Tom Morgan Rodsmiths
Tom Morgan Rodsmiths
"In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in fiberglass rods, primarily in lighter line sizes, for two reasons: anglers have discovered that typical graphite fly rods are so stiff that they aren’t effective fishing rods and many fiberglass rods have the traditional action of great fly rods from past eras. A number of knowledgeable anglers have discovered anew that fiberglass can make wonderful fishing rods covering many situations extremely well."
"Because of the delicate touch and "feel" they provide along with their fish playing attributes, I've always been a fan of fiberglass rods for fishing in the short to medium distances where most trout are caught. For a long time, I've thought that I could design fiberglass rods with even more effective attributes and sweeter actions than my originals."
"Our intention is to sell primarily blanks with only an occasional finished rod. In addition to selling the blanks ourselves we encourage custom rodmakers to contact us to purchase blanks to make custom rods for their customers."
Rod blank specifications
- The dark red rod blanks are made from E-glass by Kerry Burkheimer
- Two piece, one tip, spigot ferrule design, with a white solid glass spigot
- The blanks come with a nickel silver tip check, internal wooden reelseat plug, and instructions
Finished rod specifications
- Agate stripping guide and hard chrome plated snake guides
- Nickel silver slide band or up-lock reel seat with a choice of wood spacer
- Choice of cigar, half-wells, or custom cork grip
- Special cloth bag, our distinctive aluminum case, and a protective tube bag
|Line Weight*||Fishing Range/Name||Rod Lengths|
|3 Weight||15 to 40 feet||7', 7'6", and 8'|
|Yamame 3 Weight||12 to 35 feet||6'9" and 7'3"|
|4 Weight||15 to 45 feet||7', 7'6", and 8'|
|5 Weight||20 to 50/55 feet||7'6" and 8'|
|6 Weight||Streamer Special||8'3"|
|7 Weight||Unity with the Universe||8'6"|
|(*) The rod blanks were designed for double taper lines|
On the Fiberglass Flyrodders discussion board we have some members who truly are experts. Notable among them is Tom Morgan. The former owner of R.L. Winston and the current owner of Tom Morgan Rodsmiths, he is an expert rod builder and designer. The Winston Stalker glass rods, designed when Tom owned Winston, are highly sought on the used market. New, unused Stalker rod blanks sell for a princely sum on eBay. Tom also developed the first Winston graphite rods, which were known for their fine fishing qualities. Tom's post Winston fiberglass history under Tom Morgan's ownership is one of the jewels on the discussion forum.
Last summer, Tom Morgan posted a Fiberglass models and fishing distance feedback inquiry. What followed was a lively discussion about the fishing qualities anglers want from a fly rod. Two notable themes were apparent in the discussion. First, the rods are designed to present flies at the optimum fishing distance – not to achieve maximum casting distance. Second, many of the participants were keenly interested in an 8'3”, 6 weight rod Tom referred to as the “Streamer Special”. Fortunately, Tom's friend Per Brandin, as well as Tom's wife Gerri, both recommended that he market this rod. As a result, a remake of the 6 weight Streamer Special and the 7 weight Unity with the Universe rods were also added to the project.
The reports from early customers indicate these rods are very special. Tom Morgan wished to produce his best ever glass rods. From the designer of the Winston Stalker, that is a lofty goal. He began with his original Stalker designs, added his years of subsequent experience, and tested the prototypes with a small team of evaluators, including noted cane rod builder Per Brandin. In addition, the prototypes and final rod blanks are rolled by none other than Kerry Burkheimer (who apprenticed with the legendary Russ Peak). Rods built on these blanks are projects well worth watching (for instance, see this 8 foot, 5 weight build)!
The Tom Morgan Rodsmiths blanks come with three unusual accessories. The first is a full set of instructions. The second is a tapered wooden plug. This is provided for rod builders wishing to use a reelseat that will not fit over the butt diameter of the glass blank. The rod blank butt section can be trimmed with a fine tooth saw and the tapered plug installed with the reelseat over the plug. The final accessory is a nickel silver tip check. Tom Morgan described the purpose of the tip check to me as follows:
“On the Winston fiberglass rods the one problem that occurred too frequently was that a tip would start coming off the butt during casting without the angler knowing it. When the tip got part way out on the ferrule there would be a lot of pressure on the bottom of the tip causing it to crack at the tip opening and up a little bit. I am confident that the nickel silver tip check will prevent this from happening. On our graphite rods with a tip check we haven't had one failure.”
These rod blanks are now shipping, but not all models are in stock yet. Details on the availability of blanks or ordering a Tom Morgan Rodsmiths glass rod can be found on their How to Order page.