Heddon Bamboo Info?

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

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
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.

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



My name is Mark Oberg
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.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Dan Soltau said:
They both say they are 8 and half feet long, I am not sure what you meant by your last post?
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.


Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Dan Soltau said:
I didnt contact him, but he didnt mention what the rod was originally used for, only when it was built and its value.
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.


Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415

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).



Active Member
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


Active Member
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.

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