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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired an older Hardy Sunbeam unlike any I've ever seen. It appears to be a very early effort at a rim-control design and features a Uniqua-style telephone spool latch. The frame is stamped with the initials TA and the numeral 4. I look forward to polishing up the brass foot and the line guard (which I have heard described as "Bickerdyke-style"). Any additional information as to the age or the identity of "TA" would be deeply appreciated.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have gotten a small amount of feedback from the Classic Bamboo Forum. Apparently TA were the initials of reel builder Tommy Appleby, who worked at Hardy from 1921 to 1947 and Sunbeams of this, or similar, configuration were made beginning in 1934.
 

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Wow! What a great reel. It's got everything I like. Bickerdyke guard, telephone latch and that great exposed foot strap riveted on the outside surface.

Tommy Appleby's working years indicate he worked through the war years. Did Hardy continue to make reels during the war?

TC
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Too late, I couldn't let that brass alone. Carefully avoiding the rest of the reel, I gently hand-polished the reel foot and its attachment, and the line guard. I think it looks good. Lubed and lined now, its ready to go. Now, if this frigging hot weather would moderate (daily high water temps on the on the Stillaguamish are topping 70 degrees), I can get back to my beloved sea-run cutthroat.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I too can't help wondering about its history; who owned it and where? How did it come to these shores and to the far side of the continent? To me that's part of the romance (if you will) of collecting old reels
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I may put a 6-weight line on it and try it on my only older bamboo (a circa 1946 Wright McGill Granger), but I prefer a 4-weight for most of my trout fishing, so this summer I've usually been fishing one of two graphite rods, a Sage 490LL or a 4-weight, 9ft. Gary LaFontaine Stealth which has a similar action; more like glass than graphite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I finally loaded it with a WF4F and hung it under a bamboo rod I found at a garage sale thirty years ago, and went down to Green Lake to try it out. The rod had languished in a closet for many years, after I had decided that its complete restoration would require more skills than I possessed. A few years back, after retirement I had another rod refurbished by a local craftsman and decided, "What the hell?" The rod had been neglected for years before I acquired it, and the list of its ills was long and varied (loose ferrules, missing windings and bent, rusted guides, excessively worn cork, etc., etc. etc.). Although I realize it probably destroyed whatever collector value the rod might have had, I wanted the snake guides replaced with something other than the pitifully small ones favored in the days of silk lines, and the badly-grooved metal stripper guide was a dead loss. The cork, badly worn and missing a few chunks from using it instead of the hook keeper, warranted complete replacement so, aside from the rod itself, the reel seat, the winding check, the hook keeper and the ferrules were the only salvageable parts (one of the male ferrules was an obvious replacement from some bygone era, being chrome-plated brass instead of nickel silver like the rest, but it did fit so I decided to let it be). The only marking on the entire rod was a stamped "Barney & Berry Inc." on the (rather nice) nickel-silver, slip ring reel seat. Any information on Barney & Berry would be appreciated. They were apparently bought by Winchester sometime in the 'thirties

Long story short: The rod performs adequately with a 4-wt. line, disappointingly its action can hardly be described as crisp, something more like a buggy whip comes to mind. Here are a few pictures of the rod with the Sunbeam mounted.

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My copy of Michael Sinclair's book is currently in storage, but I recall that Barney & Berry was one of Winchester's "trade rod" brands.

Most of the old production rod companies made "trade rods," sometimes branded with the name of the store that sold them, and sometimes just to get around exclusive arrangements they made with certain retailers.

Tom
 

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E.W. Edwards made rods for Winchester

From Playing With Fire: The Life & Fly Rods of E.W. Edwards by Patrick C. Garner

Page 100:
As difficult as it is to assemble a definitive list of the Edwards-era Winchester rods, even less is known regarding the Winchester private brand rods. During the Edwards era at Winchester, the firm builds some lower end rods for the South Bend (Indiana) Bait Company and for Folsom Arms Company, a large sporting goods retailer and distributor in New York City (in business from 1893 to 1930). They also created special divisions under the Barney & Berry, Armax, Crusader, and Hendryx brand names.

Page 101:
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Page 102:
Barney & Berry and Armax rods are not uncommon, and although top end examples are known, they are predominately clones of the lower and mid-range Winchester rods. Many of the 6000-series Winchester models are simply re-branded Barney & Berry or Armax with 7200 numbering. Most of the entire line of Winchester tackle, including lures, reels and nets, was suddenly made available to small dealers under these new-old brands. Even metal bait-casting rods were available under the Barney & Berry name.

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Preston: If you want to learn much more about related rods made by E.W.Edwards, I'll be happy to loan you the book.

TC
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the input. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that Barney & Berry had made rods before being incorporated into Winchester. Apparently that was not so and, as Alexander Pope said, " But that was long ago and in another country and, besides, the wench is dead". Many thanks for the offer Tim, but I think I may buy my own copy, it looks like an interesting resource.
 
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