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Mystery Rod
Post 15 Jun 2020, 17:50 • #1 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/05/06
Posts: 1339
Location: US-PA
I've had this rod for a LONG time, given to me by a friend for some reason or another and I am considering redoing it, but wanted a guess as to what it may be before I do.

It is spiral wrapped like a Wonderod with NO markings, although I am sure they were rubbed off.

2 piece yellow-ish blank, aluminum reelseat, foil wraps at hook keeper and just above, plain light brown everywhere else (wraps look almost painted brown), Sizematic ferrule, ceramic stripper guide, casts a 5wt nicely if I remember correctly.

The tip top is missing thread wraps and looks like a replacement with a little ferrule cementt stuck on it. I may have even put it back on but I don't remember, I've had it that long however, the rod appears to be full length as both sections are even, however the ruler says it is a 7'4" rod???

Maybe a 7'3" rod or a short 7'6" rod but the even sections has me confused.

Any ideas??





BTW - It is a NICE rod and feels like bamboo in weight & action.

Thanks in advance for any insight!!


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 15 Jun 2020, 20:00 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/12/16
Posts: 3696
Location: USA-CO
No insight, but looks like it'd be a blast to own and fish.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 15 Jun 2020, 20:01 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/16/08
Posts: 3333
Location: Upstate-NY
looks custom to me.

cant recall a maker of blanks that color, though. Maybe St.Croix?


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 15 Jun 2020, 22:57 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4281
Location: US-MT
Nifty.

Blank looks, as you said, Wonderod-ish, especially if it is heavy! But other than that is a little mystery.

Shakespeare did make a 7'3" rod if I recall.

Looking forward to more people's thoughts.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 15 Jun 2020, 23:25 • #5 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6722
Location: Holly Springs, NC
I agree with Keith, a rebuilt Shakespeare Wonderod. The spiral pattern to the glass blank is reminiscent of the Howald process. The reel seat doesn't look Shakespeare, but the grip sure does. Perhaps the odd length is due to replacing the original ferrules with Sizematics?

Shakespeare listed a 7'3" rod on a yellow blank in the 1956 catalog. The rod was supposed to match an HEH line (5-ish weight?). That might be a fun rod to use as a model even if that wasn't the origin of the blank.


Tom


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 11:13 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 2092
Location: US-CO
I agree that there were 7'3" production rods and my gut says this is a factory rod with a different reel seat and possibly ferrule as mentioned above. I had a very early pre-patent Shakespeare rod that was that color of yellow with red wraps.

PS: I have a 7'9" Wonderod that is really 2 inches longer than the labeling. So the additional length does not surprise me if the two pieces are the same length.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 13:48 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/05/06
Posts: 1339
Location: US-PA
A couple of questions:

How were those ultra smooth brown wraps achieved. They look like the thread (regardless of color) was painted rather than varnished. It is perfectly smooth with little or no indication of individual wraps of thread.

Was foil use common among custom or hobbyist builders? It just seems out of place to me, especially only two wraps.

Both sections are even, although I imagine discrepancies due to a break could have been compensated by replacing the ferules and making things even, but would someone have bothered, meaning the consensus is it is a 7'3" rod, not a short 7'6"? (It measured 7'4").

Were any production rod companies using Sizematic ferrules? Did Shakespeare ever use them?

I am just trying to decide if it is worth a refurbish or not. It really has a great feel and I always had visions of a nice reelseat and blued nickel silver ferrules. Maybe I should cast it some more and then decide...

Regardless, thanks for the input so far!!


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 13:59 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/16/08
Posts: 3333
Location: Upstate-NY
Bamboozle wrote:
Were any production rod companies using Sizematic ferrules?


Browning, for sure.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 14:31 • #9 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6722
Location: Holly Springs, NC
From your photos, it looks like the brown wraps were done with very fine thread (size 00?). That would have a smoother look. But one wrap is much more ornate than the other.

Foil material is still available. Perhaps the foils were part of the factory build. That stripper guide didn't come on the market until the 70s. Sizematic ferrules hit the market in the early 60s. The reelseat looks more 70s to me (thin metal). The blank looks rather 50s.

Rod blanks do not fit into the male slide of Sizematics like most metal ferrules. It's possible the reelseat work was done to match the butt section to a slightly longer tip. The ferrules cover the evidence. St. Croix also used Sizematic ferrules. A new O-ring on the male ferrule will make the rod feel tighter.

A rebuild is a commitment in time and money. Fish the rod some more and ponder. Then fish it some more. A bit more after that...


Tom


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 16:36 • #10 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16310
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
corlay wrote:
Bamboozle wrote:
Were any production rod companies using Sizematic ferrules?


Browning, for sure.

and St. Croix


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 16:49 • #11 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/03/14
Posts: 757
Location: central AR
Something about that rod just says Ted Williams to me. I know they were made by Shakespeare, at least some were.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 18:19 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4794
Location: Washington DC Region
Is the thread a "no color preserver needed" (NCP) thread? They tend to go completly flat.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 16 Jun 2020, 21:29 • #13 
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Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1637
Location: South of Joplin
I think I've read that some early manufacturer used the fiberglass resin as wrap finish, my mind let slip the part about which one and where I read that. I also seem to recall some using glass fiber as thread for wraps, would glass fiber coated in resin look like that?
I own a yellow Wonderod and a yellow St Croix and neither is that shade of yellow, but a different batch would probably always vary in shade.
My first guess on the reel seat was the owner/renovator took off a malfunctioning spring seat and put on what was available.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 18 Jun 2020, 23:21 • #14 
New Member
Joined: 05/27/20
Posts: 19
My gramps had a wonder rod that looked exactly like that... I used it a lot until he felt comfortable buying me a fenwick ff80. He gave to a kid from town a long long time ago for his first fly rod.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 19 Jun 2020, 07:12 • #15 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7745
Location: US-ME
Noting the absence of wraps at the tiptop and ferrule, it has been hastily hodgepodge repaired, or piecemeal worn parts replaced, that's for sure. Could very well be a Shakespeare or Shakespeare-made trade rod, yellowed with age and/or later applications of varnish or rod finish. A user rod with character, probably maintained quickly as that new epoxy stuff became available. Gotta wonder if the tip was sheared right close to the end of the barrel of the original tiptop and then another stuck on. Good to use as it is or quick-strip and fix up with a new set of guides and new reel seat--new grip if necessary. A detail strip and rebuild probably not worth it.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 24 Jun 2020, 13:28 • #16 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/26/13
Posts: 435
Location: US-PA
The tip top appears to be crimped on. Is that the case?


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 25 Jun 2020, 04:23 • #17 
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Joined: 12/05/06
Posts: 1339
Location: US-PA
the outsider wrote:
The tip top appears to be crimped on. Is that the case?

No, that is a little blob of ferrule cement or something which looks like a crimp indentation in the photo.


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Re: Mystery Rod
Post 28 Jun 2020, 14:06 • #18 
Guide
Joined: 06/25/20
Posts: 115
Location: Easton, PA
Bam, Send it over to me and I'll look'er over......

Baron


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