New project - W&M Granger Aristocrat 9050

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by para_adams, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    So my wife and I went to LaConner last weekend to enjoy some daffodils and photograph the awesome birds in the area and we grab lunch in LaConner. Hmmm, while she is checking out the country store I mention I remember a cool little vintage fishing tackle store and how about I meet you there in a while??? We'll by the time she arrives I discover the "beat up" old Granger Aristocrat 9050 3/2 in a nearly pristine original tube that the shop owner is ready to "get rid of cheap"…"how much you want?"…"Was $150, but I'm tired of it, let it go for $100."…"DEAL!" Glad the wife is very understanding. :)

    It's a lot of rod at 9' but throws a true 6 with style. Really cool. So far I've straightened the tip on the full length tip piece and polished out the NS reel seat to a gleaming jewel. Next, I'll remove the delaminating varnish, fix a few broken wraps (ordered the original correct silk from Rick's Rods in Denver) and then revarnish. So far, pretty cheap. But the second tip piece is snapped about 2" short and could be scarfed…and that piece otherwise looks mint. It probably broke when nearly new. I'll probably send to Dennis Stone and it will be good as new. Love this stuff. I hope I get to the point someday when I stop buying these projects before I run out of money and space.
     
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  2. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Love the Grangers! Dennis will do a nice splice on it for you.
    My 9050 makes a really nice streamer rod and is a true 6 wt. It's just a Victory model but is in really great shape and it catches fish.
    Do the repairs - it'll be worth it. You can tell the wife I told you so!
     
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  3. Troutcreek

    Troutcreek Active Member

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    I like the Grangers too, across the board nice western water fly rods. I plan on building rod based on the 8040 taper later this year.
     
  4. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    Update…I spent much of the weekend trying to figure out how to match the original thread. The tan Rice's from Ricks Rods does seem to be the right thread but Granger somehow added an orange tinting to the finish over the threads making a match tricky. Settled on using clear CP, then overlaying with amber Shellac. 99% close…good enough for me. Butt section is cleaned up, has the wrap fixed on the stripper and is almost ready for a dip. The mid and one tip sections are stripped and dipped in first coat and curing. Will sand in a week and re-dip, then begin to wrap the guides back on. I am really excited to finish and fish this one. I don't think the final coats of varnish will be cured enough to cast it at the Boo gathering but I might bring it out just to look at it. Unless I screw it up in which case you never heard of this rod. Ron
     
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  5. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    Very cool! Found an antique store recently that has a bunch of old rods and reels. Have to get back up there and see if there is anything new!
     
  6. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    I know there's a place in Snohomish with a bunch of rods, and a place in Maltby with a few. Finding the Granger project (i.e...cheap) rod in LaConner made my afternoon. My wife's afternoon was made by the daffodils, eagle, swans, geese, great lunch, etc. :)
     
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  7. Idaho steel

    Idaho steel Active Member

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    Mmmm... I love the smell of spar varnish! (Just finished re-wrapping a guide on my Phillipson dry fly special in anticipation of Saturday.)

    I believe that orange tint to the varnish is simply the natural patina it develops as it ages. I have a Goodwin Granger from the mid-thirties, and it has a most definite orange cast to it. I've seen quite a few early Paynes that had a nice orange/amber tint to the varnish as well.

    Even if it needed work, Congratulations! That's a smokin' deal on that rod. I was surprised to hear you like a six weight line on the 9050. I like a six on my Goodwin Granger 9053, but I've also found that the Wright and McGill era rods seem to have somewhat stronger tips.

    This is purely opinion, but I don't know if I'd spend the money to get a scarf done. It's been my experience at least, that at two inches, you won't notice any difference in the way the rod casts with the short tip. In any event, that sounds like a fun project, and it will make for a wonderful fishing rod. Got any before-and-after pictures?
     
