View Full Version : Tom Morgan rods..

JB in SC
02-26-2010, 01:42 PM
I was looking into a Tom Morgan rod yesterday and was astonished at the pricing....about $1400 for a glass or graphite rod.

Am I crazy or is that crazy?

I am crazy, but you know what I mean.

02-26-2010, 09:45 PM
You are crazy.

There are no old graphite rods yet.

JB in SC
02-27-2010, 05:54 AM
Poorly worded on my part....

No way would I consider a $1400 plastic rod. The pricing is crazy to me.

02-27-2010, 09:24 AM
Poorly worded on my part....

No way would I consider a $1400 plastic rod. The pricing is crazy to me.

Idiotic and ludicrously over priced; but someone is making a fortune from producing them and selling them at inflated prices!

JB in SC
02-27-2010, 11:00 AM
Granted the blanks are wrapped by a protege of Russ Peak, still.....

02-27-2010, 11:10 AM
Econ 101: Any item is worth exactly what someone will pay for it.

I don't see myself paying $1400 for a graphite rod, but maybe it's worth that to someone.

If I was in the business, I'd rather sell 10 rods at $1400 each than 100 rods at $140.

I had a guy offer me $250 for a wood rod once. I didn't even like the rod that much myself, I had $12 in materials in the thing, and I thought he was crazy. His money was good, though.

02-27-2010, 11:42 AM
Ernest, that is funny.

I would rather have 10 quality people here than 100.

A $1,400 rod is not worth fourteen hundred dollars to those 10 people.

Just sayin...

03-01-2010, 05:35 PM
JB in SC said the rods were wrapped by a protege of Russ Peak. I'm over at the fiberglass board a lot, and they've been watching and talking with Tom about the progress of his glass rods. He's been working a L ..O .. N .. G time with someone to get the tapers he wants. He's not using anyone's off-the-shelf blanks. KHe may even be rolling his own, but I'm not at all sure about that . . .

Still, I would NEVER pay $1400 for a plastic rod, graphite or fiberglass!

The best to you each morning!

03-01-2010, 07:45 PM
Out of the range of what I'd call reasonable for a rod, but as Ernest says they're worth what someone is willing to pay for them.
Of course if they want to give me a free one. :lolno:

Zac Sexton
03-01-2010, 08:09 PM
I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Morgan, several years ago, soon after I graduated college (and was at the apex of my bamboo snobbery :twisted:). The things I learned from Tom and crew overwhelmed me. He is a pure genius, and finicky rod-designer. Since that time, I had the pleasure to B.S. with him on several occassions, each time being an enlightening experience. During the interview, Tom said something that made my jaw drop. I was pushing toward the point that bamboo was superior to graphite or fiberglass rods. Tom stopped me and said, "Well, every rod-making material will make a wonderful rod. You just have to know how to use it. I take the individual characteristics of graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo, and design my tapers to fit the material."

A moment of silence from me, then I just said, "Really?!" After the interview I cast every model Tom had then, with my friend Mike Peck. Most his rods were just being finalized as far as taper. I don't think he had any glass rods finished, yet. So, we cast his bamboo and graphite models in 4, 5, and 6 wts. Each one was amazing. The biggest surprise for me, was I LOVED his 5 wt. graphite rod. It cast so much different than any graphite rod I had cast at the time; it worked in close delicately, then punched line out fine and far-off with authority. Mike and I were truly impressed. I also really liked his 4 wt. bamboo rod!

Tom has a world-wide market and makes what he sees as one of the best rods available today--in any material, in the World. He doesn't really market to most anglers. I would buy one--if I had $1,400 laying under my matress! Maybe some day. Tom isn't going to be around forever, but his influence in fly-fishing will be. He is history in the making, a wonderful, kind man, genius rod-designer, and author.

I don't mean to change the subject too much, but I think this applies to this subject and concerns about the name-calling of carbonfiber rods...

I've been thinking about this topic for a while now, and maybe I can let the cat out of the bag and say, "I like graphite and fiberglass rods! Hell, there's some I love." I've been so in to bamboo for so long now, that I kinda have missed out on what's been developing in the carbon-fiber market. Well, sorta. I've cast most models available by attending the wholesaler show in Denver, most years. But, I still didn't like most the actions available--though I did like a few. My newest education in carbon development has been with Sam Drukman at Sweetgrass Rods. I see Sam often, and get to B.S. with him, when he will put up with my questions. I have learned untold amounts about rod design from Sam. Just rods--material doesn't matter. Sam rolls his blanks on his mandrels, and cuts rods to exacting precision that would make any rod-maker envious. I swear 80 percent of his rod-making time is spent sanding the varnish on his wraps!

Sam makes custom fiberglass and graphite rods under the Sweetgrass name. They are entirely custom, made to fit what an angler wants for fishing conditions. I own a prototype graphite rod, that I, and others who have fished it, named "The Little Big Rod." It is amazing. It's a 7'11" 4/5 wt., 4 pc. rod that has caught fish on small freestoners as well as large tailwaters, using midge dries and medium-sized streamers. It casts where I look, with no effort, out to 60 feet, and in to a few feet, with ease. The whole line is possible, it just takes more haulling. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fishing. I love it, and will be ordering a fiberglass rod from Sam this summer (just gotta put away some change). Sam's rods start at $850--slightly more than mass-produced rods by the Big Boys, (but so far better, there is NO comparison!).

I'm sure there are other makers with graphite and fiberglass designs that are amazing, and some day I hope to cast/fish 'em. Until then, this is my experience with carbonfiber rod-makers I know and respect. Yes, they cost more, but OMG are they worth it.

