve created an entire rod line around the carbon-skinned, foam-core grips introduced to the craft in RodMaker a few years ago. They really seem to be making a go of it.


In the opposite hall I spotted Captain Rick Bennett (Rodman Charters and Custom Rods). Rick travels the show circuit in this area and will be in Greensboro on February 25 & 26. Said he’d be over at the Expo, of course, on Saturday morning for a bit.  John Ballard (J&B Custom Rods) was there and his crew was doing a brisk business.


We ran into a few custom rod builders roaming the aisles but missed many more who were there. Steve Gardner, Don Hanner and others were spotted, but we never got close to them. Steve had called my cell phone to try and get up with me, but I never heard it ring! We talked later.


It seems that each and every year more and more custom builders are setting up at the fishing shows. It’s good to see and I hope they’re all doing well. It’s a tough business, but it’s heartening to see them in it.


Tom Kirkman