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Fishing/Union Hardware Co. rod


When my uncle died I found a very old pole that appears to be bamboo.  It's a heavy duty pole.  Looks to be for deep sea fishing.  It has a rubber knob on the bottom and then a grooved
wood handle 10" to the reel seat. More grooved wood 4 1/2".  The bamboo starts and then 11" up there is a big eye, then some metal where it looks like it screws apart.  Then 15 1/2" up from that, there are 2 eyes one on each side of the pole.  Weird looking. The tip is 16 1/2" up from that, but it is weird also.  It looks like the eyes.  Round.  The rod looks very very old and to me looks like a boat rod, maybe for jigging or something.  I can't find out anything on it.  I appreciate all the help I can get.  Thank you,  Jeanne  I would send a picture, but don't know how. p.s.  It's only 70" long

Hello Jeanne. Thank you for the question.

Union Hardware was a large and diversified manufacturer and machining company that was founded in 1864 and in 1905 began producing fishing rods of steel. I have a couple in my small collection. posted an article that stated the company began producing split cane rods around 1925. That may be the earliest of dates your rod may have been produced. There are many models out there ranging from fly rods to "boat" style rods that were used all along the Atlantic coast as well as the Great Lakes. The company ultimately was purchased by the Brunswick Corp in the late 1950's, early 1960's. In their history they produced thousands of rods and reels both for other companies as well as under their own name.

The rod you describe was used in saltwater angling from boat and pier. It was known as a squidding rod, not for catching squid but for a technique used in fishing WITH dead squid as bait (as well as other lures and baits with the same rhythmic, jigging retrieve). Don't be confused by "fishing" for squid...that is not what "squidding" rods were for.

The rod is very unique with guides on both sides and I am guessing, a ring type tip that would allow the line to pass through it no matter which side the rod's butt section was aligned to. Most anglers would rotate the butt (and the reel) 180 degrees after a fish or at least, after each trip. This design was such that the cane rod would never get a permanent "set" or bend in it...pretty ingenious don't you think?

I hope to do some additional research on Union Hardware and perhaps find a list of models manufactured. I would welcome any shared info from other readers. Until then, I hope this answer will suffice.

Thanks again for the question.

-Mark Rimmer  


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Mark Rimmer


I have been actively fishing for forty-five years! For nearly 15 of those years I was able to fish nearly 200 days per year. Those wonderful days have left me with a plethora of knowledge to share. I have fished from the Marianas of the Pacific to the quiet tidewaters of Virginia and North Carolina, Antigua the gulf coast of Texas and many places in between. My home waters are those of the west. I am passionate about bass fishing, tournament as well as recreational. In addition, I am well versed in fishing for most other species...(Okay, although interesting, I'm not an expert on British or European style competitive carp fishing...chumming with a slingshot anyone?). I am intimately acquainted with the San Diego County Lakes, Diamond Valley reservoir in Riverside County California and numerous other exciting fishing waters from Texas (Travis County) to the Pacific Coast and south to Cabo San Lucas. I have many years of experience in blue-water as well as inshore angling of all types in Southern California with both artificial and live baits; high country fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of my beloved Golden State with nothing but a backpack and a fly-rod. There are still a lifetime of adventures to undertake, together with my lovely wife, Christine. I am an expert rod smith and have vast experience with both the construction and repair all types of rods including split bamboo (new or vintage) and hickory as well as graphite, boron composites and all types of fiberglass. I spent 20 years in the retail business of which 6 were spent owning and operating a successful tackle shop, specializing in custom rod making, rod and reel repairs and a full scale tackle selection. Uncommon topics I love to discuss: Fisheries Management; Tackle Shop/ retail management; Ethics and responsibilities of anglers; Repair and maintenance of rods/reels; "How to"...any topic in fishing.


I took a few years off,(5 to be exact) from answering questions for but I'm back now! My experience? Forty-Five years of bio-observation, fishing numerous types of waters with virtually every type of tackle: Casting, Fly, Spinning, Offshore/blue-water, Coastal, Surf, Tournaments: ( Bass, Local Saltwater), Alpine lakes/streams, ditches, canals, sloughs, marshes, creeks and swamps; if there is water, I usually throw a cast or two. Tackle Shop ownership and management, Expert Custom Rod Construction and repair (Big-game, Long-range stand-up, Live bait, jig sticks, Casting, Spinning and fly- including split-cane). I have personally constructed over 700 custom rods of all types...nearly half of the rods the shop turned out. I also have performed hundreds of reel repairs of all types- antique to modern. I do not typically offer valuation of tackle. This is very difficult without inspecting the tackle first hand and leaving valuation far to subjective. I will be happy to offer other experts for placing a value on your tackle.

NRA forever...(Gun rights...Guns and fishing rods belong together right?), belonged to BASS for most of my life but keep forgetting to renew. I like Trout Unlimited but again, keep forgetting to renew...gotta more tank of gas and some fresh line...or memberships? Hmmm.

None yet...why aren't they chasing me?

"Roads" Scholar. Life-long independent study of fisheries biology, ichthyology, aquatic/marine biology, ecosystems, angling techniques and observations of animals, fish and humans: both smart guys and knuckleheads.

Awards and Honors
Self-Proclaimed tackleshop of the year! The California Tackle Box- Oceanside, Ca.

Past/Present Clients
Thousands served!

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