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About Leland Upgrade
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Getting your hands on new fly fishing gear is tough to do without draining your bank account, but we’ve made it much easier and less costly to get new fly fishing gear you want to fish. The short is, we're a consignment shop that doesn't take any commission for our service.

What is Leland Upgrade?

Leland Upgrade helps sell your unwanted fly fishing rods and reels on eBay and turns the sales into store credit to be used at Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters. Please note, we now offer two ways to trade Leland Upgrade and Instant Upgrade are available to you. You can compare them below.

Compare Leland Upgrade to Instant Upgrade for me?

Leland Upgrade relies on your item selling before we issue store credit. Luckily our auctions are just 7 days as this ensures a large bidding audience without going too long. It allows one full week of searches. Items are generally paid for within 1-3 days and we issue credit each and every Friday for all the items paid for within that past week. From the time you send in your gear to issuing credit expect 2 to 2.5 weeks. The plus side to Leland Upgrade is that we let the market determine value and trust us, this is a good thing. With a global audience and the nature of bidding all it takes is two or more people to fight over your item. Since your photos and descriptions are so good those bidders know exactly what they're getting. Near the end of the 7 day auction you'll see many bids as these people are now invested in the item and they want it bad! Usually, our auctions exceed our estimated value and this goes right into your pocket. There is a small risk, but we generally see all fly tackle sell between 40 and 60 percent of its original manufacturer price.

Instant Upgrade is exactly what the name implies, it's Instant! Since we have years of sales data and a program called Terapeak which gives us previous sale prices from all ebay sellers we can formulate a fair and honest instant value for your item(s). You can even search for your rod or reel here to see it's value or you may email us for an Instant Upgrade Quote. This is great for that last minute trip or for those that just want to proceed with an established value and don't want to risk selling their gear as an auction on ebay. It's safe to say that Leland Upgrade will likely yield 10-15% higher returns than Instant Upgrade but the choice is yours.

This all sounds great but where's the catch?

There is no catch. We deduct the same service fees you would pay if you sold the gear on eBay yourself. This is equal to 10% of the sale price of the item to cover eBay and PayPal fees. In fact, a new seller to ebay will incur much higher fees and you must wait up to 2 full weeks to receive your funds from PayPal. PayPal does this to ensure the buyer received the item you sent. Since we have been selling for years all of these fees and delays are minimized and to make calculating your credit easier we choose to charge just 10%.

In what form is my money coming?

The sale amount less 10% which goes to cover the ebay and Paypal fees associated with the transaction is issued in the form of an electronic gift card good for use on our website, over the phone, via email or in person at the Leland Ranch.

What price will I get for my equipment?

Our professional ebay listings are optimized to achieve the highest sale amount with respect to the item condition and age. We guarantee it! Recent research shows Leland Upgrade auctions obtaining 15% higher returns than anyone else when comparing the same item(s) from other sellers.

What kind of gear do you accept?

  • Fly Rods with greater than $150 original retail value (Call before sending in bamboo rods)
  • Luggage, Gear Bags, Vests / Packs, & Boots in Like-New Condition
  • Waders must be NEW w/ Packaging
  • Call or Email Us before Sending in Jackets, Sunglasses, or Any Other Fishing Accessory
  • We DO NOT sell float tubes or fly lines (There is too much liability involved)
  • Own something else? Golf equipment maybe? Let us know what you have and we'll see if we can sell it for you.

Why not just sell it myself?

We have Leland Upgrade participants all over the United States and beyond. If your goal is getting new fly tackle with little to no out of pocket expense and minimal time then there's no reason for you to sell your old gear by yourself. We take nothing off the top putting this free service right at your fingertips. It's a lot of work for us but we do this in hopes of putting the right gear in your hands for a more enjoyable time on the water.

Still have questions?

