Yearly Archives: 2016
Four Frames – Insight into frame styles, with particular reference to our Vintage and Classic Wide series of agate & agatine stripping guides.
A little while back a client was asking about the four frame styles currently grouped under the “Classic Wide” guides. First, it is worth noting that the Classic Wide guides are a natural extension of our wide-ring vintage series guides. Basically the Classic Wide is the same group of bezels/frames, but using fresh cut stones rather than vintage rings…this really opened up the options in terms of both color and size. Whereas most of the vintage rings are Red, Red, or Red, and nearly all are 10mm OD, the new Classic Wide stones are available in a range of stone colors and in three popular sizes: 9mm, 10mm, & 11mm.
Golden Witch Rod Tube Kits – The Ramble
After an absence of several years, the GW Rod Tube Kits are back, in both the Classic (flat top) and Antique (dome top) options. These things are fantastically expensive to produce to this level of quality, and the margins are quite slim despite the retail price tag, which is why these are not offered through our sister wholesale company, Arcane Component Works. If we sell through this batch quickly, we plan to make more and perhaps the product line can become self-sustaining. If these sell slowly, it’s the last time we’ll make them because a slow churn on this initial re-investment in tubing and cap sets means that the inventory dollars will be better off invested elsewhere in coming years. Intending no drama whatsoever because this is a simple yea/nay choice on future inventory based on its value to the company, let us be blunt. If you like these tube kits and you want them to stay in our line-up, don’t count on someone else to purchase enough to make it worth our while. We’re not talking thousands of tube kits. If a few hundred rodmakers each bought two kits before the year was out (that’s 2016), they’ll most likely stick around as a product. If we receive a host of very kind, and entirely welcome, emails saying how nice the kits look, but the sales don’t tally up with the praise, they’re gone. That alone should be an incentive to grab a kit or two while they’re here. There’s a nice circularity here…your personal incentive to snag a tube kit while they’re available, compounded by the number of good rodmakers out there who might need just one or two of these kits in a given year, becomes the modest volume we need to ensure that they are available for years to come.
Silk Thread: the love affair, the size chart, & too much on tipping….
We love silk thread the way we love agates. You should, too. It’s the sort of polyvalent affair that allows you to explore entire gamuts of color, and several dimensions, while doing no harm. Not sure what color you should use? Grab several colors. Better yet, pick up a color chart and study those colors in daylight. You don’t like the color you chose? Strip it off. One of silk’s greatest benefits is that, as top shelf components go, it’s inexpensive. Typically in the range of $6.00/spool, you can buy a few spools and decide only to use one. Save the others, or share them with other rodmakers. Because colors of silk, even entire ranges of silks, come and go over time, it’s always worth having a few choice spools in your stash. Dragons hoard gold. The Beowulf Poet had his word hoard. Rodmakers should have a hoard of silks. If you become a monogamist among threads, then it is wise to stock up. Speaking personally, I have a lifetime supply of Pearsall’s Classic Chestnut in Gossamer. Good luck prying that from my hands while I’m still sentient.
It’s a blessing because vintage guide sales comprise a small but steady bit of background income, because rummaging through these classic components informs and inspires our own guide making efforts, because we can sometimes help a restorationist find that one, utterly obscure guide that they need to perfectly restore a rod using an appropriate, vintage, new old stock (NOS) piece of componentry. It’s a curse because the collection is massive – it takes up an immense amount of valuable warehouse shelving space; it is unwieldy – the boxes are heavy – and partially disorganized – there are boxes that have been opened once, then never opened again once they were sorted into the wire-guide group as opposed to the agate & agatine group; and because it bears a weight of obligation: when a maker or restorationist needs a guide, someone in the shop, usually me, spends time looking through the bins, measuring instruments in hand, trying to find a part of the style and size requisite to the project at hand.
Golden Witch & Arcane Component Works have added fresh-cut agatines to the mix of options. We felt you needed some text to explain natural stone stripping guides, versus those that are not, you guessed it, perfectly natural stone. In fact, some rings are almost entirely unnatural, almost.
Let’s start with the real stuff, unadulterated, truly natural stone. We actually offer a ring variant called “Natural Agate” and it’s the real deal…plain, faintly figured, semi-precious rock harvested from the earth, cut into slabs, slabs carved into rings, rings polished, then bezelled, and finally soldered into frames. Nice. Another group of natural stone we offer is the plain ROY Agate, which is actually carnelian, itself a specific form of cryptocrystalline chalcedony…and chalcedonies are commonly termed “agate” even though agate is actually a sub-variety of chalcedony, not an equivalent term for the entire family of these stones. But, rodmakers and guide makers have been calling carnelian “agate” long before we arrived, so we’re sticking with the name, but giving you a head’s up to the proper term for this mineral.
Our sister wholesale company, Arcane Component Works is in the October 2015 Issue of Angling International! See pages 34 and 37 for the full story. Arcane components are scattered throughout Golden Witch; be sure to check them out.
Hello Rodmakers & Restorationists!
It’s March of 2015 and I’m updating, not entirely re-writing, this cover letter to the Golden Witch website. Spring is officially here, but the morning after the last of our snow melted we’re getting more and the woods are white again. Now it’s time for spring weather.
Spare Parts: Please don’t expect me to notice if you forget to order enough snakes or tips for your rod, or if you ordered something that is entirely untraditional, even garish. I am neither a mind reader nor a dictator of fashion. I don’t second guess rodmakers on the snake & tiptop quantities they order because a lot of folks make single tip rods (and some still order ferrules in whole sets to have that spare male on hand); also, many makers use snake patterns that I would never dream of using, e.g., at the extreme end of unusual snake habits, one fellow only orders #3 snakes.