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Design in Tom's Words


During the more than forty years I have been fly fishing, three major influences have helped form my rod design philosophy: my own personal fishing experience, my guiding experience, and my experience as an owner of the R. L. Winston Rod Company.

The Introduction


As many of you know, I grew up in southwestern Montana with its abundance of great trout streams and it was there I learned to fly fish. There are all types of streams from rushing mountain streams to the boisterous Madison River, gentle spring creeks, small rivers, medium-sized rivers, the big but quiet Missouri River, and many lakes. From an early age, my passion was fly fishing, and I explored most of these waters and learned many of their secrets. Because I fished a variety of streams, I assembled a broad collection of rods well suited for each particular type of water and condition. During this part of my life, I fished almost exclusively with bamboo rods.

Helpful Hints


The other option most anglers won't accept but should, is overlining the rod by one or two line sizes. The taper of the stiff rod is often good so by putting on a heavier line the rod will load more and "feel" like it should. Angler's resistance to this is usually two-fold. First, they say the manufacturer designates this rod for this line size and I shouldn't change it. Nonetheless, if it performs better with a heavier line and you enjoy it more use the heavier line. The other even more powerful resistance is the angler is afraid of damaging or breaking the rod by using the heavier line. This just isn't true. Rods are designed with plenty of strength so loading them with one or two line sizes heavier will not damage the rod. I know this from personal experience and from talking with a number of rod manufactures.