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Fishing/older fly rod info


I found my grandfather's fly rod and would like any information about it you can provide. Not looking to sell but mabe how old it is and the quality when purchased. The rod number is 346. Length is 9 ft.  is in 4 sections. Cannot find any id numbers on the handle. Comfort grip cork section. Reel mount is below the cork section. Pole is octagon shaped. Assuming it is fiberglass and not cane. Is in a paper tube. There are script letters on the pole HDH or D 346-9'. Made by South Bend Bait Co. South Bend, IN.  Looks to be in very good condition. So far have not located any reel he may have had. I'd like to use it unless it is old enough that it may damage it if used. Thanks for any information.

South Bend  made the comficient grip  first in 1939 and made rods until 1951.
346 is the model number
I am guessing that it is 3 sections with an extra tip- not 4 sections.

How do you know the rod number is 346, if "Cannot find any id numbers on the handle" . I think there are script letters on the rod HDH or D 346-9', as you say. The paper tube or anything but the rod itself, is not a reliable source of information.

Price Book:
<u>Antique & Collectible  Fishing Rods: Identification & Value Guide<u> by Homel, Dan. 1997 (2nd edition 2000) add about 30% for age of book.

Homel gives the 9' Southbend Rod #346  (c.1955)  with an extra tip, 3 sections a value of  $35, 80 and $180 for poor, good, excellent condition respectively.

If it is round then it is fiberglass. If it has 6 sides then it is bamboo. I am pretty sure it is bamboo.

HDH or D is line weight, it is equivalent to modern 6 weight.

Condition: Very good means like barely used, very few people who tell me their rods are in very good condition are accurate.

For people who have not seen a lot of bamboo rods, condition seems subjective. It is not. When I give the condition of a rod there are specific observable and measurable reasons. This is a quote from Homel:

Very Good Condition #Vg#
The greatest misconception in rod evaluation by the general antique dealer or collector not familiar with fishing rods is the notion that any old rod is in "very good" condition. This makes sense because the casual observer, fringe hobbyist or beginner is likely to disregard the utility of the rod in favor of its  antique" appearance. If you are not an angler, it is hard to distinguish between a decent, complete, usable rod and a  decorator piece" that would fall apart on the first cast.
A rod in very good condition should be completely sound and not display evidence of hard use or abuse. Most collectors would expect the rod to be accompanied by its original bag and tube #if the rod originally came enclosed in a tube#.

Summary Very Good Condition
#1# Original rod finish with few flaws
#2# Grip, ferrules and reel seat show average, moderate use
#3# No missing or altered components #exceptions noted above# #4# Some minor wear to guides and wraps acceptable
#5# Rod is complete with original bag and case
#6# Rod was generally well maintained and is fully functional

Fishing them depends on the care the rod received over the years. If the finish is gone and the rod was consistently wet, it can weaken the bamboo. If water got in the ferrules (connectors) and not dried , it can weaken the rod at the stress points. If thread is loose or missing, it is probably missing finish. If it has a bend, not straight (a set) that can mean it may be weak, too. They often break just below the ferrules. Send me not burry close up photos and will be glad to advise you. macsrods


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Rich Mac McGaughey


I can answer questions on graphite fly rod building and bamboo rod restoration and making. I can guide people to restorers . I can guide people to rod building components on the internet as well as catalog. I can help them identify and value their bamboo fly rods with a picture .

If you are asking for the id of an old rod

please give a complete description send pictures especially labels or logos with detailed thorough description** to me and a complete including as much the following as you can: Is it? fly or casting rod ? Reel seat is below or above the cork handle ? Check metal for id and patents ? What is it made of; bamboo ( flat sided) fiberglass or graphite ( round)? Weight in oz? What is the diameter of the rod above the cork? Where was it purchased ? What type of metal nickel-silver, tin, or chrome platted brass? A complete description of any logos or labels. Length of rod per section and number of sections. Total rod length.

Please read the following if the rod has either of the following two labels

Montague or H-I (Horrocks-Ibbotson).

They are looked down upon by the collecting community and often they are justified. They were mass produced , rather heavy and very slow. They are not going to resale for very much.

Two books are available at larger libraries to get history and or value:
Antique & Collectable Fishing Rods: Identification & Value Guide Homel, Dan. 1997
Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook -Michael Sinclair

Commission Sales

Because of my knowledge I can help you sell and get a good price for your vintage bamboo fly rod. email email Mac


I have been restoring bamboo fly rods for 15 years and making graphite for 17 .

website = click home page

**example of a thorough description of a label: The Shakespeare decal is olive green ovals with gold foil banner bearing the word "Shakespeare" in script. The remainder of the of the lettering is block style reading on top Honor Built and on the bottom of oval , Made in USA. The writing is away from the grip.

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