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
~Aroner 7½ ft 'Spring Creek' 3pc/2 tips M for #5 line. Marc's rods are known for their beautiful aesthetics and fine craftsmanship as well as for usually rapier-quick actions; this is one of his somewhat rare M rods with a more moderate action. I personally prefer this action to Marc's more commonly seen tapers. Rod remains essentially mint and retains the distinctive ferrule plugs. In original bag and brass-capped tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Brandin 805-3df HB; 8 ft. 3 pc/2 tips 3¾ oz, semi-hollow quad for #5 line. This rod was built in 2004 and remains in very near mint condition. I have built a good number of this model and some feel it is my best model. It is an easy loading, smooth, all around trout rod for what is arguably the most useful line size for most trout fishing. The stripping guide is agate and reel-seat filler mahogany under blued n/s cap & band. Wraps translucent olive. In original bag and labeled tube with ferrule plugs and outer tube bag. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Brandin 806-2 'P' solid quad; 8 ft. 2pc/1 tip 4⅛ oz for #6 or 7 lines. I prefer this rod with a WF7 line and it will also handle a DT6; a great rod for grilse, light steelhead or larger trout. It remains in mint condition as our last two trips to Newfoundland for salmon have been cancelled due to the closed border with Canada, and has been lawn cast only. Action is parabolic, loosely based on the concept behind a Paul Young Para 15, but more powerful and transcribed to quad construction. My friend Art Warner describes tip tapers as on this rod as the "ice cream cone taper," dramatically fast to a fine tip. Stripping guide is agate and snake guides from Snake Brand, the reel-seat spacer is my standard mahogany. With ferrule plug, original bag (with storage for ferrule plug) and labeled heavy 6061 T6 brass-capped aluminum tube. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Brandin 836/7-3 LS/S (light salmon / steelhead); 8'3" 3pc/4 tips for a #6 or 7 line, semi-hollow hexagonal rod. I made this rod for my own use, primarily in Newfoundland for salmon and grilse in 2018. I did take some salmon on it but the rod remains in excellent+ condition throughout. For me it is best with a #7 line. It has two lighter tips which I prefer when fishing smaller flies on a dry line, and two heavier tips better with sink tips and somewhat larger flies. It has a detachable fighting butt and a butt cap inspired by the F.E. Thomas 'streamer rods.' Wraps are brown over flamed cane, stripper guide agate and titanium carbide snake guides. A smooth and comfortable action in this shorter length and with its full hollow built construction, very easy to swing all day. In original bag, labeled tube and outer tube bag with pocket for fighting butt, ferrule plugs and fighting butt. 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. 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
~Dickerson 8014; 8 ft. 2pc/2 tips, 4½ oz for #6/7 lines. Built in 1955 for John S. Sweeney Jr. who was Dickerson's best non-dealer customer. He ordered 21 rods over the years according to the Dickerson ledger. Both tips are marked JSS Jr above each ferrule. Reverse half Wells grip; down-locking reel-seat with walnut spacer; 3x3 node spacing. A characteristically fast, positive action that will drive a #6 line, though I prefer it with a #7. This rod remains in remarkable and excellent original condition throughout appearing to have been little used. This rod is included in the Schaff/Stein Dickerson book on page 54 which shows a list of rods being sold by Wanigas Rod Co. in 1972 after Mr. Sweeney's passing. It is rod #42 on the list. In original light olive-gray bag and original tube with a replacement cap made by Bob Summers (marked 'RWS' inside cap). SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Dickerson 8614, 8½ ft 2pc/2 tips. I had never felt affection for Dickerson rods until last September when I had a chance to cast a good number of them while staying and fishing with friends in Maine. I even got to fish a model 8615 on a medium sized river and the light went off for me, "now I understand why some people just love these rods!" Just great performance on the water. This one casts a #5 line with authority and great range from in close to reaching out with longer casts. Condition overall is excellent with perfect ferrule fits and bamboo straight and true, though the varnish shows its age and could use some TLC to feel more confident fishing this rod. Although the cork shows soiling, there is no ridging and the grip is in good shape. A new website Dickersonrods.com has recently been created by one of the most knowledgeable people on Dickersons and is loaded with insights and information on these distinctive rods not found elsewhere. He also holds the original Dickerson ledger and is willing to share information on individual rods for those with questions about a rod they own. This is one of the great midwestern American rods built by a true master. In original bag and 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. 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
Granger (Goodwin & Wright & McGill)
~Granger Deluxe W&M 7 ft, 2pc/2 tips, #4 line. This highly desirable model remains in excellent original condition and the elegantly dark shafts and fancy wraps make it one of the prettiest of classic western rods. It has the 'hammer grip' which I find very comfortable also showing unusually good quality cork. It looks to have been perhaps very carefully used, if at all, and remains straight as a pin. Customary n/s up-locking patented Granger reel-seat that functions so well. The rod bag looks to be of the correct material, though I cannot vouch for its originality as I have not seen a leather tab attached to other Granger rod bags I have handled, and the top seam is rolled out, not in as I believe is customary for Granger bags. I do believe the tube is original. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge.
