What is Happening in Twin Bridges?
When Winston Rod Co. move from San Fansisco to Twin Bridges, MT two young men came with it. Tom Morgan and Glenn Brackett owned and designed Winston rods together out of a back street "shack". When they sold to the current owner Tom Morgan started his own Tom Morgan Rodsmiths with his wife and Glenn Brackett stayed on to run the Bamboo shop in the old building as modern Winston moved into their new factory south of town. Ultimatly, circumstances led to Glenn, Jerry Kustach and the "Boo Boys" to depart Winston and start "Sweetgrass Rods". Sweetgrass is a cane rod building operation continuing in the original Winston tradition but also expanding into new and experimental tapers and configurations. Winston's graphite designer of note, Sam Druckman, left the new Winston to work with the much revered, Brackett, adding a graphite and glass line to the Sweetgrss brand. Now, having departed Sweetgrass, Druckman is entering into a new rodmaking venture with three other noteworthy rod men called "Freestone" and their web site should be up and running in the near future I am told. They will design and hand-build cane and carbon rods using state-of-the-art technology and artistic craftsmanship (in the USA of course).
Who has taken over for Druckman at the much revered and classic Winston? is it possible they don't have a Rod Designer and are simply mutating tapers and technologies introduced by previous creative minds? Have many of you noted that their once vaunted tread wraps have deteriorated to "industry standard" with a single glop of viscus finish overlaping onto the blank rather than Morgan/Brackett like multiple coats of finish carefully applied to perfectly wrapped thread? Winston has a great history, great facility and a great shade of green but seems unable to hold on to their best people.
We fly fishers can not afford to loose any of our great fly rod companies. T&T has been recesitated and their original staff re-hired with new products being offered shortly. Hardy has reinvented itself with a powerfull North American presence. Orvis is building their best-ever rods, Helios. Sage and G.Loomis continue in their leadership rolls. New start-ups like Druckman's promis beautiful, great casting rods in the near future... What is happening in Twin Bridges