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 Post subject: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 23:14 • # 1 
New Member
Joined: 03/17/12
Posts: 13
Location: US-VA
This rod was my grandfathers, it was given to me by my grandmother when I was a teenager. Never really paid attention to it until now.

The model is 309-38784, 7"6" 6wt. 2 piece. The rod is in good condition. The reel seat sucks for sure, the cork grip is also squeaky and getting a bit loose. Also the rod seems to be missing a few guides than it should have, perhaps they did things differently then.

It is my understanding that these rods were the equivalent of a cabala's brand rod. The fenwicks and browning's of the world were one step up? Is this correct? To me this rod is a working mans rod, I would like to rebuild this rod and keep using it.

Also it looks like there is something else on the label, it says "and simpson ssars ltd". Would this be the blanks maker? Its kind of hard to read so forgive me if its wrong, the ssars part was hard to read.

Yes the rod could use some work. It almost looks as though it was built by my grandfather as the thread has no finish on it, looks like bare thread. Not sure about that though, I was just thinking about that considering the grip and lack of guides.

I have casted it with a 5wt line as thats all I have and it does okay considering I am not the best caster. The wind really kicked the 5wt lines butt. Very hard to cast. Casts much better on calmer evenings. Also casting short is hard, perhaps its just me. Might need to try a 6wt line.

Anyways a rebuild would be cool. Anyone else have one of these rods?

Image
Image
Image


Last edited by sneakytails on 18 Mar 2012, 00:21, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 23:34 • # 2 
Guide
Joined: 02/19/09
Posts: 348
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Welcome aboard Sneakytails. If you post a picture I'm sure someone on here will have some info about who the actual manufacturer might have been. "and simpson ssars ltd" probably reads Simpson Sears, which was a retail and mail order company here in Canada; probably associated with Sears and Roebuck in the USA. Nice rod to have. Good luck and like I said, a few pictures would be great. -Roy


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 00:28 • # 3 
New Member
Joined: 03/17/12
Posts: 13
Location: US-VA
Thanks for the info. Pics added. My guess is the rods from the late 60's?.


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 04:35 • # 4 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 6003
Location: US-ME
Even without the family associations that just add to it, that rod will likely restore and fish very nicely. Simpson-Sears was a partnership that created a Sears presence in Canada. That rod would have been made by one of the 'glass manufacturers and labled for them.

I would guess mid or early '60s because of the natural aluminum reel-seat, a very common fitting of the time. I can't see from the pictures, but there are probably two slight punches in the rear hood that secure it on the barrel. If it is is loosened, it can be pried off and resecured with epoxy. The bright domed aluminum winding check is another typical fitting of the time. If it is unmarked as to line weight (or the older letter designations) that is another indication of about 1965 or earlier, reflecting the practice of the time.

You are right: everyday retail store rods had plain, inexpensive fittings to suit a blue collar pricepoint. The blank is probably of good quality for the type, and in fiberglass, the 7 1/2' rod was a natural for the material. Thus, it was hard to make a bad one, hard, as with anything, to make an special one, but not that hard to make a pretty good one. There were many. That one was probably made by TruTemper (or its origin company, whose name I can't remember) or Montague, maybe Shakespeare, but the color and 'glass don't look like Howald process 'glass.
It is probably for a D (modern 6-weight) line as most of that length were.

It could be touch-up cleaned up and used. Most important would be to check for damaged guides that would snag and abraid the fly line, and to clean the metal ferrule. Unless there is significant damage to the blank--I don't see any, and the surface crazing of the finish can be polished away--it is a great candidate for a complete strip and refinish, using fittings and guide spacing to your liking.

That would be a fun process. I wouldn't put a lot of money into it, but whatever you did would be worth it just as a learning process, and the outcome will surprise you, both as to appearance and fishability. Check the rod-building and tinkering section.

And keep us posted.

Thanks for showing. I feel like I have just left the Sears store and am heading over to Montgomery Wards to compare their rods--as I did often in that time.


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 04:39 • # 5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/31/06
Posts: 1264
Location: Mid- coast Maine
Don't like the seat, grip getting loose, tear it down and rebuild it. With the proper number of guides you might end up with a gem. Or you might have just a functional rod. Either way you won't be destroying a valuable rarity and will still have your Grandfather's rod.
RFMcD


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 12:04 • # 6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 3735
Location: Washington DC Region
JC Higgins was a Sears house brand. Shotguns, fishing rods ...

While 6wt might do it, a 7wt might end up being better. The comments already given are good.
If the rod isn't going to damage your line or reel foot, it is probably fishable now. It would also be a good project rod if you get interested in rod building.

If you're not used to fiberglass, slow your casting stroke down. These rods were meant to bend and load.

Carl


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 21:30 • # 7 
New Member
Joined: 03/17/12
Posts: 13
Location: US-VA
Thanks for the great replies. I agree that the rod is most likely from the early to mid 60's. I guess the only way to know for sure would be to cross reference a sears catalog or something, perhaps one day.

The rod is definitely a 6wt, its marked as such, the markings and logo are still in good condition. I had been test casting all week with that rod, i really like the action of glass and I feel very much enthusiastic about fly fishing now. I want to use this rod on my Pere Marquette trip this may for trout.

I am a rod builder, I have built about 16 rods so far. I also have experience stripping rods down and rebuilding them into new things. Great fun.

As others had suggested I am in the process of a complete rebuild on this rod. I worked hard on Sunday removing components and doing cork work and I am gluing up the grip section now. I am using left over materials from over the years, another great idea. I do plan on adding some modern ideas to the rod as far as my preferences go.

Carlz were you suggesting trying a 7wt line? I think that's what you meant.

I will keep you all posted on the build.


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 22:12 • # 8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 3735
Location: Washington DC Region
sneakytails wrote:
Carlz were you suggesting trying a 7wt line? I think that's what you meant.

Yes I was suggesting that it might take a 7wt.


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 Post subject: Re: Jc Higgins 7'6" 6wt
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2012, 17:19 • # 9 
New Member
Joined: 05/16/12
Posts: 14
Location: US-IL
Sorry for the late post, but I just noticed yours. I have the same numbered rod, but mine is 6 ft. 6 in. It's labeled for a 6 wt. I bought this rod when I was in high school in the early 1960's and just starting to fly fish. I haven't used it for a while and it remains in excellent condition. It casts well with a WF6F. The finish is the same as yours it appears as it's brown tubular glass. I have attempted to determine the actual maker, but met with no success.


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