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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 11:23 • # 1 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 1700
Location: US-NM
I often see the original stalker series fiberglass winston rods bring alot of money on ebay.How are they compaired to the fiberglass rod makers of today? ... aurelio


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 12:21 • # 2 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 6003
Location: US-ME
I'll go out on a limb--which I never mind--and say they are unsurpassed for their type, simply because there has been so little change in fiberglass technology, and its technical limits were more or less reached at that time. There are various similar models today that may have a nuance that would make them more or less desirable to any one angler. They were among the first to explore light fly lines in fine 'glass rods, partly as the longer-lighter trend came on in graphite. They are an acquired taste in specialty circumstances, but to judge from your avatar photo, you might be in one of them. Check out the Winston catalog in "rod papers," and you can compare their characteristics to more typical 'glass rods in Winston's other series. Tom Morgan, as far as I'm concerned, was the best and most realistic ever in describing fly rod designs, actions, and their uses and performance traits, although there are certainly others of similar authenticity.


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 12:39 • # 3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/06/07
Posts: 1355
Location: US-VT
I'll go out on another limb and say that I remember the rod being possibly the worse feeling rod I have ever cast. Felt like an 8ft garden hose with guides attached to me. I can remember when the Fly Rod Shop in Stowe was practically giving them away. I cast one side by side with an early Harry Wilson Scott F79 owned by Sumner Stowe. One I had a hard time letting go and the other ... I guess you would have to cast one and make your own conclusion. Sincerely, Rich


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 13:11 • # 4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 1700
Location: US-NM
Whripool, photo's are sometimes misleading,and Rich I'm sure i don't want to go fishing with a garden hose.You guys just saved me a bunch of money ... aurelio


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 13:41 • # 5 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 6003
Location: US-ME
Tabornatives, that makes perfect sense to me. I only said "unsurpassed for their type," and the type doesn't appeal much to me, either. The catalog itself describes their characteristics, which would also be evident from the length/light line combinations. The Scotts would be an alternative--with a little more "all-around" feel in light line 'glass. The same could be said of them, though: unsurpassed for their type in today's glass, again basically because of the technical limits of the material. I thought maybe Aurelio did some spring creek angling of the type these rods were intended for, but I guess not. I don't remember seeing Winstons on rod racks around the East in the '70s--well I don't remember a fly shop in Stowe back then, either--so I wonder if you're experience was with the later revival of the Stalker rods. Some of the posters on this discussion have good experience with both the originals and the later ones. http://fiberglassflyrodders.com/forum/reply/52622#reply-52622


Last edited by whrlpool on 09 Nov 2009, 13:43, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 14:03 • # 6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/06/07
Posts: 1355
Location: US-VT
whrlpool, you are correct, the rod I cast was the Gumby doll green version of the "Stalker". rich


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 15:01 • # 7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 1700
Location: US-NM
You guys are great,I didn't know about the green one.The one i saw is on eBay is a 8' 3 wt. and must be a fisher blank.I only fish small water and been using a winston 379 LT and a 7' steffen 2-3 glass rod ... aurelio


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 15:25 • # 8 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6270
Location: Holly Springs, NC
I haven't cast an original, but those who like light glass can't speak highly enough of them. On the other hand, the green blank Winston rods labeled Stalker earned almost universal scorn as complete noodles. Unfortunately, some eBay sellers attempt to pass off the green rods as the real thing. There was also a later line of Retro brown glass Winston Stalkers that was considered a much better replica.

The rod up for auction on eBay is a genuine, Fisher blank, Stalker. The seller is a cane rod builder who really knows good glass. You don't have to worry about the provenance on this one. But if it goes for big money, watch out that those photos and description don't start showing up again and again.

Tom


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 16:28 • # 9 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/05/09
Posts: 482
Location: liverpool NY
My Winston stalker 7ft 6in 3wt Came from the San Francisco shop. It was a wet noodle then and only a bit better now with a 1wt. I fished it today with an old sage quiet taper 1wt. The tip is too soft to tighten up on quick hitting brook trout.


