It is currently 23 Feb 2024, 15:37


New Topic Add Reply
Author Message
Post 23 May 2023, 13:21 • #1 
New Member
Joined: 02/21/23
Posts: 6
[I moved this thread here where I think the subject is a better fit. Tom]

This was my father's rod and even tough I would eat up everything he did related to fishing including marveling at all of his vintage tackle I didn't even know he owned this rod until about 20 years ago. Part of it was probably that it's stored in an cloth lined aluminum tube and then covered by an army green bag with a pouch at the top for the handle. All of his other rods were hung on the wall where as this one was laying flat on a shelf. So by the time I finally saw this beauty I had already been fishing for 22 years. Granted I didn't do much in high school or college but around 2001 I renewed my habit with a vengeance. So one day I'm over at the house and he takes this think out and I was speechless.

Here is what I know: It was a gift to my brothers maternal uncle(we have different mothers and he is 17 years older than me). The uncle was just getting into fishing and felt it was to fancy for a novice like him so he gave it to my dad. My dad only used it once at some lake in Oregon. He sort of explained the "blank" think to me and also that the custom wrap job on this rod cost $100 back in what I think was the early 50s on top of the cost of the rod.

The fact that it came with a Heddon Pal handle always troubled me, since I don't know much about Silaflex rods I assumed this was a homogeneous Silaflex item. In the last 20 years I've Googled every combination of Heddon Pal Handle and Silaflex blank model BC 60 F getting back nothing. As you probably know there is very little info out there on these rods and I've been watching Ebay never seeing anything resembling this particular one. I was resigned to the fact I would probably never get any good info. Then my chance I did another search 2 months ago and someone had put an article written by Rodbuilder Magazine back in 2006 interviewing a guy named Gene Bullard and many of the things he said suddenly shined some light on this mystery. The blank model I have is one of 5 he would use to make custom builds. He would most often use Featherweight pistol grip rods but would also use Heddon Pal handles. One last detail he mention was that he would ship these custom ordered rods, once they were completed all over the country in PVC pipes.

Is it possible this is a custom build by Gene Bullard? I have to imagine if anyone who knew where to shop or had the right connections could get this same blank model and pair it with the Heddon Pal handle.










Top
  
Quote
Post 24 May 2023, 02:54 • #2 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7792
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Hi, Welcome to the Forum!

You have a custom rod blade built on a 50s era Sila-flex rod blank with a Heddon casting handle. The rod wrapping was very nicely done by the builder. Usually B&W jasper thread becomes very busy in conjunction with other thread work. In this case, the builder produced intricate, attractive guide wraps.

That blank was used for the Sila-flex C60F, 6-foot, 1-piece casting rod. The 1956 Sila-flex catalog described the C60F as For the angler requiring a longer rod we offer the superlative C60F which incorporates our 63" blank (weighing 2¼ oz.) in a total rod length of 6 feet. The rod blank was Sila-flex's 'Standard Tubular Glass' model, not the Medallion rod design which came out in the mid-50s. By 1960 the rod blank was still offered, but not the factory built rod. In the 1960 Sila-flex catalog sheets, the BC60F blank is listed as, 1 Piece, 6 ft., Light Action. The BC60F model number indicates a casting rod blank, to make a 6.0 foot rod, with a butt ferrule pre-mounted. The blank was 63" long, 1-7/8 oz, with a 5/64's tip, and a list price of $10.50. In the same catalog sheets, Ultra-Light Action casting rods were listed as suitable for 3/8 oz tournament casting. So perhaps Light Action is more of a 1/2-5/8 oz casting rod. Sila-flex offered factory built rods, rod blanks, and rod kits (all parts, including blank, handles, grips, guides, ferrules, thread). Sila-flex offered a couple models of handle, but not Heddons. Sila-flex rod blanks/kits were readily available to both custom builders and amateurs.

Your Sila-flex rod looks pristine. The paint on the Sila-flex logo and model number is crisp and clean. Usually the paint gets dinged and worn quickly. The Heddon handle on the other hand looks more used, but is still rather clean. The builder may have matched the blank and handle from the start, or may have had the handle remaining from a broken Heddon. While it's possible your father didn't fish the rod because it was too pretty, it is also possible he just didn't like single hand casting rods. For 1/2 oz casting outfits, I much prefer a short, two handed grip.

