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Fishing/Vintage Abbey & Imbrie flyrod


rod handle
rod handle  

Hello Rich,

I have a vintage Abbey&Ambrie fly rod was hoping I could get some information on.  I'm looking to find out how old the fly rod might be or approximate age as well as the current value.  If you are not the right person that can supply this info could you tell me who might.  I have provided 2 images and have more if you need them.

Things that I do know about the rod:

fly or casting rod?   fly rod

Reel seat is below or above the cork handle?  below the reel seat.

Check metal for id and patents?   nothing found on rod

What is it made of; bamboo ( flat sided) fiberglass or graphite ( round)?     I think it is bamboo, definitely some kind of wood

Weight in oz?   unknown, very light.  tip size is smaller that a #4

What is the diameter of the rod above the cork?   7/16

Where was it purchased?  given to me several years ago.

What type of metal nickel-silver, tin, or chrome platted brass?  possibly tin, not sure maybe tin.

Please feel free to email with any questions and thanks in advance for your help.


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

Your model is not in my books:
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
Classic & Antique Fly-Fishing Tackle: A Guide for Collectors & Anglers by A.J. Campbell
Fishing Tackle: A Collector's Guide  Hardcover, 1991 Graham Turner

Homel gives the average value for several  Abbey & Imbrie rods as $43.33, 131.67, and 234.44 for poor, good, excellent condition respectively.

Good Luck
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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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