One of, if not the most important key to business success, lies in the value offered to the customer. I like to think that RodMaker Magazine offers an unparalleled value for its subscribers. While the magazine easily stands on its own merits, birthing nearly every important new technique brought to the rod building craft in the past 14 years, there’s more…

Each year since 2004, all RodMaker subscribers have been treated to a yearly party of sorts – the RodMaker Reception. Held in conjunction with the International Custom Rod Building Exposition each year, it features food, tons of door prizes (including Renzetti, Batson Ent. and Pacific Bay rod wrappers/lathes) and camaraderie with others of similar vocation, all for free. All that’s needed is to show up and enjoy the event!

More recently, all RodMaker subscribers received a $5 discount coupon for use at the Expo, reducing the entry fee to the world’s largest custom rod building event, to just $3. Not too shabby.

If possible, my goal for 2012 is to allow every RodMaker subscriber into a possible 2012 Expo at absolutely no charge.

Back in 2008, every RodMaker subscriber received a free vinyl decal featuring the then new International Symbol for Custom Rod Building. Nothing to send for, no expense – it was included free with Volume 11 #4.

In the Volume 14 #3 issue, due out in June, RodMaker subscribers will be invited to participate in the industry’s first survey pertaining to demographics and buying habits. It may have a strong impact on the products and services custom rod builders can expect to see in the coming decade.

After 13 years of a combination B&W and color publication, the advent of Volume 14 saw RodMaker move to full color production. And…there was no increase in subscription price. In fact, right on through 4 postage increases, the cost of a RodMaker subscription (6-issues per year) has not increased since 2002 and it’s not expected to increase any time soon.

And there’s more… but I’ll let that remain a surprise. The fact is, the value of a RodMaker subscription continues to grow and grow every year. There is simply no other value in the custom rod building craft that compares to RodMaker. As one reader told me recently, “Considering the quality of the information and all the other perks that go along with it, getting a subscription to RodMaker is almost like getting paid!”

Tom Kirkman



  1. Mark Hanenlib on May 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Rodmaker is the best value in the rod building world. No doubt about that! My wife and I ate an easy $27 worth of those delicious meatballs at the reception back in Feb. Even got the cook to give us the recipe. Tasty.

    The information in the mag alone is worth hundreds of dollars of year. I sometimes look at the website forums and chat rooms for rod builders and see all these questions and wonder why these people would not already know the answer. Then it dawns on me that they do not take Rodmaker. No wonder they do not know these things.

  2. LPM on May 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Rodmaker is worth every penny. No one has ever supported the custom rod builders the way you and Rodmaker have. I like getting the new information many months before it trickles down to the internet. No complaints from me. Keep it up. Great mag and love all the little extras.

  3. SamT on May 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Anyone that builds rods for sale or wants to have the best personal rods possible owes it to themselves to take RM. Worth many times over the price just for the information alone.

  4. Buddy Owens on June 3, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Tom, I have practically all of the magazines from the very beginning and it’s like a set of encyclopedias. The information is something that can’t be obtained from any other source. I don’t think that the ordinary rodbuilder realizes the time and effort that you put into this publication. I remember when I worked off of a small dinette table and visited you in your cramped basement. We never realized that rodbuilding would become what it is today. The suppliers in those days had the same items and anything new was gravy. I’m really proud of you and the ones that have kept rodbuilding as strong as it is today. You can compare it to the automobile industry putting out a new model every year. Thanks a lot for what you do.