This archive was started for sales in April of 2021 and after; I"m sorry to say that there is no archive for sold items from before that time.
~Aroner 6 ft. Spring Creek Special, 3pc/2 tips #3 line. An exquisite example of Mr. Aroner's best work, this little gem remains in mint condition with a quick and fully loading action. Many people feel these 'special' versions of Marc's Spring Creek model are the prettiest of all modern bamboo work and they are truly beautiful. This one would be a delight on small eastern brook trout streams or smaller cutthroat waters in the Rockies. Very fancy decorative wraps above the grip and full intermediates throughout combine with olive tipped red wraps holding guides in place. The stripping guide is a 'full circle snake' as on the old Leonard Catskill fairy rods, a feature that pays homage to the tradition this rod grows out of. At the same time, this rod goes far beyond any rods built by Leonard or F.E. Thomas in a similar vein. "Aroner rods are what a Leonard wishes it was." Tip dimensions below the tip top wrap and over varnish are just under .050"; very fine tips and sporting #3 tip tops that look like the ones from the old Payne shop. Tip tops of that fine a dimension are no longer produced, another feature of this rod making it distinctive and one of the finest examples of modern bamboo craftsmanship. In original bag and polished tube and with original brass ferrule plugs. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Brandin 964-2 wf/df HB single tip. 9'6" 2 pc/1 tip for #4 line, 4.3 oz. This is an improved version of the same model rod I fished most of last summer, the most significant difference being a firmer tip. You may read more details about these long, light-line rods and their development by going to the "Models in Development" page on this website. They are very much inspired by the rare E.C. Powell model called the 'Truckee River Special.' This rod is new with all the features as seen in the photos; wrap color and treatment are very much an homage to the work of E.C. Powell. As most of you know, the book I have written about Powell and his legacy is now available for sale also on this site. I very much like the Wulff Triangle taper or the Wulff Bamboo line, both in a #4 on this rod. In original bag with ferrule plug storage, short ferrule plug, and brass/aluminum capped tube and outer tube bag. $3,250 SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~"Carlson Four" 6½ ft. 2pc/2 tips. This rod is marked "037" in its serial number, meaning it was the seventh rod built in 2003. Sam Carlson died in 2002 and this rod was built up from blanks left on the bench and made by Sam before he passed. Dana Gray had at that point already been working with Sam for years, and he finished this as one of two 6½ ft. rods he and Sam were working on together. An interesting detail on this rod is that the "Carlson Four" was signed by Verna, Sam's widow who continued signing rods for some years after Sam passed as she had been doing. The "Gray - Carlson - Makers" was signed by Dana. I know Sam would be proud of the way Dana has carried on the vision he developed and the fit and finish of this rod is at least the equal of the rods Sam built on his own earlier in his career. The rod has a lovely action and should carry a #4 line. An elegant swell comes back into the grip and a smooth, progressive taper blends through the rod into fine tips. I'm sorry it is too cold now to put a line on this rod and cast it, but I look forward to doing so if we get some warmer days soon. This rod accomplishes the very difficult task of building a shorter rod that still maintains a very nice feel. Old stock tungsten steel guides and what I believe is a Mildrum ME carbaloy stripping guide are held in place with the distinctive Carlson burgundy silks. Rod remains in mint condition, dead straight and with the impossible to duplicate, best in the business Carlson ferrule fit. I wish I was a wealthier man and could afford to keep this one for myself; it would be the perfect small stream brook trout rod. In original bag and brass capped aluminum tube, the rod also comes in an outer tube bag which is very nicely sewn, but is not original to the rod. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Carlson Four, 8 ft. 2pc/2 tips. This is a spectacular rod built up by Dana Gray from blanks originally produced by Sam Carlson in 1985. It feels like a strong #5 line rod to me and remains in excellent original condition; straight and with perfect ferrule fits. The photographs tell the tale. Rod comes with bill of sale and letter from Dana dated in 2005. In original bag and brass capped tube SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~W. E. Carpenter 7'9" 2pc/ 1 tip (2nd tip repair) for #5 line. This rod, built in 1980 comes from the desirable early period from Mr. Carpenter. It has an authoritative, medium-fast action that is distinctively 'Carpenter'. Varnish is excellent throughout; stripping guide is the rare light agate in blued nickel-silver frame Carpenter rods are known for, with old stock tungsten steel snakes. The bad news is that one of the two tips was broken in shipment, repaired by myself and now rod is sold as a one tip rod. An opportunity to own and fish one of the most classic rods from a premier American modern maker without the usual premium price. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~W.E. Carpenter 'Browntone', 8 ft. 2pc/2 tips, 4⅜ oz for #5 line. This rod remains in at least excellent condition and would be a perfect 'all round' trout rod. Before I started hollow-building I always felt an 8 ft. #5 line rod was the ideal rod for most of the fishing I do, from the Catskills to the Rockies. Typical and distinctive fast and smooth Carpenter action with impeccable manners. The stripping guide is carbaloy and snake guides tungsten steel held in place with brown wraps tipped black. Butt cap is the most beautiful 'acorn' style below a figured spacer and aluminum hardware and nickel silver cap. If I were to choose one rod to represent the best of Walt's work, it would be this model or perhaps the 7'9" rod for the same line. In original bag with tag and labeled brass-capped tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Bjarne Fries 8 ft. "Noodle Rod", 2pc/2 tips, bamboo ferrules 2⅝ oz. Once in a great while I get a rod from a maker I have seen very little or nothing from, and on examining the rod I am greatly impressed by the maker's distinctive vision of the work they are doing; this is such a rod. It stands out not only for the courage it takes to call a rod "The Noodle", but by its workmanship and unique features. Dark lines seen at the edges of the hexagon are from the use of resorcinol, the strongest, most water-proof of all the glues. Examine the photos and you will also see the hexagonal rod cross section displayed at the end of the butt, and inlaid into the brass tube cap. Ferrules are the 'tip over butt' style developed by Bjarne years ago and wraps are translucent and clear, echoing inspiration from Garrison. Cork covered slide band over cork filler is 'all Bjarne'. Action would have to be describes as slow, but certainly not sloppy. The only soiling or sign of use I have found on this rod is some dirty smudges on the rod bag; rod remains at least excellent +. In original bag and brass capped tube. $2,950 SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge.
~Garrison 209 8 ft., 2pc/2 tips casting #5 lines. I always love it when I have the opportunity to hold and cast an original Garrison. It is a testament to the spirit of the craft that a rod such as this stands out against all the makers who have imitated Garrison's approach. After all, Hoagy Carmichael's book in collaboration with Mr. Garrison lays out in great detail how to produce a Garrison, and yet when we hold 'the real thing' in our hands it has distinctly more presence than all the imitators. In my experience, the best of the makers working along Mr. Garrison's approach is Hoagy, which is as it should be. And yet, the original stands apart and on its own terms. This is a lighter action than the better known and more common model 212 eight footer, and to me it is preferable if one wants a #5 line rod. Built before Garrison went to resorcinol glue with its dark glue lines, this rod also has a tip taper which continues to drop into the tip-top, not flattening as on most 212's I've seen. For me, this yields a sweeter and more efficient tip. I had the great pleasure of fishing this rod some years ago on a small stream in Montana, and I can assure you it is a fine performer on the water and is ready to fish in all ways. The ferrule plug was made by yours truly some years ago and I also added a piece of felt as liner to the inside of the brass tube cap at that time. Finish is original as are wraps, standard clear (varnished white) wraps at the guides and dark brown silk at the grip and ferrules with a subtle red / green wrap at the tip tops to differentiate them . In original