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Post 25 Oct 2022, 10:33 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/20
Posts: 46






Hi all,
I finally photographed this rod for your conjecture on the markings and lack of a Feralite instruction label. It literally looks like the 50s 315-4 with Feralites and a serial number.

The rod is in very good+ condition with great translucent honey color, chestnut wraps with gold mylar tipping, matching small braid trim at handle, copper bronze/gold reel seat, cork is clean high grade, and the blank even has the cloth look of the metal ferruled 300 models -though finer grain than my very early 330. It's quite smooth, but I can see the 'glass cloth edges through the finish in some places. The machine printing lacks a line specification and it doesn't have the typical Feralite "Twist on ... paraffin" decal.

I wonder what happened to the hand printing and the Feralite instructions that you'd expect on this piece? I love it, lots of character, but it just seems so plainly marked. Any similar early FF examples out there? Any thoughts or comments, and other notations welcomed of course.

Thanks as always, Charlie


Last edited by OlGlass56 on 25 Oct 2022, 11:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 25 Oct 2022, 11:17 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4793
Location: US-MT
Among the prettiest of Fenwicks IMHO


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Post 25 Oct 2022, 12:40 • #3 
Sport
Joined: 07/27/21
Posts: 39
Location: WV,MD,NC,SC,TN,NY but mostly PA
What a beautiful rod!


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Post 25 Oct 2022, 14:15 • #4 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/20/17
Posts: 361
Location: Portland, OR
Here is one that is only a couple thousand earlier than yours but with hand written markings and a Feralite decal on the second section.

Sandman









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Post 25 Oct 2022, 17:52 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 08/04/18
Posts: 59
Location: US-CT
Very nice looking rods guys.

I have the FF70 in the 2pc, been looking for the 4pc for a while.


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Post 25 Oct 2022, 18:26 • #6 
Sport
Joined: 07/27/21
Posts: 39
Location: WV,MD,NC,SC,TN,NY but mostly PA
These Fenwicks I always thought were the best looking ones they made.


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Post 26 Oct 2022, 05:15 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/20
Posts: 46
Thanks guys for the nice remarks, obviously I agree about the look of these early Fenwicks. That light enhanced glow sort of makes them seem alive or "organic" somehow, they grow on you.

Wow Sandman, your rod was constructed by the 1st string on a good day! Best guess on mine is probably that a lesser experienced or less conscientious person applied the finishing steps. In a manufacturing facility like Fenwick was by the 60s, they had several lines cranking out product by the hundreds daily. The craftsmanship is why we marvel and collect and we fishermen have favorites, right?

Keep it coming, there has to be different handwriting and another combination of seat colors or something interesting out there.
Thanks Charlie


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Post 27 Oct 2022, 00:38 • #8 
Guide
Joined: 12/29/10
Posts: 104
Location: US-CA
I have been enjoying this thread and will add a few photos of mine. I just acquired this rod and have only lawn cast it, but man is it sweet! Mine came with what I believe is the original case with the rubber caps on each end.

Interesting that OldGlass56's rod has a rubber butt cap while the other two are aluminum.




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Post 27 Oct 2022, 09:06 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/20
Posts: 46
Good eye there specialk!
That butt cap is a brown Fenwick logo cap from a 70s ultra light spin rod with a brown O ring above it. The original was all scratched up and corroded steel, about the only worn part on the whole rod. The O ring is because the curing epoxy pushed the installation out about .040". Lighter and no more clicking on the gravel either. Yes I'm a&@! retentive.


Your rod is equally as beautiful as Sandman's, and really has a personality, it must be the way the decals are applied. Mine also has the tube and caps intact, although worn as par.

I've noticed that every Fenwick has it's own casting personality too. Even within models. My B 15813 has a bit more backbone overall than another E serial FF70-4 I have. I checked my casting observation with 3 ounces of pennies hung from the leaders, and the arc of both is very similar, but the later one bends about 3" farther. That's the opposite of what most members report, and I believe it depends on how the individual blank was rolled and cured, as well as uniformity of resin and finish.
Knowing (blue collar family) how manufacturing plants operated back then, no two people that handled a rod worked with the same care or methodology, hungover morning or Friday at 3:45. Shop conditions alone played a role, I know too we're lucky they kept the grime out of the finish! Quality Control was probably sandpaper and spar varnish. Sorry Jimmy Green.

