Heddon Bamboo Info?

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by Dan Soltau, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Dan Soltau New Member

    Posts: 1,272
    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    I have a Heddon #14 bamboo rod, and I think it is something like a big six or a seven. I was wondering if anybody has been aquainted with one of these or anybody has any info on the rod. Thanks
  2. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Outer Duvall
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    The Heddon #14 was first added to the Heddon line in 1927. The price was $15.00. It was named the Thorobred. Production continued until about 1954. During this time it went through some cosmetic changes. Give me more specs and I may be able to date it more specifically. In detail, describe the reel seat, the grip, the stripping guide, the wraps and tipping colors, signature wraps, etc.
    Photos are worth a thousand words.

    TC
  3. rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

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    Renton wa
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  4. Dan Soltau New Member

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    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    There is actually two, but one has no writing on it. Heres is the pics, both are three peices and have two tips. They belonged to my grandfather, and before that my great grandfather who built nets and made leader straighteners in the early days for dan bailey when he opened his shop. He was fishermen in general, but he loved to fly fish and fly tying, although he was reknowned musky fisherman in his homeland of minnesota. Thanks in advance

    Attached Files:

  5. rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

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    Renton wa
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    What are the length is the ferrule on the gold wrapped rod. The gold wrapped one looks like a upper end trade rod, It docent look to have heddon ferrule's.
  6. Dan Soltau New Member

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    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    They both say they are 8 and half feet long, I am not sure what you meant by your last post?
    Thanks
  7. rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

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    Renton wa
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    The female ferrule on the gold wrapped rod has classic rolled edges like a trade rod, I beleave there should also be two rings near the base of the ferrule. The length of the ferrule will help to identify the maker of the rod. Also the length of each piece. Just my opinion, I have a few rods but im no expert. This is a great place to find info on rods.
    http://p205.ezboard.com/The-Classic-Fly-Rod-Forum/bclarksclassicflyrodforum
  8. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Trade rods were made for sporting goods retailers like Montgomery Ward or Abercrombie & Fitch by production bamboo rod makers like Heddon, Horrocks Ibbotson, Wright & McGill and others, but with the retailer's name written on them instead of the maker's. Some trade rods were lower quality than the makers' usual rods and intended to be sold at individual stores at a lower price point. Many of these had no name written on them at all.

    Judging from the inscription on the flat in one photo calling for a line weight of HCH, that rod was designed for what we would now rate as a DT7 or DT8 line. Usually long cane rods (8' and greater) were intended for anadromous fishing or for very big western rivers. So-called 'trout rods' were shorter (up to 7-1/2') and much lighter than their longer counterparts.

    K
  9. Dan Soltau New Member

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    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    I found the heddon for sale at www.davesrods.com for over $500! I doubt I will sell it because my grampa gave it to me, but I am taking it to montana later this week...
  10. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Outer Duvall
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    Wasn't Dave able to answer all your questions about the rod?
  11. Dan Soltau New Member

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    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    I didnt contact him, but he didnt mention what the rod was originally used for, only when it was built and its value.
  12. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    What Dave is asking for a rod he has in stock and the value of yours are probably two different things.

    First, no reputable dealer would ever give anyone a firm valuation without first assessing the condition of the rod. There are any number of things that could be wrong with a 50 year old bamboo rod and several could cut it's value to half or less than what he might be asking for a similar rod in good or better condition. No dealer can possibly provide an accurate estimate on a rod sight unseen.

    Second, just because he's asking $500 for a rod doesn't mean that it will sell for that amount. Unlike MSRP-protected Sages and Winstons, vintage cane rods don't sell at a fixed price point in the market. Instead, most dealers price their rods knowing that a serious buyer will most likely want to haggle and will probably start out with a lowball offer. The dealers I've had experience with inflate their retail prices by 5% to 20% to compensate and depending on how badly they want to sell that particular rod.

    The bottom line is that any vintage rod is only worth what someone is actually willing to pay for it.

    Finally, if you're serious about learning the true value of your rods based on their real-life condition, I believe that the Orvis store in Bellevue will be putting a sort of Antiques Roadshow this spring where people can bring in old fishing tackle to have it appraised by experts. Call Leland to find out more.

    K
  13. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Outer Duvall
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    Dan

    Here is what I can tell you from your photos and the resources I have at hand.

    The red rod:
    The information and orientation of the writing on your rod tells us a few things.
    It was made after 1939 and before 1954. The 2½ F is a reference to the butt ferrule size. In a three piece rod a 2½ was usually considered a bass rod. This coincides with the HCH (7 wgt) line designation. The length of the rod is in no way an indicator of line size or intended use.

    There are about a half dozen other things that support the 1939 – 1954 dating.
    The ferrule material, finish and construction, the winding check, the reel seat style, the handle, the guides, the windings.

    I may be able to date it a little closer if you would like but your pictures are a little blurry.
    Is the reel seat wood or plastic? Is the stripper guide all metal or is it lined with agate or colored glass. What is the diagonal writing on the rod? Do either of the rod tubes have markings of any kind?

