Tom Greek had a dream. This year, he is seeing his dream realized as a result of a lot of hard work, expense, and effort on his part. It is a realization that is going to be of great assistance to serious fly anglers and reputable custom rod builders alike.
For many years, Tom built his own custom rods and there are many folk who continue to use the instruments he crafted for them. Like other rod builders who were concerned about quality, Tom heard the stories about some people being ripped off by some opportunistic person who called themself a custom rod builder after only making one rod, and then selling a product called a custom rod to unsuspecting anglers. He also heard stories also about others who had rods built for them by reputable rod builders, ones who were concerned about quality, aesthetics and ensuring that their customers really did have a rod that was better than one could buy off the store rack.
Tom would dream of some kind of organization that could get behind reputable rod builders and help them market their products to those who were serious about the sport of fishing. As well, this organization could assist anglers who wanted something special for themselves in finding a rod builder that had paid their dues - paid in the sense in having taken the time to really learn their craft, spent the hours necessary to build something that could become a family heirloom, and that could stand behind their work. Other crafts often have such organizations that provide similar services, but although there are rod building organizations that enjoy teaching or sharing, or provide comaraderie for rod builders, there was no organization that could bring rod builders and customers together, providing support to both. The Rod Crafting industry had no Guild.
Over the years, Tom was told by some people that it would be a waste of time. Others didn't want to see any type of Rod Crafting Guild set up. Some thought the idea of having some sort of standards would be detrimental to the rod building industry, for some strange reason. Tom persisted, and in spite of the negative advice and lack of encouragement, he has founded the The Custom Rod Builders Guild. With the support of some well known and reputable rod builders, a handful of commercial entities that have also seen the benefits to the industry of ensuring some sort of standards while promoting the craft to anglers in general, and other individuals that shared Tom's dream, the Guild was officially born this year.
Tom has also kept his word. The Guild has been growing and is using its funds effectively and efficiently for the betterment of its members and the craft of Rod building, both cane, graphite and fibreglass, through advertising and referrals.
Now, Tom has arranged what should be one of the biggest events ever for custom rod builders and those who are interested in learning how to build rods. The Custom Rod Builders Guild Conclave has been officially announced and scheduled for February 17 to 20, 2000. With all sorts of exciting things planned, this is something that you will want to book for now. The agenda is complete with seminars on rod repair, bamboo rod building, decorative thread work, and will even include advice on marketing your business and tax implications for those who make a living, or want to, from rod building.
For others who are interested in learning more about how to build a custom rod, Tom has arranged for rod building classes where attendees will not only learn techniques, but actually build a complete rod while at the Conclave! All of the materials and tools will be provided at a 'can't be missed' price.
Speaking of price, Tom has done something extraordinary. Attendance at the Conclave (not including the rod building lessons) will be free for members of the Guild and only $75.00 for Non-members for the complete weekend of seminars and demonstrations! It's been a long time that I have seen a price of any seminar type weekend that hasn't cost less than 500 bucks.
I am planning on being there. I hope I can meet you there!