Hey Folks, We are OPEN from 5/16/22 at 6 AM EST Through 6/8/22 at 5 PM EST. We will be CLOSED with no ordering available through the website, and no-one will respond to emails, from 6/9/22 – 6/22/22, inclusive. After this family vacation, we’ll be closed for about ten days every five weeks or so. Tentatively, this will include a closure from 7/29/22 – 8/8/22 and again from 9/16/22 – 9/26/22. If the shop remains overwhelmingly busy, I’ll tuck in intermediate ‘catch-up’ closures when the shop will be turned off for ordering. Right now, we have two, slightly longer, scheduled family vacations in 2022. I know the shop will be closed, as above, from June 8th through June 22nd of 2022 and we WILL NOT be working behind the scenes. We will also be closing for the final time as a full time operation on or about December 14th of 2022 and we’ll be traveling through Christmas break so no-one will be working behind the scenes during this span, either. The final date to order custom products will be on – or prior to – November 14th, 2022. When Golden Witch does re-open in 2023, it will be on a part-time basis selling down our remaining inventory – and no custom orders will be accepted. I’ll write more about our impending transition to ‘retirement’ elsewhere on the site, but from 2023 and going forward please expect the GW shop to be open about six months out of the year, around our travels and other projects. I plan to do a lot more writing, fishing, hunting, canoeing, biking, sailing, and making all the stuff I’ve put off for too long. For her part, Steph plans to run marathons in strange places – starting with a long run in Curacao in the fall of 2023. I’ll cheer from the sidelines.
Anytime we’re closed, PLEASE wait until we re-open to send us email messages, that way your note isn’t buried under a thousand junk emails. For the time being, because we are so busy, PLEASE stick tightly to business related topics when you email and reference the topic in the title, e.g., Ferrule Fitting or Guide Sizing. GW has been inundated with orders and our time is extremely limited as we struggle to get all the guides and other items crafted and shipped. When you order, expect lag times of at least four weeks, up to six weeks, before we are able to ship any order with custom products; if you need ferrules now and an agate guide in four weeks, please place two orders – one with strictly non-custom items, one with custom items. Generally speaking, we pack and ship orders each morning, so non-custom orders and completed (delayed) custom orders go out, then we make parts all afternoon and into the evening. Non-custom orders typically ship in 1-3 business days, but may be delayed if we’re out of stock on a non-custom item…that’s rare, but it happens. PLEASE make every attempt to track your own packages using the data that should be sent to you directly by either the USPS or UPS. Packages are facing long delays in shipment when facilities are shut down due to Covid and, though rare, some boxes are taking 3+ weeks to be delivered inside the US, and even longer internationally – and these delays ARE NOT OUR FAULT and we have no control over them, so please act with grace and kindness when your package is delayed. Thanks so much for your assistance (particularly with tracking your own packages) and for your understanding during this incredibly busy time.
AUSTRALIAN CLIENTS: Please take note, that as of 9/27/21 the US Postal Service has ended their Priority Mail International service to Australia. In order to get tracked and insured service, we are now forced to use Priority Mail EXPRESS service. Our web store is not set up to charge separate rates for each individual country, so I’m posting this note prominently and in several places on the website. The MINIMUM shipping charge to Australia, which only includes $200.00 in insurance, with extra insurance available based on your order size, is now $75.00. This is regrettable, but until the USPS reinstates regular Priority Mail International service, it’s what we all have to deal with. The webstore will charge you a lesser international shipping fee when you check out (on orders over $250.01, which is the new minimum to process an international order…thank the EU for that change; international orders below $250.01 will not process through the webstore). I will then send a PayPal invoice to cover the balance due for shipping and insurance. Very sorry about this. It came as a total surprise to me and, as it turns out, to our local Postmaster. Also, as a blanket note to other overseas clients…if the USPS drops PMI to your nation, we will be forced to bill you the additional cost to use PM EXPRESS because we can’t stay in business if we are forced to absorb these added shipping costs. Thanks for your understanding during this unprecedented time.
