Display case for antique fly rods

  • Advertise with us
Project by Carey Mitchell posted 03-03-2013 02:37 AM 8795 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Display case for antique fly rods
Display case for antique fly rods No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

I have a lot of antique bamboo fly rods sitting around, so I thought it would be neat to share some of the history by displaying in the office.

The wood rod on the left dates from around 1860 and has a wooden reel (not shown).

The second from the left was sold by Harrod’s of London and dates to around 1890.

The one in the center is somewhat of a mystery. Some experts have identified it as having been made around the turn of the last century, but, the reel seat is stamped “Abbey and Imbrie Centennial Rod 1820-1920” – where was it during those 20 years ? Note the Abbey and Imbrie advertising sign mounted behind it. A&I was an outfitter similar to Abercrombie and Fitch before they degenerated into clothing (, back when they were supplying Earnest Hemingway with his guns and rods) and went under during the great depression.

The next is a more modern South Bend made from 1946-1950. Truman banned the import of all products from communist China in 1950 and the flow of Tonkin bamboo dried up, and with it most production of bamboo fly rods (the Japanese tried to fill the gap with cheap rods made from a local bamboo which is much inferior).

The last is one of those cheap Japanese rods, the butt section was broken, and I used the mid and tip sections to make a short rod for the grandson. Turned the cork grip and reel seat on the lathe. The wood reel seat was made from a scrap of figured birch left over from the bookcase pictured to the left of this project in the mid-1970’s – how’s that for hoarding wood scraps ?

The original rod had a story, which is why I kept it. During the Korean war, Eisenhower came for a visit. Ike was a fanatical fly fisherman and wanted to go fishing. They couldn’t locate a fly rod, and my uncle had bought this one to send to granddad. It was commandeered so they could take Ike fishing – in a trout hatchery! That’s why I saved it form the trash.

The display of flies in the shadow box above also sports a photo of me fishing in the Gallatin River in MT in 1990. Just downstream the film crew was filming “A River Runs Through It” (although the true story occurred on the Big Blackfoot River, the movie was filmed on the Gallatin). We never knew what the movie would be like until it came out a year later – what a movie ! Two years ago, I stood on the rock where Brad Pitt was filmed “shadow casting”, and had my photo made, shadow casting!

3 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2772 days

#1 posted 03-03-2013 03:17 AM

Very cool! Great display, and interesting history. Thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3441 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 11:56 AM


View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2655 days

#3 posted 03-05-2013 03:47 PM

Love bamboo fly rods! Awesome display area and great idea on the great photos inside.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics