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Vintage Harnell ML Spin
Post 25 Apr 2020, 17:38 • #1 
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Was happy to get this on e-bay, though I paid top dollar - just a dollar more than an equally sharp potential buyer.
The rod is marked Fispo Glass Harnell Blank.
I believe Fispo must be a NE merchant or distributor.

The blank, reel seat and handle match the 6'6" 1-pc 440, though built as a 2-pc with staggered ferrule.
And a perfect match with my Penn 716 (if you click, these photos will zoom a bit)


re-positioned to show the tip


another view on that pretty reel seat


I don't think the ferrules have ever been assembled
What looks like a loose thread is tightly varnished - other than that, the wraps are impeccable


What I thought was a scratch on the seller's photos turned out to be ferrule alignment marks


I do have some work to do, the reel seat rotates freely about 20-degrees - too much to fish it.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 29 Apr 2020, 17:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 25 Apr 2020, 19:28 • #2 
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Location: Holly Springs, NC
bulldog1935 wrote:
another view on that pretty reel seat
...
...I do have some work to do, everything from the reel seat to the rod butt freely rotates about 45-degrees.

I can't tell from the photo - is that a rivet or a screw holding the rod butt plate in position? If it is a screw, maybe pulling the plate will open up a way to reglue the reelseat and cork. If it looks like a rivet, it could be a drive screw (a one-way screw that is driven in with a small hammer). A rivet just doesn't make sense in this application.

Yeah, that Penn reel looks really good on there. I love the reel seat patina. It says, "I don't just look old school, I AM old school!"


Tom


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Post 25 Apr 2020, 20:51 • #3 
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Tom, it's definitely a screw on the butt cap, and that's the way I'm going to head into it.

Well, the screw didn't get me very far - it's 1" and appears to be self-tapping into a metal washer in the end of the blank.
The cork's too nice to destroy - have to think of a way to secure the seat.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 00:06 • #4 
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Joined: 07/12/17
Posts: 277
Location: SW B.C.
Seeexxy! :eek I especially like the contouring of the grip.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 00:23 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 11/28/18
Posts: 58
Location: US-WA
Ron, I had a loose seat once and what I ended up doing was I drilled a small hole in the seat underneath where the reel foot is. Mixed some epoxy and poured it into a small syringe. Slow process but the end result was completely effective. I filled the hole with liquid steel and was hardly noticeable. Just a thought. Very cool rod by the way.
Cheers and good health.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 05:20 • #6 
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Thanks - already considered that using instant-mix loctite epoxy.
The other approach, Tom mentioned, is go through the cork at each edge using a cork borer, and put the cork pieces back in with Rod Bond.
Had a SB 359 cane rod that arrived with a big split in the cork - Rod Bond glued it great and it fished that way forever.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 12:51 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 11/28/18
Posts: 58
Location: US-WA
That sounds like a viable option as well. I am confident either would be fine. That is very nice cork, be careful.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 13:04 • #8 
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
it's gorgeous - I'm going to invite Andy over here for ideas, also.


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Post 29 Apr 2020, 09:54 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/26/06
Posts: 3830
Location: Northeast Of Heaven
Hello
That's A Beautiful Harnell I'm Green With Envy.
Bulldog and I had a number of exchanges in PM form about his rod.
I'm confident the rod will turn out to be one of his favorites.
Tight Lines And Re-Secured Loops
Andy M :lol
Image


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Post 29 Apr 2020, 11:56 • #10 
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Joined: 04/20/17
Posts: 263
Location: Portland, OR
Ron, thanks for sharing...un-fished, cool and fun vintage combo...

No markings on blank, wraps look Harnell, sock labeled Fispo...trying to theorize build...I hadn't seen that seat or handle on a Harnell, but I haven't seen all Harnell spin rods...do you think Harnell built the rod and then shipped it to a retailer who provided their own sock? Or did Harnell label the sock Fispo? Haven't seen that color of sock by Harnell...or did Fispo build the rod from a blank or from a kit provided by Harnell?

