At the end of WWII, Wright & McGill (originally founded in 1921 by Stan Wright and Drew McGill) bought the Goodwin Granger Company from Granger’s widow May Granger/Stocks to enhance their flies, lures and hooks business. (Also bidding for the rights to produce rods under the Granger name were Gart Bros, Dave Cook, and P.W. “Bill” Phillipson.) After formally winning the bid, the Wright & McGill Rod Co. was incorporated in May of 1946.
In August of 1947, Wright & McGill began to advertise that Granger Rods would “soon be available”. By September, rods were finally ready to ship. They began building rods from remaining Goodwin Granger stock (blanks, ferrules, hardware, etc.). These early W&M rods are often referred to as Transitional or Cross-over rods.
In 1947, Wright & McGill produced their first independent catalog exclusively for Granger Rods. This catalog is unique in that it’s the only one that lists the Champion grade (with slide band reel seat) as part of the Granger lineup.
The bamboo embargo of the early 1950’s halted the import of cane from the Gulf of Tonkin in Southeast Asia. The final appearance of varnished Granger Bamboo Fly Rods was in the 1953 Catalog. The available grades were: the Favorite, Aristocrat, Special & Victory. Wright & McGill sold their remaining inventory of varnished bamboo Granger Rods until about 1956, but by that time were limited to the Victory grade.
In just 10 years of operation, the Wright & McGill Rod Co. produced 2-3 times more rods than the Goodwin Granger Company did in roughly 25+ years.
*Information and dates obtained from Goodwin Granger Catalogs and Advertisements, Wright & McGill Catalogs and Advertisements, Colorado Classic Cane by Dick Spurr and Michael Sinclair, Goodwin Granger The Rod Man From Denver by Michael Sinclair, and Wings Upon the Water – A Fisherman’s Legacy by Lee McGill.
Transitional (Late 1947)
Golden Years (1948 – 1953)