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McFarland Rods

Page history last edited by jgestar 14 years, 12 months ago
McFarland Rod Company

This marketing description was taken from the McFarland Rod Company website courtesy of Mike McFarland.  

"Since their introduction, our Spruce Creek Series glass rods have gained a cult-like following among serious fly fishers and a world wide reputation for superb performance and craftsmanship. These rods feature our soft progressive taper and are super-smooth casting. They offer absolute perfect presentations and utmost tippet protection. Spruce Creek rods are serious fishing instruments designed for the most technical situations."

"Spruce Creek rods combine our well designed tapers with traditional fiberglass and an enhanced resin system. The result is a combination of "old school" performance with enhanced line feel and smoothness compared to other glass rods from the past or present. Blanks are produced in-house and feature hand fitted internal spigot ferrules and a "tempered cane" color."

All rods are made to order by Mike from start to finish including cutting and ferruling the blank, wrapping and finishing, and inking the signature and serial number. This allows the customer to pick the exact length of the rod and other features:
  • Any rod length up to 8'9" including odd sizes, such as 7'10" or 8'2"
  • Line weights of 3 through 7
  • Any number of pieces up to 8
  • A variety of tapers including progressive, parabolic, semi-parabolic, and dry fly (tip flex)
  • White glass ferrules, amber glass ferrules, or nickel silver ferrules

Contact information, phone 814-742-8577, or email mike@mcfarlandrods.com


Spruce Creek Fly Rod Pricing, 2009


  • Stream Grade $395
  • Aluminum downlocking reelseat with cocobola wood insert
  • Or aluminum cap and ring seat with cork or wood insert
  • H&H ceramic or Perfection stripping guide
  • Cordura covered, clip top case with built in divided liners
  • Options:
    • dark anodized reel seat and dark snake guides +$25
    • rods over 3 piece +$25 per section

  • Classic $539
  • Up or downlocking nickel silver seat with cocobola insert (other woods available)
  • Can also select NS cap and ring seat with cork or wood insert
  • H&H or Perfection stripping guide
  • Green powder coated aluminum tube with McFarland logo
  • Handmade cloth bag
  • Options:
    • dark NS seat and dark guides N/C
    • agate stripping guide +$30
    • rods over 3 piece +$25 per section

  • Presentation Grade $675
  • Hand turned inserts of the finest burled and figured woods
  • Nickel silver reel seats available in up or downlock engraved with McFarland logo
  • My own design cap and ring seats in NS, brass, or bronze are also available
  • Hand selected agate stripping guide
  • Choice or wraps including trim wraps
  • Bronze tube with polished brass hardware engraved with McFarland logo
  • Handmade cloth rod bag
  • Options:
    • Blued reel seat using a classic solution for a nice deep blue (not black) finish +$25

  • Rod Blanks $185
  • rods over 3 piece +$25 per section


McFarland Reelseat Shot
Photo courtesy of Mike McFarland

McFarland fly rods have a reputation for being slow, deep flexing, and sweet to cast.  As you can see from the photo, Mike's rods are beautifully detailed and finished.  Here is a summary of of the 2009 line up of Spruce Creek fiberglass rods. These are Mike's descriptions taken from e-mails over the last year or so:


"For 2009 there will be three grades of rods. The Stream Grade will stay basically the same and be priced at $395. I really wanted to keep this rod under $400. The new grade is called the Classic. This will be a SWEET rod. The Classic will be almost equal to the current Presentation Grade rods, at a lesser price, and will allow me to get rods out on a more reliable schedule. The reel seat will be a high-end Struble or Bellinger with their wood inserts. The rod will come with an aluminum rod tube and a rod bag. This grade will be priced at $539.


The Presentation Grade rods are meant to be above and beyond anything else available in a glass or graphite rod. For 2009, the price will jump to $675. There is just so much work involved and expense in the brass cases, agate guides, etc. I actually thought about stopping production on the Presentation rods all together. However, I decided to continue to offer them as they are such special rods and they are what I really want to be a representation of my work as a rodmaker. For these rods I use engraved nickel silver reel seats with highly figured wood inserts that I turn myself. I spend a lot of time searching for unique and highly figured woods. I make the inserts by hand using a drill press, router table, and a small 1950's vintage Craftsman metal lathe. This method takes a loooooong time, but it allows me to use highly figured burled woods that you can't get elsewhere. These woods have become a trademark of my rods.  The Presentation Grade rods also have agate stripping guides made for me by Mike McCoy of Snake Brand. He uses brown-toned stones that are hand selected to match the rod blanks. Presentation rods also have the finest grade cork in the finished grips. They come with a bronze coated tube with a brass cap engraved with the McFarland logo. These rods are available with a variety of reel seats including uplocking, down locking, screw lock, or slide band in bright or blued NS."


"All rods are built with the same basic rod blanks using H&H or Perfection strippers and Snake Brand snake guides. Using the Snake Brand guides is a pretty major expense compared to lesser quality mass produced guides, but the difference in quality is well worth it. I turn all of my grips and every rod is hand signed and serial numbered. All rods come have a lifetime warranty."


References:    Written material and photo, courtesy of Mike McFarland.

By the way, Mike makes some pretty nice graphite rods too!

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 5:58 pm on Dec 15, 2007

I take my Spruce Creek Stream Grade 3 wt., 7'3" rod upriver where the cutthroat wait for me to toss them yellow sallies. Because I am a very average caster I notice when I am on target, when the line and fly go where I want them to go. When a fish is sipping, the fly placement has to be just so. Does the McFarland make me a better caster? I think it does. More accurately because it is such an attractive and well made fishing tool I rise to the occasion somehow. It seems I fish better with this rod than with my graphite 3 wt. rod. I suppose it is akin to leaving the station wagon in the car and taking the sports car out for a spin. The Spruce Creek is teaching me to be a better caster. How many rods can do that?

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