Seeking Advice on Phillipson Paragon 8-1/2 with one short tip


Active Member
I am long for WFF but new on the Bamboo site. I ran into Steve at Pass Lake and he carried some beautiful vintage bamboo rods which he had refinished and was fishing. After that meeting I caught the "bamboo bug" and started researching vintage rods and ended up buying a Phillipson Paragon 8-1/2 5oz on Ebay as a project. It needs new finish and is not only missing its second tip but the one tip it has is 4" short. I plan to refinish the three pieces including new seat, new cork and new guides. The Ebay price was relatively cheap because of the condition of the rod and I figured I essentially got a great blank that would be fast and fun and a great project. But now I'm wondering if I should try to find a second tip which is full length ("34") to match. Any advice how that could be found? I saw an offer on Rick's Rods for replacement tips that would be a good match for Phillipsons but they are 36-39" and would also add a real increase to my total costs. What would you do? Anyone have a spare 34" tip from an old Phillipson or Granger (I know, that's a funny one). Thanks.
hey Para... well im a new maker and fell in love with bamboo restoring my dads old rods. my advice would be to find a maker you feel you can trust, send them the whole rod and they can make a new tip for the rod. you may want to search around the bamboo rod taper archives and you may be able to find the actual formula of the taper as well, that would save you money, since the maker you commission wont need to measure out the existing tip taper with calipers. I wouldnt put a differnt mis-matched tip from a differnt rod on it plus the ferrules may not fit... that will cost you more money in frustration and buying the wrong stepdown ferrules to make something fit. and the action will be or might be strange.
also a thought, you might go to the local Fly Fishing show when its in your state and you can meet a few makers in person and get there pulse on the project.
often if you get into split cane rods, many builders will now and then sell off prototypes of tapers they're experimenting with, and you can often get a great deal on a awesome rod for half the price of the rod once they consider the taper prime time.
good luck and have fun.
ps dont freak out if that rod breaks at some point after you cherry it out, it happens and its hard to know how much ware and tare are on older rods like those from ebay.
best Tony
I looked quickly and it didn't seem to me that you had asked the question on the Classic Rod Forum, so I'll make my recommendation here. You might want to think about getting the short tip scarfed up to full length, and the man to do it for you is Dennis Stone, "Tapermaker" on the CRF, who does amazing work at a reasonable price. Here's his website: While you're at it, you should also ask him about the possibility of making you a new tip. I'm in no way affiliated with him, I'm just an extremely satisfied client.


Greg Armstrong

I agree with Kenneth.
I had Dennis work on several bamboo rods of mine, including scarfing a broken tip on a Granger. I'd consider having him scarff the short tip on your rod back to full length.
He does good work at reasonable prices and we're fortunate that he is "just down the road" near Portlandia.
I'd give him a shout.


Active Member
Thanks Tony, Kenneth and Greg for the great input. It sounds like using a pro such as Dennis would be a great option. Steve - thanks again for the cool inspiration. This is fun.


Active Member
Ken & Greg,

Your recommendations of Dennis Stone were spot on! My rod project turned out to have a few more major issues than I even realized. Dennis scarfed the original tip, built a second tip, replaced the mid section and the ferrules, removed the old reel seat for me so I could easily replace it and put down a gorgeous varnish finish. . All for what seemed to be a reasonable cost. I could not see the scarf marks. All his work was excellent. And he is very good to work with. Thanks again! Ron
Paragon Project (2).jpg
Paragon Project (3).jpg
Paragon Project (8).jpg
Here are a few "before" and "after" photos. Notice the upgrade in hook keeper! (still can't believe it came with a bent nail used as a hook keeper). I just finished the last wraps and varnishing a few days ago so I won't cast this rod for another few weeks to give things time to cure. I'm looking forward to the first "lawn cast" to see how it handles. The rod feels very lively in hand, if that makes any sense.


Greg Armstrong

Wow, connecting a bamboo rod to a chum takes a lot of faith in the strength of tonkin. I guess it shows that bamboo really is one tough material. Like it!
Don't forget - bamboo rods were used way back in the olden days to catch everything - Steelhead, Salmon, even Tarpon and Billfish. I've caught half a dozen coho on my Granger 8642 5wt. while fishing for searuns. I wouldn't try it on purpose, but the old rod handled them fine, although I played them pretty gingerly.

It's amazing to think that something made out of grass can be so tough - but it is.

Your Phillipson looks beautiful BTW!

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
Although the rod looks much better now there is something likeable about the bent nail. It speaks to the utility of the rod as a fishing tool.
I have an old Orvis Equinox, 8 1/2' marked as an 8wt but like most Orvis rods at that time casts a 7wt much better. Anyway this rod was originaly sold as a kit and looks like it was assembled by someone who had probably never assembled a rod before. At some point in its life the reel seat started to come loose and the owner used a common nail to cross pin it. I can only hope he predrilled the hole before inserting the nail.
I have caught a few steelhead on it and the nail is still there with the head sticking out on one side.