Holy Carp! I guess I'm more shocked than surprised, really. For some reason I'd thought of Steffen as a producer who would always-be-there, but of course Mark and his brother can't do it forever, so this is very good news, especially as it appears that the name "Steffen" will hopefully be continued as well.
Yeah, I agree that this is a good thing. I wonder what will happen with Shane owning it and his current line of fly rods, Trout Smiths. I have one of his S-Glass Trout Smith rods, which has gradually turned into being one of my favorites. He seems to have some experience and ability in designing blanks too, along with being a very proficient custom builder.
At least we'll know the his rods are produced in the US from start to finish; along with the equipment, knowhow he gets the taper formulas. Perhaps he can do some graphites too as the original Steffens made graphite and they were really nice. I imagine most of the other rods will vanish from memory on his site, and why should they stay.
ddb, not to forget Mike McFarland who's been designing and rolling his own for a lot of years now, his rods are spectacular and is a hard act to follow.
I was going to order a custom rod from Steffen but was told they were not taking any new orders. The beautiful work I have seen from Graywolf has me stoked to order from them now. A win win in my book.