PLEASE read our shop policy pages and take them seriously. I still receive near-daily requests for exceptions to our shop rules/policies. I do not make exceptions, and I don’t need to start making exceptions because I can barely keep up with orders as it is. Do not request a phone call; there is no shop phone and I don’t carry a cell phone; all business is conducted over the web and communication is conducted by email. Do not request discounted shipping. Do not request that I exchange your agate for a different shade of grue. Do not request that I make your parts faster or bump you up in the stack of orders. Do not request that I add to, subtract from, or otherwise modify an order that you looked over carefully and paid for; place an additional order if needed. I’m not trying to be rude or unkind – without you fellows and ladies, GW wouldn’t be as successful as it is. It is so successful that I have literally run out of spare time, so please do all you can to save me from having to write yet one more note saying the shop policies are firm. Thanks!! And, without the least bit of snark in my typing voice, if you think you can do this better, please buy my business group. My sons have said, definitively, “no thanks.” I’m devoted to the cause until Steph retires and I sell down the inventory, or until a new team wants to take on a worthy challenge. Golden Witch along with Arcane Component Works and Peak Bamboo are for sale, along with a fair span of instruction time. Cash sale; no, I will not finance the sale of the business group. I may be wrong, but I believe the best team to take over this operation would be a young couple, business-minded artisans, who have the significant financial backing of family; it will take at least two full-time employees working constant eight-hour days to manage my workload and still have a life around it; you’ll also need two or three part time employees or subcontractors to manage the aspects that are not your forte (in my case, that’s bookkeeping and webmastering, with an additional shop assistant to cut bamboo, prep parts, pick orders, etc. during spikes in business). The merely curious should not inquire as I don’t have time. Serious inquiries will be met with a firm request for a 1% non-refundable payment of earnest money just to have the discussion (this payment may then be applied to cork purchase if the discussion does not move forward, but it will be otherwise truly non-refundable). Someone out there is ready for this. Knock. I’ll open the door. -Russ
Hey folks, I up-dated the “About GW” page on April 30th, 2020. If you’re familiar with the website, you know how it goes. Once I start typing, I tend to keep typing. It’s a disease. The new “About” text gives some sense for where GW is headed next. By year’s end there will be a range of new guides. Beyond that? Who knows where the new tools will lead. Perhaps to a new video subscription channel. You can read more about the guides, here.
Missing A Response???
PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM & JUNK EMAIL FILES.
Alternately, try to reach us using a different email address. Some rodmakers in the Southern US are having their emails bounced and/or trapped on servers. If you don’t get a reply through our main email (email@example.com) then try our ancient back-up email (which is also our local email address): firstname.lastname@example.org. VERY SORRY for the hassles of technology. Believe me, technology is my most persistent bugbear.
If you wrote to us and you think we ignored your email, please check your spam or junk file. An inordinate amount of our email responses have gone astray recently and folks think we’ve ignored them. We haven’t. Seems like the newest iterations of the spam filters are coded to reject wiccan communications, or anything which seems like a dark message, so the “witch” in Golden Witch is routing emails to the trash. Or something like that. We DO NOT ignore emails, though we don’t respond during shop closures. If you’re still certain we missed something, maybe we did…please resend your message to our email@example.com address and through our contact form, and be sure to send us two email addresses that we can use to reach back to you. Also, please be sure you type your email address(es) correctly; it’s tough for us to get in touch with a person if they happen to mis-spell their own name or if they key in @hmail.com or @comcast.con. Admittedly, we can usually figure out how to reach you if an email to firstname.lastname@example.org bounces back, but if there are instances that befuddle us entirely. Please don’t befuddle us and then cast aspersions in our direction when we don’t respond to your email.
PLEASE do not email us orders for regularly available webstore items; we politely request that all orders be placed through the website as this saves us a fair amount of precious time. Please do not request discounts on shipping; we do offer free shipping on domestic small parts orders over $500.00. Please do not ask us to combine orders; each order placed, even if they’re five minutes apart, will treated as a separate order. Please do not request a phone call – we have no shop phone, just email. We sincerely appreciate your business, but we cannot make exceptions to the several rules that allow us to function as a very lightly staffed shop.
Thanks to everyone for your understanding, patience, and support!
While we ask that you do not send an order for regularly stocked, webstore-available items to us by email (because this is incredibly time consuming and we are always behind the eight ball on time), we welcome your emails concerning special order items. If you want Jewelry Grade parts, please email us. If you want us to craft a batch of custom stone guides using jade or agate rings you had a lapidary artist cut from fancy rocks you discovered while fishing, please email us (as a head’s up, email us before you have the rings cut and we can provide samples and specs for your lap artist; absolute minimum of ten identical guides, which means you must ship us at least twenty stone rings). If you need non-serrated ferrules in any of the regularly stocked, tube & solder ferrule styles, please email us with the ferrule style, size, and whole or half set, and we’ll bring them into the shop with our next order. If you need to match a vintage guide for a restoration, please email us. If you are a first time rodmaker and need help picking components for your first rod or two, please email us….in this case we’ll help you pick components which you can then order through the webstore. We do our very best to be helpful, while still being efficient. Please bear in mind that, just like custom crafted and crafted-to-order items, special order items are 100% non-returnable and non-refundable. Thanks!
