"Having worked in fly fishing for several years, one thing that has always irked me about the industry has been the willingness of companies to hide or intentionally obfuscate the origin of their rods and components. Part of the philosophy of my rod building is that the customer knows from where exactly where their custom fly rod comes. When Shane Gray of Graywolf Rods announced that he had acquired the Steffen Bros brand and that the legacy of these rods would continue, I knew that I would have to start incorporating Steffen Bros blanks into my builds.
The first Steffen Bros rods that I built was an unsanded graphite, very reminiscent of a rod from Scott. Upon receipt, the first thing that I noticed about the blank was that the fit and finished of the construction far outmatches that of most large blank rollers. The production of these blanks by Shane at Graywolf is a win for the little guys. The ferrules have a clean and consistent fit, the paint is uniform and blemish free, the roll of the blank is free of any wrinkles, and the performance of these rods can keep pace with those of the largest companies in fly fishing.
When I worked at a fly shop, I loved to bring in the rods that I built to show to my co-workers or to nail down the best fly line. Steffen Bros rods were always the favorite among the guys because of their very intuitive feeling and compliments were always the same, “this feels better than all of our stocked rods”. A true medium-fast action, a deep flex profile, a sensitive tip to protect light tippet, elegant presentation, and a backbone to fight larger fish all combine to make the new Steffen Bros rods a truly impressive tool that would complement any angler’s quiver.
Despite having a handful of high-end rods like Winstons, Sage, and a Burkheimer, I find myself reaching for those Steffen Bros rods more often these days. If I’m dry fly fishing I love to grab a 3/4wt glass rod, if I know I’ll be doing some nymph rigs I bring my 8’0” 4wt graphite Steffen, or if streamers are on the menu, I love to grab the gorgeous navy blue 9’0” 5wt graphite. Never once have and of the Graywolf Steffen Bros rods ever let me down when I needed them.
Part of the reason that I continually go back to Graywolf to bring in Steffen Bros blanks is that it feels good to support a smaller company. Knowing that my purchase helped to put food on the table or continue someone’s dream means a whole lot more than knowing my money went to some far-off destination or went to line the pockets of some company man.
Add a Steffen Brothers rod to your arsenal and you will truly understand the slogan “Nothing Compares to a Steffen”."
Thomas Nugent, Tall Pine Rod Co.