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Thread: Who deserves a Green Jacket?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Currently land-locked in South-Central Indiana, USA

    Default Who deserves a Green Jacket?

    In the vernacular of the world of fishing rods, we often have three terms that get bantered about: Designer, Maker, and Builder. In this thread I really don't want to get into where the line should be drawn as to who is a Designer, who is a Maker and who is a Builder. I'll just simply state that for my purposes here, a Designer draws the plans for the blank, a Maker makes the blank, and the Builder "assembles" all the components onto a blank completing the rod. So an individual can participate (and be) in one, two, or all three of those disciplines. But regardless of the discipline(s) chosen, I believe very few individuals will rise to a level in their art/craft that they would be considered a Master by the general populace of the angling community.

    What a "Master" is, and what differentiates them from the "Apprentice" is what I'm exploring in this thread. Is it based on the actual number of rods? (So what about the production Builders/Makers doing hundreds of rods a year?) Is it the amount of time they've been doing their craft? Is it the quality of the work alone, and if so, can an individual be a Master and a neophyte at the same time? Perhaps it is the level of public acceptance/recognition of their work that makes a Master? (So a large Marketing Department is a real advantage?) Or maybe it's the combination of exceptional skill/workmanship in all three disciplines. (So if you are exceptional in two but lacking in one... no Green Jacket for you?)

    When I hear/read others refer to a Master, they generally don't "qualify" that designation. They simply state that the individual is "a Master". Granted, it is usually within the context of a discussion, so the term is applied to the topic at hand. But when it comes to fly rods, there is potentially a lot of overlap between the various disciplines, and things can get foggy pretty quickly.

    As an example... If Tom Morgan were to be designated a Master, would he be a Master Rod Designer, but not a Master Builder, or Master Maker because he doesn't actually "make" or "build" the rods? Or would he just be referred to as a Master in the general context of fly rods regardless of that fact, and no "qualifier" is necessary?

    Please note that I am not suggesting or implying anything in relation to Tom Morgan. I just believe he is highly respected in the angling community, and he exemplifies some of the issues associated with "designating" someone as something. So he makes for a great example.

    What I really want to know is: What do you consider to be the benchmark(s) an individual must meet to be considered a Master, and if that "Master" designation should indeed have a qualifier?

    Last edited by Utah David; 10-02-2012 at 11:02 AM.

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