I revised the photo posting instructions
. Once you have run through the process a couple of times it should be no problem. However, the process is easiest to do from a computer. Posting photos from a cell phone is doable, but difficult due to the screen size.
"Especially don't get hung up on early rods being collectible.
" was how I put it. Vintage fiberglass rods have two values on the market, first as a fishing tool taken to the water for enjoyment. While some particular rod models may be more enjoyable than others, early vs late models rarely makes a difference. The second market value is as a collectible. Often collectors wish to acquire early examples of collectible rods or reels, which drives up prices. Excellent cosmetic condition drives up prices. 'Completeness' drives up prices, such as original tube, rod sock, hang tags, warranty/guarantee booklet, etc. Rarity drives up prices (good luck finding the unicorns labeled Glastech). Because A, B, C, etc. serial number Fenwicks are earlier rods, and there are likely to be fewer of them, the prices are higher. Sellers know this. I see far more 'enhanced' cork on eBay than ever. For that matter, there have been eBay sellers specializing in purchasing, chopping, and cosmetically reconstructing fiberglass and cane rods. As a result, be very cautious paying top dollar for an early rod in really, really nice looking cosmetic condition. If I'm interested in a rod for the fishing aspect, I go after 'users' - rods with dirty cork, chipped labels, and maybe frayed wraps. I can get the same bang, for much less buck.
The push for the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association (AFTMA) standards (note: AFFTA is a subsequent organization) came from tournament casters, in particular Myron Gregory. He persuaded the National Association of Angling and Casting Clubs to adopt a weight based standard. This proposal was taken to AFTMA and eventually adopted in 1960. Until the line standard was adopted, line and rod manufacturers didn't want to change. Even then, it was probably a good 5 years before rods and lines were commonly marked for line weights, not diameters. Also note, while there is a clear, well defined line standard, there is no such thing for rods. The markings on a fly rod are simply the opinion of the company making the rod.
Not trying to be argumentative but their is no data to indicate that the published serial numbers and their relative dates are incorrect.
Your example of an FF70-4 with an "A" serial number is a prime example. That serial number correlates to 1960/1961 according to the list. Yet Feralite ferrules weren't made and sold until mid-1962 at the earliest. The FF70-4 model wasn't on the market until a couple years after that. Without good corporate paperwork correlating serial numbers to model numbers and production records it is impossible to tell why your rod is marked "A".
Patent lawyers typically and traditionally recommended manufacturers apply this label as soon as the go into production with what they believe is a patentable idea.
A patent pending label is nothing more than warm fuzzies. Patent lawyers insist
a patent is filed before an idea is ever discussed outside the company. Production and sales before a patent filing? Selling a product before filing for a patent is a good way to lose the patent rights.