About GW

Russ Gooding & Golden Witch… Integrity, Experience, Professionalism.
-Doug Hall www.bamboorodmaker.com

You and your company are a treasure and more than a pleasure to work with.
– Dennis Aebersold

The 20th Anniversary Sale.  It’s Here.

Well, it’s actually HERE. Click that link for the current list of sale items.  The list will change every day that I have the gumption to list things, or further drop prices on stuff that’s already listed.  Figure I’ll drop prices on surviving items about once a month.

Golden Witch has been incorporated for twenty years as of November 2018.  We’ll be starting our anniversary sale a little early, and we’ll extend it for a full year with rolling discounts on regularly stocked, non-custom, items.   As a huge “Thank You!!” to all our clients, we’re going to give you access to all the non-standard stuff that has accumulated in our warehouse space over the past two decades.  We’ll start listing new items (well, not everything will be brand new….some of the best stuff will be vintage, and variously mint or crusty or somewhere in between) and tucking them around on the website – sort of a treasure hunt at the moment (as of mid-August 2018).  Before long, we’ll consolidate all the sale items on one main category page (which we’ve now done).  What can you expect to find on sale?  Everything from signed copies of Michael Sinclair’s Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook, to vintage silks by Belding-Corticelli, to components from our stash of Lyon & Coulson parts, to a pair of flies tied by George Grant.

What’s going on?  Well, we’ve finally decided that we’re never going to re-open a brick & mortar shop.  That frees us from the need to keep a host of display items.  Also, our kids have become ever more firmly entrenched in their own curious paths, and none of them want to take over an obscure tackle business.  Two of our four are already in college and the other two will be following before long.  Steph & I plan to downsize eventually, so a rip-roaring sale seems appropriate.  Really, I don’t need two or more copies of most rodmaking books, that pristine spool of B-C 5115, enough angling art to decorate a retail shop, a four-string glue binder, a bazillion vintage guides, the nearly ancient Leonard casting rod which decorates my office, nor a few hundred dozen other odd bits that have accumulated.  Steph curses my pack-rat nature.  Maybe you can benefit.  Excepting a very few high-value items, the sale will be absolute, which is to say that over time we’ll lower the price of all the items until they sell.  If you don’t like Lyon & Coulson, Inc. vintage corks at $50.00 per 25 rings, then wait to see if the 19 bags last until the rings are a buck apiece.  Eventually they’ll sell.  I hope you’ll find something you like!

Now a short social update.  A bunch of you have met my sons, Angus & Drake, over at the bamboo warehouse.  You may also have bumped into the girls, Mackenzie & Alex, or we may have discussed the kids by email.  While the girls are still in high school, the boys are long gone, with no plans to return home or to Golden Witch, except for summer hours during their few remaining college years.  Angus, the oldest, has been bartending while chasing a degree in music business, but this semester (Fall 2018) he’s headed out for three months with Sea/mester and he’ll be sailing and diving throughout the Caribbean while studying marine biology….what a way to knock out the science requirements and pick up a few other credits.  Drake is cobbling together a program in business entrepreneurship while semi-secretly pursing his dream of becoming a second generation classic rock star like the young fellows in Greta Van Fleet (who we saw, live, from a front row distance of about ten feet from the feet of the bassist, using General Admission passes, after Drake conned me into standing in the rain for nearly eight hours); he’s been taking all sorts of classes with different programs, including a NOLS Semester in the Rockies, rock guitar classes with Berklee College of Music, and this year he’s down at the University of the Virgin Islands for some business classes (and one credit of island rhythm on the steel drums…ooops, spoke too soon….UVI cancelled this class since not enough students signed up; Drake will have to find a local drummer to learn from), then he heads off with Sea/mester in the spring of ’19 to sail from Tortola, BVI, through the Panama Canal, down to the Galapagos Islands, then across the Pacific to Tahiti….like his brother, he’ll be picking up sailing and dive certs around his formal academic work.  Mackenzie is aiming somewhere between an Ornithology degree & something in Bio-chem or Bio-engineering, but she’s still a year or so out from having to pick a program, which is tough when you also love literature & history; Mackenzie is our resident nerd, and proud of it.  Alex, our youngest daughter, is focused almost entirely on cooking for her four years of home school high school.  She’s studying the sugar arts (imagine crafting realistic orchids from gum paste…that sort of thing) at the Sugar Arts Institute, and more general cooking at the Zest school, all around a regular home school curriculum that she designs with me to challenge her and to drive her toward her chosen career.  Can you guess that she plans to be a pastry chef?  The kids will each go their own way before long, and I guess that’s the point of trying to raise independent folks.  If any of you are young parents, let me plug home school.  PLUG.  It’s worth the effort.  Both boys were partially home schooled (here’s Drake doing a TEDx Talk last summer); Mackenzie is our public school girl; Alex will have been almost entirely home schooled by the time she graduates and every year it gets better.

If you want to learn more about our family, please check out our new family adventure blog, the ‘other’ GW: Goat Waters.  Careful here; you could lose a lot of time if you’re the reading sort.

Getting back to this 20th Anniversary Sale, yes, we’re clearing gobs of stuff out because GW will most likely end when I retire.  I’ve got to start listing all these things now, while I still have the energy and patience to do it.  Steph & I have some pretty cool plans for our family and ourselves over the next decade and whether this means something to you or not, you’ll be helping out when you invest in items from our 20th Anniversary Sale.  Please tell your rodmaking friends, relatives, associates, compatriots, and competitors that we’re selling oddball stuff and lots of it.  As more widgets sell, I’ll have the incentive to list new items and you’ll get to see deeper and deeper into the hoard. Again, Thank You!

