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Fishing/Old Bamboo Fly Rod


I am a "want-to-be" fly fisherman.  I do OK on a good day.  I have an old bamboo fly rod that has been in the family for maybe longer than I have - and I am 66!  I would like to know more about it and if you think it is OK to fish with.  The rod in a Star Lite.  It has a base, mid section, and three tips all of which may be different weights.  It is in a wooden case that is not in such great shape.  No visible markings in the case but it appears there may have been at some point.  Rod says Made in Japan but not sure of the age.  Just after the war???  The Real that is with it is a South Bend No. 1130 OERNO-MATIC.  Whatever you can tell me is appreciated.

John, I have no expertise on fishing tackle but I will tell you this;  If you are fishing with
that fly rod and it casts reasonably well It is fine to use.  When I was in Japan in 1954-55. I brought back several rods but wasn't very pleased with them.  They were cheaply made and did
not cast well.  I tried several weights of line both level and weight forward and none did well.
I do not even know what happened to them now that was a long time ago.  One thing I would look for is something that says "made in OCCUPIED Japan."  Some of these have value to collectors and your rod might be valuable.  Of course they might not be worth anything either. Look very closely on the rod or the case for anything printed.  It may be faded and difficult to read. Do not do anything to the rod or case if you find anything that looks like faded printing. If it is valuable any attempt by anyone except an expert on such rods should attempt to clean it. It is strange to me but antique collectors want things as they originally were and if you try to do any cleaning etc. it will destroy the value.  By the way if the reel works use it. The reel in fly fishing is just a line holder not used in the cast as you know if you have fly fished.
It has been a long time since I used a fly rod. Mine went overboard several years ago and I
have not replaced it. Most of my fishing is with either spinning (open face only) and casting
tackle.  I mostly fish for bass here on Seminole or if we go to Wisconsin I fish for Muskie.

I am sorry I can't give you more specific information but as I said I have no expertise in such things.  I may be able to answer questions on fishing but not on old fishing equipment.
If you believe your rod is made in occupied Japan I would suggest you contact a collector of
antique tackle before doing anything but fishing with the rod.

I hope this has been at least of some help.  I do not know if All Experts has someone who
is expert on antique tackle but you might try there. Thank you for calling on me to answer
your question even if I did not do as good a job at it as I would have liked I did my best.

Jack L. Gaither    (JackfromSeminole)
Lake Seminole, Georgia


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Jack Gaither


PLEASE, PLEASE, READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE ASKING YOUR QUESTION. THANK YOU. PLEASE, I HAVE BEEN GETTING MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANTIQUE RODS, REELS ETC. I hate to refuse questions but I really can not be of help in this. If you have an old rod, reel, lure etc. try contacting the maker if still existing or try antique fishing tackle on the web. I am genuinely sorry that I CAN NOT ANSWER SUCH QUESTIONS. I have been bass, crappie, brim and catfishing for over 70 years. Most of my recent experience has been on the Apalachicola R. in Fl. panhandle, and Lake Seminole. I can answer many questions on places to go and some ideas on tactics especially for largemouth bass in these waters. I can`t tell you what fish will bite but can give some lures and methods that have worked well for me over the last 33 years in this area. I am also well versed on boating safety and small boat handling.


I am not a guide nor a writer or publisher of any magazine on fishing. All of my ideas would come from my experiences and those of fishing partners in local bass clubs in Panama City, Florida or from reading many books and magazine articles over the years.

Basmasters. Past member (25 years) and instructor in boating and navigation classes in the United States Power Squadrons.

ST. Andrew Bay Power Squadron local publication "Stuffing Box"

United States Power Squadrons courses in Piloting and small boat handling, celestial navigation, trouble shooting on outboard engines and other non eletronic equipment in boats.

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