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mannym

Any Rod Builders here

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I have been thinking about building rods and wanted to get some feedback on the experience.

For those who sell, is it a time worthy business? At the end of the day, are you making $5, $10, $15 per hour while building? Is the price point for largest margins way up the scale? I assume you do not want to make rods that compete with what Walmart and Farm and Barn sells? 

 

My intent is as always, looking to hustle for a little side cash. My wife wouldn't allow me to do strip shows at the local nursing homes. So here I am looking to build them instead of showing them. ( I hope this isn't to offensive. Sorry if it is)

 

I would love to see any custom builds if you have pictures to share. 

 

Hey John G, Lets get together some weekend and catch up. We need to make some plans to explore the stream between us. 

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if you are looking for a little side cash i would suggest selling supplies to rod builders.  LOL  timothy

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If you are looking t to make money, you'll make more working at McDonalds or being  a greeter at Walmart.  A friend of mine was in the business for a while. He did a good job and made several rods for me and donated a few to the Blowout. His best education on the business came at the International Custom Rod Builders Expo. There you see all of the best builders, sit in on seminars and learn the business from the best in the business. I think that show was what caused him to get out of the business. The guys there don't waste time trying to compete with the mass produced rods most of us use. The guys who are making money are selling very high end rods. Finding customers who'll pay $300 to $500 and higher for a baitcasting or spinning rod isn't easy.  

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I will be watching this since I have built a few in my time. I never gave it much consideration as a way to get rich quick. Millions of Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and Asians know how to build rods; so you are competing with the world market. For the three Gs - grass, glass, and graphite - the niches are overflowing. Unless you can come up with a miracle rod material or a miracle gadget, Ronald's is a better choice.

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i have been making bamboo rods for over 20yrs. while there are differences, it is best to do it because you love it than with profit in mind.  timothy

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My nephew started about 2 years ago- not for the $$.  He has freakish mechanical and electronics skills and converted a  sewing machine into a rod wrapper.  It's pretty wicked.  He builds them with Winn Grips and clear wraps. They look pretty cool

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He built a pretty beefy baitcaster  with a Bushido blank to use for froggin' .  It had a really nice Lews reel on it that had some foo-foo bearings in it- the combination feels fantastic.   The beauty is you can build the rod exactly the way you want.

Long term you could probably charge $100 labor for 8 hours work- give or take if you could find the right customer.

Trouble is there are really nice super cheap rods today that fish really great.  I bought both my boys Gander Mountain rods on sale for $19.99 with a GM reel for $24.99.  The cork on one started to peel.  It's not even solid cork, just a veneer going over some kind of hard foam! The guides don't have any ceramic.  

These things are reasonably light, we caught tons of nice bass with them in Sylvania and blugills and crappies and carp.  If they were going to break, they would have broke by now.  I have about a dozen, easy- St Croix, Loomis and falcon rods.  The kids leave these things in my car and I fish with them when I am on lunch all time.  Seriously,  my favorite rod is an old Loomis SJR721 (like a $250 rod) and if one of these combos is rigged and ready, I would grab it first.   Point being, that's what you are up against. 

 

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I pretty much thought the same about this. I have a pretty good job but seem to always want to find ways to pay for my hobbies. I am still going to build a few for myself. I especially want to build some pack rods for the BWCA and other canoe camping destinations. 

 

Thanks Guys!

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On 3/14/2018 at 12:47 PM, mannym said:

 

For those who sell, is it a time worthy business?

 

Speaking from at least 15 years of rod building experience,  NOPE !

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Manny, I've built about 40 rods over the past 15 yrs or so. If you want to come by some time and see my set up let me know. I have some photos of most of the rods. I could give you some tips.

As far as making money selling rods, I would agree with the others. I've talked to a half dozen rodmakers that sell rods at fishing shows. Three said they were not happy about sales, and felt it was a mistake thinking they could make a buck doing it. They didn't  seem happy. They had a nice quality product. Two enjoyed what they were doing. To them it was a hobby that they could do and they weren't too worried about profit margin. They just enjoyed showing their rods and talking with people who visited their booths. Selling a few rods was a bonus. They were having fun and also had a very nice product.  One fellow said he was making a good profit on his rods, and was selling a lot of them. He was very enthusiastic and had amazing threadwork  and designs on his rods. His rods were selling for hundreds of dollars per rod. He said he had quite a few famous people buying his rods. The people buying them were looking for something different. He was providing it. I don't  know how long it took him to build up his clientele, but he said he had a nice waiting list. I think he is the exception. 

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I just purchased a fiberglass fly rod from Cabela's for $30. I cannot purchase at wholesale a real seat, cork grip, and the guides for that amount, let alone adding on to that a blank of any kind. Crazy.

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3 hours ago, Rob G said:

I just purchased a fiberglass fly rod from Cabela's for $30. I cannot purchase at wholesale a real seat, cork grip, and the guides for that amount, let alone adding on to that a blank of any kind. Crazy.

And it is most likely a very nice rod. I think most that by a custom rod are looking for something that sets it apart from the ordinary such as special grip shape, cool threading or inlays, your name woven into the rod, something special as a gift.

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