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Post 14 Aug 2021, 07:11 • #1 
New Member
Joined: 08/02/21
Posts: 4
My son snagged a southbend fly rod at a tag sale recently. He knows next to nothing about fly fishing unless you count the super fun merit badge class he took at scout camp. But he's excited to learn! The rod that he purchased has no reel and I guess that's his first step - figuring out where to get a reel for this rod and attaching it. Any advice/comments welcome! We're starting at square one.

(My son is 13 - I'll run the forum interactions for him, though :) )



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Post 14 Aug 2021, 07:50 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/12/18
Posts: 419
Location: Upstate NY - L.George region
I don't know anything about that particular rod but the line rating "HDH" would equate to a modern double-taper 6 wt. line, I believe.

So, a simple and inexpensive single-action reel capable of holding a DT6 fly line and some braided Dacron backing would be ideal. Don't go crazy spending money on the reel; the line is much more important. You can find something suitable for about twenty bucks. (If you can't, let me know and I'll send you a new-in-the-box Cortland FairPlay disc drag 5/6 reel for that amount.)

Hopefully, someone with some knowledge of that rod will be along shortly to recommend an ideal fly line to use with it.


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Post 14 Aug 2021, 07:55 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 903
Location: Columbia, Mo. USA
go to "Collecting Fiberglass Fly Rods" and type in South Bend 3140 in search box at bottom---there in info there. Older single-action reels should work fine on this rod.
Midmofly


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Post 14 Aug 2021, 08:06 • #4 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Not enough of the rod to see detail, but there's a very good chance that rod was made using Harnell blank after SB/Gladding acquired H-I/Harnell.
The question is whether the black is paint on the surface or carbon black in the resin (Harnell).
The configuration would be equivalent to Harnell 655R.


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Post 14 Aug 2021, 08:53 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4677
Location: US-MT
South Bend makes good stuff. If you are on a budget, I would be happy to send you a rough South Bend reel and a level 6wt line, just need your address.


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Post 14 Aug 2021, 13:41 • #6 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7428
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Welcome to the Forum!

From the rod markings it was made in the late 50s or early 60s. The old rod decals were very fragile, but the one on your rod is in good shape. Hopefully that means the rest of the rod is in good shape too. Please post some photos of the rest of the rod. Lay the two pieces side-by-side and take a sequence of pictures from one end to the other. We can give a better evaluation that way.

The older rods have a weak point - the metal ferrule. The ferrule is the joint between the two rods. The ferrules must be kept clean. I posted a photo sequence of how to clean a ferrule here - cleaning a ferrule. Don't be tempted to oil or grease the ferrule. The lubricant attracts dirt and sand, which can jam things. Finally, take the rod apart at the end of the day. Otherwise, the rod is very robust. It will not break from fishing with it.

Before you ask, the value is probably ~$20-40. Old fiberglass rods have the most value on the pond or stream catching fish. Because there are so many still in garages and basements, very few old fiberglass rods have much collectible value.


Tom


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Post 22 Aug 2021, 11:56 • #7 
New Member
Joined: 08/02/21
Posts: 4
Okay - sorry I didn't respond right away - I work summer camps and was loaded down with ALL THE THINGS. Thank you for the information so far. My son is very excited to jump in and get started. Here are some pictures of the rod he took (I don't think they're great - I made need to take better shots - lol).



[Fixed the photos. Tom]


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Post 22 Aug 2021, 18:14 • #8 
Guide
Joined: 08/11/21
Posts: 111
Location: Tucson, AZ
As a former FFF certified casting instructor, who ran a shop for about 15 years and took instruction from wonderful folks to improve my own casting....I would like to weigh in on the situation with your son and the rod and say maybe you should find a suitable graphite rod..or a shorter fiberglass/bamboo.. to get him started. That rod looks really nice, a good find
Of course, some of us go back to pre-graphite composite days and we stuck with it..but there is always the fear that mastering flyfishing, already difficult, does not need any more obstacles in the way of a beginning flyfisher. This is probably the wrong forum for such advice...but being aware of the technical aspects of efficient flycasting, slower rods that bend more ("slower" action) are more difficult to cast in becoming proficient. Simply, the rod tip needs to follow a straight path in the casting stroke and stiffer (faster) rods are easier to cast in this way. I found in my teaching a med/fast action rod suits most beginners..the blend of stiffness and feel in the right proportions make it easier to cast the requisite 30' to really fish.
The trade-off is the "feel" of how the rod loads and unloads while casting, which slower rods actions excel at.
That said...if your son masters casting a slower action rod, throwing a long line on a fast rod later on will be child's play.