bag and brass-capped tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~G.H. Howells 8 ft. 2pc/2 tips 3¾ oz for #5 line. This rod is from the early enough period from Gary when he was still doing the double wrapping of the guides. Rod is dead straight with perfect ferrule fits and varnish is excellent throughout. Light weight all aluminum knurled slide band and pocket butt cap. There is only the very slightest ridging of the cork from age in the grip and skeleton reel-seat. A classic all-round trout rod in the best Western tradition. To "sweeten the pot" with this rod is offered a fly box of flies tied by Gary Howells with an authentication letter from Craig Lynch (close friend of Gary's), a photo of Gary on his last day fishing, and copies of various Howells papers. It is interesting to note the variations Gary used on different patterns, such as moose hair tail on the Dark Hendrickson, and his version of a low floating salmon fly pattern. Please see photos. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
Charlie Jenkins (and Steve)
~Charlie Jenkins 7 ft. 2 pc/2 tips #GA70-29. I understand from the current owner that this rod was the 126th rod built by Charlie and it was finished in 1976. It has a distinctly 'Garrison-esque' feel to it and I like it with a WF5 line, though it will cast a DT4 as well. The "GA" in the serial number indicates a Garrison taper, while if it was marked "GL" it would indicate a rod inspired by Gillum. The stripping guide is hardened steel similar to the old 'Perfection' style, while the snakes are tungsten steel, all wrapped in medium brown thread tipped yellow and color preserved. A nice detail that I appreciate is the slide band which has been swaged to lay flat when engaged to the reel foot. Hoagy Carmichael taught me that many years ago and I've often wondered why more makers don't use this simple idea. Rod remains essentially straight and in at least very good condition, just a touch of blueing gone from the ferrules from years of use and one tip top deformed (see photos). I understand that Charlie carried on a correspondence with Mr. Garrison in his early building, and apparently Charlie gained an appreciation for Garrison's approach to tapers. I had the privilege of being with Charlie in southern Wyoming for a couple days many years ago on the banks of the North Platte and Encampment Creek; he is as fine a man as I have met and it is sad that he is gone, though his son Steve carries on the rod work. Comes in original bag and Jenkins labeled tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~H.L. Leonard pre-fire 7 ft. 2pc/2 tips in 'Hunt' style (A.C.M.?). This rod is a bit of an enigma in that the only 'Hunt' style rods I have seen from before the fire in 1964 have been 8 foot 50DF models; this rod has all the hallmarks of darker cane showing signs of stain, blued ferrules and hardware, deeper red burgundy wraps, so perhaps it was a special order. Action is decidedly more full than seen on most Leonards, and in checking its taper against an A.C.M. I own, it is very close, so it is in my opinion likely that hard to find model. It does not have the undersized grip and short, delicate reel-seat usually seen on A.C.M. rods, however and weight is just shy of 2½ oz. Ferrule fits are perfect and the rod is very straight, especially given the use it has seen indicated by the grip soiling. All sections full length and without repairs or need for such. Most of the burgundy wraps are cracked and there are spots on the shaft where the varnish has been worn off and this is also true on the stained reel-seat. Were the rod mine, I would give it a full refinish, restoring all the bluing in the process; the quality of this rod certainly deserves it. In original Leonard tube and rod sack with stiffener sewn in. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~H.L. Leonard Hunt, 7½ ft. 3pc/2 tips, 49-5, Maxwell era. Many bamboo aficionados consider these Maxwell era Leonards to be the epitome of the bamboo rodmaker's craft and examining and casting this rod it is easy to see why. The workmanship is impeccable in every way and the fast, yet smooth action is a delight. I'm sorry to say that I somehow never crossed paths with Tom Maxwell, though I have heard stories of his legendary craftsmanship from other well-known makers. Low-bridge agate stripping guide, impeccable varnish, elegant proportions, great node work; what more can one say about a rod such as this? Rod remains in excellent+ condition throughout, with