What is "The Rod Room"?
Well, with a name like "The Rod Room", we have received requests from people around the world for things like antique car parts, turf digging machines, bathroom fixtures, and even some things that would make your face turn Crimson Red!! If you are looking for those types of items we cannot help you! But, if you are looking for the finest selection of rod building components, then you are in the right place.
The Rod Room opened its doors in January 2003 as a custom rod building shop in Orange Beach, Alabama. Located in one of the Gulf Coasts fishing hotspots, the demand for custom fishing rods kept us busy! Between the requests from hundreds of charter boat captains, the elite yacht boats, and the many inshore fishermen, The Rod Room was a growing business. All of our rod building components came from an established business in Louisiana known as "Heads or Tails". In January of 2005 the opportunity arose to purchase that business, and not having any idea what we were getting ourselves into we dove in headfirst! The Rod Room became a custom fishing rod and rod building supply company! In 2007 we moved to a larger building to accommodate the ever-growing demand for rod building components from customers around the world. We stock only the finest rod building components. Not only do we have a wonderful selection, but we also have the knowledge and experience to help you build your rod. We are a family owned and operated business and customer satisfaction is our number one goal! We are not the biggest so we try harder!
Who are "The Rod Room Girls"?
Kathy Kruse (aka Mom) is the owner of The Rod Room and has been building custom fishing rods since 1988. She took it up as a hobby to pass the winters away during her career as a charter boat owner and deckhand. After a busy season of fishing, all of the rods she owned had been abused and she decided to learn how to repair them herself. It didn't take long to discover her talent for building fishing rods and in 1997 she decided to retire from the charter fishing industry and pursue building custom fishing rods. She began building custom rods at Smith Outdoors in a part of the building everyone simply called "The Rod Room". Kathy has built thousands of custom fishing rods from ultra-light to unlimited. Those custom rods have been used by fisherman in waters all around the world. She has an amazing amount of knowledge and experience and has been able to help thousands of rod builders across the country with their component selections. Whether it be a 12 year old building his or her first rod, or some old codger just wanting to know what's been biting, she will take the time to answer customer phone calls and emails personally. On a more personal note, she is the proud grandmother of two grandbabies and a grand-dog! Most of her free time is spent enjoying her grandbabies but she also likes to spend some time up on the Alabama Delta doing a little fishing or hog hunting.
Kelli Kruse is Kathy's youngest daughter and she has been fishing since she could walk! We have pictures of her in her swimmies standing at the end of the dock catching pinfish. She has always had a passion for "all things outdoors" and has amassed an enormous amount of knowledge because of it. Always the envy of the boys, she can still out fish them all. From deep-sea fishing to gigging flounder, Kelli has done it all. She grew up on the back deck of a charter boat, and decided to join The Rod Room in 2006 and help with the newly acquired rod building supply business. She is now responsible for all of the shipping and receiving for our customers across the world. Her days are spent wheeling her cart in and out of the isles picking orders, fighting with the tape gun, running between the custom rod building area and warehouse bringing items out for walk-in customers to see, answering the phones, and taking the granddog for the occasional walk. She coordinates orders for components that come in online, over the phone, and through the fax machine. She is responsible for inventory (which is never 100% correct), and for making sure that every order that leaves the door is correct. She is also a popular go to for tackle rigging and reel spooling. Whatever the need is, she is always willing to find a way to help. Can you guess how she spends her free time? Hunting and fishing of course! Whether it be deer hunting, dove hunting, hog hunting, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, or her most recent interest, gator hunting, she can always be found enjoying the outdoors!
And then there is Niki Frank, Kathy's oldest daughter. She joined The Rod Room pretty late in the game at the end of 2011. Having never been too interested in "all things outdoors" she's not much help when it comes to knowledge of fishing and rod building components. In fact, when she first joined the team, she often referred to all the rod building stuff as trying to learn a whole new language. She's the kind of girl who won't bait her own hook or take her own fish off. But because she is the provider of the two grandbabies, and the creator of our new website, she is just as valuable as the other two. What she lacks in knowledge of fishing and rod building, she makes up for in customer service and in business management. She'll be glad to take your order as long as you know what you need, but will quickly pass you off if you need help deciding. She has spent most of her time developing and tweaking this new site. And now that it is done and the e-commerce business is booming, she will be helping Kelli in the warehouse and also dabbling in some custom rod building. Despite the cuss words that fly out of her mouth out of pure frustration when she's discovered she'd wrapped the guides on the wrong side of the blank, she has turned out some really interesting custom rods. Her marbling job's have been referred to as "world-class" (thanks Obie)!! She spends all of her free time being a mom and would not trade it for the world. Often you will find that she's brought her kids to work. Watch out! The next generation of rod builders are starting early!!!
So there you have it, a little bit of history about The Rod Room and the three girls behind it. We are very blessed to be able to spend so much time together, although it has been known to get a little loud in here. We work well together as a team and all have the same number one goal - customer satisfaction. We are grateful for all of our customers and even the "bench-warmers". We would also like to give credit where credit is due. Niki could not have pulled off this new website without the expertise of Donald Johansson at BIS Designs! Thanks Donald for putting up with Niki and all of her "Yoo-Hoo" e-mails!