RodMaker Magazine Celebrates 15th Year


From Rodmaker Magazine:

HIGH POINT, NC – When publisher Tom Kirkman decided to launch the world’s first full sized magazine for custom rod builders, he was told it would never work – it would fail in a year. That was 1997. Fifteen years later it is 2012 and RodMaker Magazine proudly boasts over 15,000 current subscribers.

Over the past 15 years, RodMaker Magazine has published over 1,000 cutting edge articles on all facets and aspects of custom rod building. Apparently, there is no shortage of brainstorming going on in the minds of innovative custom rod builders. “Everybody said I’d run out of ideas and materials within just a couple years,” said Kirkman. “But we’re 15 years out now and the new techniques and ideas just keep pouring in!”

RodMaker was responsible for several “firsts” in the custom rod building industry. It was the first full sized publication ever offered to rod builders and included archive quality paper and museum quality photographs. “I wanted the quality of the publication to reflect the quality of the information within.” said Kirkman.  RodMaker was also the first rod building magazine offered to the public on a subscription basis. Suddenly you didn’t have to pay to join a club or organization in order to learn more about the rod building craft. “There were so many talented rod builders who wanted to share their ideas and methods with others in the craft, but they had no way to do that. RodMaker provided them with the means.”

One interesting footnote among the magazine’s circulation is the number of commercial fishing rod companies that subscribe. “Commercial rod companies know that the next big thing in fishing rods nearly always comes from the basement or garage shop of a custom rod builder. You better believe they keep their eyes open for what these guys are doing.” Kirkman commented. In fact, he points with pride to the fact that nearly every commercially made fishing rod on the market today is configured or outfitted in nearly identical fashion to rods that appeared in RodMaker as much as 10 years ago.

The future continues to look bright for RodMaker. In addition to continued updates and refinements to the magazine itself, Kirkman has continued to host the yearly International Custom Rod Building Exposition which is billed as the world’s largest event for custom rod builders. This year’s event is expected to be the largest in the event’s 10-year history.

more information on RodMaker Magazine can be found at:

Tom Kirkman
[email protected]


1 Comment

  1. Rodmaker is a beautiful publication and the only magazine I bother to save once I have read it. There is a place for top level technology and old world craftsmanship and Rodmaker blends the two perfectly.

Leave A Reply