  8. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    The project is coming along. No pictures yet. I wish I'd taken some "before". Love those Phillipsons! Bet your DFS is a great casting rod. I have two Phillipsons, although one is much more original than the other. The other is a weird/hybrid rod that was originally an 8.5' Paragon but was short 1" in the butt and mid and also 2" short in the tips when I bought it. Dennis Stone turned it into a beautiful new rod. He a replaced the ferrules, the mid, scarfed one tip and built a second tip. All sections area equal length one inch shorter than original. It's now an 8'3" rod. I finished all the guides to lower the cost and help with the refurb. It likes a 6 DT in my hands.

    My second Phillipson was originally a very beat up 8' Pacemaker that nobody else bid on so it came quite cheap. Once again I asked Dennis Stone to help with the fix-up and he newly built two new tips and restored the butt and mid sections with their original wraps. All sections are original length and taper and it is an amazing casting rod and I think I understand why the 8' Phillipsons are so popular. 5 wt all the way and really, really fast. I can cast it as far as I can with my Sage XP 5 wt.

    The 9' Aristocrat is the first Granger I've ever bought and I'm really looking forward to finishing it. It did seem to like a 6 wt line. The tapers on the tips are really thin so the rod seems to have a fast butt and sensitive tip. It feels surprisingly good for a longer 9' rod. It is much easier on my wrist than a couple 8.5' Monty's I've had. Those Monty's are cool too in their own way.
     
  9. Idaho steel

    Idaho steel Active Member

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    While I'd never say this on the "classic fly rod forum" ... :rolleyes:, Phillipsons are quite frankly among the finest bamboo fishing rods ever made. In the classic rods at least, they have few equals, and certainly there is nothing out there that is any better. The 8'6" "DFS" is an insanely good rod. There is some hollow-built stuff being turned out by a few contemporary makers that may be better but not much. Enjoy those Phillipsons!

    Along with the 8642, the 9050 is considered among the best of the Granger tapers. A lot of the innovations at Granger came from Bill Phillipson after Goodwin Granger died, and I feel that in the Grangers as well as the Phillipsons, that the eight to nine footers were the real sweet spot.
     
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  10. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    Here are a few "before" pictures. They don't show much, but at least something...
     

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  11. Idaho steel

    Idaho steel Active Member

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    Wow! That poor sucker was buggered up. Still, the price you payed for the "raw material" ought to prove an excellent investment. Provided you don't have any delaminations and the ferrules are good, that is gonna be sweet! Looking forward to seeing the end result.
     
  12. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    The "bones" and joints are solid! So was the reel seat and cork, thankfully. I'll be into it for new guides, the Rice's tan thread from Rick's Rods, a small can of amber shellac and my time. I'm still debating having the extra tip scarfed since it really is mint except for the missing last 2" and I just like having four pieces all original length. But if I don't do that my cost should stay below $150. I'm mostly looking forward to fishing it when it's done. Maybe another month.
     
  13. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    :DDONE! Put the last coat of finish last night. Got the color about 98-99% matched by my eyes (the second tip on the bottom that is broken is all original and was in near perfect condition except for the break). Whew. Glad to be done. Can't wait to fish it. Plan to bring it to the Bamboo gathering on the 26th. Ron _23C0313.jpg _23C0314.jpg _23C0317.jpg
     

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  14. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Looks great, real purdy and nicely done!
    You might still consider having Dennis scarff that tip back to full length (less than $60, last I checked with him).
    Those Aristocrat wraps are classy, a nice western big water rod. I've got a 9050 Victory - not as high a grade as yours but it's a workhorse.
     
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  15. Idaho steel

    Idaho steel Active Member

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    Dang! That looks great! Enjoy the hell of that rod.
     
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  16. Troutcreek

    Troutcreek Active Member

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    Nicely done.
     
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  17. Steve Kokita

    Steve Kokita FISHON206

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    Nice job Ron! Might have to send some rods your way! :)
     
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  18. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    ...says the Master to the student.
     
  19. Steve Kokita

    Steve Kokita FISHON206

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    Master?? They call me Mister Steve at the schoolI work at.....