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Vintage & Collectable Rods

Rods are dominated by split bamboo fly rods. Lately some have begun collection some of the earlier fiberglass rods, some of the split bamboo casting and spinning rods, and some of the steel casting rods. The earliest European fishing rods were made of different types of wood, spliced together, and were often very long, 18ft. being common. Tips were often made of greenheart, whale baleen, or on the later rods, bamboo cane. these early rods are hard to find, but aren't eagerly sought. It was only with the late 1800s that split bamboo was being used to make the entire rod, except is some rare instances. Some of the names of bamboo rod makers to look for are Granger, Young, Dickerson, Phillipson, Devine, Edwards, Thomas, Payne, Leonard, Hardy and rods made for trademarks such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Heddon, South Bend, and Abbey and Imbrie. In split bamboo rods, shorter is better, and condition is everything. The shorter a Bamboo rod is the more collectible it seems to be. 6ft.-8 1/2ft. rods seem to be the most collectible. A seven foot rod by a famous maker will usually be worth 4-5 times what a 12 foot salmon rod by the same maker, despite the salmon rod being harder to find. Condition is a tougher subject. A split bamboo rod, restored to near original by a professional restorer seems to retain much of its value. The same rod poorly restored, or used long and hard has little value. Beware of made up rods, that is poor quality cane rods, that an unscrupulous restorer has attached a handle from an expensive rod, and then will try to pass the whole conglomeration off as an expensive rod. Of course having a rod's original cloth bag, and rod tube will add to its value. Make sure any split bamboo rod is original length. Many tips will be short where rod tips have been broken. Many rods came with more than one tip. A good rule of thumb, is to lay the rod on a table, each section should be approximately the same length. Not all rods were built this way, but most were. Also, any split bamboo rod should be checked for a curve, or a set. Again, a good way to tell is to lay the rod sections on a flat surface, and roll them around, watch for gaps formed by a bow in the rod.

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The following is just an sample of Rods that are out there to be collected & cherished.









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