We Need Your Help…

It’s hard to put any real numbers on custom rod building.  I’m not talking about just how many rod builders there are, but how those who do build rods carry on their rod building activities. Do they build mostly fresh or saltwater rods? How many rods a year do they build? Do most builders build for themselves and friends, or do they sell to the public? What business aspects convince them to purchase from one dealer over another? What products do they feel are most troublesome or which new products would they like to see brought to the marketplace? How many rod builders also tie flies or make lures? The list goes on and on.


The rod building industry has never had a good means of ascertaining any of this information. The only way to find out is to directly ask a wide cross section of rod builders. Which begs the question – how do you go about that?


Forget the internet forums and chat boards. There’s not enough builders there to accurately represent the mainstream rod building craft to allow any sort of accurate conclusions to be made. What you need is a direct means to communicate with thousands and thousands of builders of all types and descriptions. The answer, of course, is RodMaker Magazine.


RodMaker reaches more rod builders than any other single medium (and probably more than all the other mediums combined). With that in mind, the Volume 14 #3 issue, due out in another week or two, contains a questionnaire that I hope each of you will take the time to fill out and return.  It won’t cost you a dime – I’ve opened a return mail account and will foot the return postage in order to get this important work done. Business return mail is expensive – $1.19 per piece! But I’m doing it because this is important work and somebody needs to get it done.


The questions run a pretty wide gamut and will provide some real insight into the buying and related sporting habits of the mainstream custom rod builder. We can extrapolate percentages from whatever number of builders take part, but I’ll need at least 5000 folks to respond in order to get any sort of accurate picture. This is another reason why I made it possible for you to return the form at no cost to yourself. Please participate – it will help you and your craft in the long run.


Once all the results have been tallied, the information will be made available to those manufacturers and dealers who advertise in RodMaker Magazine. Shortly after that, the same information will be made available to the entire rod building industry. I think it’ll provide a great deal of eye opening information and help make tomorrow’s rod building products and services better than ever. Please join us in this worthwhile endeavor. Thanks.


Tom Kirkman





  1. Ken Preston on June 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    If people conscientiously participate this will be a real boon for the custom rod builder. It represents an opportunity to seriously influence the manufacturers collectively.

  2. Bob Caulkins on June 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    This is an interesting question that hopefully will give some solid information in the answer. Looking forward to the next issue, and really curious about the results.