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Fishing/Abbey Imbrie Fly Rod


Logo and patent
Logo and patent  

Example of wrapping
Example of wrapping  
I went to an antique store today and came across this rod...looks like it was made in 1880's based on the stamping. The rod is in pretty good condition except for the cork grip and the tip section is about 4 inches shorter than the other 2 sections, so I would guess it was broken at some point. I sent you pics already, then saw your website, so posting here as well.  The rod is 3 pieces.

It's possible but not likely that the rod was made in 1880. That is a patent date, no body date stamps rods. You rod appears to me to be Tonkin not Calcutta (tiger stripes)cane. That makes it 1920s  on. Your hardware is older, true. It could be wood .

Abbey & Imbrie is a name that takes tackle collectors all the way back to shortly after the Civil War. In  1875 L. H. Abbey and C. F. Imbrie merged with the Andrew Clerk & Company, to become Abbey & Imbrie. Andrew Clerk had been in the fishing tackle business since 1820, stayed on for a while and then retired. The A & I  famous crossed fishhook Trademark was granted in 1877, and early products usually show this trademark. The gold fish that hung over their door for forty years was a very famous landmark for anglers in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Abbey & Imbrie probably didn't manufacture anything. However, they contracted with some of the better manufacturers to have a full line of fishing products available for customers at their retail store in New York City, and through their mail order catalogs. The reels of Julius vom Hofe, A.F. Meisselbach and probably many other makers were stamped with their name. Lures were manufactured for A&I by Heddon, as well as several others. They had their first rods built by Hiram Leonard, but later rods were manufactured by several different makers. All of this high quality tackle was wholesaled to dealers throughout the east, as well as retailed directly to fishermen.

Abbey & Imbrie was purchased by Horrock's-Ibbotson in the 1930s

Things that would help someone id your rod:
Pictures and  descriptions ,both of Labels and Logos.
Length of sections and total length of rod.
Many more pictures.
Pictures of connectors/ferrules
Describe shape i.e. 6 sides ,round

One  in particular is Jeff “Gnome” Hatton of Gnomish Rod Works  Paonia, CO e-mail
He knows rods before 1930 a whole lot more than me.
He has written a great book "Rod Crafting A Full-Color Pictorial & Written History from 1843-1960 " which I own and has allot of wooden rods in it and he knows these really old rods pretty well.  If you contact him tell him Mac from Denver sent you.  


Please provide feedback, nominations are appreciated.  


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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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