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Post 28 Aug 2021, 16:58 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 06/06/21
Posts: 40
Location: Northeast Oklahoma
All,
I'm thinking about picking up a used 7-wt Eagle Claw Champion M3A 8 1/2 ft rod. It will need some minor repairs (which I enjoy doing). Does anyone have information about dates of manufacture, how it fishes, or anything else?
Best wishes


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Post 28 Aug 2021, 22:51 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2055
Location: South of Joplin
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13373#p82557

I think W&M made working man's rods, relatively inexpensive and pretty fair fishing tools, with not much glamour or superlative advertising copy.
I'm not an expert on these, but my thoughts are that the various models were on the same tapers/blanks but at different "trim" levels, some having very few guides and some having more than enough guides and some variation in wraps with different price points. As I recall the Champion was a mid range designation and the name may have been in use on several versions/generations of rods, possibly also casting rods. I've never seen the number designations explained but think they were trim levels with higher numbers being lower price ranges fe Sweetheart= 2A, Champion= 3A and Denco= 8A (maybe the fly rods use A and the spinning rods use B)
Reel seat colors and styles changed some through the years and could aide in dating, and I think the rods went through color changes that could date them too, though I'm not knowledgeable enough to say when what was changed.
I really like my ~'70 Denco and really dislike my ~'90 Sweetheart, but I put that down to USA vs Asia manufacture and brown vs yellow color, with the brown Denco being made in USA.
I guess that if the rod is marked "Eagle Claw" rather than "Wright & McGill" that it is more recent vintage


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Post 29 Aug 2021, 07:59 • #3 
Sport
Joined: 06/06/21
Posts: 40
Location: Northeast Oklahoma
Thanks, Trev. I appreciate your help. The rod I am looking at has the yellow color, and it says Eagle Claw Champion no. M3A81\2 - 8 1\2 ft. Fly Rod Wright & McGill Co. Denver, Co. U.S.A. so I'm guessing it must be one of the newer models that might not fish as well as the older ones.
Best wishes


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Post 30 Aug 2021, 08:36 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2055
Location: South of Joplin
Kanokie, Sorry I don't know more, there were some yellow W&M rods made sometime in the '70s, I think, that some people liked, I just never had one and don't know anything about them, they may be exactly the same as the brown rods from the same period. If it is marked "Mini Ferrules", I think that puts the date to early '70s. iirc 1970 is said to be the first year the Mini Ferrules were used and I seem to think the "M" in front of the model number is related. Later (not sure when) rods were glass to glass rather than metal ferrules.
I want to think any rod made in Denver will have potential.
There are more knowledgeable members about the W&M stuff, hopefully one or more of them will chime in.


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Post 30 Aug 2021, 09:20 • #5 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8328
Location: US-ME
From the mini ferrules on to the tip into butt ferruled rods, there were many iterations of yellow Eagle Claw rods. They varied in action and performance. Best to get the rod in hand, judge it for what you see and feel, and decide from there.


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