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 17:09 • # 10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/12/06
Posts: 1157
Location: US-CA
The original Winston "Stalker" series was never meant to be a do all rod. T Morgan designed them to be light line, small fly, rods capable of handling larger fish on small tippets. I have a 7.5' 4wt which I would describe as on the slow side of medium action. It is a pleasure to cast with small drys, emergers, unweighted nymphs, and it ex cells when fishing soft hackles with no wind. I believe it to be a specialty rod for specific situations. The more modern versions(2 different models) produced by Winston do not measure up to the original, and as I've said the original is a rod that will take some getting used too. I still think of them as great fishing rods, just that you have to come with a different mind set in order to appreciate what they are. They aren't for everyone, and especially hard for light line graphite aficionados to wrap their head around. Respectfully rvreclus


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2009, 17:41 • # 11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 2010
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Yep, that eBay rod must definitely be a real dog so everybody be sure not to bid on it. ..Image


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 01:47 • # 12 
Guide
Joined: 06/25/05
Posts: 233
Location: Albany, NY
Damn, I hope one of the guys from the Forum gets that rod - really, really nice - and maybe we can meet up some time and I'd get to cast it! Duff, you listening?
Regards, Steve


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 16:46 • # 13 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6270
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Wow! I figured the rod would sell for a nice price, but $1,112? That's impressive, even for an original Stalker.

Steve, I hope one of us got it. Unfortunately, I know it wasn't me. Like I said, watch out for bogus Stalker auctions that recycle that description and the photos.

Tom


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 17:34 • # 14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 2010
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Steve, wish I could say I won it, but I bowed out when it really took off today. It would have been a neat rod for very special conditions.


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 06:22 • # 15 
Guide
Joined: 06/25/05
Posts: 233
Location: Albany, NY
As Tom said: "Wow"!


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 07:57 • # 16 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/29/11
Posts: 462
Location: US-CA
Great price for the seller! For those who wanted it, but didn't get it, there may be good news. Though that rod is a scarce collector's item, it's a very slow, difficult to cast (impossible in wind) rod with very limited uses. Tom Morgan's new glass 3 wts. (still yet to hit the market) are, in my opinion, much improved - still smooth and easygoing, but with more butt strength, zip and ability to deal with moderate wind. Very sweet rods and much more practical, though mainly available as blanks. Still, for not much more than that eBay original Stalker you would even be able to buy it in finished form from Tom. At that price ($1,300+) there won't be many of them sold, so it will probably become a collector's item too.


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 14:13 • # 17 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/03/06
Posts: 575
Location: US-VA
Yes, very special for certain conditions - for many of us, though, those special conditions are more and more the norm - small waters, selective fish, and small flies. (I'll add, for many of us, smaller fish, also). Beautifully crafted (with a nice tradition to boot), copied in their time immensely. If you fish smaller waters - might be a nice way to fly - first class. I enjoy (immensely) a very similar clone from that era.
No, no winner here, congrats to the winner as he/she will/ and do value it. Enjoy..


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 16:24 • # 18 
Sport
Joined: 06/04/06
Posts: 45
I, too, am very fortunate to have an 8' , 3 weight original Winston Stalker - absolutely perfect for fishing a BWO hatch on local spring creeks. Very special rod. Congrats to the winner of the recent auction!


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 16:40 • # 19 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/03/06
Posts: 575
Location: US-VA
Probably off the thread, (but maybe not) fiberglass classics are heating up. At last week's Langs auction ( a big deal for years now), the only item that I heard of that happened to go for more than three times the "high estimate" was a glass rod - a Peak. Now that either says that the estimate was too low ( some appraisers still do miss the value of fiberglass, imo) or that peak glass is really wanted out there. BTW, all of the glass rods easily exceeded the "high estimates."


Last edited by nativebrownie on 11 Nov 2009, 17:30, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 18:34 • # 20 
New Member
Joined: 11/10/09
Posts: 2
My first day (evening) on the forum but I have to jump in here.

In 1977, if I recall correctly, I built an 8 1/2 6wt. stalker kit rod. I couldn't afford the new graphite rods back then. In my ignorance of the rod's limitations I caught trout with it in Wis., Michigan, and Montana plus some Great Lakes steelhead. I could cast the whole length of the line when my timing was right, hardly a noodle.