only the slightest indication that it has been fished. In original bag (original owner's writing as seen in photo) and Leonard brass capped tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~H.L. Leonard (pre-fire) model 50 DF, 8 ft 3pc/2 tips (one barely short), 3⅞ oz. Likely the most popular trout rod model from Leonard in the heyday of bamboo, and there is a reason for that. This rod has seen use, but remains straight and true with the second tip just barely short by about ½ inch. Ferrule fits are perfect and the rod remains in very good + condition overall with original varnish without need for attention. Action I would say is a touch slower than I have seen on other 50DF's, but they do vary and I've always found this model to be very smooth and pleasant. A great all around trout rod for rivers and streams. In original Leonard tube and bag with the tag. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~H.L. Leonard (pre-fire) model 50 DF, 8 ft 3pc/2 tips, 4⅛ oz (on tag; exactly 4.0 oz on my digital scale). This would be a great 'user rod' of this iconic eastern dry fly rod as it has some wraps over-coated with varnish and the same treatment to the butt section. Rod is quite straight with only the slightest downward sweep from playing fish, and in overall very good condition as well as being a wonderful, smooth caster. All sections full length; one tip has a very short 'invisible' wrap just over one eighth inch long wrapped and varnished over a hook dig many years ago by Bob Taylor visible in one of the photographs. Casting this rod reveals why Leonard made so many of this model, particularly before the fire; it is simply a great rod, smooth and just fast enough. If you were to try your first bamboo rod, this would be the perfect starting point. I've always very much preferred these Leonards from the 1950's to the 'red wrap era' which I became so familiar with in my own introduction to bamboo in the 1970's. A classic American dry fly rod for very little money given the inherent quality of design and execution. In original bag with tag and original Leonard brass capped tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~John Parker 7 ft. 2pc/2 tips #4 line. I got to know John back in the 1980's when we were both getting started making rods and visited him again after his move to the Saratoga area of Wyoming. His rods gained quite a following, though it is my understanding from the last time we spoke some years ago, that he stopped building after a move back to New York state. Action is quite fast and this rod would be at home on any number of small to medium sized streams. Fully staggered, spiral node pattern insures that each node is surrounded by solid bamboo fiber. American pattern steel snake guides and small carbaloy stripping guide are held in place by light brown, translucent wraps tipped black. Tips are differentiated at the tip tops by a green tipping on one and a red on the other. 90+ percent of blueing on ferrules remains, while the butt cap and slide band show more wear from honest use. Ferrule fits are excellent and overall condition is at least very good with perfect varnish. In original bag with stiffener sewn in and brass-capped tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Jim Payne model 97; 7 ft. 2pc/2 tips, 2¾ oz casting a #4 line. This Payne 97 has the 'sold by' stamping on the butt cap, and that, combined with its coming with the original ferrule plug, would put it as built most likely in the early 1950's before the further control over Payne by Abercrombie & Fitch. Please read more about Payne and the company's history in Hoagy Carmichael's book "Eight by Carmichael." This rod has the very beautiful mahogany color to the bamboo and finish as well as the 'parabolic' cork reel-seat transitioning directly into the grip and with the 'Payne' stamped pocket butt cap. Judging by the soiling on the grip the rod has seen use, but remains in overall excellent condition for its age. Finish is absolutely original and varnish hasn't softened at all; ferrule fits typical Payne, sliding together easily and snugging tight as they fully engage. Stripping guide is Perfection with American pattern tungsten steel snake guides held in place by brown tipped yellow wraps. Rod is straight as a pin with one tip, while the other tip has just the slightest sweep to the left as if from a left hand caster. In original bag with immaculate tag, and Payne tube with the A&F red label. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge.
