Wow! I just returned from what is I think my 6th or 7th ICRBE. I can’t remember exactly how many years thay have been happening, but I know I haven’t missed any. This year’s event, held last weekend in High Point, North Carolina, was outstanding.
The craft is getting more technologically sophisticated every year, and there are some incredibly gifted artists innovating design, material, and methods to advance the rod building craft. As materials get better, and the skills are passed along to other builders, the innovation breeds more innovation. In fact, pick up a Cabela’s or Bass Pro catalog, and look at the “State of the art” rods being offered by the big manufacturers. What you see in design concepts there were actually developed by and tested by custom builders several years ago. What concepts, you ask? Split grips, blank through seat construction, no foregrip, and more. There’s more happening now, but I’ll wait to share those new advances with you in a future post.