Contact Leland Upgrade at (415) 781-FISH via email casey@lelandfly.com


Get Started Now - Click Here


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What our upgrader's have to say
When a customer trusts us to get the best prices for their unwanted gear, it’s our duty to provide the best service possible.
desc::When a customer trusts us to get the best prices for their unwanted gear, it’s our duty to provide the best service possible.
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Jim of Naples, FL

Dear Leland Upgrade Team
Last year I happened to tell one of my fishing buddies, that I wanted to sell some of my old fly fishing stuff on ebay.  My friend told me about Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters and the Leland Upgrade program.
After reading about the Leland Upgrade on your website, and a quick phone call for some minor questions, I sent you my fly fishing rods & equipment that I wasn't using anymore.  I can't tell you how surprised I was at how quickly you got this equipment on ebay and sold.  I was also very pleased by the prices that you were able to get for me.
Thank you again for making this an easy process, and making my experience with Leland a great one!  I will tell everyone about the Leland Upgrade team and how you enabled me to upgrade my fly fishing equipment painlessly and without spending a lot of money!
Thank you again.

Tom of
Danbury, CT

Attached please find a photo of me with a beautiful brown trout caught using my new Abel reel purchased from Leland. You guys are the best in offering advise and your upgrade program is Great !!!!


Jack of
Oklahoma City, OK

Having fly fished for over 40 years, I have accumulated a lot of equipment that I don't use anymore…that is until I found your upgrade program.  Now I am able to have the Loop Cross S1, what I consider the best fly rod made. I can't thank you enough for providing this service.  Leland has a customer for life now.


Duncan of Orange Beach, AL

I wanted to post about a great experience I had with Leland Outfitters and their exchange program. I shipped them a bunch of old flyfishing equipment I no longer used, they cleaned it up and sold it on ebay for me, and I was able to buy new equipment. It all worked just as it was supposed to, and that doesn't happen very often these days. I can highly recommend you do business with this shop.

Joel of Dutch Flat, CA

Job well done.  This really is a no-hassle way to clean out the closet of gear I wasn’t using and get some items that I do need for Christmas Island.    
I’ve not listed anything on ebay before, but watching the process was like fishing itself, toss the offering out there and see what happens.

And now for the fun part!


Cary of Arlington, VA

I promised myself no new fly rods until I got rid of some that I no longer use so naturally Leland Upgrade came to mind. I now have sold seven rods through Leland and I am confident that I got a good price for every single one (and I saved myself a lot of hassle) because Leland was the interface with the buyer. They kept me well informed and was a pleasure to work with.  And I cannot wait to go fishing with my new gear.

Michael of Branford, CT

Big thanks to Casey and the guys at Leland outfitters for rigging my tibor reels,, they are amazing reels.. the backing and the bimini loop got plenty of work this week,, it helped land this 41"-35lb bass
the upgrade program is the best!!!!

John C. of Illinois

Just a short note to express my complete satisfaction with
your program. You were most helpful before I sent my rod to you--and after the rod sold as well. Your pictures and comments were the reason the rod did as well as it did. I would not hesitate to make your talent, as well as your program, public. What an asset
for a fly shop to have.

Mark of Southern California

I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the Leland Upgrade Program.  The process was completely painless and the descriptions of the my gear were well written and accurate.  The best part was the results, so much better than I expected!  I will definitely do this again in fact I’m cleaning out my garage now.

Alain of Branford, CT

I am really pleased with the Leland Upgrade Program.  The no-nonsense
commission is perfect, as the people who send you product can
easily track their auctions and know immediately what they are owed in
store credit.  Casey did a great job answering my questions and
updating the auction's progress and payment.  You did everything
perfectly and the listing was the most professional I have seen.  Your
photography and listing was top-notch.  I have already recommended
your service to numerous people in the Northeast (I am part of the
competitive fly-fishing community and a huge proponent of European
nymphing styles).  There are other eBay services, but none as
professional as yours.

Derry of Ireland

In relation to feedback on the Leland Upgrade experience, I am very satisfied especially with the ability to follow the auction on ebay. This was my first time to use this facility and will certainly use it again very soon in the future. It’s amazing to discover how many rods / reels one has that are seldom used!! Great idea and works well for all.

