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Post 12 Dec 2020, 21:25 • #26 
Guide
Joined: 03/24/08
Posts: 220
Location: Grantsville, Utah
I am resurrecting this post because of a rod that has been given me by a very close friend. It was his fathers and is marked with his fathers name by the builder when it was built in May of 1950. I feel honored that he felt to pass it to me.
My thoughts are that this is one of the first blanks offered by the new Sila-flex rod co.
Its length is 7' 9" and is (what I think) the model F75. I really like the green reel seat as opposed to the red seat normally seen with these blanks. Also interesting mylar wraps similar to the Fenwicks of the era.
The aluminum male ferrule has been cleaned too much actually removing the layer of red finish on the slide. Beas wax I suppose.
The last photo shows the rod laying next to and early Fenwick 8' model 325.
I can't wait to fish it.
Just hoping for some thoughts here.
Richard
More photos and info at this link.
https://antiquerodandreels.com/rodmanufacturers/1274
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Post 26 Dec 2020, 20:55 • #27 
Sport
Joined: 07/16/18
Posts: 92
Location: USA
Richard,

Lucky you!

Based on the Orange, CA decal, you have my vote that the blank is very early Sila-flex. For a custom rod, I would not make too much about hardware comparisons (as long as it is within period versus later).

Allow me to quote myself from earlier in the thread about the first rod presented:
Quote:
Sila-flex did not sell finished/completed rods until the 1952 catalog. First they sold only blanks (1949 Catalog), then kits (ferruled) were added (1950 Catalog). Observe also the trademark registration (from Orange, CA, not Costa Mesa - did you miss that part?) is for blanks, not rods. I think this rod was custom wrapped and one shouldn't make too much of the wrapper's choices - other than recognizing a custom wrap.

One thing though, I feel like I’ve missed something in the information I carry with me. You write, “… similar to Fenwicks of the era.” There was Fenwick in the late 1940’s?

I don’t know when Sila-flex switched to a Costa Mesa decal. It’s possible it was prior to your 5/10/50 rod assembly, if an in stock much earlier blank was used.

Out of curiosity, what is the distance between the 1,2,3, … markings on the rod?

Warm regards,

John


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Post 27 Dec 2020, 01:12 • #28 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7217
Location: Holly Springs, NC
J Fishkat wrote:
Based on the Orange, CA decal...

Um, looks like that decal says Costa Mesa. The Orange period must have been over by 1950.

The red aluminum ferrules were typically seen on factory ferruled blanks. Most factory built rods that I've seen had the 'Armor Plated' clear finished aluminum ferrules. Unfortunately, once the aluminum starts to wear the ferrule goes bad quickly. Bees wax is the best option for using the rod.

Not all Sila-flex rods had aluminum ferrules. Canoeman 1947 has a Medallion rod sporting SuperZs. I have a Medallion MF80 rod with very factory looking wraps over a nickel silver ferrule. I'm not going to ruin the wraps to see if it is a SuperZ, but the proportions look right. Finally, I have an elegantly wrapped rod built on an F75 blank with SuperZ ferrules and a Featherlight reelseat. Andy Manchester sent me the rod. The lady that gave Andy the rod told him it was built by her husband's fishing buddy - Vince Cummings.


Tom


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Post 27 Dec 2020, 02:05 • #29 
Sport
Joined: 07/16/18
Posts: 92
Location: USA
Tom,

My bad, if decal says Costa Mesa. Indeed, you've convinced me! I can make out the "C". Therefore, I retract my commentary as having been incorrect. I'm not clear then why this second rod would have been cause to resurrect the Orange, CA thread.

I accept that red aluminum ferrules were typically seen on factory ferruled blanks. However, I am not in full agreement that red aluminum ferrules weren't common on factory-built rods (as mentioned previously I own 14 custom/factory spinning/fly Sila-flex).

John


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Post 27 Dec 2020, 03:44 • #30 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7217
Location: Holly Springs, NC
I said, "Most factory built rods that I've seen had the 'Armor Plated' clear finished aluminum ferrules." That didn't mean that factory wrapped Sila-flex rods with red ferrules don't exist. It only means I haven't seen or recognized them. I've seen many rods built on red ferruled Sila-flex blanks.* It could be that I am simply discounting red ferruled factory builds as kit rods or custom builds. Photos would be very helpful.

The 1956 Sila-flex catalog states "All ferrules are of a new specialized finish called "Armor-plated" which are perfect fitting, durable, and most attractive." Between when they began selling factory rods in 1952 and August 1955 (when the 1956 catalog was published) Sila-flex had almost four years of rod production. The ferrules were made of something. I don't have earlier catalogs, so I don't know if Armor Plated ferrules were introduced prior to 1955. Unfortunately I don't have Dr. Todd's book either.

The 1956 catalog also specifies rod models sold in kits will have an "A" in the model number. Blanks will have a "B" in the model number. However, the little "Fireside Fishing is fun" booklet that Sila-flex published in August 1953 does not indicate that blanks have special model numbers. Again, I'm not sure when the practice of an A or B in the model number was introduced.


Tom

* Why is it that when I see a vintage eBay rod done with clown wraps, it often is a Sila-flex blank? This makes me sad.


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Post 27 Dec 2020, 10:27 • #31 
Guide
Joined: 03/24/08
Posts: 220
Location: Grantsville, Utah
Sorry guys, I wasn't trying to say this was an Orange marked rod. It is definitely marked Costa Mesa. I was excited as you can imagine to learn what I could when the rod was gifted to me. So I did some searching here on the forum for early Silaflex rods. The fact that the rod was built in 1950 lead me to believe it was one of the first blanks.
I posted it here thinking it pertained in some way.

Cool rod that I haven't cast yet. But will give a report when I do. In a separate thread of course. The dimensions between 1 2 and 3 are an inch, it looks odd because of the angle. But when catching fish in these sizes a little stretching of the truth is necessary.
Happy Holidays
Richard


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Post 27 Dec 2020, 22:03 • #32 
Sport
Joined: 07/16/18
Posts: 92
Location: USA
Richard,

Thanks for your update.

(In hindsight, I should have asked for the decal details before posting more commentary.)

So, 1, 2, 3, ... is for measuring fish! Is that different/unusual? I'm thinking, yes.

Tom,

Your point, "Photos would be very helpful." is well taken. I live in a highrise (having space limitations) with most of my tackle and collectibles not well organized in offsite storage. The issue of ferrules has come up a couple of times before. So, when I'm able to (as I would like to help with history), I'll bring out rods and photo for a separate post.

Warm regards,

John


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