Sunday, April 19, 2015
One thing I really enjoy is discussing vintage fiberglass rods with other glass enthusiasts. I regularly chat with a small group of people about listings on eBay and Craigslist or just what they have been using. Its always nice to see what other people are collecting. So, one of the guys I chat with on a regular basis had been looking for a Cortland rod in a specific length and weight. I happened to also be looking for a Cortland FR 2000 8 foot 6/7. As luck would have it, two Cortland rods popped up on eBay in a lot. One of them was a 7 and 1/2 foot Pro Crest that I already had but the other one I was the Cortland FR 2000 I had been searching for. While watching the lot, I had an epiphany. Why don't we split the lot? Sounded like a great idea to me. However, my friend one-upped me by offering a trade. I would buy the lot of Cortlands and he would trade me a Wright and McGill Sunrise rod from the 50s with an original tube, sans end cap. This rod listed for a whooping $14.95 in the 50s and is rated for 5/6 line. It sounded like a great trade to me so I went ahead and purchased the lot of Cortland rods. Upon receiving them, I shipped his Cortland out to him and he sent me the Wright and McGill. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the Sunrise once I got it. At 7 and 1/2 feet this rod is the perfect length for most of the fishing that I do, be it cold or warm water. The rod is tobacco in color and it has yellow and green wraps. The tube itself is a little banged up but I am happy to have it since it is an original. The rod shows minimal wear and the wraps are nice and tight. My understanding is that it works well with a DT5 or a WF6. I am really looking forward to fishing this for panfish and smallies in the future. I am happy to add this guy to collection and I can't wait to put a bend in it. Many thanks to my friend for coming up with the brilliant idea to trade rods. Dig it!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone at this point that I love Cortland rods. With that being said, when the chance to grab a Cortland PAC rod came up, I jumped at the it. At this point, I am not sure it was a smart move. These rods belong in the Cortland FR 2000 family and were made between 1974 and 1980 I believe. There has been some discussion as to who made the blank and many people believe the blank was made by U.S. Fiberglass. The tube is marked Cortland PRF-2000 7' PAC-Rod. The rod has 5 pieces and when assembled it is 7'. My understanding is that there were two versions made of this blank made, one was a 5 piece and the other is a 6 piece. The rod itself is a translucent red with brown wraps. On the second piece of the rod it says PRF-2000 1-650-1 7' for line 6 rod weight 3 oz. Herein lies the problem. This rod actually handles better with a 7 weight line than it does a 6 weight line. For me personally, that seems a bit excessive in a 7' rod. I'm really not sure how I feel about it. In fact I'm not even sure when I will fish with it. Most of the waters I fish require between 3 and 6 weight line. I could see it being used for a short streamer rod on some of the smaller streams but even that might be overkill. I mean, we are talking about streams that are less than 5 feet deep and 20 feet or less across. Right now I am using a 5 weight line to chuck streamers and in clear water I feel like it might as well be a 12 weight. So, I am really on the fence about keeping this guy. I will have to take it out and throw some flies around when I have an opportunity. Maybe I'll change my mind. On the one hand it is a Cortland, vintage, hardly used and fiberglass but on the other hand it is a 7 footer throwing a 7 weight line. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Thoughts? What would you do?
Friday, April 10, 2015
Truthfully, I have never been a fan. I am, however, a sucker for almost anything vintage fly fishing and a multiplier reel is no exception. What if it is in the box with the original paperwork? Score! Continuing to add to my Bronson Reel collection I picked up a Bronson Multi-Royal 380. This reel is a multiplier reel at a 2.5 to 1 ratio. It weighs in at what I would consider a heavy 6 ounces. I understand the older reels weighed more to give some balance to those older fiberglass rods. I have to say that this thing is sexy. It is red and silver in color and looks minty. I'm not sure I am ever going to fish it, but I had to have it. Does anyone use a multiplier reel? If so, do you like it? For now, I will have this guy on a shelf where I can admire it. This gem may have to conclude my Bronson Reels collection... since I now have the 360, 370 and 380. So many reels, so little time.
Monday, April 6, 2015
A few months back I managed to not only score another Bronson reel for the collection but also a spare spool. I had been looking for a Bronson Royalist 370 for a while. I was lucky enough to obtain one at a reasonable price on eBay. Shortly thereafter, I also grabbed a spare spool. The neat thing about this spare spool is that it was still in the original box. For those that may not know, Bronson reels were made in Bronson, Michigan from 1922 until the early 1970s when the company was sold and the factory was closed down. Interestingly enough, in the 1950s Bronson Reels averaged over 9,000 reels a day and a 1,000,000 a year. Their reels ranged from the inexpensive to the quite elaborate. As far as I can tell, this reel was made in the early 1960s. If anyone has any other information about it, please let me know. It doesn't have a date on it. From what I have read, this reel should work just fine with line up to a 6 weight. I am pairing it with a Shakespeare 1290 to use in some of my trout fishing. It has a strong clicker. Nothing like having a fish take line and hearing that reel sing. Man that is great! For those looking for a click and pawl reel, I would highly recommend this guy. You will not be disappointed.