Scott of Horseshoe Bay, TX

I can't thank you enough for your encouragement to gather up some of my seldom used fly fishing gear and give you a chance to find it a new home. Your program is marvelous and you really do absolutely everything involved in the auction sale process. Every item I sent you was very professionally marketed and each one brought far more value that I expected. It certainly will not be a problem to spend up my

Greg of Fair Oaks, CA

"A Fly Fishing Fairytale" Once upon a recent time there was a tall fly fisherman who during the course of a passionate fly fishing life accumulated many rods,reels and spools that he no longer used. The formerly utilized fly gear languished in a desk,closet and his garage. The equipment was much too fine to not be used and their disuse caused the fly fisherman minor ennui and consternation.  The accumulated unused gear also inhibited the fly angler from buying new and finer gear. As great luck would have it the fly Angler learned of a magician's guild known as Leland Fly Fishing's Upgrade Program where sorcerers could invoke spells that allowed used fly fishing gear to regain some of the luster of it's youth.  the gear was then sold for astonishing prices throughout the known world.  Casey and Jon were the names of 2 of the affable, engaging and expert sorcerers. In short order the tall fly fisherman sent more than 20 spools,reels and rods to the LFF UP and they sold the gear to fly fisherman across the globe.  The story continues and the tall fly angler has new and advanced gear with poetic names like VXP, spey, Galvan and Rio which have graced waters in British Columbia, Mexico, Montana, the California Delta, Northern and Central California with the Amazon on the horizon...........

Steve of South Korea

I have just shipped my third (and probably not final!) batch of gear to the Leland Upgrade Program - what can I say, I wouldn't keep using it if it didn't work so well! Even though I live in Asia, it is still worthwhile for me to use the program - for starters, Leland make it so easy, I get exactly the same outcome as if I did it myself, but they do all the work, plus their status on eBay adds value to my goods when they sell. I have sold several rods, reels and spools and all have sold equally well, in some cases for more than I bought them for!

It's a great service, and it has allowed me to upgrade a rod and some reels to current models. Which fly fisherman doesn't like new gear??!!

Also the team at Leland is very efficient, provide great customer service and communicate well.

Mark of Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

I wanted to write and let you know that I have now sent you ALL of my older rods to be sold through Leland Upgrade. I am truly amazed at how well the upgrade program has worked for me. I have never heard of a better program for selling off older gear. I applaud your level of professionalism and knowledge regarding the upgrade program and it is certainly a pleasure to call you and discuss different ideas regarding fly gear. Additionally, I want to thank you for introducing me to the Red Truck Series fly rods. As you know, I was a bit skeptical of them in the beginning. As it stands today, I know of no better rod regardless of the price. Certainly the Red Truck rods are a great value but the "fishability" of these rods is second to none, regardless of the price. In short, I am absolutely thrilled with Red Truck rods. Also, I appreciate you sending the Red Truck Premium 5wt to my friend in such a timely manner. Keep up the great work. You guys have an amazing shop and an even better customer service package. I look forward to working with you in the future

Juan of Clayton, CA

The Leland Upgrade program: easy as heck, reliable, and a great excuse to visit the shop! I have used it on a number of occasions and have really
enjoyed it.  The guys are super professional, prompt, and very

Jerry of Edmond, OK

If you are an angler who wants to sell good stuff in order to get even better stuff, then Leland Upgrade is the only way to go.  Jon and the guys will prep your gear, take professional grade photos and list it in a manner that will guarantee top dollar.  Get serious, who has the time to sell gear?
Leave it to the professionals. You should be out on the water.  Thanks again to Jon and Casey.

Al of Excelsior, MN

Leland’s Upgrade Program is one of the finest services in fly fishing.  Take that reel you never use or the rod you want to upgrade and send it to Leland.  Their photographers and copywriters will present it on ebay, honestly describing it but putting it in the best possible light.  Sincerely, unless you’re a professional you can’t matching Leland’s presentation or the financial results.  The profit on the sale becomes a store credit, and you’re ready to go shopping. 

Gregg of Longmont, CO

This will be my third and fourth rods to sell through the Upgrade Program. The first sales went so well. I was impressed at the professional way everything was handled from the start to buying my new Scott T2H switch rod. I am convinced that you net me more cash because of the great presentation and the Leland name.

Thanks, Gregg

Mark of Great Falls, MT

I recently went on my first Salt Water trip and after doing some research I decided to go with the Hatch reels for the trip. I was not disappointed by their performance. When I returned to the States, I decided to make the full conversion to Hatch reels for all my fly fishing and the Leland Upgrade Program was perfect for this goal. I sold all of my non Hatch reels and used all the profits to replace my old fresh water reels.  I got top dollar for my old gear  and I had no hassles selling it. Leland took care of it all.

My only problem is now I also started buying from the Leland Upgrade
listings.  I found some great values and hard to find merchandise.  I check the listings very few days looking for that new used gear item I can't live without.

