Jim Bartschi: Made in America

As head of one of the U.S.’s only rod companies that doesn’t purchase their materials or labor overseas, Jim Bartschi has a different take on what makes fly rods great. In this age of putting a new spin on what is becoming old technology, Bartschi focuses on the real art behind fly rods: the crafting. He also shares the details of Scott’s 2008 lineup, which includes updates to the Classic series and a brand new high-performance rod, the S4.

Podcast Excerpt: “At this point, there is no new technology in fibers. And I know that a lot of companies depend on that myth to sell their newest stuff, but honestly the types of fibers that are available today were available 15 years ago. So it’s design, design, design. But there is a second component to that, and it’s the matrix that holds the fibers together, and that is a technology that has really evolved. So for instance 15 years ago Boron was available, and Scott was making rods out of it, testing it. And you could buy ultra-high-modulus graphite material 15 years ago. So it’s not fiber technology that’s driving improvements in design, it’s refinement in controlling the key elements I talked about — taper, material, and pattern — and it’s also big jumps in the resin technology, the matrix that holds it together, because as the glue improves, it allows you to use less and less material and get more performance out of the fiber content that it is in the rod. So one thing you see in the last five years is rods getting lighter.”

Podcast music by permission of Old Medicine Crow Show.