Bogdan closing up shop


February 13, 2010

I guess it’s the end of an era in reels and reelmaking. According to a couple of recent news outlets, famed reelmaker Stan Bogdan and his son Stephen are finally calling it quits. The Bogdan duo built fantastic reels and their work stood as a testament to high-quality tackle in an era when reelmaking was increasingly sourced to far off places and mass-manufactured by those who don’t fish. And Stan and son did it the old fashioned-way: hand-made reels in a small shop, with decades and decades of collective experience under their respective belts. I’m sure many of you out there who are lucky enough to own a Bogdan can attest to his craftsmanship far better than I.

Out of curiosity I took a quick look around the internet and came across this especially good article about him written by Forbes’ Monte Burke last spring. My favorite part:

Every part of a Bogdan reel, save for the springs, is tooled by Stanley or Stephen, S.E. Bogdan Custom Built’s sole employees. In their garage-size shop in New Ipswich, N.H. stands a table littered with dozens of boxes, each containing different parts of a fly-fishing reel: discs of stainless steel, screws, brake shoes, anodized aluminum frames and spools. Armed with a 130-year-old Flather lathe and a 50-year-old Van Norman milling machine, the pair churn out only 100 reels a year and have a three-year backlog. They hold no patents, take no deposits from customers (“That way they can’t bug me, and I have control,” says Stanley), store no files, designs or accounts on a computer (they don’t own one) and do no advertising.

It’s hard not to respect that. We’re just sorry that it’s finally coming to an end.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


translation missing: en.blogs.article.additional_articles

Meet Artist Galen Mercer
Meet Artist Galen Mercer

May 09, 2016 2 comments

We recently sat down to talk with old friend and artist Galen Mercer to talk a little bit about his approach to painting, early influences, and how his time on the river informs his work.

Read More

Testing a New Rod Model
Testing a New Rod Model

February 07, 2016 2 comments

One of the best parts of being a rodmaker is testing out new rod models. This past summer I put together a new 6' #4 design and was able to take the prototype on a trip to the Poconos.

Read More

Meet fish carver Mark Bennett
Meet fish carver Mark Bennett

January 26, 2016

We recently had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with old friend and superb fish carver Mark Bennett.

Read More