~Granger Deluxe W&M, 8 ft 3p/2 tips 4 oz (on tube label), #4 line. Once in a very great while a rod of this vintage and condition shows up, built in the 1950's but absolutely mint and unused. This one even has the original brown paper around the burgundy colored aluminum rod tube as originally issued, as well as the very rare little informational pamphlet about Granger rods wrapped around the reel-seat as they were delivered. Tube is immaculate as is the affixed Granger label. The rod came at one time from Dale Langtry who was shop foreman at Wright & McGill after Bill Phillipson's failed attempt to buy the company. Grangers are always nice and smooth casters taking their basic designs from Goodwin Granger who was an accomplished tournament caster and these Deluxe models are among the prettiest western rods ever built. A rare find for the discerning Granger collector in original bag and tube with paper. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Jim Hidy 8 ft. 3pc/2 tips for #4 line, ser. #Z24442 H-3. This rod is new (unlined and un-fished) and is a light action rod for #4 line. When I started studying and fishing bamboo rods in the 1970's my 'holy grail' was to find an 8 foot rod that fished a #4 line well; this rod would have been beyond a dream come true for me in those early years with its light, smooth action and wonderful feel in the hand. Jim was good friends with my old shop-mate Mario Wojnicki and it was Mario's and my work in that shop in El Cerrito which inspired Jim to evolve his own building that includes hollowing. Swiss style ferrules, agate stripping guide and light wire dark steel snake guides are nice details and combined with a distinctive grip shape and mortised reel-seat filler, all come together into a recognizable style consistent in Jim Hidy's work. 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 7½ ft. 2pc/2 tips #5 line ser. #481. This is an impregnated rod built by Leonard in the early to mid 1980's called "Red Wrap" in some of the Leonard catalogs of that era. It is a pretty rod with its red wraps over somewhat caramel colored cane and condition is excellent throughout. For me its relatively softer tip fishes best from close to medium distances. In original bag and brass-capped Leonard tube. 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
~Tom Maxwell 7 ft. 3pc/2 tips. This is easily the nicest Maxwell rod I have ever seen and it remains in mint condition. Tom was one of the two founding partners of Thomas & Thomas; he also managed rod building and design at Leonard after the split at T&T, creating some of the finest actions ever built at that old firm. Maxwell rods are rare and even more so in this configuration with the bamboo rod tube; a close old friend of Tom's tells me he believes very few rods like this were ever built. It is an iconic example of modern bamboo work by one of the most significant figures in the more recent bamboo tradition. This rod may have been lawn cast, but appears not to have been fished and feels like it would handle a #4 line. Action is a moderate progressive dry fly, not as rapier quick as one might expect from this maker; it feels exquisite to me and is definitely my kind of action. The only markings on the rod are "TLM" under the wrap above the grip, which is repeated under the famous 'man in top-hat fly caster' made famous by this maker. The narrow slide band is evocative of the Leonard ACM model, but the reel-seat accepts standard reel feet. You may never see one like this again. 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. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Jim Payne model 198, 7½ ft. 3pc/2 tips 3¾ oz. Sold by Von Longerke & Antoine in Chicago, this is as pretty a Payne trout rod as I have seen. It has the deep, 'pumpkin' shaded varnish that I feel is the most beautiful among Payne finishes. I have known this rod for about 25 years, as it was bought by an old customer of mine from Marty Keane in 1996 (cat. #69, rod #29) and he showed it to me at the Long Beach Casting Club. He was so taken with it that he would not allow me to cast it; he brought another model 198 that he owned and allowed me to cast that one, but would only let me handle and admire this rod! The rod was subsequently after about 15 years sold to a Payne collector friend who is now putting it up for sale with me. It is the earlier, slightly more delicate taper for this model, still good with a #5 line, but some casters may prefer a 4. The rod is straight as a pin and in excellent condition, though showing signs of use. Rod varnish has only minimal signs of use and no alligatoring or softness; a great example of the legendary Jim Payne finish. Varnish on reel-seat shows minor wear, while the hardware retains its bluing in perfect shape. the stripping guide is a particularly nice agate and tungsten steel snake guides are the classic reverse twist 'English' style. In original bag with hanging tag and Payne tube and blue label inexplicably attached half way down, not in the customary place just below the collar. A quintessential dry fly rod for the discriminating Payne collector. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~E.C. Powell 'Companion' rod, 8½/9 ft, 2 butts, 2 tips for #5 and 6 lines. This is the exact rod pictured on the cover of my book on the life and work of E.C. Powell "A Fly Rod With a Soul" and it appears in several places inside the book as well. Tips are identical and the butts are of differing lengths, making up into two rods, one an 8½ ft #5 line rod and a 9 ft #6 line rod. The taper is a subtle A taper, so a touch faster than the more common B9 taper. It is semi-hollow as indicated by the patent number and the white / black tipping at the grip. This rod would have been built in the early 1950's after Walton had left the business and before Tony Maslan started to work with E.C. It remains in excellent condition with the small exception of a chip of cork missing at the reel-seat edge of the grip (easily seen in one of the photos). It has been many, many years since I have seen an example of this model and of this quality come to market. In original olive twill four compartment bag and brass-capped tube (I've added a piece of white felt in the top cap). SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~F.E. Thomas Special 7½ ft 2pc/2 tips, 3.9 oz with its locking reel-seat. This is one of those very special Thomas rods I would describe as "Very Fast Dry Fly." In the old Thomas catalogs I have, Fred Thomas talks about making "dry fly, fast dry fly, and very fast dry fly" rods; judging by the dramatic swell combined with very fine, fast tapering tips, I judge this to be the very fast dry fly taper. It is astonishingly fast and will cast a DT4 or WF5 line, the heavier line slowing the action just a touch. According to the Thomas ledger the rod dates from 1940 which also puts its weight at 3⅞ oz. It has the very nice touch of variegated green/black tipping just above the grip and the ferrules which I believe was only done for a short time, reverse twist 'English' snake guides and the delicate knurl on the rim of the butt cap pocket. Did Thomas also use butternut like Leonard did? It looks that way to me on the reel-seat spacer. Rod is in great shape for its age with varnish not needing attention and slight ridging of the cork grip as you can just see in the photos. In original bag and Thomas labeled tube. 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 7½ ft., 2pc/2 tips, 3⅜ oz. Built in 1967 by Doug Merrick for Don Hopkins who was a great customer of Winston in those days out of Spokane, WA. Rods built for Mr. Hopkins always seem to be particularly nice and this one is no exception. It remains in at least excellent + (I want to say near mint) condition and as Glenn Brackett puts it, was built originally with "two tips in a one-tip era" at Winston. Glenn tells me that it was built for a #5 line, though it has plenty of backbone for a WF6 as well, and in my hands I prefer the slightly heavier line. A wonderful casting rod in just superb condition. In original bag with San Francisco label and tube with the "R.L. Winston fluted hollow / patented rod" label almost 100% in tact. 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 GF 245; 8'1" 2pc/2 tips semi-hollow 5-strip rod for #5 line; ser. #42615. These glass ferruled rods have the advantage of lighter ferrules that also allow continuous action through the ferrule. It took years for Mario to develop and perfect the design while we shared shop space in El Cerrito, CA in the 1990's and they are much more work than traditional nickel silver ferrules. This one shows signs of use such as the scratches that can be seen on the reel-seat, but the varnish and wraps are perfect as is the ferrule fit. Action is Mario's typical and distinctive semi-parabolic he has become known for. A very smooth and powerful, all-around trout rod. Comes in original bag and stamped 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. 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.