I have a couple of fiberglass rods over 8'6"..and really like fishing one of them, a Sila-Flex 3-piece 8'6" but normally only look for rods 8' or less to keep around. $10-$20..even $5 is the norm for the rods I find at yard sales/swapmeets/secondhand stores, but there so many caster/beginner friendly outfits out there on the market I would look for one of them. Fly lines have improved exponentially, even in the last 20 years..so why not avail yourself of a more modern rod to get a kid started?


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Post 23 Aug 2021, 07:37 • #9 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8439
Location: US-ME
Nice ! You can help your son decide how and what he wants to learn. As mentioned, a shorter fiberglass rod or a moderate action, inexpensive graphite rod, will probably be easier to learn to cast. There are other ways to look at it depending on his interests. With a 'glass rod, he'll learn how to let the rod do the work; with graphite, how to work the rod. Perhaps you want him to learn how to work smarter, not harder. Perhaps he wants to learn to fish. Perhaps he is ready to experience the rewards of patient endeavor. Casting is a very small part of that learning. So is catching fish, which is only an outcome. Any fly rod, any material, will work to get this started. Just learning more about that rod by reading up on its history here might start the process. Some frustrations and rethinking might be part of it as well.

Many of us started with rods similar to the one shown, a common type of the fiberglass era, 8' probably the most common length. We learned to cast from the simple instructions in a fly line box or a fly rod hang tag or any outdoor magazine of the day. We already knew how to throw an apple off a stick, so it was an easy change to try a fly fishing outfit in the back yard or any nearby pond. A few afternoons and you are eager to fish.

By your account, you found that rod together, and your son chose it. That alone might be reason to go with it and see what develops from there.


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Post 23 Aug 2021, 08:36 • #10 
New Member
Joined: 08/02/21
Posts: 4
Your advice is well received! I will definitely pass this on to him. Thank you!


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Post 23 Aug 2021, 15:23 • #11 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7428
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Phil-a-Flex wrote:
...so why not avail yourself of a more modern rod to get a kid started?

This rod is in hand and ready to use (well nearly, see below). While an 8'6" rod isn't an ideal starter, it isn't bad. For catching fish it will work just fine. Meanwhile, keep visiting tag sales and flea markets for other inexpensive rods and cheap finds.

Most importantly for a young fisherman, this rod is an expendable learning experience. If the rod gets broken by a car trunk, screen door, or tree branches (it happens), that's not much money lost. Take the reel and line off and put them on another tag sale acquisition. More care will be taken once the consequences are understood.

To fmernyer, the last posted photo shows a metal guide only held by one foot. A couple wraps of electrical tape over the unheld foot will hold it for the rest of the season. If your son is still excited about fishing, he can make inexpensive repairs over the winter. The Rod Building forum is full of advice on repairs to classic rods.


Tom


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Post 23 Aug 2021, 16:03 • #12 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17983
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I took a gang of 6' glass rods to a TU chapter kid-focused meeting, and every child who tried one was casting 30' to 40' without difficulty.
They could feel the rods loading.


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Post 23 Aug 2021, 21:02 • #13 
New Member
Joined: 08/02/21
Posts: 4
Thanks, Tom - I'll get some tape!


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Post 06 Sep 2021, 19:14 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/11/06
Posts: 2259
Location: Nature Coast Florida
Picked up an 8 1/2' or 9' Orvis Battenkill at an auction. Been so long ago and can't remember the length. They threw it on table with couple other items and bought the whole pile for $22.

Of course it was bamboo and not glass so don't know if that counts.


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