As far as Gene Bullard goes, perhaps search for rods he built. If the thread work looks similar, you have a good indication he was the builder. If your step brother's uncle lived near Mr. Bullard's shop, that is another potential clue.

Before you ask, the value is purely sentimental. Many custom rod builds retain little of the original value compared to a similar factory built rod. That's just the vagaries of the market. As a result, the most compelling value for the rod is to take it fishing and see how it does. I think it would make a nice match with a Pflueger Supreme or an ABU Ambassadeur.


Tom


Top
  
Quote
Post 25 May 2023, 09:33 • #3 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
That's a wonderful rod to have - congratulations.
Thanks for showing great photos.

The offset reel seat is made for round reels, e.g., Ambassadeur.
My experience with glass bass rods of that era, they're tippy compared to glass bass rods from the '70s.
However, they match extremely well with spincast reels, such as Abu Garcia 170.

They also make nice BFS rods with Ambassadeurs tuned for light lines and light lures.


Top
  
Quote
Post 25 May 2023, 14:23 • #4 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 600
Location: Eastern Wa
bulldog1935 wrote:
However, they match extremely well with spincast reels, such as Abu Garcia 170.


I agree. I think a Johnson 110B would look great on it too. It deserves something vintage and looks like its a fine rod!


Top
  
Quote
Post 25 May 2023, 14:58 • #5 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
yes, that would look good on the green offset handle


Top
  
Quote
Post 28 May 2023, 15:48 • #6 
Sport
Joined: 12/04/11
Posts: 72
Location: US-MI
I purchased a pile of rods back in January in order to get one specific rod. It was a 6ft, one piece Superative grade Heddon bait cast rod in light action and in mint condition with the original case. The rod is from the mid 1950's. I was so excited to get this rod that I confined the rest of the rods to the back of my car for a month or more thinking they were junk. When I finally took them inside and started to examine them I was surprised to find one great rod after another. Several were Heddon spinning rods in their original cases including a mint Mark III ultralight rod. I am not much of a spinning rod man anymore but there seemed potential to sell them and recover much of my money from the purchase. I was pleasantly surprised to find a 6ft Conolon baitcasting rod in great condition with no handle. It struck me as strange that the butt ferrel was designed to fit a Heddon handle from the 50's with a deep notch in the base that fits onto an internal protrusion inside the handle chuck to keep the blade from rotating during use. It fit perfectly on a Heddon handle. When I saw the original post here it struck me that the rod was fitted to a similar age Heddon Handle. Going back and looking at the rod today it is well done and marked as: "Custom Built by Conolon, Registration No. #78614". Further up the blank is a small decal that says "royal javelin". I would welcome any thoughts you have on this rod.


Top
  
Quote
Post 29 May 2023, 07:22 • #7 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Hi Bill, there are 13 threads on FFR about Conolon Royal Javelin -
- while they're mostly about the fly rod, here's an excellent post by someone who was there, and shows the rod line-up.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1127&p=14171


Top
  
Quote
Post 29 May 2023, 12:31 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 12/04/11
Posts: 72
Location: US-MI
Thank you Bulldog that was really helpful. I will try to get some pictures when I get home to retrieve my camera. I know I had never seen the small blue decal that says "royal javelin" nor any baitcasting rod that was not Heddon that the Heddon ferrel on the butt. I forgot to mention that another rod included in the group is a 7-ft "Heddon Pro" flyrod in its case. I am not familiar with this rod it is typical darker brown fiber (tobacco). I have not cast it. Any comments on it would be welcome.


Top
  
Quote
Post 30 May 2023, 16:01 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 02/09/23
Posts: 62
Whoa very nice rod. I’ve been looking for a Silaflex casting rod for and they are hard to find, let alone in that great of a condition. I wonder why you’re father decided to show you the rod that many years later. I hope you get to enjoy it and find out more about it’s origins.


Top
  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

New Topic Add Reply



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Google
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group