Dale Clemens

Dale Clemens

Andy Dear | Monday, 5 July 2021

Most folks know Dale as more of a rod builder than a blank designer. Although Dale did have his hand in blank design and product development, Dale deserves the most credit for popularizing the craft of rod building as we know it.

Like thousands of others, I was first introduced to the craft of rod building through a series of instructional video tapes I stumbled upon way back in 1994. I had never built a rod before, but my interest was peaked enough to rent the tapes to see what this was all about. After viewing them the first time, I thought to myself "this doesnt seem that ahrd"....and down the black hole I went, never to return.

  When I did this series of interviews, Dale was long retired, having sold his company Clemens Tackle prior to my involvement in the craft. Like every other participant in this series, I simply called Dale and asked him if he would be willing to give me an interview. Dale and I became very fast freinds because he had a new found passion of woodturning, which I was heavily involved with as well. This made the interview very easy, since we had several common interests.

Dale, like the others was a complete open book, and was very humble about his influence on that craft, that continues to this day. Many of the decorative techniques that rodbuilders still continue to expand upon were developed by Dale, and the rodbuilders that he influenced.

  The irony of my association with Dale is that through a series af VERY happy accidents, I actually ended up buying the copyrights from 3M to the very instructional vidoes that got me involved in the craft to begin with. Dale was instrumental in helping me reproduce those productions on to DVD format for modern public consumption.

  When I produced my own wood turning DVD, I sent him a copy for review, tho which he replied with a very complimentary hand written not, which I still have in my archives. He was also generous to sign all of the copies of his publications in my library, For severaly years after that I would always get a nice Christmas card from Dale and his wife, which I thought was a really classy and kind thing to do.

Dale passed away in 2014, but his influence on the craft of rod building cannot be overstated. He is without question the man who introduced tens of thousands of people to this great craft....including me, for which I will always be greatful.


Hope all of you are having a great week,