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Post 05 Sep 2021, 11:56 • #1 
New Member
Joined: 08/30/21
Posts: 2

Hello, I joined this forum in hopes to connect with a someone who really knows their rods. We acquired this rod years ago and it has never been used. It's a beautiful rod and obviously made by a true craftsman. I have searched the web and the only hit I found was possibly made by a custom rod builder from Venture, CA. the company was called ARC, American Rod Company. But they must have closed because there is no website or contact info. The other story is, it was made in Sacramento, CA by a company of the same name. Again, can't be confirmed. I have been told it is a salt water rod and told it's a rod for fishing steelhead. It's a four piece, has 12 guides and is 9ft. Someone said the 1290 on it indicates it's a 12 weight, 9.0 ft. and that's why is an ocean rod. Someone else said the 12 indicates the number of guides and it's too light to be a 12 weight. No one knows what the 4MP means. Anyone who can shed some light on this would be greatly appreciated. It has become a bit of a debate.
Thank you!

Last edited by st3v3 on 06 Sep 2021, 20:02, edited 1 time in total.

Post 05 Sep 2021, 13:39 • #2 
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7286
Location: Holly Springs, NC
You have most of the story already. The brand name and model number were hand lettered with a gold marker pen, which indicates the maker was a small custom rod shop. A larger shop would use decals. Small rod businesses open and close frequently, so a lack of web record is not a surprise. "1290-4MP" might mean 12 weight, 9 foot rod, in a 4 section Multi-Piece format.

The rod appears to be built with readily available components on a 4-piece rod blank with tip-over-butt ferrules. A fiberglass 12-weight rod would have a larger diameter, so the blank is made from graphite. The comments about 'too light' also suggest graphite. Four piece, black tip-over-butt graphite blanks have been readily available from many sources for decades. That style of rod tube has been available at least 20 years.

Value? Maybe $50-75, depending on the season. New heavy weight, graphite fly rods are available for $150-300, complete with warranty. There is nothing special about your rod that indicates it would sell above market value for similar used gear.

You may be able to track down American Rod Co. from local business records. Otherwise, the only thing to do is take the rod fishing and see if there's anything special about how it handles.


Post 06 Sep 2021, 01:27 • #3 
Joined: 10/26/16
Posts: 77
Location: UK
+1 to @jgestar’s comments: all totally correct IMHO.

Just to round them out, it is definitely a saltwater rod: tarpon, blue water species. (Far) too much line weight, (far) too little rod length for steelhead!

If you are looking for a reel for it, a Scientific Anglers System 2 12/13 is a good place to start: low-priced, lots of capacity for a big line (and backing), and a decent drag.

Last edited by Sash on 06 Sep 2021, 06:09, edited 1 time in total.

Post 06 Sep 2021, 06:12 • #4 
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17626
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
If you're after tarpon, the rod you showed would be a great selection. (way too much rod for steelhead)
It has everything you want for a handy 12-wt. - light weight (it's all relative at 12-wt), the right MOC for a 9' rod, convenient to travel, and the necessary fore-grip.
The rod was build from a mass-produced blank, probably an offshore blank, and my best guess is the same IM-77 blanks used by Hurricane Redbone.

Post 06 Sep 2021, 06:35 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/09/10
Posts: 1261
Location: US-CA
I'd say a Scientific Angler's System 3, 12/13 or either of Frank Catino's Bone Fish or Tarpon reels would suffice.

Post 06 Sep 2021, 20:08 • #6 
New Member
Joined: 08/30/21
Posts: 2
Thank you Tom, much appreciated.

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