Anyway, there you go. My feelings on carbonfiber rods. :wave:

Sam's Little Big Rod with a 16-inch Brownie from a small Montana freestoner.

Single-turn trim wraps and agate stripper!

Nickel-silver harware...

One of my favorite rods--period.

03-01-2010, 11:10 PM
I would have to be a multi millionaire before I would spend $1,400 for a graphite rod or even $850 for one.With that being said,I did spend $260 back in 1980 for a Russ Peak fiberglass rod.To give you an idea of how much money that was at the time you could buy any bamboo rod Orvis made for $450.That rod will still be in my possession when I die.It is the sweetest 6'6" 4wt that I have ever fished with.I doubt that I would pay today what I could sell it for.I'm sure that if I put it on ebay that it would bring more than a grand and the odds are high that the buyer would be Japanese.Russ Peak fiberglass rods have a huge following there and are still in great demand in this country as well.

Bamboo remains my rod of choice because I just like the way they cast and feel when fighting a fish.Nothing to do with elitism,it's all about the feel.Of course it doesn't hurt that they are beautiful as well.I have yet to see any graphite rod or fiberglass rod that can match the aesthetics of bamboo.

JB in SC
03-02-2010, 02:45 PM

I had the opportunity to talk with Tom quite a bit in the late 70's (he built several glass rods for me) while he was at Winston. When it comes to synthetic rod design, he is one of the greats. No doubt these rods might be quite valuable in time. I love graphite rods, I just don't love them $1400 worth.


03-12-2010, 01:02 PM
I'm pretty sure that Loomis rolls the blanks for Tom's graphite rods. Nothing wrong with that. I just thought i'd throw it out there.

Zac Sexton
03-12-2010, 08:17 PM
Jerry: That must have been a great experience to associate with Tom back then. Yes, $1,400 is a little tough to choke down (why I don't own one--yet;-). But, I still think, SOMEONE has to have the "Best" and they might as well charge what they think they're worth... I'll just have to cast 'em when I visit next, and be happy with that :| .

Pete: Loomis used to roll the blanks in the design chosen by Tom, but I don't think Loomis (the company) does any more. Gary and Tom are good friends and I think Gary Loomis, the man, is who does Tom's blanks (since Tom doesn't have the physical ability to do it himself). I was talking with Sam Drukman a while back about it, and we were mostly discussing the changes in GLoomis, the company, and what Gary was up to. We never really nailed a whole lot down, and I never thought to ask Tom. I guess I don't really care... But, I'm curious...

An interesting lesson for me, by talking with Tom and Sam D., is the craftsmanship that goes in to putting a carbon-fiber rod together after the blanks are rolled. It really is quite similar to cutting blanks for bamboo rods--in the "commercial" rhelm of rod-making. It is all just so darn facinating!!!

03-13-2010, 07:27 PM
Craftsman? I believe Mark Steffen made the best graphite blanks, his finish work was utilitarian.

Best overall graphite rod? I think that would be Sage or Thomas and Thomas; flat out performance minded and the fit and finish is beautiful.

If in fact Loomis makes those blanks for Tom, then I really don't see $1,400 is worth my money, as was said, if that is what the market brings, the guys who buy them probably are not the anglers that would want to fish the places I would want to fish with it, just rich, really rich. Take a guide discount on a Sage and the $1,000 left over and fish somewhere for a while...

I don't believe a plastic rod is worth that much to me, NO WAY.

Just my opinion.

For performance and quality, Orvis and Temple Forks, maybe a St.Croix.

I think if you are going to place that much time into a rod, might as well be bamboo and if you choose a graphite stick for all out casting performance, might as well buy a, ahh, I can't think of the guy who makes the completely hollow bamboo rod with a graphite ferrule, MACCA.

Wayne Macca.

What I think is the "best" and what you think is the "best" is subjective.

Zac, absolutely no disrespect to you, not one single bit, I just don't agree.

And no one should be sorry for having a opinion and being respectable about writing it either.

03-15-2010, 11:56 AM
$1400 would buy a pretty nice bamboo rod. I've seen a Morgan graphite rod. It's very nice, but still not as nice as bamboo. I suppose if I won the lottery i'd get a Morgan graphite rod to just have one, but i'd also get one of his bamboo rods to fish. :D

Zac Sexton
03-17-2010, 06:10 PM
Adam: No disrespect taken. But there is NO WAY a Sage or Thomas and Thomas is even close to the field of a custom rod maker such as Morgan or Sweetgrass. Have you seen and cast/fished them? Until you do, there's no way to compare. I've cast/fished Sage, T&T, Temple Fork and all the rest, but they don't compare to Morgan on finish work and craftsmanship. No comparison. Rod action is a different beast altogether. That's not to say I don't like some of the rods in the mass-produced market, but you get something extra on a crafted rod. And Morgan CAN'T make his blanks because he is a quadrapelegic. He uses his knowledge of rod design with the imput of a few other makers/anglers and gets the blanks that fit his taste, from Loomis/Gary. So his rods reflect his idea of the perfect fly rod, which of course may differ from anyone's perspective of the "perfect" fly rod.

And again, it's all whatever makes us happy (and what we can afford...) in the end, yes! :bigthumb:

I hope I don't sound too fanatical about the crafted carbon-fiber rods, but it's really only been since having cast custom rods made on custom mandrels, or cut to a specific maker's preferences, that I've become aware of how good carbon-fiber can be. But, that's also what I love so much about bamboo--the absolute control of the product by a maker(s), to produce the "perfect" rod as seen by the imagination of the creator. And they're sexy! But I digress...