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Unread 10-21-2009, 08:42 PM   #11
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Bruce Day pointed out on this BBS awhile back that although the American gun craftsman is largely a thing of the past, the American rod and reel craftsman is alive and well. Here's a Bellinger reel that I bought from Al Bellinger himself at his shop last spring. Its as fine a reel as was ever made.
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Grazie Senor- You are also a "cane adict"
Unread 10-21-2009, 09:17 PM   #12
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Default Grazie Senor- You are also a "cane adict"

I had a Morris Kushner 7' 9" 2/2 "Excelereme"- but like the Young Parabolic series, I was more atuned to the crisper casting characteristics of the pre-fire 3 pc. Leonards. My DF50 was made in about 1958, I have never yet cast a Hunt Model 50- the flamed cane and blued hardware and reel seats were so pleasing to both the eye and in hand. Morris Kushner apparently was a friend of the late MI trout/legal/flyfishing/OldCabinStill consuming UP curmudgeon extraordinaire-- John Voelker! He was mentioned in Trout Madness I believe.

I have my reels set for LH winding (from the spin casting era I guess) and I was a good friend of the late Bill Hunter, he got me both the LH Trout and the LH Steelhead Bogdan reels many years ago. Stan's son Steve, who I believe is in charge of the Company up in Nashua NH- was a USN machinists' mate and had duty in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam Era- Strange isn't it, how the very Tonkin reeds that may have later become the Garrisons and Gillums and other fine "sticks" grew stronger in the Monsoons of the Gulf area.

I also have owned a few of the Captain Mac MacChristian SeaMasters and the early Gar Wood Fin-Nors (aka- the "wedding cake" design) and have used them salmon and steelheads--also salt water work, along with the no longer made Penn reels (Senators and M stainless spool models). Now 90% of the fly reels sold by catalogue houses are made in Korea, even Abel had to move in that direction to stay profitable.

I find it interesting to compare the graphite fly rods to the cane rods as comparing a Binelli 12 gauge with black synthetic stock to a Parker DHE- both variations will peform (if set up properly) but dry fly fishing for trout with a good cane rod (and balanced reel) is like bird hunting with a good dog and a fine double (side-by-side for me)- as the late Gene Hill once wrote: "A sense of doing it right". I met Gene years ago on a Orvis book signing tour out here, we chatted about trout and salmon fishing and he told me his definition of a "Hardy" fly reel, to wit: A reel that when dropped onto large rocks in Alaska will keep on working"_
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Unread 10-22-2009, 08:44 AM   #13
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I have a very few quality reels and even fewer bamboo rods, and I am in awe of Sante's fine and significant collection of bamboo fly rods. I am also in awe of Francis's knowledge and experience in these works of fine craftsmanship. Sometimes people do not realize that some of these rods and some reels are comparable in value and scarcity to the lower end of Parker shotguns.

Dave, the Bellingers are outstanding works of craftsmanship by all accounts. I'd like to handle one some day. Fine reels turn like Swiss watches. We live in interesting times with a few Bogdans still being made, the Bellingers, high end Abels, the Hardy Perfect being made again, and several more. And for rods, we have great individual makers who have taken the place of the multi person shops of the past. It only takes money ( like $2000 or so) and time ( like 1 to 2 years). Simroe is still making rods and that is a direct line to the Leonards and Hawes of the past.

I don't own a Parker-Hawes rod, maybe someday, but I can surely admire them.

Last edited by Bruce Day; 10-22-2009 at 08:56 AM..
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Unread 10-22-2009, 09:26 AM   #14
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I think auction results of the past decade or so will show that some of the rarest and finest cane rods have commanded prices considerably higher than the lower end of Parker shotguns . . . unless one considers grades up to B or even A to be included in the "lower end". Of course, such cane rods are as rare or rarer than a fine graded Parker.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:16 AM   #15
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Since my father's unexpected death in 2007, leaving us with an unsettled estate and funeral expenses for which a few rods got sold to keep us above water, I've seen prices all over the map for quality cane and quality condition Parker guns.

I also had the misfortune of having to sell off more of my rod collection, several reels and a 98% 16 VHE to defray medical expenses for kidney failure and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

I'm currently holding my own and thankful for that and for having once owned some fine specimens of rods and shotguns which paid me back when I needed it most. Both bird hunting and fly fishing have meant so much to me they both played a key role in rehabilitation just wish I felt stable enough to try the woods of October for myself and Levi my Weimaraner.........