~Jim Payne model 100H, 7½ ft. 2pc/2 tips 3⅝ oz (on tag). This is a lovely example of this highly useful model, 'Sold by' A&F with the warm, deep color I so love in Paynes. A fast and lively dry fly rod and casting a #5 line, this rod is at home on all but the largest rivers. It remains in excellent original condition with perfect ferrule fits, a 'Perfection' stripping guide and reverse twist 'English' snake guides. The ferrule wraps are the only place where I think there may be an old, thin overcoat of varnish, but even there I am not sure. There is nothing like an original Payne finish and wraps. As often happens, the ferrule plug had worn a hole in the bottom of the rod bag, so I convinced my wife Jean to repair that to keep the butt section from falling through the bag. In original bag, with hanging tag, and Payne tube. $4,250 SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~F.E. Thomas Special 7½ ft. 2pc/2 tips (one tip short), butt cap stamped "O / 62". This rod has the hard-to-find Thomas grip transitioning into an all cork reel-seat, certainly my favorite configuration for a Thomas rod. With its typical fast-tapering tip this rod casts a DT4 line the way only a Thomas can; yes, I do have a fondness for F.E. Thomas rods and I would judge this to be the fast dry fly taper (Thomas made "dry fly", "fast dry fly" and "very fast dry fly" models). All metal stripping guide and American pattern tungsten steel snake guides. In original condition with tag and at least very good varnish throughout, but one tip is about 3½ inches short. A modest set from casting and fishing. In original Thomas tube with partial label and original bag. These light line short Thomas rods don't show up in the market very often and they are oh so nice to fish with. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~F.E. Thomas 7'6" 3pc/2 tips Special. This is a light action Thomas of older vintage with full intermediates and '03' stamped on the butt cap. It has an old, very expertly done restoration that looks like it included new cork; rod remains very straight and in excellent restored condition with perfect ferrule fits and ready to fish. It is a smooth casting, somewhat slower action as expected from its vintage; I liked it with a DT or WF4 modern line. Comes in a replacement rod bag and original tube with the older nickel plated fittings. These older light line Thomas rods don't come up often with all pieces still intact and full length like this one. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~R.L. Winston 'Leetle Feller' 6 ft. 2pc/1 tip, 2 oz. This is a very rare model from this legendary west coast maker. Peter Schwab wrote an insightful piece about these wonderful short little rods and their capabilities in Fly Fisherman Magazine. It was in the 1970's, but I can't put my finger on it; if you know the issue, please remind me. One of the tricks with making rods this short is getting the butt to bend and Doug Merrick built a full working action into this stick, where every inch of it is working. It was built in 1970 and the Winston catalogs of that time call for a DT3 line on this model. I haven't had a chance to line this rod in this cold winter, but my sense is that it will astonish with the power and casting ability built into its taper. This rod has seen use as evidenced by the soiling on the grip, but remains dead straight and in overall excellent condition. In original bag with San Francisco Winston label and labeled tube. This model is seldom seen. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~R.L. Winston Stoner era 7½ ft. 2pc/2 tips, 3¼ oz. I doubt very much that I have seen a Stoner era Winston in better shape than this rod; the rod is immaculate. It was built in 1953 by Lew Stoner and Doug Merrick for the legendary fly shop owner Pat Barnes who sold the rod to Donald Hopkins who was a huge Winston fan and collector. His name is written on the rod shaft, so Pat Barnes must have ordered it for him. I have for a long time preferred the fast tapering, finer tips of the Stoner designs and the action on this rod feels spectacular. Too cold for me to try it now, but it should handle a #5 line. Rod looks to have had very little if any use, is straight with perfect ferrule fits. In original San Francisco bag with label and tube with partial label in tact. A truly spectacular rod in the best western tradition. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~R.L. Winston 7½ ft. 2pc/2 tips 3⅛ oz. In my hands this rod is best with a #5 line and it is a nice quick action, though one tip is stronger than the other and the stronger tip slows the action a touch. It was built in 1965 for Jim Poor (of Angler's All at one time) by Doug Merrick, likely with help from Gary Howells and then refinished by Glenn Brackett after some years of use. Rod remains straight and true with good varnish and soiling of grip as seen in photos. In those years, Winstons were generally built as one tip rods and I believe that was the case here, with the second tip added at a later date. The bag is a one tip bag, but with room for both tips. It is getting harder to find these great action shorter Winstons from the Merrick era. With original San Francisco labeled bag and tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
