FAQ

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Why was the Rodsmith’s Guild established?

The mission of the Rodsmith’s Guild is to distinguish true craftsmen in the rodsmithing trades, and to promote and protect those trades through the sharing of knowledge and skills, and the perpetuation of those skills to future tradesmen.

We believe that a byproduct of this mission, and one of the main impetuses for establishing the Rodsmith’s Guild, is the ability for a consumer to clearly identify qualified tradesmen when commissioning work in a rodsmithing Trade.

 Is the Rodsmith’s Guild just for those making bamboo rods or fly rods?

Absolutely not!  Any individual practicing in a Guild recognized Trade, regardless of the materials being utilized, is eligible to receive Sponsorship or directly Solicit for membership, and it makes no difference what type of fishing the rod is being designed or made for.

Is Guild membership open to individuals outside of the United States of America?

Yes.  Any individual whose skill and expertise warrants an Invitation for Guild membership may be extended an Invitation to join the Rodsmith’s Guild.

How does an individual obtain membership in the Guild?

Guild membership is acquired by Invitation only, and an Invitation may be garnered in one of two ways:  Through Sponsorship, or through Solicitation.

For more detailed information, please go to the Membership section of this website.

 Is the Rodsmith’s Guild a non-profit or other corporate entity?

No.  Currently the Rodsmith’s Guild is a private enterprise.  It is wholly owned and operated by David and Lori Shumway.  This husband and wife team administer the day to day operations of the Guild, and are the ones responsible for its conceptualization and development.  As the administrators of the Guild, they are not Members, and they hold no Titles in a rodsmithing Trade.  As such, they are simply the staff that ensure the Member’s needs are being met.  This organizational aspect also  ensures that there isn’t a conflict of interest in the awarding of any Titles of membership.

What is a Rodsmith’s Guild Review Board, and what does it do?

A Review Board’s main purpose is to make decisions to extend or deny Invitations for Guild membership, and for awarding advancement within the Guild.  However, a Review Board may also be organized to serve as the mediators in a Client/Member meditation, or to serve as a disciplinary council in the event that possible disciplinary action should need to be taken with a Guild Member.

It is important to note that a Rodsmith’s Guild Review Board is not a standing or governing Board, and they are only organized as the need for the above described services arise.  These Boards always consist of a minimum of three Guild Members, and these individuals come from the entire current membership of Journeyman and Master Titled Members with expertise in the Trade under consideration.  As such, any Rodsmith’s Guild Member may be asked to serve on a Review Board at some time.  Once the Review Board has completed the specific task for which they were organized, the Board dissolves, and a new Review Board will be organized from other existing Guild Members when needed.  As such, depending on the demand for a Review Board’s services within the Guild, it may be necessary for multiple Review Boards to be functioning at any given time.

What are the benefits of being a Rodsmith’s Guild Member?

The Rodsmith’s Guild is not an all inclusive association where the paying of your annual dues will make you a Member.  By design, the Rodsmith’s Guild membership is an exclusive group, and is comprised of only skilled craftsmen/artisans in the rodsmithing Trades, or those gaining those skills under the oversight and tutelage of a skilled craftsman.  As such, this exclusivity carries with it a certain amount of prestige, and we believe that the pride an individual can take in being a Member, and the prestige afforded by being so designated, is the most valuable benefit the Rodsmith’s Guildoffers.  Once a Member understands the value of this aspect of their membership, the other benefits are simply considered a “value add” item.  But it is these “value add” benefits that many are referring to when they ask this question.

So in answer to the question we will add that Member benefits also include:  Discounts on products and/or services Members utilize; Travel and vacation promotions; Member/Client mediation; Exclusive access to the Rodsmith’s Guild Client Reviews section of the website; and the Rodsmith’s Guild Library of Work.

For more detailed information, please see the Benefits section of this website.

What is a Member/Client mediation?

In an ideal world there would never be disagreements about what was expected, or delivered in a business relationship with a client.  But we know that disputes can and will sometimes arise.  So while it is hoped that every Guild Member can come to an amicable resolution with their client in these cases, sometimes that proves to be difficult if not impossible.  In cases where a resolution cannot be reached independently, a Rodsmith’s Guild Review Board may be requested to mediate a resolution between the client and the Guild Member.  There is no cost for this service, and it is one of the “value add” benefits of membership in the Rodsmith’s Guild.  It is also a service that is available (free of charge) for the client of a Guild Member to request, should they need assistance in resolving a dispute with a Guild Member.  For more information, please see the Benefits page of this website.

What information is included in a Client Review?

The Rodsmith’s Guild website has a Members Only section that is exclusively for the use of Guild Members.  Within that section is the Client Review database.  This database is searchable, and contains only the client’s general location (City, State/Province, and Country), and a rating entered by a Guild Member regarding their business dealings with them.  The rating is one of four possible options that indicate the Guild Member’s recommendation for accepting commissioned work from this client.  The possible rating options are:  Highly Recommended, Recommended, Use Caution, and Not Recommended.  If a Guild Member requires additional information or details regarding the client in question, they are directed to contact the reviewing Guild Member(s) as no other client information is contained in the Client Reviews, or held by the Rodsmith’s Guild.

 Are there duties/responsibilities of being a Rodsmith’s Guild Member?

Yes.  First and foremost, Guild Members are responsible for (at a minimum) retaining professionalism and honesty in their business dealings, and in the quality of workmanship that garnered them an Invitation to become a Guild Member.

Guild Members may also be responsible for serving as a member of an ad-hoc Review Board.  These Review Boards are organized as needed from the Guild membership to:  evaluate sample work; serve as a mediator in Member/Client mediation; and to serve as a disciplinary council should a Guild Member’s conduct and/or workmanship, and therefore their membership, be called into question.

While not required of Guild Members, they are encouraged to provide client reviews to assist others in determining if they would like to accept work being commissioned by an individual.

And finally, (but also not required) Guild Members are highly encouraged to pass their skills and knowledge of their Trade on to others, and may Sponsor an Apprentice in the same Trade that they have been awarded the Title of Journeyman or Master in.

Is there a cost to be a Rodsmith’s Guild Member?

Yes.  There is a $25 fee that must accompany every Request for Review.

In addition, there are annual dues for all Guild Members.  These dues are to be paid by the 31st day of January each year, and they cover the calendar year in which the dues are paid.  Individuals becoming Guild Members during the calendar year pay a prorated annual due the year they become a Guild Member.  Currently, annual dues are $96.

Are manufacturers/distributors of rodsmithing products or services eligible for membership in the Rodsmith’s Guild?

This topic has been debated at length, and it was ultimately determined that while there are individuals and companies that contribute significantly to the craft and art of rodsmithing, they are not designing, fabricating, and/or assembling a rod blank and its components.  As such, the Rodsmith’s Guild does not recognize them within the three Trades identified and defined by the Rodsmith’s Guild, and they are not eligible to become Guild Members unless they meet the requirements to be awarded a Title in one or more of the recognized Trades.  Commercial entities are still encouraged to become involved with the Guild by offering some form of benefit to the Guild Members, and should contact the Member Benefits department for further information on how they can be involved.