Phillipson

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The Phillipson Rod Company

(still in progress)

The Phillipson Rod Company made quality fiberglass flyrods from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. There were 4 distinct fiberglass production eras in the company history:

The Phillipson Rod and Tackle Company

began selling fiberglass rods in 1950. The early rods were made with conventional techniques using Hexcel fiberglass. This gave a brown rod blank with a strongly figured pattern to the woven fiberglass. This time period included quite a few rods with different names, but a similar look (Chieftain, PowerKast, and Scout). The model number for these rods included a letter code and the length in feet and inches, i.e., TS76. The line ratings are given by line diameter, HDH or HCH. Occasionally, these rods have painted blanks, but most are clear finished. The rod grips are usually full wells and the reel seats are standard Phillipson aluminun design in a wide range of colors. All Phillipson rods that I have seen from this era had nickel silver ferrules.

Around 1955, Phillipson developed the Eponite rod blank. The Eponite rod blanks have a peculiar butterscotch color and distict pattern to the material.

Johnson Reels, Inc. owned Phillipson

from 1961 to mid-1964. There were three lines of Phillipson Crafted, Johnson Profile fly rods. The Profile 800 and Profile 600 rods were made from Scotchply material. The Profile 400 rods were made on Eponite blanks. All rods had nickel silver ferrules.

Profile 800 Uniglas rods are finished with a gold plated (!) tip top and stripper guide. The remaining guides are double spiral snakes. The rod blank AND ferrules are painted golden brown. The main guide wraps are a slightly darker brown with elaborate trim spirals of a darker brown still. The rod grip is a simple cigar tapering to all the way to the rod blank to allow a thread wrap from the hook keeper up onto the grip. The reelseats were either a solid reddish brown anodized downlocking seat or gold anodized cap and slip ring. The rod bag was tan with black edging and the rod tube is gold anodized aluminum with a black cap bearing the model information. In my opinion, these are the most aestetically pleasing glass rods ever made.

Model No.LengthSectionsDescription
8F66LC6½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action, cork skeleton grip with slip ring
8F70LC7 foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action, cork skeleton grip with slip ring
8F76LC7½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action, cork skeleton grip with slip ring
8F767½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
8F808 foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
8F868½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
8F8038 foot3 pieceMedium dry fly action
8F8638½ foot3 pieceMedium dry fly action
8F86BE8½ foot2 pieceBass action, extension handle

Profile 600 Uniglas rods are finished with a carboloy tip top and stripper guide. The remaining guides are chrome plated snakes. The rod blank AND ferrules are painted golden brown. The main guide wraps are black with a black trim spiral. The rod grip is a simple cigar tapering to all the way to the rod blank to allow a thread wrap from the hook keeper up onto the grip. The reelseats are the standard black Phillipson downlocking seat.

Model No.LengthSectionsDescription
6F767½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
6F808 foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
6F868½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
6F86B8½ foot2 pieceBass action
6FS767½ foot4 pieceFly spin rod with Medium-Light action

Profile 400 Uniglas rods are finished with a "dia-chrome" snake guides. The rod blank is painted golden yellow. The main guide wraps are black with a black trim spiral. The rod grip is a half wells with a chrome plated winding check. The reelseats are the standard black Phillipson downlocking seat.

Model No.LengthSectionsDescription
4F767½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
4F808 foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
4F868½ foot2 pieceMedium dry fly action
4F86B8½ foot2 pieceBass action

The Phillipson Rod Company

was formed when Bill Phillipson bought his company back from Johnson Reels in 1964.

3M Corporation

bought Phillipson in 1972.

References

  1. General information on the history of Phillipson rods from Johnson & Johnson and Schweibert.
  2. Johnson Profile rod information from a Johnson Reels catalog/pamplet dated 6/1964.