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Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Russ Amato (---.directcom.com)
Date: December 10, 2019 07:18PM

I have been Building rods for about 8 years now but only for family and close friends. As more people have seen my work , I have a mounting list of people who want me to build them a Fly rod. So I am launching a little side business and would greatly appreciate other builders feedback on how they handle Rod warranty when a client breaks a rod . Given that most blank manufacturers offer a blank warranty , but how do you handle the costy of your labor when a client break a rod due to a blank failure verese misuse ie slamminga car door on them for instance.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: December 10, 2019 08:05PM

russ,
A very good question.
A lot of builders really don't offer a warranty. If you break it, you buy it again.

Some builders will do the work for cost or a reduced labor rate. Normally, the guides and tip top can be saved from the original build. But normally new grips and reel seat are required on a new build.

Good luck on your endeavor.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 10, 2019 10:11PM

By far the largest percentage of breakage and damage are client caused not blank failure. Again in most cases the supplier will frequently accept the issue and provide a new blank or section.

If in my determination it is client caused, I charge my rate for the repair and components as needed. I have never had a client come to me and expect a "no cost" replacement!

As I only build fly rods, breakage or damage issues are fairly rare.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2019 04:52PM by Phil Erickson.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.fios.verizon.net)
Date: December 10, 2019 11:46PM

I believe there is an excellent article in Rodmaker magazine that TOm wrote - or it could have been one of his posts a long time ago. He really went into depth and I've adopted some of what he wrote about.

Basically....build the price of a rebuild into teh price of each rod, when one breaks just rebuild it for free and take the money out of this fund.

THere are so many different factors you have to think about, and each person will end up settling on a policy that works best for them. Whatever you decide make sure you discuss it with every customer and make sure that you're on teh same page. TElling a customer tough luck you broke it will ensure that you'll lose a customer and he'll tell all his friends to not do busienss with you (in some cases this is a good thing)

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: December 11, 2019 08:57AM

Two thoughts, the first of which is for a long time my company was dependent upon computers at client sites. The computers we sold to clients with no maintenance contracts incurred downtime / maintenance problems / failure rates over five (5) times LESS those associated with rental financing and free maintenance. Lesson: The more skin a person has in a thing the more it is valued and protected.

Secondly, (and I've forgotten who I ought to credit for this) a custom rod purchaser asked the builder if a warranty or guaranty applied to the rod which the builder replied absolutely there was a warranty for the first 30 seconds after delivery of the rod or once the rod was taken more than 30' from the builder's door by the purchaser, whichever occurred first.

Lifetime, no fault, unconditional warranties or guaranties breed irresponsible behavior.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: December 11, 2019 11:03AM

Hello Russ.

I think the article Billy is talking about might be in volume 1 Issue 3 Page 34 called "Surviving The No Fault Warranty" by Tom Kirkman, I also copy the article in the library " •Eliminate Broken Rods - Correct Rod Usage" and give that to the rod purchaser.

As for the warranty, I tell them that if the blank mfr will replace the blank I will rebuild for the price of any costs I have to incur with no labor.

That being said no seconds, they break it again it's ALL on them.


Hope that helps.

Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.

Bob,

New Bern, NC.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: December 11, 2019 11:40AM

I think one thing you can do to help alleviate broken rods is to have a short conversation about rod use with your customer when he or she picks up the rod. It's also a good idea to do a static load test right there in front of them. Since the rod is already built and guides already in place, this only takes a couple minutes. It should impress upon them that the rod is sound, so if the rod fails a month, year or several years later, there can have no doubt that when they picked up the rod, it was sound. Something obviously happened to it in the interim.

...............

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Donald R Campbell (---.socal.res.rr.com)
Date: December 11, 2019 12:22PM

Russ,

The only thing I warranty is my work, i.e. loose guide, not broken guide, loose reel seat etc. I inspect the damage to see if there is any evidence of abuse. If not, I replace or repair at no expense. I do not warranty the product or work of others.

Don Campbell
don@sensorfishingrods.com

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 11, 2019 01:15PM

Pretty simple: Parts not salvageable + $100. A lot of times the tip section on a fly rod gets broken for whatever reason and can be replaced fairly simply but it will take a little time. If you can get the manufacturer to replace on warranty you could do it a little cheaper. Broken guides no mater what, I will replace for free. Tell them the part about repairs and replace up front, it will save a lot of hassle in the end. The static load test is a good idea.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: December 11, 2019 02:23PM

We don't build many rods for sale, but when we do, we always offer a 100% money back warranty on every rod we make. There are only two terms of this warranty, walking 10 feet or 10 seconds, whichever comes first. And yes we do say that to all customers, and I have to say, we have never had any warranty issues.

Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies
www.flexcoat.com

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: December 11, 2019 09:35PM

I tell the folks that if they have a simple break in a rod, that I will repair the break, but will not build a new rod without expense.

