Moving along

Let me take this opportunity to answer few questions publicly that I got via emails in last few days about the SJ subscription makeover.

As you know, Tommy and I do this in addition to our regular jobs and families. And yes ,I understand that the economic times are hard for many of us. But that is one of the primary reasons why this is happening, don’t forget our advertisers are facing hardships just like many readers.

Someone asked if they can download the SJ to their tablet, pc or whatever and view it offline, the answer is no. We thought about allowing our readers to download pdf but then we did not wanted to wake up one morning to find out the pdf plastered on some fishing site. The whole point of doing all this is to make the magazine unique and beautiful, pdf is great for documents but it would cheapen the look and experience of the publication.

Besides, you can’t show videos in the pdf and videos are something that will be big part of the SJ going forward. We have 5 videos that should appear in this issue. Two are embedded into sponsor pages by our new supporters Tackle Direct and StormR. It’s a unique way for our sponsor to showcase their products.

There is a preview of the Montauk Surfcasters original series which will appear regularly in the pages of SJ starting in March. This original series, developed exclusively for the readers of SJ will look at the history of Montauk surfcasting from WWII to today. It’s based on interview with Fred Schwab, Richie Gerbe, Willy Young, Bill Wetzel, Manny Moreno ,Charlie Ruger, Joe Bragan, Jack Yee and Vito Orlando. Yeah Foul Mouth Bob is in there too 🙂

Another exciting thing is a another original series, the Plug Workshop with Ron DiCostazo of  Lordship Lures (you can contact Ron at ) . The first of his how-to make lures videos will appear in this issue. We did about year’s worth of videos last weekend in his shop in CT and every issue should have one embedded in it. They cover sealing lures, wood selection, offset trough drilling, tail wraps , lip placement and so on. We are very excited and proud to have him.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with our Rod Guru Lou Caruso (you can contact Lou at  ). I have to give props to my son Steven who helped me with cameras while making some more videos for you. Again, we shot another years worth of videos ranging from how to remove and replace reel seat on a rod that is already finished, cork tape and butt caps, tying bucktails, refitting VS reel knob with rubber for a better feel while reeling, eliminating the dreaded VS hourglass line on your spool, replacing a guide on location and so on. Yeah, we work on weekends too to give you what you crave.

We also made some changes to our editorial stuff, Dave Anderson is taking over managing the writers, Roger Martin will give a shot on writing column on his experiences over the decades in the surf, Al Albano has recently been added to out columnists staff and the dude spends a LOT of time on the “hunting” part of fishing. I think you will find his unique perspective refreshing. And last and never the least is the addition of great John Skinner who will have a column starting in March. I sincerely do not believe we could have pulled all this off, spent all the resources on cameras, new writers and new platform, blog, website if we stayed only ad supported. We wanted to create even better experience for our readers and I think you will be pleased with what we have done. And I can tell you this is only the beginning. Tommy is wrapping up the new issue and then we will take some time to test it to make sure all works fine. Then we will unveil it when we are satisfied. Yes, I expect some bumps in the road but I hope that you, our readers, understand that on the end of the day, this is a effort by a artist and a construction worker, not some corporate juggernaut. Sometimes I look back and cant believe what we have done already….ok, I think that all the time 🙂

Although you will not be able to download the publication to your computer, you will be able to log on from anywhere or with any appliance and read it, as long as you have access to the net, wherever you are. The beauty of this platform is not only the  video integration but the ability to automatically convert format to any appliances it detects that you use. So if you read it on the IPAD the software will (should) automatically detect that and convert the SJ for best possible reading layout on the IPAD…and if you switch to PC the layout should be automatically configured for best experience on PC.

That is it for now, I have to take a break from writing and videos to go cooking and then watch a little pigskin with my son. After all, work can be satisfying, especially if you do something that you love but there is nothing like spending time with family especially if you have interests that you share


25 comments on “Moving along

  1. TRisser

    Can you embed a link on the blog and or FB to make it easy to subscribe? I looked for a link after reading all the upcoming features but didn’t see one. Probably just me missing something. Thanks!