More later, I’m sure….

New For 2018: I’ve been convinced to give FREE SHIPPING a try. If you want to stock up and fill your own bins with spare parts, or plan ahead and pick up a couple rods’ worth of components at one time, we’ll help you save money with free shipping on small part orders totaling over $500.00 in merchandise after any coupons are applied. Check out our Shipping Rates, Terms, & Conditions page for more info because there are restrictions on this program. Also, as you’ll read on that same terms & conditions page, we’ve had to formally put an end to add-on orders. Enjoy the free shipping if you can make use of it, and thanks for your understanding about the new add-on order policy.

Golden Witch Technologies, Inc. was conceived while I was undergoing my bamboo rodmaking apprenticeship with Daryll Whitehead in Seattle. The difficulty of finding top notch tools and components was readily apparent, so I decided to found a company oriented toward the needs of custom rodmakers and the anglers who appreciate custom tackle. What started before meeting Daryll as a custom graphite rod company, Golden Witch Rods, has merged with my passion for bamboo rodmaking. Once a sole proprietorship, Golden Witch incorporated in 1998 and has been growing to suit the changing needs of our clients ever since. The finest rodmakers and restorationists choose Golden Witch components for all manner of rods – graphite, bamboo, & fiberglass – and all manner of fishing, from ultralight graphite spinning tackle to top shelf, collectible bamboo fly rods. Whether you need something vintage, like an obscure agatine tiptop, or something classic in appearance but modern in function, like GW’s internally tapered slide band reel seats, Golden Witch has the components you need.

The demand for custom rods, especially custom bamboo rods which appreciate in value as the years pass, originally allowed me to continue making rods even as Golden Witch served the needs of other rodmakers around the world. Quite simply, there was, and still is, a greater demand for custom tackle than there are craftsman who can sate that demand. As a practicing rodmaker, I am intimately aware of the needs that rodmakers have – needs for better components and for better service.  However, as of 2014, I no longer make custom rods for sale. With thousands of clients, many of them world class rodmakers, it was time for me to choose between fishing or cutting bait, so to speak. I’ve chosen to cut bait; here I mean the phrase in its original incarnation, that of choosing either to angle or to conduct the preparatory maintenance necessary for angling. I enjoy making parts that rodmakers take pleasure in using, and in offering advice to budding rodmakers. Everybody who is fortunate in having a job they are passionate about needs to nurture their particular passion in order to thrive during the work day. My passions have shifted over the years and now I’m finding more pleasure in designing components, making guides, and creating jewelry grade components, than designing and making rods. This said, I still make rods for my own use, for family, and for the occasional donation. This keeps my hands dirty at the rodmaking end of things, but allows me to focus my time on component innovation and production. Your needs drive the innovation at Golden Witch. Working with my team of associated rodmakers, anglers, historians, artists, and engineers, I am constantly creating new products and re-inventing old standards. I re-invest a significant portion of profits in R&D, thus when you become a client, you actively help me to create new products that will serve your needs.  2016 has seen the return of the Classic & Antique Tube Kits, the introduction of Hexagate hexagonal stone guides, the minor innovation of the Improved Saddles (available with our Blue and Gold Ring & Saddle Hook Tenders), improved variants of the Whitehead Ferrule Puller and our Roughing & Intermediate Forms, and more. 2017 promises even more positive expansion. I’m involved with Peak Bamboo as a founding partner, so you’ll see Golden Witch make a re-entry into the bamboo supply market; GW plans to expand our cork importing business; we have already produced a host of new options for agatine guides which we need to get listed…these include the new agatine colors Antique Gold (dark gold) and Scuppydine (pale gold). If all goes according to plan, it’s going to be an incredibly busy year, so please be patient if you order custom products that I make – guides and whatnot – because there will be delays during those times I’m wearing my Peak Bamboo hat. There is a lot more planned for 2017, but we’ll work our way to fruition one project at a time.

If you’re already a GW client, thank you for your support! You help me to keep a host of craftsmen and craftswomen employed and I think that’s valuable, and valuable for you to know. Most of the Golden Witch tools and components are made in shops that employ fewer than eight craftspeople and three employ just a single person. These are folks dedicated to their trades and working with them is a real pleasure. These craftspeople help me to expand my definition of what is possible and part of what they make possible is Golden Witch. The vast majority of our products are crafted here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but no matter where they’re made, the pride of craftsmanship shows in the products Golden Witch purveys.

Please explore the Golden Witch website. I want to earn your business. Let me know how I can work together with you to achieve that goal. – Russ

My goodness Russ, I thought I was a bit odd sending an order to you [so] late…, but you replied before most of this continent was awake this morning. Thank you….By the way, you cut bait with panache. And that is just as important as all the rest. If the bait ain’t right, the fish don’t bite! Cheers,
Malcolm B. (Canada)

Your company is amazing, thank you so much. You will be well represented by me simply as a customer, but also as an advocate for small, family-owned businesses that are tough to find these days. Your customer service is second to none. Thank you, your donation is greatly appreciated!!!!
-Jed Hamberger and the Lock Haven University Fly Fishing Club