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Fishing/South Bend bamboo fly rod


A friend has an older SB fly rod and has offered to sell it to me. I would like information about it. He sad to make an offer and I have no idea of value. The rod has a South Bend label above the cork. The reel location is below the cork. The cork has a slight indentaton for a grip. The metal at the base is maroon in color. The screw grip at the base turns but is stiff. On the rod are the numbers 47-9 on one surface, and on another surface the following: HC-4 or C. The rod is about 9 feet long and is in three sections. There are three line guides missing. Overall the rod is in reasonably good condition. It is in a green cloth container which is in turn housed in a metal tube container. Any information about this rod would be most appreciated. Thank you.

The model #47 appeared in the latter 1930s and continued into the 1950s.  It has the "Comficient" cork grip, thumb rest, it is from the 1940s-1950s.  It is a nine foot rod
HC-4 or C is line weight but it is probably not a 4 reading HCH or C. This is a heavier bass rod , 7 weight in modern terms.

3 line guides missing  means it is not in good but in fact is  in poor condition. All finish would need to be removed and then all guides wrapped to keep this rod safe and working.

Each South Bend rod was made in three actions; Wet Fly or Trout Action, Bass Action, and Dry Fly Action. The model number refers to the rod's grade, or quality and the series number represents the action. For example, #147 is Trout Action, #47 is Bass Action, and #347 is Dry Fly Action. All of these Model 47 rods have the same wraps, hardware and other specifications -only the taper is different. Your rod model, Bass Action is less desirable.

Books you can find at your local library:
Antique & Collectible  Fishing Rods: Identification & Value Guide Homel, Dan. 1997 #2nd edition 2000# add about 30% for age of book.
Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook by Michael Sinclair #dates and models#

Homel gives the South Bend 9'  model "Model #47" fly rod   with an extra tip, 3 sections the  value of  $35, 80 and $150 for poor, good, and excellent condition respectively. My guestimate would be $30.


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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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