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Post 05 Dec 2022, 13:30 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 490
Location: Montana
Hello Folks,

Some of you may know that my twin brother, Doug, and I started a new fly rod company several years ago - Montana Brothers Rodworks. However, I thought I might take a few moments to introduce ourselves as our wait list is coming down and is currently about 6 months. I was a bit reluctant to post about it as I was worried about getting a bit overwhelmed. This is a fun side project for us, and we don’t plan on quitting our day jobs. We build a little less than 100 rods per year. Our first year of production was for our friends, and we opened up general sales in early 2022.

Our primary interest is in softer action graphite fly rods. We have been greatly influenced by the rod designs of the late Paul Brown. There is a thread about Paul’s rods here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13930

We initially started off with the goal to have something like Paul’s rods in case we broke our Paul Brown rods. After a while, we thought we might be able to improve on them. Ten years later, we ended up with two very nice 4 weight rods: one that was inspired by Paul’s soft rods and a more moderate actioned rod similar to the graphite rods of yesteryear. 3 and 5 weights are in still in development. We have had a great deal of help from our fishing friends with the designs.

Although we are a production rod company, the customer does have the option to pick the reel seat insert from over 200 pieces of different types of woods. A few other options are available as well.

If you wish to check out our website, it is listed below in my signature.

We have had a few things in the press over the last year, and I thought I might share it as well. It might help with any questions you might have.



Reviews
https://www.hatchmag.com/articles/revie ... ds/7715517

https://www.anglingtrade.com/2022/05/17 ... -rodworks/

https://www.hatchmag.com/articles/gear- ... 21/7715394

John Juracek blog posts
https://www.johnjuracek.com/2022/05/mon ... -rodworks/

https://www.johnjuracek.com/some-rods-i-use/

Our email address is listed on the website, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

Thanks,
Dan


Last edited by ffftroutbum on 08 Dec 2022, 21:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 05 Dec 2022, 16:52 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 880
Location: US-MI
All the best in your new venture. Enjoyed the read as well.


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Post 05 Dec 2022, 22:22 • #3 
Guide
Joined: 07/21/21
Posts: 336
Location: Florida
I think this is really cool that you guys, “West Yellowstone/Island Park boys” through and through have taken on the labor of love of memorializing Paul Brown and his divisive (some love them some hate them) old World Class Fenwicks. Graphite rods that have glass actions … Keep up the great work.


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Post 06 Dec 2022, 11:54 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 2724
Location: US-NM
I am a fan of the hmg series are they slower? and good luck........Aurelio


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Post 06 Dec 2022, 12:09 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 02/26/18
Posts: 34
I have been privileged to try a number of the Montana Brothers' rods during the development process and can say that the present softer and moderate rods mentioned are superb. And that compliment comes from a cane rod maker!

Tim


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Post 06 Dec 2022, 13:24 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1559
Location: The Netherlands
I'm a fan of the 9ft #4 format. Got the G. Loomis 490-4 IMX (my favourite), Sage 490-4 LL, Sage 490-4 Z-Axis (a #4.5) and now the MBR 904L. Also had a mint Sage 490-4 RPL for a long time but sold it as I think it's more of a #5 rod (too strong a action for me).

Love the finish. Hope to fish it on the Henry's Fork with the brothers soon. Only the 3 piece is giving me a bit of a head ache as it doesn't fit in my luggage... :o


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Post 06 Dec 2022, 13:55 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 09/08/17
Posts: 96
Location: Fort Collins, CO
I have posted my thoughts on the MBR Rods in earlier threads, yet IMHO it bears repeating. "...if you get the chance please try the Montana Brothers Rodworks 904L, which over the past many months has continually cemented my first impressions: This is the finest fly rod that I have cast and fished. A 9 foot 4 weight rod is what I usually end up fishing here in Northern Colorado, and this most enjoyable graphite MBR 904L handles my needs perfectly. The 904L is positive yet delicate, with a slow action that is ever so smooth. I am a tad biased towards this MBR Rod because it has the pedigree of, yet clearly surpasses, the wonderful Paul Brown rods from the early 1980s. Paul was the finest fly caster that I have run across, and he was an invaluable Instructor for me during the late 1970s early 1980s when I was the Director of Fenwick’s Montana Fly Fishing Schools. And full disclosure for this post, while I had the pleasure of participating in the field testing during development of the 904L and 904 I have no financial interest in MBR. I paid the full retail price for my 904L, and I have already ordered and paid for MBR’s upcoming 903L.".

