Bamboo rod info

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    • #83632
      Brian Curtis

        I have a bunch of old bamboo rods that used to be my grandfather’s. I’m assuming these are basically Sears quality rods, but I was wondering if any of you bamboo experts have any insights:

        JC Higgins 3001. This is a 3-piece rod with an extra tip section. Looks like it is in good shape, but has oxidation on the ferrules and guides.

        Old Hi’s Hitest. Registered No. 1112. Another 3-piece with an extra tip section. The rod looks basically brand new, but it obviously isn’t because one guide fell off somewhere along the way and a replacement was taped on.

        I also have two 3-piece rods with an extra tip section. They appear basically identical and, unfortunatley, have no identifying markings.

        Eagle brand rod with a reversible reel seat and various tip sections.

      • #98614
        Pete Smith

          Brian – I have a rod from my grandfather just like that. Took it into the “old” Avid Angler when Tom Darling was still the owner and he told me that it was one of the cheap production rods that everyone had back in those days which you could buy for $25. He said it would look good on the wall, but was not worth getting all worked up over. Now, if one of them was an Orvis or some big name like that, then you could have dollar signs in your eyes!

        • #98615

          My gramps also had some bamboo fly rods that I inherited. I do remember one was an Eagle brand with multiple tips. I had it dated to the 1940s and thought it should be worth some $. Turned out, as Pete said, it was only worth about $25 and it was in mint condition. I can’t remember the brand names on the others, but it was the same story with them as value is concerned. It appears that these things were mass produced during the 40s and 50s.

        • #98616
          Jed Sires


            I have been meaning to get back to you about this for a while.

            Below is a little history on your Horrocks & Ibbotson HiTest. (Cut & Pasted from a bamboo rod guru’s website) He lists the value as $225 assuming it is in good shape. Of course, your rod could be in good shape with a little help from Mike or Rodney. You should cast that rod…just be sure to never twist the rod sections when you are putting your bamboo rod together or taking it apart.

            Horrocks-Ibbotson was one of America’s largest production rod companies for many years, competing head to head with Montague and South Bend. This company that came to be known as the World’s Largest Manufacturer of Fishing Tackle traces its history to 1812 but did not become involved with fishing tackle until 1863 when an English immigrant named James Horrocks was hired as a clerk. In 1894, Edward Ibbotson was hired as an errand boy. Gradually the company acquired existing tackle companies. In 1905 the company built a new factory in Utica, New York and continued to grow until it was known throughout the world. The firm was incorporated in 1909 as the Horrocks-Ibbotson Co.

            The rods made by Horrocks-Ibbotson in the years up to 1935 filled every niche in the rod making business. The high grade rods such as the President and the Chancellor featured nickel silver fittings and were as good as any rods being produced by the competition. At the other end of the spectrum were the cheapest production rods. H-I made literally hundreds of different models throughout the years, and many had such minor differences in fittings and wraps that they were indistinguishable without direct comparison.

            Decals are useful for dating Horrocks-Ibbotson rods. The diamond with the UTK logo dates from 1905 until World War I. This logo is usually stamped into the reel seat, but also appears as a decal. The Trout logo decal was then used until 1929. It is rarely seen and is the most beautiful of the H-I decals. Next to appear was an elongated Double Diamond with Utica, NY inside; it was used until 1933. In 1934, a double-diamond logo including the banner reading Best by Test was introduced and was used until 1939. Next came the fanciest of all H-I decals featuring a bright red H-I on a white diamond and accompanied by two banners reading Fish Rod and Genuine Tonkin Cane. The decal of the early 1950’s was rectangular with a small gold foil diamond logo. The final decal was a simple red diamond with a large white H-I.

            If you are trying to identify a rod that has no decal, the writing of the model name is helpful. H-I used white ink, and usually wrote with the words running toward the grip. The only other maker that used white ink was Edwards, who usually wrote with the words reading away from the grip. The reel seats did not change much; the spacers were usually solid color plastic before World War II, and marbleized plastic after the war. As with all rods, the most recent H-I products are most commonly seen.

          • #98617
            Brian Curtis

              At least there is one there that is worth trying to cast. It has a solid green spacer on the reel seat, there is no logo, and the writing is black. But it looks like it is in good shape, overall.

              Thanks, Jed, Ben, and Pete.

            • #98618
              Jim Mighell

                Interesting – I have a never used (never out of its box) 9′ Shakespeare, that my father got for me by smoking cigarettes that had the coupons that came with the pack (Raleighs); arrived in 1942. I have lately gotten an urge to at least try the rod that caused my father’s premature death from Emphysema at 56 yrs. Like that hint, to not twist the sections. I also have a 7 piece Stowaway (nice feel) that I purchased as a kit from Cabelas, but not sure how many, where to place, and size of guides to put on it; or who might do it for a price.

              • #98619
                Cliff Church

                  @Brian Curtis wrote:

                  At least there is one there that is worth trying to cast. It has a solid green spacer on the reel seat, there is no logo, and the writing is black. But it looks like it is in good shape, overall.

                  Thanks, Jed, Ben, and Pete.

                  Pictures, Brian, pictures…….:)

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