Rod building and rod design have been associated with The Tackle Box since we were first established in 1983 and we are very proud to have been involved with many developments over the years. For example, the shop built rods in the 80’s with larger and less rod guides. In the 90’s we developed the ‘no lacquer’ perdurable/lifelong blank finish during our involvement with the Free Spirit ‘S’ Range rods and later with the Hi-S rods. This finish is now used on many top of the range rods. The Fold Friendly Ringing principle was yet another design feature that emerged from our rod building activities.
The demand for custom built rods has led us to create space in the shop for a second workshop just for rods, leaving our original workshop catering for servicing and repairs of reels, bivvies, alarms, stoves and many more items of fishing tackle. The rod workshop involves several staff members in its day to day operation:
Gary Dudman 'D'
Gary coordinates all the work being processed though the rod room and is the first point of contact to know the waiting time for a new job or how a job is progressing.
John joined us in 2019. John’s work has proved to be of a standard expected from a more seasoned builder, he is like blotting paper, absorbing the knowledge and techniques of all the rod builders at the shop and others that visit, it is not unusual for a customer to request that John builds their rods.
Independent Rod Builders
We have good relationships with independent rod builders which bolster our access to even more talent and expand our rod building capabilities.
Jim started building rods in the late 70’s which led to him to take on rebuilds from friends which led to word of mouth recommendations. In those early years carp rod design and ideas were developing very quickly and rods were regularly rebuilt to include the latest components or design ideas. Jim joined us in 2005, his experience, excellent rod finish and his understanding of an anglers need for a bespoke rod build has made him a key member of the team.
Gary built his first rod in 1972 and built many hundreds of rods for shop customers in the early years, gaining invaluable experience and learning techniques from collaboration with iconic master rod builders such as Tony Fordham and Bruce Ashby. Gary was involved in the early days with Free Spirit, contributing to the cosmetics and the building of prototypes to test the many ideas that was presented by the Free Spirit team.