Good Luck Dan and Doug, Bob


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Post 07 Dec 2022, 00:55 • #8 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 490
Location: Montana
Gents, thanks for the kind words. It is appreciated. Grouse, glad you enjoyed reading that stuff.

Cy, I think Paul would be pretty proud :).

Tim, thanks for the kind works. That means a lot coming from one of the best bamboo rod builders I have meet. You are very kind.

Aurelio, I think it might depend on the model of HMG you might be referencing. They made a 6’4” 4 weight that was a neat little rod with a softer butt. But generally speaking, I would say that our 904 is softer than the HMGs that I have seen. The L is much softer than our regular 904.

Jay, I know the 3 piece gets in your crawl a bit, but we did not want to compromise the action for another ferrule. When we first started, we were going with a 2 piece but we thought well if we were going to try to sell a few, who the heck would want a 2 piece rod. We went with the 3 piece, and it was a challenge with that extra ferrule especially since they are softer rods. We did some special things to get a smooth transition around the ferrule areas, but it added about 25% to the cost of the blank. But I don’t think your should have any trouble with carrying on a 3 piece rod. I would suggest never packing it in your luggage as the insurance reimbursements from the airlines is pretty low if it’s stolen or lost by them. Doug carried on 12 rods when he went to the Bahamas this year. I thought it was excessive, but that’s Doug. I have no issues either in my travels.

Bob, you are too gracious, and we have appreciated your help in the process. We could have not done it without you.


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Post 07 Dec 2022, 09:57 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/18/12
Posts: 1682
Location: Bozeman, MT
Wow! I had no idea. Best of luck to you both. Now, let us know when you make a rod shorter than 8' and 3wt. :)


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Post 07 Dec 2022, 12:07 • #10 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 490
Location: Montana
Thanks Mark. At this point, we are not planning on doing any rods shorter than 9 feet. We are only planning on adding the 9 foot 3 and 5 weights to the lineup. We also want to an 8 weight.


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Post 08 Dec 2022, 17:51 • #11 
Guide
Joined: 07/21/21
Posts: 336
Location: Florida
Checked out your website Dan and the rods look amazing. Does anybody though have pictures of the original Paul Brown World Class Rods by any chance?


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Post 08 Dec 2022, 20:06 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 490
Location: Montana
Cy, I only have one crappy photo of the grip of my first PB on my phone. Although hard to tell but it has varnished reel seat. Paul liked this style of grip and seat combo. The island park boys called this the Paul Brown style of grip :). I will add some more and better photos to the Fenwick info needed thread above this weekend when I get some more time.


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Post 08 Dec 2022, 20:37 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 2724
Location: US-NM
Beautiful rods and if I go to Idaho next year I will give you a heads up cause I go through Bozeman and would like to try both........Aurelio


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Post 12 Dec 2022, 22:03 • #14 
Sport
Joined: 09/08/17
Posts: 96
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Aurelio, if you will end up in Northern Colorado before Bozeman send me a note and we can go out and cast and/or fish my MBR 904L. Best, Bob


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Post 13 Dec 2022, 08:11 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 2724
Location: US-NM
Bob I don’t fish north CO.but if you fish southern CO. I could meet up with you ...........Aurelio


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Post 17 Dec 2022, 22:12 • #16 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 784
Location: RenoNV/FranklinWV
I received a 904L from MBR this fall, just a lovely rod to cast and fish with, it's all business with no fluff but actually a real beauty in hand and on the water. To me it's what graphite rods should be. Dan and Doug are a pleasure to do business with too.


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Post 18 Dec 2022, 15:48 • #17 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1559
Location: The Netherlands
My worries about traveling with the MBR rod is over as of today.

Back in the mid 1990's Scott fly rod company used to sell a travel duffel with a built in rod compartment. I have been looking for this duffel for the best part of the past 15 years. I looked up the 1996 catalog again and saw that there were two versions of the duffel: one for 4 piece rods and one for 3 piece rods. Everyone probably remembers that the Sage SP series were three piece (I had one too, way too stiff by the way) and more companies followed this configuration.




This weekend by accident & luck I ran into a mint Scott travel duffel here in The Netherlands that is the 3 piece version!




By the way, I used to own a similar duffel made by Abel when Steve Abel was still the owner. It had two extra heavy duty ABS tubes underneath and it was heavy as an elephant, like 15 lbs empty! I sold it after I sold my Sage SP :lol


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Post 18 Dec 2022, 21:16 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3879
Location: USA - Illinois
Jay, looks like a very well built awesome travel bag - use it well Sir!


