Antique Fly Fishing Rods
Antique Fly Fishing Rods are original fishing rods used for fly-fishing.
History & Description
A fly rod is a type of flexible fishing rod designed to cast an artificial fly in order to catch fish.
Fly rods are used by anglers. A length of fishing line is attached to a long, thin fishing rod or fishing pole. The line is then cast out onto water where an artificial fly, consisting of a hook tied with feathers, fur and foam, acts as bait
In the past, most fly rods were constructed from green hart, yew and split bamboo. However, in modern times, fly rods are made of man-made composite materials, such as carbon/graphite composites or fibreglass.
Guide for collectors
Split bamboo rods are typically regarded as the most desirable to collectors, as they represent the most classic look. They are also the most fragile and antique bamboo rods require a great deal of maintenance for prolonged usage.
Antique fly rods are common place at both online bidding sites and auction houses that specialise in either sports memorabilia or fishing tackle equipment. One notable example is Lang’s Auctions in New York which, in the past, has sold a large number of distinguished antique fly rods.
As a general rule, the most desirable fly rods – those made by distinguished manufactures such as Norris and Dickerson – can realise prices around the $6,000 mark1. However, antique fly rods are more commonly sold between $1002 and $5003.
Notable auction sales
The following sales all took place at Lang’s Auctions in Waterville, New York, on November 2nd 2007;
An extremely rare 12” Norris fly rod, circa 1860, realised a price of $16,000.
An 1864 J. C. Conroy & Co. antique fly rod, made of ash and lancewood, realised a price of $8,250. This rod is reportedly one of the earliest two-handed fly rods manufactured in the United States.
An important early 14’ 3” fly rod, circa 1860 to 1870, made of ash and bamboo and attributed to Thomas Mack of Boston, sold for $8,000.
A 7” Dickerson Model 7011 Special, circa 1950, realised a price of $6,500.