Please use our email form for simple inquiries. Oh, and only wear shoes that fit (that is to say, this next bit probably doesn’t apply to you). Yes, I’m about to repeat myself. Before you, by which we mean someone else, write regarding one statistically favored topic, please understand that when we say with utmost politeness, “No, we will not reduce the shipping fees for your tiny order,” we actually mean this. I hate having to put this in print, but folks keep writing and requesting discounts, so I’m going to write back with this blunt question: if an individual orders one spool of silk, or a single tiptop, do you think we actually earn a profit on that order? No, we don’t. Please don’t ask us to cut the shipping fees on an order that is already painfully small. That should fend off all those questions in advance. If it helps, we promise that we didn’t give a discount to the gal who ordered before you, and we promise we won’t give a discount to the fellow who orders after you. All those other folks with a bin on our packing bench paid standard GW shipping rates. If you’re curious about our shipping fees, please read our Shipping Terms & Conditions info, which you can find here. If you’re the sort who wants to know, with the owl, how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, and if your curiosity is also driving you to know how many requests for discounted shipping it took to prompt this message, I’ll tell you. Thousands. Over a period of almost twenty years. But it was the four in the last few days prior to typing this that got me off my duff, sort of the final crunch that prematurely exposed my sweet, gooey interior.
To balance all of the above, I’ve been convinced to give FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING a try. Sorry, this does not apply to international orders due to ghastly shipping & insurance rates. 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. There are some restrictions, so please read the Shipping Rates, Terms, & Conditions page before you get too excited. Bamboo never ships for free. Neither do big and/or heavy tools. Free domestic shipping is geared toward small piles of guides, ferrules, cork, silks, and that sort of thing.
If you’re not a spammer trying increase our organic SEO or otherwise needlessly filling our in-box, by all means please do write with product questions, tech questions, web site comments (you are our source of info for glitchy web pages…tell us and we’ll get the glitch fixed!), and so forth. Also, please be patient. We typically respond to emails early each business morning, so if you write mid-day on Friday you might not hear back from us until Monday. If the shop is closed, you might not hear back for a week or so. Please check the front page of the website for shop closure dates. Thanks so much for your business, your understanding, your patience, and your kindness!
Or, fill out the form….
Please have reasonable expectations about response time. (Watch as we repeat ourselves.) We try to respond to emails each business morning, Monday through Friday, before heading into the shop. If you email us after our round of email responses on Friday morning, it is very likely you will not hear from us until Monday morning. Please be patient with us. Like you, we have families and we each try to spend a portion of the weekend with our spouses and/or kids. There may be exceptions. If someone is working over the weekend, you might receive an email response, but please understand this is the exception and not the rule.
Phone: We have no phone in the GW shop. Also, Russ does not own or carry a cell phone. Golden Witch is an e-commerce company. Email is, and will remain, the ONLY mode of communication for Golden Witch, in large part because we can email you back between 4- 7 AM, most weekdays, prior to heading into the shop for the day. Also, as more and more folks have been requesting tech info, please understand that you must email if you have tech questions. The written response you receive will most likely form the basis for a future “ramble” on this site, or a quick FYI-type note on a product page, so in this way you’re helping other rodmakers. For more details, please see the “shop” note at the bottom of this page….we’re a tiny niche manufacturer and our efforts are spent primarily in the shop. Thanks for understanding!
Fax: We no longer offer fax communications. Sorry, but the fax orders had dwindled to the point where it isn’t worth paying for that line now that we’ve moved our office.
Mail: Email if needed. We’re closing the old PO Box and establishing a new one. Thanks for your patience.
Shop: Sorry, there is no retail shop at the present time. Guys & Gals – all our current and potential clients – please know how much you are appreciated. Without YOU, we couldn’t earn our living making obscure parts for fishing rods, so our appreciation is both broad and deep. However, “the shop” is one of those things that requires a gentle bit of bluntness which we hope you’ll understand and come to appreciate. The fact that there is no retail shop means that you can’t come here, not to visit, not just to ‘quick pick up some parts.’ Golden Witch is minimally staffed – it’s a lean, craft-oriented, operation and it works as a business because the work is focused. We know what we can manage, and what we cannot manage. As GW has gained a bit of notoriety, the requests for shop visits have risen dramatically. Folks who are local want to save on shipping. Folks who are not local are willing to drive, even fly, long distances just to visit. The only way to stay lean and profitable in this sort of a ridiculously small niche, while trying to work remotely reasonable hours, is to stay focused on what we’re good at. That’s making nice parts. All this is to say that we’re politely requesting that you not ask us to make an exception for you. You are one rodmaker among hundreds who’d like us to make that exception. The answer will always and unconditionally be, “sorry, and thanks for your interest, but no.” If you understand our position and continue to do business with us, rather than perceiving a shop closed to visitors as some sort of affront to your good nature, then we’ll continue to grow and prosper. We do need your business and we’d love to earn that business by supplying good parts and offering good, e-commerce style, customer service. If Golden Witch continues to succeed, we’ll be here when you need an obscure guide or a fancy rod tube kit. This does mean we’ll have to mail the items to you – even if you live in our hometown or plan to pass through while traveling. We are an e-commerce, mail-order firm. Thanks for understanding.