The program is very well run and organized. The staff have been excellent in customer service. I would highly recommend this program.

Reverend Joel of Bradenton. FL

I want to thank the Leland Upgrade Program for this incredible program! You guys made it possible for me to sell my used gear, some of it decades old, and get equipment I’d been dreaming about. When I sent my gear to you I had hoped to sell enough stuff to partially finance one particular Winston bamboo fly rod. Not only did I get the Winston bamboo but amazingly I was able to pick-up two Winston IIIx rods and a tackle pack for my spring bonefishing trip to the Bahamas.

This program is great! Selling my used equipment was easy, stress-free and may have contributed to the improvement of my marriage!

of Simsbury, CT

"About my experience with Leland Upgrade I can address to everyone that no matter if you are selling or you are buying from Leland Upgrade like I did few times during last three years, you can be absolutely sure that your product will get best professional evaluation and presentation allowing other people to buy it with confidence and trust. In my opinion this is the key of any Upgrade program and Leland has developed it extremely well."

of El Dorado Hills, CA

"I am heading to Belize for some saltwater fishing in June, 2011. Needed to standardize my reels. Had an Abel Super 8 and Sage 3400D with spools for my 10wts. Decided to purchase two Tibor Riptide reels but how do I sell my Abel and Sage? Bingo, the Leland Upgrade Program. Jon & Casey handled the selling of the reels on eBay from start to finish. I received a good enough price that I was able to purchase one of the Riptides and some accessories. If this program was not available I would probably still have the two reels and spools. Jon and I are also working on some additional equipment that I need. To Jon and the Upgrade Program, "Job Well Done"

of Pingree, ID

"Leland does an amazing job of taking  the hassle out of selling your gear.  I was impressed by the prices they got for my gear and the quality of service they offered.  They truly know what they're doing and don't charge any dumb fees or commission. They did a great job selling my old gear.  The other thing great about this program is that your store credit can literally get you any of the top gear in the fly fishing industry.  The bonus with this program is that Leland has some of the best customer service around.  Talking to them on the phone is just like walking into your local fly shop.  They are knowledgeable and caring and really want to make you happy with your purchase."

of San Rafael, CA

"I had heard good things about the Leland Upgrade Program (LUP) from my brother, who had taken advantage of the program several years ago. I had a closet full of 2-piece rods that were not likely to see the light of day again, so I decided to see if I could recycle them through the LUP. After receiving about 3 times the amount I had anticipated, I went back to the closet and pulled out bags of old reels from different phases of my fishing career, spanning the last 15 to 20 years. All of the items auctioned on eBay were professionally described and accurately rated for condition. Duplicate reels and spools were staggered to get maximum return. When it was all said and done, I netted about $5,000 from gear that was previously destined for the dust bin. The staff is very knowledgeable and extremely friendly. I highly recommend the LUP to everyone with unwanted or out of date gear - everybody wins."

of Canby, OR

"I could not be happier with the Leland Upgrade Program! Finally, a
guilt-free way to fish with the newest and latest gear. The guilt of leaving
perfectly usable gear in the closet just to fish with the latest gear kept
me from buying what I really wanted. Thanks to the Upgrade Program, no more gear guilt.

The help from the Leland staff has been nothing short of impressive. In
those rare instances that one of their staff doesn't know the answer, they
get me to a person who has the answer."


of Feasterville, PA

"I was a little hesitant about sending my gear across the country to be sold on ebay. However after dealing with the Leland staff on previous occasions I knew it was in good hands. The quality of their descriptions and photographs was great, and they even took the extra time to clean all my gear so it would turn top dollar. I ended up with more credit than I thought my old gear would receive. Constant email updates and contact through phone calls let me know I was in good hands and Leland's costumer service is second to none. I will not be hesitant in the future to go to Leland for any of my fly-fishing needs!"


of Shreveport, LA

"Like most fly fisherman, I have accumulated a lot of gear over the years
that - while fine when I bought it - has spent more time in the fishing
closet lately than on the water... Happily, I have recently discovered the
Leland Upgrade Program as a way to turn that lonely gear into money.
The program is simple - send your gear to Leland and they'll clean it up for you, sell it on Ebay and won't charge you a dime more than Ebay would charge you for selling it yourself - leaving you with top value for your gear in store credit at one of the top fly shops in the country.  Ariel and the entire Upgrade Team are pros whose specialty seems to be putting dollars in your pocket.
Once your gear is sold and you have your credit, you'll find the Leland staff is an invaluable resource for information on the replacement gear you need no matter where or how you fish. From the newest cutting edge technology to time-tested gear that evokes the rich tradition of our sport, the Leland staff can help you find exactly what you want and need."

