Tom Morgan Rodsmiths Company evolved from a dream of mine while owning the R. L. Winston Rod Company from 1973 to 1991 to build a limited number of superior graphite rods for appreciative anglers. Rods not limited by cost or materials. Rods I would fine-tune until their actions were perfect. I chose graphite as the material for these rods because it has all the characteristics necessary to make a wonderful fishing rod. It is strong, lightweight, durable, sensitive, and efficient.
With so many anglers now traveling, particularly by flying to their fishing destination the demand for multi-piece rods has grown substantially. I have decided to design a series of 4-piece graphite rods in 8 1/2 foot 3-weight, 4-weight, 5-weight, 6-weight along with 9 foot 4-weight, 5- weight, 6- weight, 7-weight and 8-weight rods.
I have worked hard to keep the same progressive action with the smoothness and the light, lively feeling so prized by anglers by using continuous taper blanks with spigot ferrules and keeping the weight down using light- weight and slightly smaller guides. These rods are available now for delivery this year. I am confident anglers will love them as they do my other designs and they will prove to be great fishing rods. There is a longer description under the graphite rod description page.
Originally, I planned on making these rods myself, but something better happened. Gerri Carlson and I became partners in life and in the Tom Morgan Rodsmiths Company. Previously, Gerri had spent twenty years as a teacher, the last two of those years in the Czech Republic where she was a Peace Corps volunteer. She has always been interested in developing a craft where she could utilize her mechanical skills and her eye for detail and design. At one point, she wanted to apprentice with a renowned Czech violinmaker, but it wasn't possible. The opportunity to join with me in our new company to create beautiful fly rods is equally inspiring for her.
Now there is another exciting chapter in Tom Morgan Rodsmiths story. We have sold the company to Joel Doub and Matt Barber, two life-long passionate fishermen. They are moving with their families to Bozeman from Denver. Joel has already moved as of February with his family and Matt, along with his family, will move in April. They are extremely happy to be stewards of the company and look forward to learning our skills. We are also pleased to know they want to keep the company small, to continue to provide the terrific quality we are known for, along with continuing the personal relationship we have with our customers.
After we decided to add our bamboo rods they have been well received by our customers for their action, beauty, and workmanship. It has been particularly satisfying for me to build them because I have a long history of fishing bamboo rods in addition to many years of making them. It was exciting for us to go through the process of designing great bamboo fishing rods showing our unique fittings and careful workmanship. It's also very fulfilling to be making rods with such a strong connection to our fly- fishing heritage.
The Morgan Hand Mill I invented is a revolutionary method of hand-milling bamboo strips making the cutting easier, more accurate, and faster than the traditional hand-planing method. The Hand Mill's unique design allows the user to easily cut 8-strip, 7-strip, 6-strip, 5-strip, 4-strip or 3-strip rods just by changing the cutter head. It's also a very versatile machine that will let you cut swelled butt strips, flat strips for gluing cedar strips or other material to the inside, traditional hollow fluted rods, special hollow rods using the Magic Star cutter head, and one-piece up to 7 1/2' long. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in bamboo rod-making and my Hand Mill has allowed many more people to enjoy this wonderful craft. There have been thousands of rods made on the Hand Mill and we believe it has contributed substantially to the rebirth of bamboo rods world wide which is very gratifying. We use the Morgan Hand Mill to cut all of the strips for our bamboo rods.
Somewhat surprisingly my rod designing has come full circle. Soon after buying Winston my first designs were the Winston Stalker fiberglass rods with actions similar to light line bamboo rods I had fished for many years. I have always been a fan of fiberglass rods and with the renewed interest in them I decided to design a new series of rods to complement our great graphite and bamboo rods. Fiberglass provides a feel very much like bamboo and makes great rods for fishing in the short to medium distances where so much trout fishing is done. We will make a few finished rods but most of our fiberglass will be sold as blanks to customers or custom rodmakers.
I am happy to report I have found a source that provides us with exceptional quality cork rings for our rods. There seems to be a wide variety of names for the different grades but the conventional name for the best grade is Flor. My supplier handles a large volume of Flor grade every month and from these hand-pick my special cork which are the best of the best. I have seen tens of thousands of rings over the years and this is the best quality as it comes I have ever seen.
We added a web page for the Coastal Conservation Association to help promote steelhead and salmon conservation. Steelhead fishing was one of my great passions in life and they are in trouble over their entire range. I'm trying to promote interest in our customers joining this organization to help preserve and enhance our anadromous fisheries.
I was awarded the Bellinger Award for my contributions to bamboo rodmaking which you can see and read about on it’s web page.
Gerri and I, and now Joel and Matt, are presenting fiberglass, graphite, and bamboo rods of unmatched beauty. With my rod action design capabilities, our creative rod fitting designs, and our attention to detail, we've made some of the sweetest rods ever for you. These rods are the results of my extensive experience, and they are simply the best I have ever designed and built.
Our house and shop are located in southwestern Montana, about fifteen miles west of Bozeman in the heart of great fishing country. We invite you to stop by our shop when you're in our area. We will have fiberglass, graphite, and bamboo rods available for you to cast, reels to exam, and a Hand Mill set up for you to examine and cut some bamboo strips with if you would like. Please call or email us for an appointment to ensure we'll be here for your visit.
the Bozeman Reels