Thomas Rod Company: A Community Tradition


Thomas Rod Co. fishing rods displayed on top of an antique trunk
Thomas Rod Co. Examples of Thomas Rod Company fishing rods

Thomas Rod Company of Brewer, Maine, approached the IMRC Center with a request to use contemporary technology to support traditional techniques going back well over a century.

The company creates hand-hewn Tonkin cane bamboo fishing rods, using practices not far removed from those used by F. E. Thomas when he founded the company in the late 1890s.

Thomas fly-fishing rods are renowned for their exacting detail, and IMRC Center fabrication technician Sean Taylor cut Delrin-style jigs to assist in production: “These jigs have super specific measurements,” Taylor states. “We were able to help them continue this ancient craft.”  Check out a short video of the saw in action below.


A close up photo of a fishing rod production jig being cut
Sean Taylor 2023A saw makes precision cuts according to specific measurements down to the millimeter
White acrylic jigs, several feet long by about an inch wide, are lined up next to each other on a workbench
Sean Taylor 2023Finished acrylic jigs, several feet long by about an inch wide