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Vintage Fenwicks F85-3
Post 15 Nov 2021, 04:00 • #1 
New Member
Joined: 07/19/17
Posts: 6
Location: Australia, Lithgow NSW
Hi All, Im have just acquired two vintage Fenwick glass rods that a swapped for an "as new" Loomis GLX #4 rod.
Ive been a fan of contemporary fiberglass rods for some years now and I use little else unless its bamboo occasionally on the local creeks so I thought it was time to try some vintage glass.
One rod is a factory build and has model number of FF85-3 3/78oz 8 1/2 feet long Line number 6
After putting lines through this rod Im concurring with the #6 line. What an absolute beautiful rod to cast!
I have looked at model number chart telling me it may have been made between 1963-71
The rod also has a serial number - capitol letter I 16669 Can anyone tell me what year of manufacture would this rod be please?

The other rod is a custom build on a slightly darker colored blank almost brownish. (I will try and upload some pics off my phone if possible) It is a 2 piece 8 foot rod, it has a decal or sticker with Fenwick fiberglass on it and an oval mustard coloured area for a serial number that is blank.
This rod feels noticeably faster than the F85-3 and casts a #6 line very well.
Can anyone has at a guess of the blank - I know pictures would solve all - I will try.........
I swapped these rods with a mind to use them on the local stillwaters for trout and maybe on some of the local carp as well.

Put it this way I had an order in with a custom rod builder to make me another Epic 686 - I canned it as soon as I'd finished casting these two rods! - Ill swap it out for a glass #4 instead.
Both rods are in good to very good condition and its was a worthy trade from my point of view.
Also as a foot note the lines I put through the rods were both WFF #6 RIO lines.
Any information on the above rods will be helpful and certainly input regarding what lines people favor- should I get myself some DT lines for these style of rods?
Thank you and regards............Alex


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Post 15 Nov 2021, 07:36 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5140
Location: Washington DC Region
Alex, Congratulations. The FF85-3 is a very nice rod.

As for the model years. There is a good chart that was published in "the fenwick book" and captured here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=499

I don't know why this didn't make it to the Wiki Page. https://wiki.fiberglassflyrodders.com/wiki/Fenwick

Without pictures, the second rod is a bit of a guess, but I am thinking it is in the later Fenwick fiberglass rods in The early 1980's or in the Fenglas period (late 1990's).

If you can get a copy of the Fenwick book by Victor R Johnson Jr, for a reasonable price, it's worth picking up.

Does anyone know if you can still buy this in electronic form from the publisher?


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Post 15 Nov 2021, 14:36 • #3 
New Member
Joined: 07/19/17
Posts: 6
Location: Australia, Lithgow NSW
Thanks Carlz, all great information.
So ive found out the factory build is a 1968-69 build date.
I cannot believe how good this rod is for its age both in its conditions and how well it casts a fly line!
I really like to think Ill be wearing this rods out over the next couple of seasons.
I tried to load pictures from my phone yesterday but it seems I had no luck, I will try again this evening after work.
Thanks again....................Regards..................


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Post 16 Nov 2021, 10:18 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4630
Location: US-MT
Fenwick did make a dark brown blank, it was a bit faster rod than the yellow or light brown rods. You might want to try the 8fter with a 7wt too.

I had a 85-3 I loaned to a friend about 30 years ago. He still hasn't returned it.


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