R.L. Winston 7'9" Quad; 2pc/2 tips, 3⅛ oz for #4/5 lines, ser. # 3169. This rod has the distinctive touches of Glenn Brackett from the time when he was still at Winston, such as the lovely bamboo check at the front of the grip. I would call the action medium with strong tips, a good all round trout rod on streams and rivers. So interesting to see the innovative work Glenn did in his last few years at Winston, something he has carried on for years now at Sweetgrass. Condition is excellent throughout with perfect ferrule fits and faultless varnish. In original bag and labeled aluminum tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~M. Wojnicki model 246L5 very early 8'1" (246cm) 2pc/2 tips semi-hollow hexagonal. From the serial number, and from a recent phone conversation with Mario Wojnicki about this rod, this rod was built in 1988, so well before he and I started sharing shop space in El Cerrito, CA. Mario tells me that the 'L' designation denotes a slower taper and lighter action rod, but still for a #5 line. We have the first truly warm day of spring today, so able to go out and cast; I will tell you this rod absolutely sings with a Triangle Taper 5 line and has plenty of power for more standard #5 lines as well. It is obvious from casting this rod, that Mario's talent as a builder showed from the very outset of his career. I would describe the action as medium / progressive; certainly not as semi-parabolic as later work he became known for, perhaps a touch closer to the tapers I still prefer today in my own building. The Swiss style ferrule is a size 13 and tip top is a 4½. The stripping guide is ceramic and snakes are hard chrome under translucent wraps almost clear as in Everett Garrison's work, and double-wrapped next to the guide a 'la Winston and early Howells rods. Tip top wraps are differentiated to identify each tip for those who like to 'rotate' their use. Rod is straight as a pin and varnish perfect, overall condition at least excellent. A significant rod in the history of modern west coast hollow-building, this could very easily become your favorite all-round trout rod. In original bag and tube. $2,650 SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~M. Wojnicki GF 245; 8'1" 2pc/2tips semi-hollow 5-strip rod for #5 line; ser. #6715. This is a glass-glass ferrule rod which it is so difficult to convince Mario to make because of the work involved. I watched Mario develop and evolve this glass ferrule design over a period of years while we shared shop space in El Cerrito, CA. I feel it is the best synthetic material ferrule ever developed. This one comes from the collection of my friend and fellow rod-maker Jack Coyle and remains in excellent, lightly used condition. Action is on the parabolic side of semi-parabolic. Snake guides are hard chrome while the stripping guide is a Mildrum SRMC light ring carbaloy. Comes in distinctive original bag (with M. Wojnicki tag) and brass-capped stamped tube and includes Mario's ferrule plug for the female glass ferrule. An outer tube bag is included, but is not original to the rod. From the collection of Jack Coyle SOLD Click on smaller photos to enlarge.
~Bogdan 'baby trout' wide spool in all black finish in RHW (right hand wind). This is the favorite reel for many trout anglers with a taste for the best; nothing feels or sounds like a Bogdan with line going out against that classic click. This wide spool version of his smallest reel will hold a #4 line and 50 yards of 20# backing. Difficult to find this reel in the all black finish. In mint, unused and unlined condition from the original owner. With original suede drawstring pouch as sold. $2,650 SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Hardy 3" Wide Spool wartime reel. The 3" wide spool has become my absolute favorite reel for much of my trout fishing in the last five years. It is just the right size and weight with perfect line capacity for the bamboo rods I fish. As a reel built during WWII this one has the black painted finish (in better shape than usually seen), Mark II check but without spare parts, and smooth, shorter brass foot with most black paint worn off the foot. Very nice range on its click tensioner and no spool play or wobble; a great reel to fish as is the Special Perfect above. SOLD Click on images to enlarge
~Hardy Wide Drum Salmon Perfect 4" in Right Hand Wind from my personal collection. This reel has no line guard, so it is possible to flip the pawl inside and use this reel as a LHW. It is in very nice shape, showing only minor finish wear and having all spare parts in place internally. It has the long, ribbed brass foot, original retaining screw and straight-line writing and comes in Hardy Brothers box properly marked with a "4 inch Perfect" tag. SOLD