Then I started my graphite collection and finally picked up a few cane rods. The Winston Stalker languished in the closet. After fishing Granger and Phillipson cane rods the last couple years I dug the Stalker out for a comparison. To me the Stalker felt quite similar to those cane rods and my Winston 9' 5 wt. green graphite all great smooth moderate action rods (by today's standard) that can deliver in a breeze yet protect light tippets. Though the length is different, it feels a lot like my 7.25 foot Russ Peak glass rod.

Tom lives here. It's been my privilege to meet him a few times. What a gentleman! And what a couragious talent. A friend was trying to talk Tom into a rabbit hunt at dinner years ago and I remember Tom replying "I'm not mad at rabbits."

So I agree with Duff!


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 19:14 • # 21 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6270
Location: Holly Springs, NC
BigSkyDave,

Welcome to the Fiberglass Flyrodders! It sounds like you have some great tales of fishing with fiberglass that you could tell. And stories of fishing with cane too. You should fit in just fine here and at Clark's Classic Fly Rod Forum. I hope you like it!

Tom


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2009, 01:32 • # 22 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 6003
Location: US-ME
BigSky, great post on your Winston. Given the all-around use of that rod (I have a very similar 8'6" built from a Fisher blank) is it possible it's from Winston's standard trout series, as opposed to the Stalkers? I didn't go back to the catalog in "rod papers" to check, but it sounds like one of the standard rods sold in kit form. No matter, it's still a great rod. The catalog is right from the time when you got that kit.


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2009, 11:19 • # 23 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/29/11
Posts: 462
Location: US-CA
The Stalkers were 3 and 4 wt. rods designed by Tom Morgan to be extra light. A 6 wt. was one of the regular Trout models that had been designed by Doug Merrick and the 8 1/2' was an especially good one. Stalkers and the Trout rods were VERY different rods with different action for different fishing purposes, designed by different makers at different times. The Winston catalogs of that time reflected the differences in action, calling the Trout rods medium or medium fast and the Stalkers generally slow, and the 8' 3 wt. was the slowest of all. Not saying you couldn't like both, but liking a Trout model rod certainly didn't necessarily mean you'd also like the much slower Stalkers. At one time I had both, but now just the 8 1/2' 6 wt. Bad for me if I were just a collector, but better for me as an angler.


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2009, 11:53 • # 24 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/15/06
Posts: 729
Location: Fayetteville, NC
I had three of the original Winston glass rods in the 70's--one (a 7' 4wt Stalker) was my main rod well into the 90's. Sadly, I was convinced to sell a superb 7'6" 5wt Trout to fund a new Superfine 8' graphite. The other Trout, a 7'6" 6wt, was destroyed in a Navy move. The Stalker eventually went to that special little trout stream in the sky, victim to my clumsy casting and overhead trees, long after Winston had discontinued glass. If I'd hung on to the butt and mid long enough, I might have been able to find another tip, but glass appeared to be dead and gone at the time, and hindsight is 20/20. I believe I've finally found a worthy replacement to that little gem, a 7'3" 4wt McFarland that is far more versatile than you'd imagine, for a short, light, slow rod.
-CC


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 Post subject: Winston stalker series
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2009, 12:52 • # 25 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 6003
Location: US-ME
Bingo. That's my catalog posting that includes those two distinct types. I don't know if Fisher ever independently marketed Stalker-like rods, but several of their basic blanks were very much like the trout series, including my 8 1/2.' Fisher offered two 8 1/2' models about that time, one with a little more butt diameter designated 6/7, the other designated 6. I guess today, the specialized Stalkers are better remembered, and thus sometimes any Winston trout rod is referred to as a Stalker, although Winston made the distinction clear. Cross creek, a man who served in the Navy certainly earned his Stalkers; it's too bad that one went awy, but thankfully you have a worthy replacement. Hindsight is 20 20 all right. I guess my budget didn't permit it, but I wish I'd had the foresight to get at least one Stalker or kit, and a couple more of the regular trout series, at least in the similar Fisher versions, say 8' for 5 and for 6.


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