Winston's 90th Anniversary Legacy Rods

May 22, 2019 5 min read

A couple weeks ago a new customer of ours who just moved to the valley brought in his trout rod for some repair. One of the guides was a bit smashed and the reel seat cap was starting to loosen from the butt section. I told him we’d handle it and he went on his way.

The rod was stored in an older aluminum hard tube with a older looking Winston sticker on the side. After the customer was gone I pulled the rod from the tube, pieced it together and gave it a wiggle. The cork had minimal wear and there were no visible marks throughout the blank. In all my years working in this sport, I’ve rarely found a fly rod with a more enticing action than this 1980s Winston.

The rod was an unnamed 8'6" 5wt with a flex pattern that was intuitive and smooth as butter. This was one of those rare rods that come into the shop that is just jaw dropping. I sent an image of the rod to our Winston Sales Rep Eric Neufeld and a few minutes later he was on the phone filling me in on the history of this particular model. This 8'6" 5wt model helped define Winston's legacy as a builder of premium medium fast trout rods and has amassed a cult following among lovers of that traditional Winston feel. Throughout the years, it went on to become the rod or choice for legendary caster Joan Wulff because of its super smooth casting performance, balance, and incredible accuracy. 

The reason why I mention this story now is that you all have a unique opportunity to purchase a rod similar to the one I’m talking about here. Winston is having a 90th year anniversary sales event where you can purchase limited edition models from their storied legacy in building trout rods. And funny enough, a rebuild of the classic 8’6” 5wt that we had here in the shop is available in their offering, among others. 

This is a very rare opportunity to get in on a piece of fly fishing history and treat yourself (or someone you’re extremely fond of) to a truly exceptional addition to your trout fishing quiver. Winston will be building each of these rods to order. We are happy to order you the trout rod of your dreams. We will be accepting orders until June 29th 2019, so please reach out to us as soon as possible at of by phone at (541) 488-6454 if you’re interested in hearing more information.

Below is information directly from Winston about the specific models offered. 

Presenting Winston's 90th Anniversary Legacy Rods
2019 marks R.L. Winston Rod Company’s 90th Anniversary of building the world’s finest fly rods. To commemorate this event, Winston is very proud to re-introduce a series of special edition Legacy Rods, which includes four of our most revered models. Each Legacy Rod demonstrates our tradition of innovation and the famous “Winston Feel,” which have brought anglers back for their next Winston time after time.
The rods are hand-inscribed as special edition models and feature original specifications - including ferrule style, material and action. Our historic Winston Trophy label and unique uplocking nickel silver reel seat complete the definitive look.
BORON IIt 8’6” 4wt.
ACTION: Medium
SECTIONS: 4-piece,
FERRULES: Sleeve Over
MATERIAL: Boron/Graphite
REEL SEAT: Nickel Silver w/ figured Maple insert
APPLICATION: Technical Dry Fly
SERIES YEARS: 2007- 2013
MSRP: $800
The Staff of Moses
The Boron IIt, the first Winston to incorporate higher modulus graphite with a light application of Boron composite into Winston’s celebrated light line trout tapers, achieved a celebrated, even biblical reputation among dry fly enthusiasts.
The most distinguished rod in the Boron IIt series was the famous 8’6” 4 weight. The rod was so highly regarded, that it was dubbed “The Staff of Moses”. To its fans, The Staff of Moses, displayed an uncanny ability to present the smallest of flies, on the lightest of tippet, and land surprisingly large trout.
The Boron IIt series set the stage for utilizing modern materials in classic, moderate, and progressive rod actions. The Staff of Moses is the epitome of this series and the definition of Winston innovation.
DL4 7’6” 3wt. 
ACTION: Medium-Slow
SECTIONS: 4-piece
FERRULES: Spigot Ferrule
MATERIAL: Graphite
REEL SEAT: Nickel Silver w/ figured Maple insert
APPLICATION: Small Stream Presentation
SERIES YEARS: 2002 – 2004
MSRP: $850 
The Graphite Rod with a Fiberglass Soul
The DL4 series was the first and only 4-piece Winston rod series with internal spigot ferrules. More progressive than the highly touted 3-piece IM6 models, the series gained a distinct reputation as the graphite rod with a fiberglass soul. 
The 7’6” 3 weight was one of the most popular small water rods Winston ever developed, able to load a standard 3-weight double taper lines in as little as 10 feet. From size 30 flies to the lightest of tippet, these small stream rods have been fished in thin blue lines barely discernible on topo maps the world over.  
Although the series ran for just 2 years, the DL4’s unique feel soon gained a cult following shortly after its discontinuation. Today, DL4 rods are highly sought after to round out a collector’s quiver of Winston rods.
WT 8'6" 5wt. 
ACTION: Medium-Fast
SECTIONS: 3-piece
FERRULES: Spigot Ferrule
MATERIAL: Graphite
REEL SEAT: Nickel Silver w/ figured Maple insert
APPLICATION: Versatile All Water Trout
SERIES YEARS: 2001 – 2011
MSRP: $900
Winston’s Most Popular 81/2’ 5-weight Rod
Since 1975, when Winston first began working with graphite material, the 5-weight rod has been a key rod for the company, as it is smooth enough for delicate dry fly presentations, yet powerful enough for wind, nymphing, and small streamers. The most popular of all the Winston WT 5-weight models was the 8’6” 5 weight.
This configuration was so balanced and smooth, that Joan Wulff chose this rod as her favorite. It’s delicate enough for the lightest of tippet, yet crisp and accurate to maintain line control at distances up to 60 feet. It’s light, lively, and fun to fish.
If someone had to own one trout rod, the WT 8’6” 5 weight would be tough to top. After all, who would disagree with Joan Wulff?
IM6 9’ 5wt.
ACTION: Medium
SECTIONS: 2-piece
FERRULES: Spigot Ferrule
MATERIAL: Graphite
REEL SEAT: Nickel Silver w/ figured Maple insert
APPLICATION: Versatile All Water Trout
SERIES YEARS: 1987 - 2009
MSRP: $700
The All Time Classic
We wish we had a nickel for every time a long-time customer said, “I love your new rods, I own a few of them – but I’ll never get rid of my two-piece IM6”. It is the classic graphite rod that introduced the famous “Winston Feel.”
The IM6 9’ 5wt. 2-piece exemplified Winston’s definitive, balanced action and demonstrated the company’s revolutionary ability to build a lighter weight rod with a faster recovery taper. This rod can do everything a trout rod needs to do – from casting smaller dry flies, to pounding the banks with streamers out of a drift boat, to nymphing with easy mends.

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