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Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 06:24 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/11/12
Posts: 713
Location: Rhode Island
I was hoping one of you guys could explain or post a picture of a 1st generation Fenwick HMG fly rod. I found lots of information here on the forum but it's still unclear to me.

Thanks,

Russ


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 10:12 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/30/09
Posts: 1331
Location: Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
I dont know if they are all first generation or not but there a lot of HMG rods for sale on ebay complete with photos.Theyre a brown colour.Nice rods.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 10:31 • #3 
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Joined: 02/11/12
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Location: Rhode Island
That's why I was hoping someone could definitively show me. I was told grey and also brown ;)


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 13:28 • #4 
Sport
Joined: 03/03/10
Posts: 94
Location: US-IL
the 1series of rods were all blackish-gray graphite. with a lite green wrap. I still have a 1/2doz laying around. were the bst of all thecarbon that was ever built.
stiffer/faster. allowed u to throw a narrow loop a long way. circa 1974-75.

the 2nd &3 gen were all a pretty brown and tan and gold wrap I think. don't have left,any so don't remember. not as stiff as gen #1. more parabolic, a little slower. more popular with fishermen but not with top fly casters. only had 2-3 I think and probably gave them away.

hope this helps.

jjw


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 15:43 • #5 
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Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4792
Location: Washington DC Region
I'm not sure I agree with the catagorization of the actions of the rods with jjw, but he nailed the color. The 1st gen also had a reinforced female ferrule and are extremely light. At some point after the brown rods started, they switched to manufacturing in Taiwan.

There are some neat early graphite HMG's (GFF instead of FF) that had hand written serial numbers instead of stickers (or other printed lettering).
I don't have pictures handy.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 18:28 • #6 
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Joined: 04/26/12
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Location: Dubois Pa
I have a 7'6 5wt GFF755 1st Gen that was my grandpa's. It is far from stiff and very sweet casting like a Scott G. I don't have time to take a pic but they were already described. I will add they came in a black aluminum tube with a gold top. and a green nylon bag.

Bob


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 18:59 • #7 
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Joined: 10/12/06
Posts: 1184
Location: US-CA
I am in agreement with carls's post with regards to the HMG fly rods. In my area the 5wts are becoming very sought after for competition casting.
Respectfully rvreclus


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 19:59 • #8 
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Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4792
Location: Washington DC Region
Rvreclus, What is "competition casting"? I can't imaging the old GFF's being good distance casting rods compared to the stiffer new Loomis or Sage rods.

This post might let the cat out of the bag a bit for how nice these rods are. You are not going to confuse them with glass, but they are the "missing link" of Don Green rods that tie the glass Fenwicks to the early Sage rods. Compared to the early GFF rods, the later ones feel clunky to me.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 04 Jun 2016, 23:04 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
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Location: US-NM
I have had 3 gff 704s 2 were 1st gen. and one second.The first gen. We're dark grey slightly tip heavy and a little stiffer than the brownish 2cnd gen.......aurelio


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 05:24 • #10 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/09/16
Posts: 638
Location: Colorado
I fish my first generation GFF 806 regularly (yesterday and today, in fact) as my nymph rod. It is very light and its pretty stiff compared to other early graphite. They are pretty cool looking with the light green tip wraps. I'll post a pic of mine later as it's rigged up in the truck and ready to fish this morning. :)


Last edited by Robert on 05 Jun 2016, 21:50, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 06:22 • #11 
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Location: US-ME
Well this won't help much except to get somebody else thinking or digging out some stuff. I couldn't find my good camera, so the cell phone had to do. Looks kind of vintage, just like the rod, an HMG 7 1/2' for 6. HMG stood for "high modulus graphite," that I know. The ferrule is sleeve type.

The rest is kind of fuzzy. especially since I never paid much attention to graphite rods other than Fisher after 1980. I think the modulus ("stiffness") was a few thousand more than the first graphite scrims used, let's say 38000 as opposed to 33000--something like that. In other words, although they can be thought of as "soft" graphite by today's norms, they were "stiff" graphite in their time, and actually started the trend towards "stiffer" (higher modulus) graphite.

You can see the tube. I never use tubes routinely, and I threw the sock away. Together, these too things ruin a lot of rods--exactly what happened to this one in the previous owner's hands, or, actually, sitting in a damp space in a damp sock in a tube. Sometimes it got rained on, sunned and dried sitting on a porch or laid in a boat--"weathered," I call it. I watched it deteriorate over 20 years or more, right along with the owner. Then he died and his widow gave it to me.

Well I don't remember the original colors of the wraps or color tone of the blank. I thought it was gray, but it looks kind of reddish now. I quick refinished it one night with what fell to hand, probably a spar varnish with an amber tone. So that is no help.

But it is a darned nice little rod for graphite.

