Originally Posted by burtfishmonger
I know this is a question that can be asked in a general forum, but i like to get input from my fellow upper midwesterners.
I was given an old fiberglassrod of my fathers that was purchased in the early 70's, the only text on the rod says
GLADDING SOUTHBEND 1-420-280 22J 8'
Any input on this rod would be great, its pretty soft n flexy and is great condition
If you're from the midwest, then it's not surprising that your father had a Southbend Gladdings rod, as they were one of the several midwestern manufacturers of fiberglass fly rods in the '50's, '60's and '70's.
The history on Southbend actually goes back to the Worden Bucktail Manufacturing Company of Southbend, IN; a fishing lure company (1905). After several early changes of hand, they made both steel and bamboo rods up until WW2. During the war, they mothballed their rod-making equipment and did what most rod manufacturers did; they made radio antennas, parachute materials and radar components. After the war, they got back into rod manufacturing using this "new" material called fiberglass. They made both solid and hollow glass rods in their Maquoketa and Spencer, IO production facilities. Gladdings purchased Southbend in 1965, so your rod is post that date.
I'm familiar with the 1-446 model, but not the 1-420 model. I would put its age right around the early 1970's.
There's nothing wrong with vintage fiberglass rods; either solid or mandrel-built hollow blanks. Personally, I'd fish the rod. Probably not as my everyday "go-to" rod, since the attributes of graphite are considerable, but I do fish both vintage inexpensive solid glass rods, (a 7'1" Montgomery Ward's Hawthrone 6 wt.; which is on the low end of "low end") and high-end hollow glass rods (i.e., a 7.0" Phillipson registered Midge 4 wt.). They're a change and they're also great to play a trout on.
Have some fun with it; your father probably did.