Fifteen years ago when I started to mess around with fiberglass fly rods, Steffen Brothers Fly Rods was one of just a handful of custom rod builders that I was aware of and Mark Steffen was in an even smaller group of makers who were rolling their own blanks. He's long had a reputation for making some of the straightest and most consistently perfect graphite and fiberglass blanks being made.
During my routine check-ins with different rod builders over the years, I'd give Mark Steffen a call to see how things are going? He's always been fun to talk with and he's been hinting for awhile that he was getting ready to hang it up. He's rolled blanks and built fly rods for more than forty years and he and his brother, Tim, have been slowing down on taking new orders with some uncertainty on what was next.
I've brought up the idea of him taking on an apprentice or teaching someone the "Steffen Way" in the past but he'd usually blow that off with a chuckle saying that he really didn't know that much and when he was done, he'd likely just shut the door to the shop.
That didn't seem like the right way for the Steffen Brothers story to end and I am excited to share that Graywolf Rods has acquired the rod company and Shane's working on what he needs to do to begin rolling blanks soon in Michigan instead of Arizona.
Shane emailed me this morning and I've cut and pasted his words below to share his news.