Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Introducing The Livingston Rod Company

I am excited to start off the new year with the addition of yet another top shelf builder to the Fiberglass Fly Rod Shops page with the unveiling of Dusty Smith's website for the Livingston Rod Company.

The road to the launch of this website has been a long one and Dusty and I have been talking back and forth for a few years now about what his goals and ambitions for his rod shop were.  During that time he's worked to hone his skills as a builder and rod designer in both fiberglass and graphite with an emphasis in creating fly rods that are perfectly suited for western waters.


The landing page of the website was turned on this week and Dusty made an announcement on the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum which should catch everyone up to speed with what he's working on and will soon be offering through his shop.  Dusty wrote...

Friends, fellow rod builders, and fisherman of fiberglass fly rods,

I am thrilled and privileged to announce my new company, the Livingston Rod Company. After a couple years of designing and building rods for the Bozeman Rod Company I decided it was time for my own venture. Fiberglass will continue to be a cornerstone of my new company and I am grateful to the members this board for inspiration. Since joining in 09 I been able to exchange a wealth of information with and be inspired by a great number of you.

Some of you already know of my new venture, however I wanted to make my first larger announcement to this board. I have been working diligently to launch my new company which includes a new website (being built), a significant inventory of blanks has been ordered (confirmed for mid January delivery, see post below for current inventory list), and plan to make the larger press announcements late winter/early spring. I also will be participating in Cameron's giveaways next month with an 8'6" 5wt 3pc rod.

Western Glass: 

I set out to design a line of fly rods suited to the streams of Western Montana and Yellowstone Park and I feel this is exactly what we have achieved, a fiberglass rod with a distinct Western feel. They are unsanded, unidirectional Sglass creating a smooth, responsive rod, which is enjoyable to fish. I have fished every single one of these rods extensively since last winter in Montana, Yellowstone Park, Pennsylvania, and the Catskills and have been very happy with the casting and feel of these rods. Please see below for the description of the individual models, what they were designed for and some exciting new offerings to the members of the board.

8’6” 3wt: Soda Butte Creek flows through a wide open meadow and is filled with 8-13" Cutts with occasional 16-20" fish. I felt that this was perfect water for an 8'6" 3wt. This rod got workouts on lots of Cuttie Streams and the Bighorn River (during an epic midge hatch). It performed wonderfully landing 14-18” browns and rainbows and Cutts up to 18”.

8'6" 4wt: I love to fish the Firehole starting Memorial day weekend through late June. The mix of baetis, pmd's, and caddis is a godsend when many of our waters are blown out due to run off. An 8'6" 4wt is perfect for these fishing conditions as well as many of the spring creeks around here, and let us not forget the great Trico hatches of the Missouri River and the Bitteroot. This rod has been fished extensively on the Firehole, Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, and the Catskills waters. It is a wonderful dry fly rod.

8’6” 5wt: When I started thinking about this series of rods (quite some years ago) I thought specifically to many of the rivers/streams I fish and how I like to fish them, whether wading a stream or fishing from a drift boat. For example, I love Yellowstone National Park especially the Lamar River and Slough Creek where Cutties eat a steady diet of Green Drakes, Stoneflies, and my favorite... grasshoppers and thought that an 8'6" 5wt glass rod would be perfect to handle the size 8 dries and attractor patterns I fish there. Being a grasshopper addict I have fished this rod the most during the summer and the rod performed wonderfully while casting pmd’s, green/gray drakes, hoppers, ants, beatles, and our late summer sulphur hatch. I landed Cutts and Cuttbows up to 21” on this rod.

8’6” 6wt: The Spring and fall out west is a lot of fun. In a day of fishing you can throw indicator rigs, streamers, and dry flies. I felt that a 8'6" 6wt would be perfect on a day when you are walking miles of stream and only want to carry one rod. Think the Ruby, Beaverhead, Blackfoot, Three Dollar/Slide area of the Madison, and Gallatin Rivers....the list goes on. This year I have used this rod to throw streamers, cast size 20 baetis, and its latest workout nymphing up browns and bows up to 23” on the Madison in YNP.

8’9” 7wt: I live, fish, and have guided on the Yellowstone River. It's one of the great Brown Trout Fisheries of the Rocky Mountain West and if you want to catch some of it's larger Brownies you have to commit to throwing large and often articulated streamers with Sink Tip lines. I felt streamer fisherman needed a rod with the feel and durability that only glass can provide.
I grew up between Cleveland and Akron and have fished the Great Lakes Steelhead runs many times. This rod is perfect for that as well, and I have fished it heavily on the Grand River and Elk Creek landing big fish with ease! A guide out of the Catskills and NY tribs fished this rod extensively last spring and loved how it fought lake run steelhead up to 15lbs.

New Offerings for FFR: Starting in late spring I started getting some inquiries from some local shops and guides about longer 4pc rods that would be easy to travel with and cast from a drift boat. I decided to add a couple more models to the Western Glass lineup. This includes an 8’9” 4wt, 8’9” 5wt, and 8’9” 6wt. For the time being I will not be listing these on my website and intend to offer these mostly to board members and some of my wholesale accounts. They are great big water fly rods and can easily replace your 9’ graphite rods. These will be more limited quantities than the 3pc offerings.

Rods are finished with the finest components available, Lemke and Snake Brand Reel Seats/Woods, Snake Brand Universal Guides, Flor Grade Grips (Streamer model will have a Full Wells, all Metal Seat, and Fighting Butt) and will come with a Rod Tube w/logo and bag. Rods come in 2 colors Dark Brown or Translucent Clear/White, although some different colors might be offered on a limited basis. 8'6" models are 3pc. 8’9” models are 4pc.

Rod prices are $600 for 3pc, $650 for 4pc. Please PM me for questions regarding additional options such as thread wrap colors, agate stripping guides, etc…

Blank Prices are $240 for 3pc and $265 for 4pc.

I am very anxious to start building these rods and will start announcing availability of these rods after the holidays. I will be home in the Cleveland area for the next 2 weeks.

I would also like to thank a handful of you for advise and support over the formation of this company. James Green for teaching me much on rod design, fellow rod builders Chris Barclay, Bill Hickey, and Shane Gray for listening to my ramblings and giving me tons of advice and feedback, Tom of 406 fly lines, and Tom Morgan for the inspiration of how to build and run a rod company. A lot of thanks to Cameron for support and encouragement (as well as everything else he does for our little corner of fly fishing) and H&H Outfitters for the design of my logo and production of my apparel.

Thanks to everyone waiting on these blanks and rods. They will be here shortly!

Dusty Smith
Livingston Rod Co.


In the coming weeks Dusty Smith will be sharing more news and hopefully giving us a glimpse behind the curtains once his shipment of blanks arrive and the real work begins.

1 comment:

mick warren said...

Welcome Dusty may you have every success with your rods cheers Mick