Custom graphite and fiberglass fly rods


I have built fly rods, off and on, for 50 years and fished them in the tumbling freestone streams of western New England.  Woronoco, an Algonquian Indian word meaning "The place of many windings" is the location where I have chosen to create beautiful, functional and affordable fly rods.  It is a place where the Westfield River cuts through the Berkshire Hills and meanders on its way to join the Connecticut River on its way to the sea.  I live only a few minutes from some excellent trout fishing water.

My rod building is a reflection of my experiences fishing the small and mid-sized streams and ponds of western New England.  Even today I much prefer fiberglass fly rods because they require the relaxed casting stroke of bamboo without the fragility and the cost.  I also enjoy graphite rods even though they require a more frenetic casting stroke.  Graphite makes me a better long caster and I would not be without it in heavier weights for saltwater, Atlantic Salmon and wild wind and water conditions.

Even though it is a passion, rod building is still a recreation for me.  I had a day job completely unrelated to the fishing tackle industry.  Now I am semi-retired and I have returned to spend more time with my passion.  To my thinking, custom-crafted fishing rods can be tools, but also artistic expressions of the builder's and the owner's psyche.  Fly rods do not have to be made on the most expensive or the most popular rod blank to achieve that goal.




New for 2018

Since I wrote the above introduction, 12 years ago, much has changed.  I have retired from my day job, but continue to indulge my rod building passion, and I still continue to build fly rods on blanks that give high value and performance, but don’t break the bank.


  • This year, my fiberglass rod offerings feature the American made honey Lamiglas series.  These are slow action, classic fiberglass rods that are well suited to small and medium streams fishing with dries, wets, and nymphs.  The Lamiglas factory is once again offering well-made blanks at a fair price, and the 7’0” #3, and 7’6” #4 are classics.  They are made in the USA, and you cannot buy them factory made (please see my fiberglass rods section for more information).   


  • I also offer another fine e-glass series in my Jenkins PLG new old stock rods.  These two piece rods that cast as smooth as silk using a 4, or 5 weight line.  They are very accurate, and the PLG’s performance rivals some of the higher priced e-glass available today.  Just because they are discontinued does not make them any less the great performers they have always been (please see my fiberglass rods section for more information on these). 


  • My inexpensive Asian e-glass “Klassic” offerings are finely tuned rods in clear, or melon orange.  These blanks are imported from China by Angler’s Roost Enterprises, and I am once again offering these rods at $185, a true bargain for all the care I put into them.


  • I also have two s-glass rod lines.  The first is Livingston Rod Company’s Western Glass in 8’6,” and 8’9” lengths and #5 and #6 line weights.  Despite the “Western” appellation, these are great for bigger water anywhere.  With Western Glass you can fish indicator rigs, streamers, and big searching pattern dry flies.  I am also told they are excellent for drift boat fishing too (please see my fiberglass rods section for more information).     


  • For new old stock, I am offering a small series of three Cortland Diamondback II rods.  These are the dark blue S-22 glass blanks introduced by Cortland in 2011.  They are 3 piece, sweet-casting rods that combine the original blanks with modern 2018 fittings. I am offering three builds:


        7’6” 3 weight, 3 piece – on-hand $325 (see my listing in rods on-hand)

        8’0” 4 weight, 3 piece – on-hand $325 (see my listing in rods on-hand) 

        8’6” 4 weight, 3 piece – on-hand $325 (see my listing in rods on-hand)


Also, please see my fiberglass rods section for more information on my Diamondback II offerings.


  • I especially appreciate my many USA, and world-wide clients and friends who have encouraged me and challenged me to build some really fine fishing rods.  Contact me if you need a specific build, or if you have a blank that needs to be built out. If you are having trouble with a reel seat and/or grip replacement, contact me.  If ferrules, or spigots are mis-behaving, or you need a new guide, contact me (please see some of my services offered under other).            


Despite the changing times, some things remain true: I continue to offer custom crafted fishing rods on blanks that perform to the highest standards, and I guaranty my work.  I am not satisfied until you are satisfied.  --John Pretola