Goodwin Granger was born in Michigan on March 2, 1889. He moved to Denver in 1908 and started the Granger Brothers Mercantile in 1912. During this time, Goodwin began making split bamboo fly rods that could handle windy, western rivers. He sold his first rods through the Mercantile with “The, Granger Rod, Denver” stamped on the reel seat. He began advertising his Granger Rods for sale in April 1919 and later established “Goodwin Granger & Co.” as a business.
During those early years, Goodwin Granger was introduced to the sport of Tournament Casting—and he was hooked. To fuel this new obsession, he organized a group of friends in 1921 to start the Rocky Mountain Fly Casting Club (RMFCC). Then in August 1922, Granger competed in the Denver Post Fly & Bait Casting Tournament where he equaled the World Record for distance fly casting at 116ft! In August 1923, RMFCC hosted the national NASAC Annual Tournament in Denver where Granger took 3rd place for distance fly casting. Competition from these tournaments may have influenced how his rods changed so drastically from the 1st to the 2nd Era.
Goodwin Granger refined his marketing and advertising strategy in the 2nd Era (beginning in 1923) by standardizing the rod grades that he offered. In 1925, Granger hired P.W. “Bill” Phillipson—who would be instrumental in the development of Granger rods and ultimately his own rod company. In 1928, Granger re-incorporated as Goodwin Granger Company and that change is reflected on reel seat markings of the 3rd Era. On October 3, 1931, Goodwin Granger died at 42 years of age. Rods were produced under the supervision of Bill Phillipson and Agnes Marshall until WWII forced the factory to close in 1942.