What The Expo Is, and Isn’t

The International Custom Rod Building Exposition is a custom rod building event, period.  Attendees shouldn’t expect to find the exhibit hall filled with general tackle items, taxidermists, guide services, etc. What they should expect, and will find, is 50,000 square feet filled with custom rod building items.


Fishing shows are a dime a dozen. They’re everywhere. So adding in tackle dealers to a rod building event only serves to dilute the rod building portion of that event. This results in there being too little tackle to attract many fishermen and too little in the way of rod building to attract many custom rod builders.  It’s like trying to build a baitcasting/spinning/fly rod combination – you can do it, but the resulting rod isn’t likely to be very good at any particular task.


There are all sorts of combinations that could be tried and some might even be successful. But the Expo is already hugely successful and I believe a good portion of that success has to do with the fact that it is exactly what its name purports – a specialty custom rod building event.  Besides, it’s not like we’re having trouble filling the exhibit hall with custom rod building exhibitors.  I see no need to take on compaines that aren’t involved with custom rod building just to fill booth space.


For what it’s worth, if you want to take in a fishing show, the Bass & Saltwater Fishing and Boating Expo is taking place in Greensboro, NC the same weekend as the ICRBE. However, they open on Friday. So, if you want to attend a general fishing tackle event, come in a day early and spend Friday over there. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex where that event takes place, is less than 20 minutes from the Showplace. This combination offers you two specialty events, each one true to what its name implies.


Tom Kirkman




  1. Boyd on February 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I can tell you something else the Expo is not- it is not the type of event where the owner and organizer brings a little doll to mimic another show operator and has attendees slap and make obscene gestures at it. I was watching a live feed from another rod show and could not believe how unprofessional and hugely childish it was for grown adults and event organizers to act like this. I was shocked.

    Keep up the great work Tom. The Expo thrives because of your professionalism.

  2. Pat Helton on February 19, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Tom has a great show that is very well organized and planned. It has experienced repeated success every year and I hope that it continues to be that kind of event.

    Tom Good luck with your show, I hope everything goes well.