We are seeing and appreciating some of the best examples of workmanship from over half a century ago.
Thanks for the sharing, Charlie


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Post 28 Oct 2022, 10:36 • #10 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8639
Location: US-ME
Good eye, for sure. And exactly why such details are rarely definitive as to production variables or distinct series. Apart from changing specs and hardware within a production year, there are years since. Mix and match, minor repair/replacement, substitute facsimile markings and so on. A decal label falls off and lettering wears away. Things like that happen over 50 years, but the rod itself can be good as ever. Beautifully displayed in this thread.


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Post 28 Oct 2022, 11:20 • #11 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/20/17
Posts: 361
Location: Portland, OR
Here is the "B" I showed above and a "C". A bunch of comparison photos. Too many differences to list. The only Identical characteristic I notice is the reel seat. My C came with the gold tube and B came with the brown canvas sock. Interesting that while they appear to have changed nearly everything on this rod in one year, I don't discern any difference in the way they cast a DT5. Both are deep flexing, quite smooth and can present delicately. Admittedly, my casting analysis is not at Charlie's level. Photo heavy.

Sandman





















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Post 28 Oct 2022, 16:21 • #12 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/20
Posts: 46
More good stuff guys,
Thanks Sandman for the "analysis" complement, but it's really just a crude way to see how some rods cross the seams in the siding behind my garage after fishing and shaking. Your wonderful photos certainly accentuate details for comparison far better than my bag of pennies. Surprising contrast in the blank colors. A favorite difference on my "B" is the reel seat color combination.

Thanks also to whrlpool for not being critical of my modifications, other photos would show faint gold alignment dots too. I think many rods get a little finish help before pictures, even those meant to collect as original.
I like more pleasing aesthetics, but practical fishing improvements are often made by me, ruining them to the collectors here. I'd never represent them as untouched, and not many would be fooled if I did. Mine will beat the water anyway.

Knowing that collectability is personally subjective, are any Fenwicks truly collectable in light of being mass produced over such a long time? We can't deny that they are interesting enough.

Charlie


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Post 30 Oct 2022, 08:59 • #13 
Guide
Joined: 07/12/22
Posts: 151
As Tom has pointed out and I have also discovered though collecting there are to many variables to be able to say what precise physical characteristics a rod should have based on Serial Numbers. Statistically, I have about 1 rod that doesn’t fit for every one that does. The simple printed label on the OP’s rod is often found on the D Series. And I have hand labeled rods up to the F Series. That is a white letter FF-80-4.
Why is only conjecture.
Possibly because they eventually had more production capacity than skilled hand painters.
Maybe that guy was so proud of his work, he kept doing it even though others were sticking on labels. I have a couple with obvious typos or sloppy lettering that someone probably wanted to go to lunch more than fixing.


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Post 30 Oct 2022, 12:05 • #14 
Guide
Joined: 01/04/18
Posts: 303
Location: Belair Maryland/Swanton Maryland
Wow those Mylar Fenwicks are beautiful :P
Very cool early “B” Feralite .
Great pics .. I really dig the butt cap replacement mod!
Great comments and info guys !
I’ve been getting back into Fenwicks this year .
I’ll have to keep an eye out for one of those Mylar Beauties.
Charlie, Keep resto-moddin those rods as much as needed ;)
Looking forward to seeing some posts in the Fishing with glass subforum .
Scotto


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Post 30 Oct 2022, 13:26 • #15 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/20
Posts: 46
Yeah Fredderf, that's what I was eluding to with my little factory story, workers come through in the product.
There you are ottobahn! I hoped you'd chime in, no Phillipson here, but these older Fenwicks are fun to have and hold too. The "fishing" side is going to get some action soon.

My first time out with the little O.G.E. was fun but not too productive, super low water and nearly complete leaf fall made it a chore to work a cast. The casting though was great, I made a stab with Rio Perception 3 weight at 153 grain head, and it carried my popper/dropper OK. More than the rod wanted beyond 35 feet, but that's bank to bank right now on my Big Flatrock river. First blood teaser...(these little longears will flat rob a 17" smallmouth).

Thanks for the participation, Charlie


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Post 30 Oct 2022, 15:45 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5339
Location: Relocated to the Drought Stricken West.
Watch out, Scotto is on the prowl. I'm expecting to see some interesting posts coming up this winter.


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