    The gold wrapped rod:
    It is also Heddon. It was probably also made after 1939. It has many typical Heddon components but they are used in an atypical combination so it is hard to put a finger on it’s manufacture date or its model. It may just have come out of the Heddon shop that way. That is not that unusual for a large-scale manufacturer.

    A little bit about Heddon. Taken from Michael Sinclair’s, Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook. Michael is as expert as it gets on the subject of Heddon rods. He has written another book dedicated to Heddon rods titled, “Heddon the Rod with the Fighting Heart”.

    James Heddon & Sons was the most prolific of better bamboo fly rods. From approx, 1930’s through 1940’s as many as 100,000 rods per year were produced (yes that is the correct amount of zeros). The remarkable feature of all Heddon rods is the tremendously high quality standards that were consistently maintained. No other rod makers were able to match the volume with the consistent quality. Some other makers turned out comparable quality, some had a similar quantity, but none had both. In addition to making rods for its own catalog, it supplied many other companies with rods to sell under their private labels. A few of the more common sellers were Shakespeare, Weber, E.K. Tyron, Jay Harvey Rods, Kingfisher Rods and Lyon & Coulson. Heddon began in 1908 with bait rods. The first fly rods were introduced in 1924

    While using these rods, you should not overline them. They are too old for that. Don't go over 7wgt on the red wrapped rod and start with a 5 or 6 on the gold wrapped rod (it will probably be a 6wgt but you might want to start with a 5wgt).

    TC
  14. JS Active Member

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    I found a #10 that this guy I work with has that I am trying to buy from him I have searched high and low on the internet and cant find a thing about how much it is worth. It is kind of a cool little rod, much like the pics posted on this thread. I am going to tell him 50 bucks and see if he goes for it.:confused:
    who knows it could be worth a small fortune.
    later on
    skeels
  15. JS Active Member

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    I looked at that Daves rods site and couldnt find a #10 under 500$ but on this rod it doesnt specify what weight it is, I thought that was weird if I had to guess it would be a heavy four or a five wt.
  16. Dan Soltau New Member

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    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    7 weight! Perfect, I will try it with streamers on friday on the madison! I am pretty excited about this, and also about the fact that the other one seems to be similar in size to the red one, meaning I have two bamboo 7 weights, and 2 winston 7 weights! Best of both worlds I guess... Sweet, and thanks for all the info!
  17. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    It's worth remembering that almost all vintage (1930s through 1960s) bamboo rods were designed to throw an HDG or 6wt line. Grangers were about the only 'lightline' production rods, rated for a 5wt. Orvis, who built hundreds of thousands of high-quality cane rods, didn't introduce their first 4wt models until the mid-1970s (the Nymph and the 4-3). Same was true of fiberglass, even through the 1970s.

    As a rule of thumb, if you have a cane rod from that era, it's most likely designed for a 6wt line. As Tim said earlier, in respect to the elderly, DO NOT overline an old cane rod.

    K
  18. Dan Soltau New Member

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    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
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    Well, that seems odd that they would make all rods for 6 wt lines? My grandparents have dozen of rods, and they have some really small, light rods and some boos that were for tarpon fishing. This rod seems pretty beastly, maybe even an 8 wt.
    Kent,
    If you dont think I should fish a rio deep seven sinking line on it because it could cause problems with the rod, then I wont.... or did you just mean that about the gold one?
  19. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    There were the odd 'fairy wands' occasionally made during that period, but they were usually fairly short (5-6'), intended for eastern limestone creeks and somewhat rare.

    Not sure if you're kidding or not about the Deep 7, but in case you aren't, I sure as heck wouldn't put a heavy line like that on a vintage rod unless you don't mind spending money to have someone repair the damage it may cause.

    Here's an example: a couple years ago I scored a beautiful Granger 9' 9050 3-piece rod from the early 1950s. It appeared to be fished only lightly as everything was in near mint condition. Tim and I spent a few days east of the mountains and ended up at Dry Falls where I christened the Granger. After no success up top, I switched lines to a uniform sink 6wt which eventually produced my only fish of the day. At the end of the day though, the top section of the Granger was pretty severly bent in a compound set caused by a day's casting with a heavier line than the 5wt the rod was intended for.

    I later took the rod to Ray Gould who pronounced it the finest Granger he'd ever seen and the worst set he'd ever been asked to repair. A week and $25 later, I vowed to be extra careful with it and my other vintage cane rods. Wondering how just a single weight overline could cause so much damage, I put the sinking line on a scale where it measured out at about a 7.5wt.

    The moral of this story is overline your grandpa's old rod at your peril.

    K
  20. herl Member

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    the other washington
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    MOST of the rods were for 5/6 weight line, but your heddon #2 1/2 F should be fine with a 7wt. line. Heddon also made rods with other weight designations (i'm not sure what years they started that). There are rods with #00 F to #3 F designations (describes the ferrule size) that are sort of Heddon's way of rating the action/line weight of the rods (the lower the F#, the lighter the rod, generally the more desireable).

    Big Skeels, If that #10 you are looking at has the F# written on it, that would be a big help with determining its value- along with the length of the rod (and if any sections are broken/repaired).