I was so impressed with Beulah’s new rods I swapped out all of my client rods with the new 2015 Guide Series II line-up. As a guide, it is vital to have an arsenal of rods that perform under every condition Mother Nature will throw at you, including those miserable +40 mph winds that make you question your profession. They must be able to handle the surprise 8-pound brown lurking in a deep run and quickly transition to 17-inch rainbows slurping midges in dead calm slack water around the next bend. These rods shoot line like a laser, and at the last millisecond, lay down a feather soft presentation.
This past January, I was fortunate enough to spend 3 days at the annual Fly-Fishing Show in Denver, CO. If you have not attended, it’s an enormous gathering of the fly-fishing industry’s top professionals, business owners, a handful of celebrities and thousands of fly-fishing enthusiasts. It’s a fabulous opportunity for all to demo new gear, catch a seminar from the best in the business and socialize with those fortunate enough to make a living in this industry.
I am a bit of a gear junkie and always eager to thoroughly test the next best product. Like other industries, the fly-fishing landscape is dominated by a few large companies and dotted by dozens of smaller ones trying to make their mark. While the top companies may never be dethroned, the smaller ones do force the industry leaders to keep pace with the rapid changes and demands to maintain their place on the podium.
Beulah Fly Rod Company is tucked away in small, but beautiful Medford, Oregon. The Rogue River wanders just a stone throw away from this southwestern Oregon town, making it the perfect fly rod testing ground. This gem of a company is shaking up the industry with a full series of rods that consistently outperform those commanding twice the price. Owner James Shaughnessy himself manned his company’s booth at the Denver show, accompanied by 15-foot rod division distance caster world record holder Travis Johnson and professional product representative Bruce Berry.
One thing the fishing enthusiast may inadvertently overlook is turn-around time and customer service when something inevitably breaks. Beulah has a stockpile of replacement rods and parts and will typically have your repair or replacement headed back to you within just a few days. As a guide, this is something that cannot be overlooked. There are companies in the industry that can take “months” to repair your rod. In my line of work, that is simply intolerable. I know I can rely on the folks at Beulah Fly Rods to keep my clients’ lines in the water. So, fresh off the production bench, I strung up my new rods and took them on a 4000-mile journey across three states, five rivers and even a still water. Stay tuned…