Kent of Bedford, NH

So here I am in Bedford, New Hampshire wondering what to do with some quality fly-fishing gear that hasn't seen the water in just about two years. According to Mapquest my home is 3,128 miles away from your flagship store in San Francisco. That said having done business with you in the past via eBay I decided to take advantage of your upgrade program and let's just say I am so glad I did. From the very beginning Ariel Molina was tremendously helpful guiding me through the description and shipment process. As promised the shipping labels arrived via email, I shipped them from the local UPS Store and I was told my gear arrived safely. A few days later I checked out my gear on eBay under the Leland banner and I was stunned at the quality, professionalism and presentation of my gear on eBay and not only that one week later I was very very pleased with the result.

For anyone reading this email I have a little bit of advice for you, buy the best gear you can afford, take good care of your gear and if you ever want to upgrade or sell your gear use the Leland Upgrade Program!

arry of Grand Rapids, MI

Larry was most impressed with the communication from the Upgrade Team during the sale of his gear.

Best of all, he got a little more credit out of the experience than he expected. Here's how Larry's expectations were exceeded:


“When I first came upon it online, I thought it would be a good way to sell some old fly fishing equipment, and I didn't have any idea as to current value, collectiblity or demand,” Larry said. “I had a number in mind as to what would be a fair price for my gear and was pleased and surprised to have gotten twice what I expected.”


Phil of San Diego, CA

Phil upgraded a handful of his collection of older model rods and reels.
After the sales were finished, he was impressed with the quality and professionalism of the service:
“I think your text and quality photos add more appeal to the eBay auction process than I could do on my own; plus, I think buyers feel more comfortable with a retailer than an individual,” Phil said. “As long as I keep fly fishing, I figure I could always use the credit at Leland. When I'm in SF, I always stop by to see what's new.”
After the credit was tallied, he picked up a new Scott S4 4-weight rod and a Simms Windstopper DL Jacket for the small streams and chilly weather in the High Sierra.



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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Leland

What is your Returns/Exchange policy?

How long until my bank issues return credit?

Do I have to pay sales tax?

Do you match prices?

Do you offer price protection?

What is your shipping policy?

Can I use my Leland Upgrade credit on this site?

What methods of payment do you accept?

What is Leland Live Chat?

What is your privacy policy?

Your photos and copy are great; Can I use them?

What is Leland?


Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters is a full-service fly shop providing anglers in the Bay Area and Sonoma Valley with top quality education and gear since 1985. The difference? We only carry the gear that we endorse and fish on our days off. We guarantee that our curated inventory represents the best of today's fly fishing equipment.

Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters
24120 Arnold Drive/Highway 121
Sonoma, CA  95476

Toll Free: (866) 672-1959
Phones are staffed by Phone - Monday-Friday, 9AM to 5PM Pacific Time

What is your Returns/Exchange policy?

We call it the FISH ON RETURN POLICY or FORP. If you buy something and if it falls short of your expectations in any way, or you just want to demo an item for 59 days and you did not fall in love, FORP it. Just send it back. This policy is good for 60 days after you receive a product, and it has virtually no restrictions. Rods, reels, waders, clothes, luggage, accessories. No Questions Asked. We're not happy unless you are. Simple as that. . . Fish On!!
The only exceptions to our FORP policy are special order or custom items and items on sale.  Our address for returns and exchange:

Leland Fly Fishing Company 
Attn: Exchange/Returns Dept.
24120 Arnold Drive

Sonoma, CA 94578

If you'd like to make an exchange, do so in one of two ways:

1) The Best Option is to immediately place an order for the replacement items. Do this online or over the phone with one of our fish whisperers. You will be billed for these items. At any time -- during, before, or after this second order -- you can ship us the unwanted items from your original order, and upon receipt of them here we will credit you for those items. Please use the back of your invoice for any comments, and include it (or a copy) with your return shipment. This method ensures the most efficient processing of your return, but more importantly, it ensures the best availability of the new outgoing replacement items.

