One of our core values is… “Every rod that leaves the shop is better than the last.” We build small batches of OEM rods that local fly shops stock based on what works best for their local waters. Custom rods take a little longer to get out the door as components requested often require lengthy fabrication. If you are in the market for a custom fly rod expect to place a card or deposit. Never pay in full up front! There are as many shady rod builders as there are customers placing exotic orders and neglect to take delivery.
Custom rods are cool. It gives you the opportunity to choose the type of blank that you desire. Slow, med, or fast actions, colors across the rainbow, a plethora of lengths and section choices to suit travel needs and of course materials from bamboo, to fiberglass to the fastest graphite. There are various shades of hardware from black to chrome to gold in various styles. Reel seats can be customized for a classic look such as burled wood or salt water friendly materials. Last but not least cork options and shapes to fit your grip can be turned to perfection. The sock and tube used to store your master-piece shouldn’t be overlooked, there is plenty of engineering and style in that half of the package.
Montana Rodsmiths endeavors to under-promise and over-deliver. Most of our rods can be turned around in about two weeks. We have state of the art machinery, technology and experience to get you on the water.
The new Diablo MR5 is devilishly fun to cast and land fish. We call it that because it’s a “short-hot-stick.” The blank is of natural matte finish and the guides/reel seat are black. Topped with a cactus cork grip and yellow wraps it measures 7 feet 6 inches in 4 sections. This rod stores in a mobile 2 foot tube, and flannel sock. Our goal was to complete an extremely affordable rod that has the same durability and quality characteristics of all MR equipment. MSRP $325.
The first prototype was built two years ago when test pilot Mark requested a rod that he could use to teach his daughters to fish. “Make it short and light, but I want something that will perform on big water, not just a kids rod, It needs to cast and turn fish.” That rod finished out so nice I don’t think he ever gave it to his daughters but he did try his damnedest to break it on some huge brown trout with the boys. When the season was over, he recommended this to be the rod of our focus.
Most of today’s fly rods are stiff and fast like a Ferrari. A lot of that classic feel where the line bends the entirety of the rod and hooking up on a brook trout feels like a shark is lost on them. So we selected a blank of stout fiber engineered with a taper that finishes off with more of a “medium” action. It’s not painted so you can see the graphite under the matte finish. The blank weighs in at 1-1/4 oz. The black single foot guides are wrapped in nylon and finished under a bright yellow sleeve to distinguish it from its big brothers.
We recognize that the future of fly-fishing rests in the hands of our youngest generations and we want to help promote that. The art of the fly isn’t just what our great-grand-dad used to do. In fact the largest growing population of fly casters are our mothers and daughters. The Diablo MR5 fills this niche in affordable fashion.
We’ve spent the past 90 days this winter between Montana and the Sea of Cortez testing the final designs of the rod we’ve been asked to build. Its taken on a name of its own, “Mr. 7.” The Montana Rodsmith’s Seven weight rod will make its first debut at the George Grant Trout Unlimited banquet in Butte Montana on March 3, 2017. Twenty of these rods will be available for direct delivery in April as a system, which includes a customized reel and protective case. We are a small manufacturer whose focus is supporting efforts to ensure fishing opportunities are available to future generations.
Montana Rodsmiths has changed ownership, management and members. As of September 2016, our manufacturing manager Mr. Sexton has moved on to new ventures and is no longer an associate of the company. Our shop has now relocated to two locations to improve both manufacturing and marketing presence. “I look forward to new adventures and great partnerships over the next year,” stated Operating Officer Rudy Ketchum. We are thankful to all of our loyal supporters and customers who have endured growth challenges during the past 18 months. In 2017 a fresh run of rods will be released in strategic outlets. They will boast both high performance design, a hardy utilitarian structure, unique style and as always they will not break the bank.
Our rods are put to the test and performing like champs not only in home waters across the Big Sky state but around the world. Our six weight “master guide rod” dubbed “Dawn Patrol” was originally designed to toss streamers at trout. Who would have thought that it classily casts shrimp and crabs patterns over ranges exceeding 80 feet at sea level and landed a couple dozen bone fish with grace. Its big brother an 8 weight MR custom did a number on a few other glass bending beasts of the salt water flats such as this Snook by fly-tier extraordinaire Grayson Lukasic & Blue Runner by Outfitting Montana’s Mark Thompson.
Below the signature series nymphing rod, a 10 foot 4 weight, effortlessly swings into the mighty Missouri and tames some 20″ rainbow trout. Compliments of Steve Connole whom is an advisor on our 7 to 9 weight Switch rods and owner/designer Rudy Ketchum.
Merely wiggling a rod on the show room floor is like walking through a car lot in the dark. Demo our rods in bamboo, glass or graphite. Lets string a rod, get on the river, talk fly-rod design and test them on trout. Based in Butte Montana, we are partnered with multiple outfitters. Call 406-491-3722 or email: Rudy@montanarodsmiths.com for details.
The American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association (AFTMA) is universally recognized to set the standard for Fly rod and Line specification. To accurately compare and match rod and line, exactly 30 feet of float line is weighed in “grains” which will fully “load” the rod to capacity for casting purposes at that distance. This is the maximized point of performance for storing and releasing energy as the rod swings and bends through the force created by line mass. 3, 4, 5, & 6 weight rods swing lines with corresponding numbers that weigh 100, 120, 140 & 160 grains respectively. You can see there are 20 grain increments as the strength of the rod increases. In general most lines should fall within a small variance of the weight ranges and most rods will fall within a stiffness range that suits the acceptable mass as well. At 30 feet, the intended average casting range, a five weight line loads the five weight rod perfectly. It stands to reason that if you have a five weight rod and you are going to cast only 20 feet a six weight line might actually load the rod more adequately and if you are going to cast 50 feet, a four weight line might actually load the rod best because of the total mass of that length of line. This condition has been the root of much confusion and debate. That being said, overall, the five weight line will function just fine over the entire spectrum of the casting range clear out to its entirety. Other considerations would be line tapers such as the “Weight Forward” line which is heavier in the first ten feet than it is in the second and third ten foot sections. This may promote better rod flex at shorter distances yet still meet the 30 foot weight requirement. Generally speaking the rod weight specification is influenced by the diameter and/or the type of material in which its designed. Rod length and taper design also affect its capacity. For a more technical perspective see www.common-cents.info. In general heavier weight rods cast further distances and handle heavier lures and more powerful fish. Montana Rodsmiths uses the “common cents” methodology to classify rod and line.