For the few folks who have had this happen, they were all content to have the repaired rod and all have used the rods for many years since then and have caught many many fish.

I will always tell them that I will rebuild a rod - reusing any available components and charge them a flat rate for labor. A few clients have exercised that option.

But, with each and ever client, I spend some time on the care and use of their new rod, and what they may do and may not do with the rod to expect a good long life for their rods.

One very very very big thing that I tell today's folks, is to never never ever ever use a rod that has reel loaded with braid to recover a hook or lure.

I ask that they always put the rod in a rod holder, after first pulling some line off of the reel. Then, I suggest that they keep a pair of gloves and a dowel in the boat. I have them put about 5 wraps of braided line around the dowel and just keep pulling on the line until the line comes back to the boat --- either broken or with the hook or lure attached. But, with the reel safely in the rod holder- not sitting on the floor or leaning against the side of the boat, and with plenty of slack between the tip of the rod and the dowel that has been used to retrieve the line - there is never any chance of damage to the rod from retrieving the line - with or without the terminal tackle. With minimal stretch braided line, it simply does not work to attempt to snap slack in the line to pop the lure free as may sometimes be done with a mono line that has significant stretch in the line.

Best wishes.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Russ Amato (---.directcom.com)
Date: December 12, 2019 01:36PM

Thanks for all the great feedback , different perspectives on how to handle Rod Build warranty . I have always discussed how a rod is Static and dynamic load tested to establish rod integrity and guide placement but really like Tom's idea of doing a static load test in from of the client. I think its makes sense to give the client details on the what the Rod blank warranty includes and then as long as the manuafacturer still offers the specific rod section replacement at the time a client breakage occurs that is not due to obvious abuse then agree to replace at a flate labor rate communicated to the them up front plus any costs for replacement parts (guides, reel seats and cork handle). In my limited experience, with some blank suppliers after 4-5 years they no longer produce individual rod sectiona and can only replace the complete blank at full cost . In this case, the client needs to understand the replacement cost amounts to a a new build as section warranty replacements are not available. Again as was suggested this potential probably should be discussed up front at time of sale in my opinion .

Question back to Billy as I know he probably has dealt with this issue. If the rod breakage occurs in the 1st section which includes the handle, fighting butt if applicable, reel seat and possibly custom Cross Wrap , a Weave or both, how do you handle warranty ?? To me custom art work is the most time intensive facet of rod building . While I can replace a simple Diamond or Chevron cross wrap in 4- 6 hours , more complex Cross wraps or custom Weaves talke me several days of labor when you include all plannning on implementation to do it right. My gut feeling is to not offer to replace any custom art on warranty but state that its on a Time and materials basis at my current labor rates plus materials. In my case I build custom grips and fighting butts per client requests but I still think I can possibly offer this type of replacement at a flate rate while custom art in my opinion is different. Would really appreciate any feedback here,

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Russ Amato (---.directcom.com)
Date: December 12, 2019 02:53PM

Question back to Billy as I know he probably has dealt with this issue. If the rod breakage occurs in the 1st section which includes the handle, fighting butt if applicable, reel seat and possibly custom Cross Wrap , a Weave or both, how do you handle warranty ?? To me custom art work is the most time intensive facet of rod building . While I can replace a simple Diamond or Chevron cross wrap in 4- 6 hours , more complex Cross wraps or custom Weaves talke me several days of labor when you include all plannning on implementation to do it right. My gut feeling is to not offer to replace any custom art on warranty but state that its on a Time and materials basis at my current labor rates plus materials. In my case I build custom grips and fighting butts per client requests but I still think I can possibly offer this type of replacement at a flate rate while custom art in my opinion is different. Would really appreciate any feedback here,

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.fios.verizon.net)
Date: December 12, 2019 05:32PM

Russ, before a deposit is made, I let them know if the rod breaks, none of the artwork is covered. I will build a no frills rod to replace for free, if they want teh artwork I discuss it with them and see how the conversation goes before I decide on a price. One guy had a rod stolen, I felt bad and he's a friendly customer, so I told him I'd rebuild it at parts cost. He wanted all teh artwork, so I charged him for it. Another guy his wife closed the door on the tip of his $900 rod, $600 worth of art. I rebuilt teh base rod for free, and we split the artwork $$. He was so happy with that he ordered another rod.

I can't stress enough, that you really think about how you want to handle this issue, stick with your decision, and MAKE SURE you discuss with your customer before any money changes hands.

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Re: Need Feedback on how most Rod Builders are handling Warranty work
Posted by: Russ Amato (---.directcom.com)
Date: December 12, 2019 06:36PM

Billy,

Got it and agree totally. Thanks for this additional feedback. Much appreciate yours and all feedback!! Thanks for the help everyone.

Tight Lines !!
Russ Amato

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