Love the business I’m in

By Lou “The Rod Guru” Caruso

The other night I’m on the beach and it was slow, real slow … I started reflecting on how fortunate I truly am. I was able to retire early from my job, (forced out actually after the new company took over and moved my work to Syracuse) and got the opportunity to do what I love. Build custom fishing rods full time. I still enjoy going into the shop, cranking up the rock and roll and spinning rods. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always peaches and cream. This time of the year gets nerve wracking as hell trying to get everyone’s rod to them, before the bite picks up, but we try.

I also thought about all the people I have met and built for. I have become friends with many of them. There’s my good friend Alan, “the flying Hawaiian” from Jersey. He is a very talented musician. How cool is that. One day we were chatting and I mentioned I like Kona Coffee. It’s hard to get the good stuff around here. About two weeks later I get a package from Hawaii. Its full of all different Kona’s and it’s the real thing! The man is a saint.

Then, there is Lee from California. Lee originally came from Long Island but relocated to the West Coast. I come to find out he is a weatherman at a local station out there. This past summer I had the opportunity to meet up with him out in Montauk. We got to fish a while and chat. What a great guy.  As it turns out he fishes with a crew out there that all fish for Stripe Bass. I wound up building rods for 5 of them now. One of the interesting ones was Mike Fixters fishing buddy. He was the first left coast customer I had. I told him how much I admired Mike’s plugs. He wound up sending me a some of them

The best though is a local from Queens. Mike was here one day discussing his build and we got on the subject of fresh water fishing. I mentioned I had a house in the Adrondacks. He said he also had a house up there. I asked him what exit he was off. He said 25 I almost fell over. I’m off exit 24 meaning we are very close. As we chatted more, it turns out he is less then 5 miles and on the other side of the mountain from me!!!!!!  Small world. I could go on and on but I wont bore you to tears. There are so many more.

I am truly blessed to have met so many fun and interesting people in the fishing community.

Now if I could just manage to catch some damn fish!


Editor’s note

The new issue is finished but we are having some difficulties locating our web designer who is hiking somewhere between Islip, New York and Melbourne, Australia.
Don’t ask……..anyway, in case you missed the new video on pencil popping John Skinner uploaded yesterday, here it is..enjoy


7 comments on “Love the business I’m in

  1. Vito Orlando

    Lou, I would like to add that You Forced Retirement though Hurtful at the time, Is Our (Surfcasters) Gain. You do remarkable work and pay attention to every detail. You have either built or refurbished 5 rods for me and each one is a Master Piece. Even the latest with 14 Boat Guides. They Do Not Refer To You As The “Rod Guru” for nothing. Keep Up The Good Work.


  2. Lee S

    Hey Lou
    You must have some kind of ESP cause I was thinking of you and my new rod on the ride in to work at 3:30am trying not hit any deer. I’ve nailed 2 in the past 5 years and one was almost the end of me. Anyway I was thinking just how lucky I was to have 2 rods built by you in the last year. The latest one had to stay on the east coast until my return in September. I was really missing just looking at it. So I checked my phone for a couple of pics from June when I fished the south shore. Man what a beauty. Your skills for building are amazing. The genuis of it all is your ability to understand how a customer fishes, their skill level ( in my case googan status) and to have in your mind all the possibile rod choices and to steer the customer to the right one. I’ts pretty obvious how much time you must spend testing blanks and diff layouts. My apologies for being a bit zoned out when I saw you last month. I was fresh off the red eye flight with about 5 hrs sleep in the past 48 hrs. Looking forward to seeing you out on the rocks this fall when the temps start to drop and the wind goes hard NE.
    Thanks again Lou


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