Image


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 08:29 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/12/06
Posts: 1184
Location: US-CA
Carlz,
Competition casting I am referring to is not the distance events, but the accuracy events where casters are shooting at predetermined targets at a set distance, The distances are, I believe, in as close as 10' out to 65', not really sure how accurate I am here with the distances. However, I was watching some competition guys Saturday and two were using HMG 5wts, casting to the targets.
Respectfully rvreclus

And yes, a topic such as this will let the cat out of the bag. These rods are very nice casting rods, smooth, accurate and greater line speed addition from the graphite make up. J Green was a very talented rod designer.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 09:02 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/11/05
Posts: 3341
Location: US-TX
I broke my HMG 8 weight so I sent it back since it had a lifetime warranty. They sent me an HMX as a replacement. When I've had a beer and sitting all alone, I still whimper a little and get a frog in my throat. I should have just repaired the HMG because the HMX is not the same-p-


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 12:58 • #14 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/29/11
Posts: 489
Location: US-CA
The original Fenwick HMG rods were gray with a greenish gray NCP wraps and a sleeve ferrule. The model info was handwritten on the shaft. They were designed by Jim Green, not Don Green (though both were involved with Fenwick and then Sage). And yes, they are still highly prized among tournament casters, who use them in accuracy events.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 19:37 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 2311
Location: Arlington, TX
All,
I am currently visiting with Aurelio Corso here in Northern New Mexico, and he brought out one of his favorite early Fenwick HMG rods- - from the photos you'll see the first generation designation markings. This HMG GFF-704 has a very short grip reminding me of the Eastern- style fly rods for the quick shots at a smallish waters containing native cuttroats. It is capable of making lighting fast sets to take a fly or bump a dry. This rod is a smooth caster that will impress even those who have abandoned most graphite sticks. In my hands, it casts DT4 as a true 4WT rod. Short rods like these can be an advantage in stalking fish on small streams like the Ponil, Comanche, or upper Culebra
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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 05 Jun 2016, 21:49 • #16 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/09/16
Posts: 638
Location: Colorado
I fish my first generation GFF 806 regularly (yesterday and today, in fact) as my nymph rod. It is very light and its pretty stiff compared to other early graphite. They are pretty cool looking with the light green tip wraps. I'll post a pic of mine later as it's rigged up in the truck and ready to fish this morning. :)

Here are pics of the rod after a weekend of productive fishing. I do prefer graphite for most nymphing situations.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 06 Jun 2016, 05:40 • #17 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/11/12
Posts: 713
Location: Rhode Island
;) Thanks to all for your comments and pictures. Now I know for sure! I really do like the 1st generation blank colors and the light green tip wraps.

I already have one on the way ;)

Russ


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 07 Jun 2016, 13:21 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4792
Location: Washington DC Region
And some more pics: GFF-856 (1st gen), GFF-755 (1st gen), GFF-704 (much later, Foreign made)
GFF-856
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GFF-755
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gff-704
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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 07 Jun 2016, 15:16 • #19 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/03/15
Posts: 408
Location: Weatherford TX.
I've been trying to find the "Traditional" "Graphite with a Bamboo feel" rod they made in the late 70's
Someone posted in an other thread it should have a serial # like 905T but not sure if "HMG" or a "GFF" is preceding it.
I had a 9' 5wt, can't remember if it was brown or grey but I loved that rod and would like to find one...it was stolen.

Been searching Ebay,Amazon + Goolge for a year now and no luck.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 07 Jun 2016, 17:30 • #20 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4792
Location: Washington DC Region
The HMG is not bamboo like at all.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 07 Jun 2016, 18:10 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 2311
Location: Arlington, TX
No not bamboo as Carlz states, but more of a true moderate pre IM6 graphite feel.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 07 Jun 2016, 18:35 • #22 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/03/15
Posts: 408
Location: Weatherford TX.
Well it came out right after the 1st HMG because I bought that first then a year or two later I bought the one I'm talking about


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 08 Jun 2016, 17:45 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1199
Location: US-CO
my brother has a first-generation GFF-805 that is the best 5wt I have ever cast.. light, precise, but still a good deep flex and fish-feel.

here's a not-very-detailed pic, in the aftermath of a lot of falling into the water..

Image

The 1st gen are hard to find unfortunately. I got a GFF-755 off the auction site which looked just like a 1st gen one, but turned out to be foreign-made to my great sadness. It's still a fine rod, but not quite what I remember (then again, what is ? ;-)

Built a 9' 7wt on one of the second-gen HMG brown blanks. It's as good as the FF807, slightly better in situations needing really long casts.. which is to say, one of the finest rods I own. They are like the best Fenwick glass, but just a little lighter and quicker. Marvelous rods..


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 08 Jun 2016, 18:24 • #24 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/29/11
Posts: 489
Location: US-CA
"Well it came out right after the 1st HMG because I bought that first then a year or two later I bought the one I'm talking about"

I think the Traditional series came out much longer after the first HMG rods. They were brown and desgnated by a "T" after the GFF model number - like GFF 905T. Don't think many were sold because they weren't around for very long.


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Re: Fenwick HMG fly rods
Post 09 Jun 2016, 12:17 • #25 
Guide
Joined: 06/08/16
Posts: 298
Location: US-MI
My early HMG has the gray shafts. The way I remember them in the mid 70's was gray wraps with white tipping. I think the varnish or whatever they used has changed color over the years and that is why people see it as green now. I don't remember them being green back then. BTW, does anyone else have a problem with strong odor when you open the rod tube of the early HMG's? I've tried washing the bag, and inside tube, but after a while it just reeks again like someone put Limburger cheese in the tube.


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