Ted Williams Fly Rod

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Ken Gasior, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. I recently came into posession of a 2 piece 81/2 ft Ted Williams Fiber Glass Fly Rod. It belonged to an old friend who recently passed away. I grew up in the Ted Williams era and knew that he was a big time fly fisher but I was not into the sport myself in those days.
    The rod is rather stout - no doubt used for Salmon or other "bigger" species. It is model 85-2 Weighs 6 oz and the inscription on the rod says to use "GBG" or "GRF". line. It has a brass downlocking reel seat and the ferrule conections (male and female) appear to be brass. The rod surface is in beautiful condition, the wraps are a little brittle looking and although I hate messing with the originality of the piece, I will probably rewrap the guides and the ferrule. I doubt if it has been fished in the last 30-40 years.

    Can any of you fly fishing historians out there shead any light on the approximate age of the rod and how it might be used in todays world? What weight line equates to GBG or GRF? Etc, Etc. I know the rod has long since been over taken by modern technology, but I'd love to fish it from time to time just to keep Bob's memory alive.

  2. A GBG is an 8 wt double taper line. A GBF is an 8 wt weight forward line. A GAF is a weight forward 9 wt line. GRF... I'm not sure. Cortland makes a line called SYLK that goes up to an 8 wt. It has a smaller diameter for the smaller guides on bamboo and glass rods. Its designed for bamboo rods but I know fiberglass rod users like it too. That would be something to think about if you ant to use it without a silk line.
  3. After doing a bit of research, it seems Ted Williams lent his name to a wide variety of sporting products for Sears back in the day, up till the early 70s. Everything from monofilament line to recurve bows to gun cleaning kits. Most of Ted Williams model products are fishing gear, but varies from fly gear to saltwater spinning rods, So, its possible that Ted never had anything to do with the development with most of the stuff, unlike current trends in fly rods.

    However, it's great to see what a sellout Ted Williams really was.
  4. I'm guessing that a bit of paint flaked off or was scratched off the B in GBF. "GRF" doesn't compute with any line designation used in those olden days.

Share This Page