Review: Montana Casting Co. Fly Rod

The last few years have seen a surge in the popularity of fly fishing, as well as an increased demand for more advanced gear. For fly-rod manufacturers, the challenge is finding balance: how do you honor the rich heritage, values, and history of the sport, while continuing to advance? Scott Joyner, co-founder of Montana Casting Company, has been crafting at that confluence of technology and tradition for over a quarter of a century—and he’s found the balance. Not only has he carved out a name for himself among industry giants, but he’s done it despite—or perhaps thanks to—the inevitable ebbs and flows of life.

The river can teach us many lessons if we’re willing to listen. Scott learned some of the best and hardest lessons of life on the river. Montana Casting Company began as a dream between two best friends who lived and breathed fly fishing. Craig was Scott’s best friend, fishing partner, and the voice that urged Scott to open his own fly shop in Four Corners and start building custom rods. When Craig died in an accident, Scott’s whole world was upended—for a time, he gave up fly fishing altogether. It wasn’t until his young son asked to learn how to fly fish that he found his way back to the river. Scott built him a fly rod—the first rod he’d built in years—and with that, took the first step toward realizing that long-ago dream.

What makes Montana Casting Company’s origin story so compelling is that the company represents more than just another rod maker. It’s not just that their rods are all tried and tested here in Montana, but equally as important is the fact that their rods are designed for real people, by real people. When you use a Montana Casting Company rod, you carry all the lessons learned by the craftsman that designed it. You carry all of the trials and tribulations that Scott faced, and all the solutions he used to overcome them. To carry one is to carry a piece of Scott; a piece of the amazing local waters; and all the lore that flows through them.

In a world where the utility of a product is held in the highest regard and the beauty of design is all but forgotten, Montana Casting Company breaks the mold. I chose their Warm Springs Fly Rod and am pleased I did. Like a pristine hot rod in the garage, just waiting to be let loose, the Warm Springs Rod is dialed in and ready to land some serious fish. This nine foot rod comes in two- and four-piece options—both available in four through nine weights—so you’ll be casting on any body of water and for fish of all shapes and sizes. The fast action will get your flies all the way across to the far bank where the fish are hiding. Just try not to get caught up staring at the magnificent blue of the rod as it glistens in the light… you’ve got fishing to do. $750 for the Warm Springs Rod.

There are two other options from Montana Casting Company: the Dearborn ($650) and the Craig ($575). Both are named after iconic fishing areas in Montana. The company also produces precision-engineered, CNC-machined reels to go with all of their rods, as well as backing, fly line, leaders, and tippet to keep it all under one roof. Get the full outfit while the getting’ is good. All rods available at