Paul Young & Paul Young Co.
~Paul Young Co Midge, 6'3" 2pc/2 tips 1.75 oz (on shaft; actual weight 2.1 oz). These quick little #4 line rods created quite the stir in the 1960's with the writing of Arnold Gingrich and others and were at the forefront of the 'midge craze.' This one was built by Bob Summers while at the Young shop in Detroit and it remains in excellent condition with the exception of two short repair wraps on one tip (seen in the photos), so price is just above what a one tip rod would command. Judging by the Marty Keane label on the tube, this rod must have been sold by him at one time. A chance to own and fish one of these iconic rods for not a lot of money. In original bag and tube. SOLD Click on smaller images 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. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
~Bogdan Steelhead reel; this 3¼" diameter LHW reel is listed in Bogdan specs at 6 oz, but this one comes in at 5.6 oz on my postal scale. Spool width is 1.15" and the Bogdan specs list it for a #9 WF line with 75 yards of 20# backing. It is a click and pawl reel set up for left hand wind with the strong click you want for a steelhead reel. One of the more rare models by Stanley Bogdan, this one is mint unused and comes in the original dark buckskin bag and with the original paper tag from its first and only owner. SOLD Click on images to enlarge
~Hardy Perfect 1896 check 2½ inch fly reel. This diminutive fly reel with triple stamping is rare indeed. Very little spool play and reel is certainly usable though well over 100 years old. With its wide spool, this reel should hold a #3 line or lighter and would be class on a light line bamboo rod. Smooth brass foot is unmolested and reel comes in a Farlow leather case with room to spare. You Hardy aficionados out there, please ask any specific questions, though the photographs should answer most. 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
~Paul Hermann salmon reel, 3⅛" diameter and approximately 1¼" wide, serial number 116 in LHW. Seven-position drag gives a very wide range on this beautiful S-handle reel. It has been honestly used, but remains in excellent condition, the only noticeable slight scuffing on the rims. Comes in fitted Olaf Kundrus black leather case. SOLD Click on images to enlarge
~D.L. Robichaud 2¾" small trout reel in RHW (right hand wind). This is the first of these fine reels I have had for sale, and I would say it would be a good choice for a #3 line. Nice lighter click to protect delicate tippets and classic styling without the price of a Bogdan or Vom Hofe. Comes in padded Orvis zippered case. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge
Saracione Mark V 3¼" salmon / steelhead reel in LHW (left hand wind). Designed for use with single hand rods or smaller switch rods, this reel has a completely sealed carbon fiber drag system and will hold a WF8 line and 125 yds of 20# dacron backing. About as nice a modern salmon reel as one could want, this one is new, never lined with the original box, bill of sale and reel pouch. SOLD click on smaller images to enlarge
Vom Hofe, Edward
~Edward Vom Hofe Peerless 355 size 2, 4⅝ oz and 2¾" diameter. Serial number B124, built in 1935. A few marks from use on the sideplates, but no cracks, and all original screws in good condition. Overall I would call the condition excellent and mechanically perfect. About as beautiful a reel as one could put on a fine, light-line bamboo rod. The on / off click works as it should to engage the pawl providing just the right amount of 'drag' for fishing good fish on light lines and tippets. In my opinion there is no more beautiful reel than the ones produced by Edward Vom Hofe. In leather drawstring pouch. SOLD Click on smaller images to enlarge