2) The Second Best Option: Ship us the items you'd like to exchange. Please include a copy of your receipt and write instructions detailing the exchange (For example: "These Medium Waders are too small, exchange for size Large of the same wader.") In most cases, on receiving your original items, we'll issue a credit on the next Thursday. (If something comes up, we'll call you to get it straightened out.) Your replacement items will ship out within 2 business day and will be charged as a separate transaction. Please be aware that the hoped-for replacement items may sell out while your exchange is in transit. This is the reason that the above option is encouraged. If you'd like to make a return, please ship the items to the address above and include a copy of your receipt. In most cases, we'll issue a refund to the credit card you used for the original purchase on the first Thursday after receipt of your goods. If something comes up, we'll call you to get it straightened out. Worry not.

How long until my bank issues return credit?

A note on Credit Card Companies: In more than twenty five years of retail experience, we've seen that some banks and credit card companies are a bit slower in issuing credits to your account than they are in debiting it. As such, two charges might appear on your online statement or account balance for a brief period of time while your bank or credit card company goes through the credit-issuing process.

Do I have to pay sales tax?

If we are shipping your purchase to a destination outside of California, you won't be charged sales tax. For those orders sent within the state, you will be charged the appropriate rate.

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Do you match prices?

Yes. We do our best to keep our prices as low as possible. But if one of our competitors goes lower, don't hesitate to ask us beat their price.
Please keep in mind that sometimes price-matching isn't as simple as it appears. We like to make sure we're comparing apples to apples. There can be great variation in the cost of bundled or kitted products.  Some retailers choose to cut corners by using second-rate products to round out their packages. When comparing prices, please make sure to keep an eye out for such details!

In order to consider a price matching request, we will require proper documentation:

(1) A link to a webpage showing the lower price.

(2) A forwarded email with the price quote, including the name of the retailer in order to ensure that they are an authorized dealer of the products they're promoting.

Then lets get you fishing with great product at 10% less.

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Do you offer price protection?

Yes we do. If you purchase a product from us, and we end up reducing the price of that item within 60 days of your purchase, you are welcome to contact us and we will issue you a Leland gift card for the difference. This policy only applies if we have the same size and color of the item that you originally purchased in stock, as sometimes we'll reduce prices when we need to get the last few stragglers of a given product out the door.

Please note that our Price Protection policy will not be applicable to promotional discounts. Promotional discounts are not applicable to previous purchases.

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We offer a straight-forward shipping policy. FedEx  Ground is our standard method of shipping, and we charge a straight  flat rate: ten bucks (US$10). Yes, that's right, only $10 for FedEx  Ground shipping within the Lower 48 States, for any size order!

Typically,  we will process your order and get it out the door within 1 or 2  business days (not including weekends). However, during our epic sales,  processing orders can take a little more time, so please be patient. If  time is tight and you need your new gear in a hurry, and FedEx Ground  Shipping will not work for your situation, we can expedite your order by  using FedEx OVERNIGHT, 2nd DAY AIR, EXPRESS SAVER (3-day service).

If  you have any concerns or questions whatsoever about shipping to your location, please contact us toll-free at 866-673-1959. You can reach us  from 9:00am to 5:00pm, US Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. If  you live beyond the boundaries of the Lower Forty-Eight United States,  in Hawaii, Alaska, or a US Territory like Puerto Rico, you'll be charged  a flat rate of $35.00 for FedEx expedited service. If you're outside the United States, we ship via FedEx International Economy for a flat rate of $60.00 USD.

 Can I use my Leland Upgrade credit on this site?

Yes. The Leland Upgrade Program and the credit it generates is a premium service now available on our websites. There are no exceptions. For more information about the Leland Upgrade Program, click here. 

What methods of payment do you accept? 

We accept Visa, American Express, and Master Card, as well as payment through Paypal.

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What is Leland Live Chat?

Leland Live Chat is just like it sounds: an online chat service that allows you to connect with our team of fly fishing experts for one-to-one customer service. We want to be your local fly shop, so we utilize Leland Chat to answer your questions and help outfit you with the exact gear you need. So whether you are looking for a new fly rod or a set of wading boots for your upcoming flats trip, use the Leland Chat to talk with directly with someone in the shop.

