check out his photogallery
Handcrafted in Twin Bridges, Montana
Please feel free to contact me if you have any question or special request.
The Boo Boys have come together to continue a legacy of fine bamboo rod craftsmanship in Montana. With over 80 years of collective rod building experience, the Sweetgrass Rod Boo Boys promise to build bamboo fly rods that are as special as they are a credit to the craft.
Your confidence in our abilities has encouraged us to stay together, keep the legacy alive, and eventually pass it on to others. We thank you for the undying support. For the Boo Boys, the responsibility is a blessing that will enkindle our passion for years to come.
Wayne Maca offers Sweetgrass Rods much valued expertise from a diverse background.For barely more than beer and peanuts, he has worked as one of the "Boo Boys" for seven years. As a "skunk works" innovator, Wayne is always looking for better ways to bring out the best in bamboo. The unique rods with patented designs and processes he builds as sole proprietor of Beaverhead Rods reflect his creative skill.
Jerry Kustich has been a part of the "Boo Boy" team for the past twenty years learning the many intricacies of rod building. Always found on a stream testing anything from flies to waders to pentagonal bamboo designs, he has become an outspoken advocate for public access to Montana's rivers. Author, writer, devoted environmentalist, rod designer, and dedicated angler, he spends much time on the road as a fly fishing ambassador lecturing on and representing the ideals for which all serious fly anglers stand.
Of the 1500 rods built during his 22-year association with the Brackett Era, Jeff Walker built half of them. He is a credit to the tradition of cane rod building and truly an unsung artisan of the craft. As a wizard with machinery, Jeff can fix about anything that is bolted together. Over the years he has kept the shop running smoothly by tending to the daily needs from maintaining the equipment to ordering supplies. Valued beyond words, Jeff has been a quiet force in the world of bamboo and a devoted friend to all who love the craft.
With 33-years of triumph and tears at the rod bench, Glenn Brackett has been defined by his love of building bamboo fly rods. An inspiration in the shop as well as throughout the local community, Glenn will often say that his most sacred duty is to preserve the legacy by teaching others the many lessons of building cane rods. For bamboo rod lovers, Glenn's intangible influence can be felt in every finely crafted rod we ever built.
There are so many wonderful rod makers around the country these days. Sweetgrass Rods does not presume that anything the company builds will be better than what can be found within this gathering of great craftsmen. What makes Sweetgrass Rods different is the eighty years of collective experience that the team brings to each and every rod built. And since fly fishing is a way of life in the Twin Bridges area, in many ways, this influence permeates everything we do.
It is our intention to do our share to preserve the traditions of a unique American craft. In an age where time is money and more cheaply produced outsourced goods rule the corporate world, we believe there is still a place for quality craftsmanship done the old fashioned way. What we build will have a heart, soul, and spirit connected to our sense of history, community, and obligation to the resource that makes what we do possible.
"You could take every peaceful town ever depicted on every Christmas card ever produced and none would compare to the serenity of Twin Bridges in winter. Located just above the confluence of the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers, Lewis and Clark passed through here over two-hundred years ago....The town itself doesn't look too full of life anymore. After the state closed the orphanage in the seventies, businesses shut down and not much has happened ever since. But if you scrape the surface a bit you will find a varied gathering of townsfolk who would rival the lovable characters found in that mythical TV town of Mayberry."Jerry KustichFrom A Wisp in the Wind
Twin Bridges has been the obscure epicenter of splendid trout waters for decades. Although the town has escaped development that has sprawled throughout the entire Rocky Mountain Range the past ten years, some believe it is just a matter of time before the slow creep of civilization comes around the corner. And it likely will.
For us, however, living in a time-forgotten community where a handshake and trust are synonymous, these values will be ingrained in us forever. Along with its rich fishing history, these hometown values are what we hope to share with everyone who believes in Sweetgrass Rods.
For years it has been our collective credo to build fishing rods with an uncompromising dedication to a time-honored craft for people who love to fly fish. This has been our passionâ€”a heart and soul commitment to a legacy entrusted to us by folks like you. Because of your expectations and dreams, this tradition will continue at Sweetgrass Rods.
We are committed to doing all the right things for all the right reason. As Glenn (one of the Boo Boys) often says, "If fly fishing doesn't make us better people, than what's the point?" Likewise, if our philosophy is not manifested in the work we do, then there is really no sense doing it. We look at Sweetgrass Rods as our last opportunity to contribute to the fine tradition of bamboo rod building as well as to share our beliefs in what can be accomplished if we all work together for a common good.
As detailed in the DVD, Trout Grass, great lengths have been taken to work with the growers in China to secure the highest quality cane available. Once the choice Arundinaria amabilis is shipped to Sweetgrass in Montana, it will be hand split, machine beveled, oven treated to a uniform honey-amber color, and then each beveled strip will be tapered on the mill. The subsequent strips will be glued together with opposing nodes. The blanks will be left to cure until chosen for individual rod orders.
Sweetgrass offers a wide selection of rods in quad, pent, and hex configurations. The actions are a progressive flow that loads and unloads smoothly with long or short lengths of line. The wraps on quad and hex rods are reddish tan with burgundy trims. Pentagonal rods will be burgundy with black tipping.
We offer nickel-silver reel seat components with a variety of wood inserts in a choice of either up or down locking configuration. Guides are dark snakes with matching agate stripper. The handle is cigar or half-wells (customer choice).
We are committed to creating the best rods that suit our customers needs. We take the time to learn about your specific fly fishing needs and then craft a rod just for you. We encourage ongoing consultation by phone or email while your rod is being crafted. And throughout the process, one of the Boo Boys will regularly be available to answer your questions and provide you with updates on your custom fly rod progress.
While there are many wonderful rods to choose from in the bamboo market, several factors determine the price of a bamboo rod. At Sweetgrass the cost reflects the eighty-some years of collective experience with rod building craftsmanship. Our two-piece two tip rods are $2000. Our three-piece two-tip rods are $2500. Custom orders will be done on a quote basis. A $300. fully refundable deposit secures a position on the list. Along with a warranty on all workmanship, satisfaction is fully guaranteed as well.
Demand for Sweetgrass Rods has outpaced our current capacity to hand craft these special rods. And, we are also building a new shop which has contributed to longer delivery times than we desire. As a result, it will take eight months to a year for Sweetgrass to fulfill your order. Once the new shop is fully functional our goal will be to deliver our customers rods in six months.
Our graphite rods are individually hand-built by professional rod designer and expert builder, Sam Drukman. They are built from uniquely designed blanks which are manufactured specifically for us in the USA. They feature smooth progressive actions with a deliberate balance of power and finesse.
These spigot ferruled rods are a deep, glossy charcoal/black, with a micro-thin clear epoxy finish. The wraps are a rich chestnut brown with gold metallic accents. The snake guides are stainless steel with a black nickel silver finish. The stripper guide features a hand selected olive agate insert. The tip-top is Sam's unique "sushi" design which features a beautiful, ultra light cutaway. Winding checks are made from a unique opalescent acrylic. The hand crafted grips are made from the finest quality corks.
All of these models are available in slightly different lengths if desired. Please contact me to discuss options, including available wood choices. A 50% deposit will be required for custom orders.
Our fiberglass rods are also individually hand-built by expert builder Sam Drukman. They have a nice medium action somewhat reminiscent of bamboo. They are appointed with a fine agate stripper guide and black nickel snake guides and tip-top.
Price for fiberglass rods is $750.
Other lengths and line weights may be available.
© 2006 - 2017 West Slope Fly. All rights reserved.