  2. chuckR

    Sure don’t know how in the world you find the time for all this? But I’m so glad you do ! it’s much appreciated!

  3. Dan

    Great stuff so gald I found SJ. Just a thought, some might have a problem with this idea but anyway, this is for our sponsors why not let them or on our subcription page allow them access to our email so they could send info on new products, specials and what not. That way we might get some great stuff and be able to support them better in these economic toubled times.

  4. Zeno Post author

    you touched on a third rail of internet commerce…there is only one thing we would never do , share our readers personal information or even their email with a sponsor.
    If someone asked us to send a email to all of our subscribers about a special deal for them ,we would take in the consideration the product however we would never allow them access to our readers email or any other info. We would send that email out. But don’t hold your breath on this one, we already all get plenty of promotional emails
    I don’t know, I am not a businessman but I sure would never want anyone to ever share my email or any other info without my permission.
    So, no , that wont happen although if Van Stall decides that they want to offer you each a new reel for $50 we might help them get a word out…without sharing any of your info of course
    another thing I would not hold my breath to happen. I don’t think VS is in love with SJ or their readers

  5. sioca

    Awaiting with great anticipation!!!

    Just one more Q.


  6. Dan

    As I said zeno, just an idea and I had pretty much already knew what you would say I can see and read the integriety of all those that bring this wonderful diamond of information to us all. as I said “idea and probably not such a good one once I thought more about it as for a VS for fifty bucks……….
    ah…. what was I talking about?

  7. mark m

    Kuddos to SJ, you’re taking it all to another level with original content. No other videos on the market like those of SJ. Very smart to embed them into the ads. Just please never let me see a Dick’s Ad in the publication!

  8. Dan

    Dick’s I concur with you. But I grew up in binghamton where DICKS did originate. At one time it was a great store. but this probably is the place to talk about this

  9. keith

    Hey Zeno. You would not be the first online fishing magazine to go from a free service to a paid subscription. Just take a look through the latest of Catch Magazine for fly fishers. I signed up for Catch because of the great article and superb photos. That Same Reasons I would sign up for SJ when the day comes.
    I don’t think anyone reading SJ mag or Blog feels you should run up bills and be the one holding the bag in the end. You produce a well done original magazine for surfcasters. Let the readers help ease the burden.

    Here is a way to help you and your advertisers. Have a yearlong contest instead of just giving plugs and others away for no reason, Give a reason. Anyone that purchases from at least one thing from 50or 70% of the vendors listed mention SJ for the purchase goes into a pool at the end of 2013 for something. The vendors make money &in turn they can pay for advertising because they see where there dollars are coming in from. Just a idea to help you out. I also own a small business(Portrait Studio) and am struggling. I get it.

  10. Zeno Post author

    You did not miss anything… we are still working on a new website the new blog and a subscription sign. Up page about a week away

  11. CTMatt

    Well if VS isn’t in love with SJ or its readers I am sure ZeeBaas/Penn and their crew will pick up their slack. I enjoyed those videos immensly.

    Side note I would also be on par with subscriber only giveaways lol…

    I think the core of SJ fans that have lingered a while see just how grassroots this whole thing started as. Noobs will be getting the benefit of several years of evolution/trial and error (there really weren’t any errors lol) Lets move on to 2013 with a renewed purpose for the blog/mag and some new contributors and hopefully the striped bass populations will follow suit in better numbers with the core of catch and release and conservation this publication promotes.

  12. CTMatt

    If for whatever reason SJ needed some serious one time captial or a major overhall I don’t see why a kickstarter or something can’t be started. Subscriptions helps but it is pale in comparison to the cost of equipment. I assume it keeps the status quo but growth/upgrading is difficult

  13. GlennS

    I for one truly appreciate all the hard work everyone associated with SJ has put into this site. First class all the way! I would have no problem paying for a subscription. Keep up the great work!


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