Vendor Spotlight: Carlson Rod Company

Carlson rods

Hello, My name is Dana Gray owner of the Carlson Rod Co. and Maker of the Carlson “Four”.

Beginning 8-9 years prior to his death, I had the unique privilege to work beside C. W. “Sam” Carlsonone of the true masters in the art of bamboo rod building.  We built numerous rods together, and he patiently taught me all the aspects of rod building, the way he built them.

I purchased the company and rod shop after “Sam” passed in 2002. My rods will continue to be built with the same strict attention to detail Carlson rods have become known for and all components other than guides will continue to be made at my shop.

The Carlson “Four”


To many, a fishing rod constructed of four strips of cane is an unknown. Others may own or have seen the “Quadrate” rod developed and produced by W. E. “Bill” Edwards of Mt. Carmel, CT between 1939 and 1955. Some may own or have seen four strip rods produced in our shop under the name of “Carlson”, “Thomas-Carlson” and “Thomas-Four”. When we aquired the Thomas Rod Co. of Bangor, Maine in 1958, it was our intent to add the four-strip rod, which we were producing, to the Thomas line. However, the increased demand for this item coupled with the limited production had restricted the output of the Thomas conventional “Hex” rod. The Thomas Rod Company was eventually sold in the late 1990’s and now resides back in the Bangor, Maine area. The four strip rod is now, and has been many years, the prime product of the Carlson Rod Company.

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