Sandman


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Post 30 Apr 2020, 18:35 • #11 
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Chris, I think the rod was probably built by Harnell to Fispo specs.
Everything about the rod matchess Harnell 440R, except it's 2-piece instead of 1-.
All the hardware looks Harnell.
I still haven't found who Fispo may be, other than random links to tackle boxes containing Fispo-Griilon fishing line spools or Fispo carded snelled flies. (Grilon turns up a Zurich-based plastics company)
Image
also the OS packaged copper spoon in this tackle box is marked Fispo

and another 2-pc Fispo Harnell spinning rod with case
the listing describes the classic Harnell red wraps


but it almost certainly represents a retail merchant or regional distributor.
One forum that posted now defunct ebay links show a couple other Fispo glass rod ebay auctions - of course those links and photos are gone. I'll keep looking...

I didn't photo these myself, but here are the seller's photos of the spiral transfer on the rod, which I cropped out to camera resolution

FISPO-FIBER-GLASS
HARNELL-SPIN-MASTER

Don't know how this lead may pan out, but Fispo has Finnish references, and the 2020 UK Normark Rapala catalog has a Ragot saltwater soft plastic fry-size jig identified as Fispo Hegene - neither word translates, though the latter is used in a range of saltwater soft jig lures.
https://issuu.com/normarkuk/docs/low_res_-_consumer/370

though there was this quote from a defunct ebay listing:
FISPO Powr Kast | Early European Fiberglass Rod w. Travel Case | 6ft - 72 inches. By Ebay USA in forum Vintage fly rods.
Is Fispo a Finnish brand that bought Harnell blanks or completed rods?

There's also a current reference to a Japanese fishing line supplier in Angling International magazine


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Post 01 May 2020, 10:29 • #12 
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Joined: 04/20/17
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Thanks BD...not sure what to make of all this either...you have found more than I so far...I did find the ebay listing referring to the euro fiberglass rod too..starting to lean toward a euro distributor/retailer (Finland)...maybe even labeled and built by the distributor/retailer from Harnell parts who placed it in their own sock and tube..would be easier ship over seas that way...I didn't know Harnell was exported...

Sandman


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Post 03 May 2020, 19:51 • #13 
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Looking back, I didn't mention that the ferrule wouldn't engage more than 1/4-inch, and then bound terribly, making separating a wobbling and twisting chore.
Andy's recommendation was tackle the female ferrule inside, and it did contain a white oxide. I noticed the CL stamp for rod alignment was embossed inside the female ferrule, and sanded that down with 1200-grit and 4000-grit sandpaper - that alone wasn't enough to overcome the bind but that result could also make its own traction.

Ferrule now totally solved.
Bought a stack of dremel rectangular wool polishing felts, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm - came in a package and cheep with Prime shipping.

The 6mm wool, though stiff, was fluffy enough for a piston fit, and I measured a 7mm male ferrule dia.
A thin film of metal polish over the wool, 2 trips in and out with the dremel motor low and rotating the rod butt counter - the felt came out black.
Went through a half-dozen q-tips with alcohol.
Inside the female ferrule is polished bright.
The ferrule glides and pops.
Really thought it was going to be a lot more work - the whole thing was anticlimactic.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 04 May 2020, 07:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 03 May 2020, 20:28 • #14 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/11/05
Posts: 815
Location: US-NY
Back in mid/late 70’s I had a couple of Garcia Conolon spinning rods that had reel seats that came unglued from from the blank. After a few weeks of use, the seat got to where it would just spin around 360 degrees. I bought the rods to my local tackle shop, where they were fixed by squirting in epoxy with a hypodermic needle. I think the guy was able to push the cork back adjacent to the seat with a knife or something, and opened up a gap big enough to insert the needle.


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Post 04 May 2020, 06:28 • #15 
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thanks friend - I've decided the reel seat and blank are the most valuable parts of this rod, and ruled out the epoxy injection.
I'm going to give Matthew's Rod & Reel Repair a shot at this - they're just a couple of blocks from my office - they get the highest praise from salty kayak fishermen and pro bass fishermen alike on their reel service. They build custom rods and their galley work looks very nice.
They're also the only place in town that stocks my buddy Tobin's Trout Support Lure


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Post 06 May 2020, 14:14 • #16 
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Location: South of Houston, TX
Nice tip about polishing up the female ferrule there.
Something to store away in case needed later.


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Post 06 May 2020, 17:26 • #17 
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It's one of those things you must use sparingly - as in, a little bit goes a long way.
I don't believe these ferrules had ever been engaged, and they had a couple of things going against them that I was able to correctly evaluate and address.


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