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     I'd like offer some advice that may assist you in finding a rod builder suited to your needs.


     Placing an order for a handcrafted fishing rod, regardless of the investment cost, should be a laid back and easy experience.  If you find yourself entering into a build agreement with any level of trepidation, heed the warnings and contemplate whether contact has been made with the correct individual!


Consider the following while communicating with the builder:

  • Have questions been answered to your satisfaction? 

  • Does the builder have a firm grasp on the design elements to be incorporated? 

  • Are you positive that the rod builder has the capabilities necessary to bring your project from the design table to reality with at least the standard of professionalism expected within the industry?

  • Have any of your concerns gone unanswered or possibly even ignored? 

  • Have you contacted previous clients and heard positive reviews from trusted sources?

  • Has the builder spent considerable time and communicated openly about the design, component options and approximate delivery date for the rod you’ve chosen?

  • Has he/she suggested several component configurations and the reasons that each should qualify for consideration?

  • How quick is the turn around from initial order to delivery time?

  • How would you access the value of the build considering everything that the builder has invested thus far?

     The frightening truth is amateurs disguised as “Professional Rod Builders” are fairly prevalent within the industry.  There are far fewer custom crafters with the necessary skill set(s) required  to build a fishing implement that surpasses your expectations in terms of performance, design and construction durability, let alone surpass that of the big box, off-the-shelf models.  You should find it alarming if a prospective builder references another builder's website as examples of what he's capable of producing.  There is a high probability that the desire is there, but not the actual talent. 

     An established and professional builder should be able to send you photographs of his/her work and not someone else's!  He/She should be able to provide you with examples of his/her skill level with images captured from work that he/she has physically created or they're merely plagiarizing aspirations he/she is dreaming to one day achieve.

Skill Set, Overall Cost, Build Time and Its Relevance to Value

     If you must shop around, beware of the bargain builder that delivers finished product overnight.  If the deal, comparatively, sounds too good to be true…the old adage rings true…it likely is!  The best builders have a strong following established through consistently exceeding client expectations and providing outstanding customer service.  Word of mouth and repeat / referral business keeps the best custom crafters extremely busy.  Consistent and professional results take a significant investment in time, of which most builders will not sacrifice to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines.  It is acceptable to have a reasonable delay, especially during peak season, before the finished product is delivered to your doorstep.  If it comes in cheap and can be delivered overnight, what message is the builder silently sending you?  Only you can properly evaluate whether it is a risk worth taking.



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