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For our full privacy policy, click here.

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Sorry, no writing or image from this site can be used without permission.

Feel free to LIVE CHAT with one of our experts.

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R. L. Winston BIIMX Fly Rod Review
Name::R. L. Winston BIIMX Fly Rod Review
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Winston: Boron II-MX 1090-4



  • Line Size: 10 
  • Rod Length: 9’0” 
  • Section: 4 
  • Weight: 4 1/4 oz 
  • Handle: Full Wells, Saltwater grip 
  • Reel Seat: Nickel Anodized Aluminum 
  • Action: Fast 
  • Retail Price: $675.00


What’s the word…


Winston has always been known for its sweet, smooth casting
bamboo and trout fly rods. But a few years back, Winston introduced the
Boron II-X fly rod series, a fast action rod
that broke out of the typical Winston genre. After owning several of
those fly rods, I thought, “Now if Winston could just add a little more
power and a little more speed, they’d have one darn fine saltwater fly
rod”. Low and behold, the Fall of 2007 brought the Boron II-MX series.
Was I a mind reader? No, it was just Winston’s time to shine. They’ve
broken their mold, and entered into the saltwater, big game arena with
the Boron II-MX rods.

Does a fly rod manufacturer of trout fame have any business
making powerful big game fly rods? When they’ve developed the use of a
material as strong as boron, why not? The Boron II-MX is the third
Winston fly rod series to use the Boron II and, in my opinion, is the
best. But then again, I love saltwater fly fishing. I decided I’d give
the 10 weight 9-footer a go while recently tarpon fishing in the Keys.



When you first pick up the Winston Boron II-MX 1090-4, you have
to be impressed. Doing the “shop wiggle” tells you this isn’t the same
old Winston; it feels quick and powerful. Light in hand, fast off the
tip, but then again, not too fast; the Winston Boron II-MX still has
that special feel of a Winston. When I put a line on the rod, it came to
life in my hand. They call it transference of energy; I call it feel or
touch. As I increased line distance, the strength of this rod came
through. It felt like it took the same amount of energy to cast a fly
line70 feet as it did at 30 feet. Somehow, Winston was able to build a
fly rod that has the strength to battle winds, big fish, to carry large
amounts of line while providing one that loads quickly enough for
short-range casts. To put it simply, the Boron II-MX has the best of
both worlds; power with “load-ability”.

Big game fly rods need to be powerful throughout their entire
length for fish fighting ability. They also need to load quickly for
short casting conditions. This became very apparent after a week in the
Keys mired under cloud cover. It’s amazing how camouflaged a dozen
100+lbs fish can be when covered with shadows. I found after casting
this rod over several days at many pods of tarpon, the 1090-4 Boron
II-MX provided the strength to maintain all the line I dared to up in
the air, and generated the line speed for the tight loops needed to turn
over a 6 foot butt section, 4 foot leader and a 1/0 toad fly into 15
knot wind. And after hooking and landing several fish in the 80 lbs
class, I found the 1090-4 Boron II-MX provided me everything I needed
for tarpon fishing.



After several failed attempts at using boron for increasing rod
action and strength, Winston has found the right combination of
placement to give you a fly rod that is destine to be one of the great
saltwater/big game fly rod series. Gone is the floppy tip and
mid-section of the BL5 and gone is telephone pole stiffness of the XTR.
Enter another great fly rod in the modern era of lightweight, powerful
fly rods.

At a weight of 4 ¼ ounces, the Boron II-MX is significantly lighter than
the old XTR, which weighed in at 5 1/2 oz. But what is just as
important is the increased action and feel that the Boron II-MX rods
have over the beastly XTR and floppy BL5.

Fit and Finish…


No fly rod manufacturer builds a more beautiful fly rod than R.L.
Winston, period. Their soft green, sanded blanks are accented with
handwritten model and serial numbers and each section has the serial
number hand written at the ferrule. The matching green wrapping is
perfection and almost disappears under the flawless epoxy job. The
slightly smaller than average grip is of handspun Portuguese cork and
sits easily in most hands. Winston has always known how to bring out the
best of fly rod with just the right type of reel seats and the dull
finished anodized aluminum reel seat adds the final touches to this
great looking fly rod.

