Technical Support

Technical Support

Andy Dear | Monday, 19 February 2024

"Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in technical support"

 When I started my first rod company in 1997, the goal and intent was to build finished, custom rods for sale. I did that for a few years, but for a number of reasons I won't go into, I absolutely HATED it. Through a series of happy accidents, I ended up in the product development and distribution side of the rod-building business, and have been fortunate enough to have made somewhat of a career in that side of the industry.

  I think the part of my business that I find the most enjoyable, is taking technical support calls of all types. These days, most of my calls revolve around the use of epoxy adhesives and coatings. The calls are generally pretty easy as 90% of the time it's user-induced error, and the other 10% of the time it's an environmental anomolie. Sometimes it's difficult to get the builder to take responsibility for their mistakes. Often they want to blame the epoxy for their issues, claiming that they received a "bad batch". I'm not sure if they think I blend this stuff in 4oz, batches, but it is almost weekly that I have to explain to someone that "no, they didn't receive a bad batch" and that we buy this in 55-gallon lots. So if one person has a problem, so do 10,000 other people...which of course is NEVER the case!

  Aside from the daily epoxy calls, I still get very frequent questions about the construction and manufacturing of grips, cork and otherwise. And probably the second most popular technical support calls are those related to the use of the wood lather and its associated accessories for manufacturing handles, grips, reel seats, fighting butts etc..out of a multitude of different materials. In spite of the fact that I haven't been involved in this type of manufacturing in almost 15 years, the principles remain the same with just a few tweaks for all of the new hardware and materials rodmakers are now using in their builds.

  Despite the fact that rodmakers often times make this craft MUCH harder and more complex than it needs to be, most of them are genuinely interested to learn, and that makes the job extremely enjoyable. Additionally, I still get an extreme amount of satisfaction helping someone execute a build better and more efficiently than they thought thy could. And, it helps that after almost 30 years of doing this I STILL love talking about rodbuilding, fly tying, casting and fishing in general!

Hope you all are having a great week!