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Post 18 Dec 2022, 23:01 • #19 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 01/26/07
Posts: 1360
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
I remembered the previous thread on the Paul Brown rods mentioned above. I went to visit my friend Charlie today and told him about the new MBR rods. He was somewhat intrigued about the design. I reminded him that we had cast his World Class 903 a few times. He didn't remember having the rod, but had stated several times over the years that he was a real fan of the old World Class rods. I went to his rod stash and poked around for a while, coming back with the 903. We put a small Lamson reel on it lined with what he thought was 3 weight line, and went out into the cold to try it out. It is much as how the article in Hatch magazine described the MBR 904, a slow action rod exquisitely suited for casting in the 15' to 50' range. I would like to cast the MBR 904 to see how the action has evolved.

Larry

Larry


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Post 19 Dec 2022, 06:14 • #20 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1559
Location: The Netherlands
I'm also really curious about the regular 904. John Juracek seems to prefer this above the 904L

Thanks John. Having a great rod but not able to take it along to, say the HF for what the rod was made for (?), just feels stupid. I have several two piece bamboo and fiberglass (like the Winston Stalker) rods and they will never (...) come with me when I travel by air. That makes me sad if I think about it...


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Post 19 Dec 2022, 10:42 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/18/12
Posts: 1682
Location: Bozeman, MT
Well Jay, now that you have the correct luggage is Mt. in your future? :)


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Post 19 Dec 2022, 15:49 • #22 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1559
Location: The Netherlands
Quote:
Well Jay, now that you have the correct luggage is Mt. in your future? :)
It sure gives me comfort I don't have to worry whether the rod(s) I want to bring along doesn't get crushed while the airliners are handling the luggage!


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Post 19 Dec 2022, 17:47 • #23 
Guide
Joined: 07/21/21
Posts: 336
Location: Florida
904L or bust for me, but his whole Paul Brown, Fenwick Fly Fishing School and the Hells Angels of fly fishing aka the West Yellowstone/Island Park boys go back to a halcyon era in American fly fishing and is such a cool story to read up on. Somebody needs to write a book on Paul Brown and devote a chapter to this story.


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Post 19 Dec 2022, 20:18 • #24 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 490
Location: Montana
Rsage, thanks for the kind words. It is appreciated.

Jay, that is a heck of nice bag! I think if I was not worried about checking my rods, I would certainly like to have one of those bags. Enjoy it!

Canoeman, I would say that the 904L is closer to the old Paul Brown rods. Please keep in mind that many of my friends and myself included would over line them. So if you could imagine that WC 903 with a 4 on it, the 904L has a stiffer tip that is easier to control and has slightly better range. But, once you start stiffing the tip,, the rest rod has to be stiffened to support it. So, the 904L is somewhat stiffer than the WC 903.

The regular 904 is more of a moderate actioned rod. If I were pressed, I would say it is on the faster side of medium. It is also more or what is commonly called progressive than the L. It a more versatile rod, has more range, and is better in the wind than the L. The L is more of a specialized spring creek type of rod, but it can do some lightweight nymphing if needed. John does prefer the regular 904, while Doug and I prefer the 904L. We fish the Henry’s Fork quite a bit so that does sway our preferences. However, if it is windy I will probably be reaching for the regular 904. But in short. Doug and I would rather sacrifice distance, while John would rather sacrifice a bit of the up close stuff for slightly more range. It is just a preference in style. I hope that answers your question.

Cy, yea it is an interesting group of guys and gals to be sure. We have been lucky to have known them and learned from them. Paul only wrote one small article for Fly Fisherman that I know of. The irony is that Paul could write and was an English teacher in West Yellowstone at one time. It seems with some elite anglers that they would rather fish than write. Paul was probably one of the best, if not the best angler, to ever fish the Ranch.

The only things I could think of is that John McDaniel wrote a short chapter on Dave Shultz in his book on the Ranch or reading some of the Juracek/Mathews books. Fishing Yellowstone Hatches is one of my favorite all time books. While it focuses on the hatches, there is quite a bit on fishing strategy. Someone else may have some more suggestions.


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Post 23 Dec 2022, 12:24 • #25 
Sport
Joined: 09/21/13
Posts: 56
Location: US-VT
Is the MBR action progressive or ? Could anyone compare these MBR bend forms to the original Scott G 904, Dennis Franke’s long #2s and #3s, or any of the ultra limber cane rods from Bjarne Fries, e.g. the Noodle, melodic or long Connaisseurs? Thx!


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