  • Boron II technology
  • Lightweight powerful big game fly rod
  • Fast action with smooth casting, whether 30-feet or 80-feet
  • Anodized aluminum reel seat
  • Aluminum tube with a rod sock
  • Original owner lifetime warranty


Reliability and durability…


Many years back, a fly rod company introduced a no-fault full
replacement policy and the rest is history. In my humble opinion, this
“no matter how you break it” full replacement warranty has done to two
things, 1) developed angler complacency in how we treat our equipment
and 2) made the manufacturers develop stronger, abuse taking fly rods.
Modern fly rod materials can be as fragile as the fiberglass and cane of
old, and at $600+ for one rod, it’s hard when it breaks. But we asked
for smoother, lighter fly rods and the manufacturers responded. Be
careful what you ask for! Enough of the rant, Winston’s path to
lightness, smoothness, and strength was through the use of boron. Boron
has always provided strength, but with the use of Boron II technology,
Winston has been able to dramatically decrease the weight while
maintaining strength. After pulling on several large tarpon, I found the
1090-4 Boron II-MX had the power and strength needed to quickly subdue
the fish and put an end to the fight. I never once felt concerned with
breakage. Of course, I knew if I made a mistake and something did
happen; there was the original owner full warranty to back me up!

Customer Service…Company Profile


Winston is a San Francisco tradition; Winston started here, and
it grew and prospered here, so it has warm place in our hearts. The
company has passed through the hands of some great fly rod builders and
is now under the control of David Ondaatje, who intends to maintain the
deep Winston tradition of providing phenomenal casting and fishing fly
rods. Through the guise of David, the company has developed the use of
Boron II that has taken Winston to the next level in rod design.

Winston prides itself on the craftsmanship of each and every fly rod.
This pride shows through in the high level of customer care and service
they provide. From publishing contact info to providing individual
factory tours, Winston lays it all on the table for everyone to see.
They stand firmly behind each rod and will fix or replace any
manufacturing defects. If that isn’t enough, Winston provides an
original limited lifetime warranty. No matter how it breaks or dings,
Winston will replace or repair you fly rod for shipping and handling
costs. Because of the level of hand craftsmanship, Winston cannot
guarantee a turnaround time, but they make every effort to get it done
as quickly as possible.

Overall Rating…


As I previously stated, I am a fan of fast action fly rods and
the 1090-4 Winston II-MX is one fine fast action rod! Winston entered
the era with Boron II and the Boron II-MX takes them to next level in
big game/saltwater fly rods. The newest member in the modern era of fast
action, but responsive fly rods, the Boron II-MX provides all the
strength and power needed for big flies, long or short casts and
fighting large fish while giving you consistent feed back. Winston did
not just come up with the initial design for responsiveness; they have
put their touch, their Winston feel, to it!

The 1090-4 Boron II-MX fly rod easily handled everything the Florida
Keys and its migrating tarpon could throw at it. From winds in the 15
knot range to cloud cover requiring short dinky casts to big (in my
opinion) fish. It requires little energy to get the fly moving, the
extra power is there for extra long casts and strength to quickly end
the fight. Now, I’m not long distance casting champion or famous tarpon
angler, but I have spent a lot of time in the saltwater arena and I know
what works for me; the Winston Boron II-MX fly rod. I was so impressed
with the 1090-4, I’ve ordered the 8-weight and 12-weight.


I have been fly fishing the saltwater environs now for more than
15years and grew up with a fishing rod of one type or another in my
hands. I have been in the fly fishing industry for more than 10 years
and have been lucky enough to be exposed to most of the major
manufacturers of fly rods, reels, waders, clothing…I hope this review
helps you decide on which products to purchase. -Burke White

PROS – A true saltwater/big game fly rod by R.L. Winston. Easy to
cast, powerful and good-looking! Boron II has given the MX power to
battle wind and big fish. Original owner lifetime warranty.

CONS – The smaller than average grip may not suit everyone. But
it’s the Winston standard grip and it fits my hand well. At $675, this
rod is a little pricy, but right in line with other top manufacturers.

BOTTOM LINE – The Boron II-MX 1090-4 is a wonderfully casting,
powerful fly rod that stands up to the rigors of saltwater fly fishing
and big fish.

Want the ultimate 10 weight fly rod? Check out the Loop Cross S1 1090-4 Fly Rod.

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