Flyrod appraisal

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Heidi's picture
Flyrod appraisal
<p>Anyone know of a trustworthy place in the Twin Cities I can have some antique flyrods and fishing gear appraised?&nbsp;</p>
Gunnar's picture
I'm sure it's all worthless.

I'm sure it's all worthless. I'll pay the postage to have you send it to me so I can dispose of it properly.


Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers:

2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5

Heidi's picture
Nice try...

Despite the appearance of and my resemblance to my avatar, neither one of us is quite that gullible - please be sure to sign up for "weisenheimer" under the Entertainment category for the roundup. ;) 


p.s. I sent Andy a PM about this about a week ago?, not sure if he got it...

"Can you pull the leviathan in with a fishook?" Job 41: 1


Corey's picture
Antique rods

I'd take a look for you if you like.


"Antique" could mean it was built in the 1700's, 1800's, or 1900's ... perhaps earlier.  Are they hexagonal in cross-section or cylindrical?  Country of origin?  What are they made of?  Do they have reels?   "Antique" flyrods could be worthless, or they could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.  The vast majority are nearly worthless.  The craftmanship is the key - split bamboo rods made in the traditional style by good builders from the early part of the last century are in some demand, especially if they are signed or carry a maker's mark.  If they are made of glass or graphite, then they're only worth as much as a person will pay for a similar modern rod (with a few exceptions).  There are also very old rods from Japan, made from unsplit bamboo, which were made by the same weapon crafters who made arrows for the samurai using whole, unsplit bamboo from the arrow-bamboo groves, specially grown to make straight, uniform shafts.  These are all pre-war crafts, from the old Japan.  These were all made by some incredible craftsmen and are they are priceless.  The Japanese invented the split-bamboo rod after the war, which revolutionized flyfishing because they could build a tapered rod with progressive bends.  I've cast a few of these.  My father owns one, and a friend once let me cast a 14-footer.  The original Japanese rodbuilders put their marks on their rods, and they can be appraised pretty easily by anyone who can read the maker's mark - the same people who would be able to appraise early Japanese ceramics or weapons.  The early split-bamboo rods are valuable, but because they were in such demand, many makers began building them, both in Japan and SIngapore, America, and China - including many bad examples.  Split-bamboo rods were made by taking strips of bamboo and forming them into progressively tapered wedges, all exactly 1/6th of a circle, then binding six of the tiny strips into one solid, perfectly tapered section.  Then four sections or so were then fitted together to make a full rod.  Needless to say, it took hundreds of hours of extremely difficult work to do this, using techniques largely invented by each maker by themselves.  Any split-bamboo rod has some value, but it varies widely.  Traditional split-bamboo rods are still being made in Japan and even now they are very expensive, even though modern graphite casts better.  They cannot be made with a machine, only painstakingly by hand.


I don't know much about the value of early American-made flyrods - most are pretty low in value although early models of famous builders might have some value.  I could at the very least look at it and tell you if it's worthless or something you want appraised.  In almost any case, though, it's something nobody will want to fish with, except perhaps for those of us afflicted with nostalgia.  I find casting old flyrods to generally be tiring and disappointing, coddled as I am by modern materials - although a well-made split-bamboo flyrod will really surprise you.  It's a lost art, and the makers knew what they were doing.


If you bring them to the Roundup, I'll take a look.  Whether or not they're worth anything, I can cast them for you and give you my honest opinion.