Friday, October 15, 2010

r l winston

The other day I visited the R. L. Winston Rod Company, which is situated about a hundred yards from the Beaverhead River in Twin Bridges, Montana.  I drove about two hours out of my way to find that it's an incredibly underwhelming facility to visit, matched in underwhelmingness only by the town of Twin Bridges itself.   It's one of those towns that, after way too many hours of windshield time, you'd drive right thru without even knowing it, if not for the the speed limit changing from 70 to 35 for the quarter mile long main street.
I've been fishing Winston rods since 1999 and find them to be the best in how they perform, as well as in their aesthetics.  When fly rod shopping, the shop employee will take you out to the parking lot where you can test cast the rods, he'll talk to you about rod "action", "tight loops" and "accurate presentation".  What you don't experience when casting in the parking lot is how the rod feels when a 16" trout strikes your size 20 trico spinner and you set the hook only to have your 7x tippet snap, as the trout heads for deep cover with a hook dangling from the side of it's lip.  You're left standing in three feet of cold water cursing under your breath (because he who swears, shall catch no fish), having spent the last 30 minutes in that spot trying to outwit the beast.  Anyway, the "soft tip" of Winston's rods won me over a long time ago.
If you're ever in Montana, do yourself a favor and skip the R. L. Winston factory tour, spend an extra hour on the river instead.  Check them out here though, and go see them the next time you pass a good fly shop.  Even if you don't fish, I guarantee it'll be an interesting experience.

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