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I think auction results of the past decade or so will show that some of the rarest and finest cane rods have commanded prices considerably higher than the lower end of Parker shotguns . . . unless one considers grades up to B or even A to be included in the "lower end". Of course, such cane rods are as rare or rarer than a fine graded Parker.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:24 AM   #16
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Sante, I'm sorry to learn of your health problems. I sincerely hope you are well on the road to full recovery and will always be able to enjoy your favorite pastimes.

Best Wishes, Dean
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:33 AM   #17
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Sante, you are recognized as a thoughtful and considerate sportsman and I wish you a successful recovery. Best wishes and fishes.
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Counterfeited Parkers and Cane rods- a parallel
Unread 10-22-2009, 02:45 PM   #18
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Default Counterfeited Parkers and Cane rods- a parallel

[QUOTE=Dean Romig;5949]I think auction results of the past decade or so will show that some of the rarest and finest cane rods have commanded prices considerably higher than the lower end of Parker shotguns . . . unless one considers grades up to B or even A to be included in the "lower end". Of course, such cane rods are as rare or rarer than a fine graded Parker. I concur Dean. Just as some VHE Parkers have been "counterfeited" and sold to folks (and I don't include the Pachmayr upgrades in that lot) many cane rods were also "counterfeited" and sold to the uninformed as to the 'insider info"..Case in point- the fine Jim Payne 201- a nice 8 ft. 3 pc. 2 tip rod in either 5 or 6 wt. tapers- nice dark cane, swelled butt with keeper, various styles of reel seats offered, blued Payne (not Super-Z) pinned ferrules- and in many ways similar (except for market value) to the middle to higher Heddon rods made in Dowagiac MI- A friend brought me his "Payne" 201- one tip blued ferrules, wraps intact, die straight- but not in original bag and tube- so the lack of the second full length tip, original labelled bag and tube made the rod "affordable" to him, and he had always wanted a Payne- BUT- it was a Heddon 20 with changed wraps and reel seat (Heddon like the molded screw Bakelite style, sometimes in black (like the San Francisco R.L. Winstons) sometimes in a blend of colors like a marble0- and the node spacing on the Heddons was the same as Jim Payne used- BUT the nodes had been altered (Payne nodes were always flush with the surface) and the ferrules were NOT pinned- Payne didn't glue his ferrules, he heated the cane to swell it to a tight fin and a 1/64" dia. GS through pin was inserted in the through drilled finished ferrule--You'll have the Devil's own time removing a Payne ferrule without causing damage--Must be something akin to what others have said about the always in demand for a top quality double (Parker) and a fine cane rod (Parker-Hawes, Leonard and Leonard Mills, Everett Garrison, Harold Steele Gillum, Loman Hawes) and amazing also how many of these rodsmiths had an engineering background- The great Super-Z ferrules developed and patented in 1948 by Louis Fierrabend also speaks to this, as Z is the modulus of elasticity--

Also, as Sante means "health" in French I believe, my respects to our brother PGCA member Sante and hopes for an upturn in the health situation. We are all, in some way, merely custodians of the fine shotguns, rifles, fly rods and reels, etc. that speak of the higher echelons of the sporting life.. Some day they will pass into other hands- Fate I guess!!
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Unread 10-22-2009, 06:01 PM   #19
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Dean and Francis are quite correct. I see where there is a Gillum for sale for $6700, a Dickerson for $5300 and a Paul Young Midge for $4700. Rarified levels for sure. I wasn't aware asking prices had climbed so high.
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Wow- I have only seen and cast one Gillum--
Unread 10-22-2009, 07:28 PM   #20
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Default Wow- I have only seen and cast one Gillum--

I will share a reported story about the late Harold Steele Gillum, who was a friend of the late Jim Payne apparently. He lived in CT (Ridgefield perhaps) and like Jim Payne, was known for his meticulous finish varnish work. Someone had tipped "Pinky" Gillum off that another un-named rod maker was going to drop in for a surprise visit, hoping that "Winnie" Gillum would allow him into their home, where he had his rod shop in the basement- So "Pinky" was waiting for him. had a three inch wide painters' siding brush in his hand, dripping with varnish, and told the "visitor" that he was too busy finishing a rod to talk, to come back another day. Don't know if that is 100% true or not, but from what I have heard about Mr. Gillum, sounds about right.

The really, IMO anyway, sad thing about the great gunmakers, also the great cane rod makers and fine (Vom Hofe, MacChristian, Walker, etc.) marque reel makers is- their works of superior design and craftsmanship become of greatest value only after they pass on and are no longer making them.
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