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Fishing/Inherited Mint Orvis & N.K.Waring vintage fly rods


Hi Rich,
I loved fly fishing with/my husband in our early marriage but am happy to share a surprise of unexpected fly rods: (1). A never been used Orvis, impregnated "Battenkill" fly rod, specs; 8&1/2, 3 piece 17-11,5 oz., HCH, S/N 26346 wrapped in green cloth & encased in a metal tube & all labels & instructions are still perfect & attached. (2). A mint, seemingly never been used, beautiful wooden case shaped around a gorgeous bamboo fly rod with unique silver eyelets wrapped with tight red string & silver reel area w/ring, and handle above & below exquisitely wrapped with bamboo ribboned around perfectly where within an inch above the top of it is inked 193 in black, and at the silver base below N.K.Waring Newark Valley around it. It is stunningly beautiful as old as it apparently is. I almost don't want to take it out of the unusual rounded case.
So my question is; should we enjoy the new looking masterpieces & their quality or are either one or both worth something extraordinary enough to be treated as museum treasures or worthy to be sold, whatever their value might bring, to maybe buy a lot of newer made fly rods to have fun fishing with?
Please let me know to share the info of your expertise with my husband as I present them as unique surprises.  

Thank you,


Never been used means the  cork handles are very clean looking , blond maybe but
not dark from human handling. I would like to share my experience with you , almost all the people who ask me about fly rods on this web site and have a maker, tell me their rods are in excellent , mint and even un used, very few are correct.

(1)  was made by a very reputable company called Orvis - in business since before the Civil War. They are still in business and you can read about their bamboo rods at:

I assume the information in the above description was not only on a bag or tube but mostly on the rod itself. If not the following is completely wrong.

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

Another book ,Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook By Michael Sinclair doesn't mention Orvis.

Homel gives the 8.5 model Deluxe Battnekill c.1965  with an extra tip, 3 sections a value of  $135, 300, and 500 for poor, good, excellent condition respectively.

I have a data base of Orvis rod serial numbers but I rarely find rods that people ask about.  The serial number is not in
I have seen several numbers not in the database. But I have verified the information over many years of looking at Orvis rods.
On the database is serial number 26391, which is close to yours and was made in 1959 (close to 65 in Homel#

I have found if you call Orvis 888-235-9763, they have a non digital , paper source with more complete serial numbers.  I have also heard that if you ask for a value they will put you off but if you ask for age, maker, and model then you wil get some help. Battenkill is your model name.

#2) is much more difficult , more rare with very little history on this maker.
Classic and Antique Fly Fishing Tackle: A Guide for Collectors and Anglers By A. J. Campbell

Campbell mentions the maker on pages 90 and 92 as a New York Maker , in the late 1800s. He calls the maker obscure and doesn't know how many more than 277 rods that they made. Some their rods were 8 sided while your Orvis should be 6 sided.

When you take this rod to a friend of mine , who I am going to recommend , please give specifics. You description is beautiful, bit doesn't speak to the functionality of the rod. For example give the length of sections and the whole rod when put together. Number of sides if flat or otherwise round? Is the different sections made of the  same material? Is it bamboo , wood or what? Is the metal Nickel Silver or Chrome platted brass. Describe the ferrules, connectors - they often date these old rods. Please take  not blurry photos, detailed close up and full displays. A complete description of any logos or labels as well a photos.

This rod is older than my knowledge and experience, you might try my friend the Gnome ,aka Jeff Hatton - Gnomish Rod Works  Paonia, CO email
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 and older  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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