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Old 01-14-2007, 02:12 PM
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Default What are these rods that I just got?

My wife visited a retired friend of ours and mentioned that we're both getting into fly fishing. Well, Ed, our friend, decided to give her 3 of his old fly rods and an old reel.

One of them is easy to identify, it's a Siloflex model 22980. Is says it's for line weight 6-7. It's a bit stiffer and heavier than mine. The only line I had was a L5F which is a bit light for that rod but I could cast it 45 to 50 feet. I think this is going to be my Salmon rod. A WF7F would probably be awesome on that rod.

The 2nd rod is a minor mystery. It's a Shakespeare Wonderrod Presidential. My wife remembers Ed saying it was a model made for either President Roosevelt or Wilson. It's a super light weight rod with a lot of flex. The other info on the rod says #848-7' 9" and then under that it says EKE which is (I think) the old designation for suggested line weight. My 5 weight line bends the heck out of the rod so I think it's probably a 4 or even a 3 weight.

Does anyone know anything else about the Presidential rods? It looks like this may be a nice collectible antique that's also a useful tool. Also, if EKE is the old line specification then what would that be in the new line specifications? My 5 weight level line felt heavy for it and it flexes so easily that I'm thinking it's a 3 or 4 weight rod.

The third rod is a total mystery. It's a black graphite rod with a super light action but not quite as light as the Presidential. There are no markings on it at all. The handle is a hard black foam instead of cork and it's really light weight. I put on the reel that Ed had (which turned out to be a Pfluger Sal-Trout model 1554) and it had a short, light line, probably a 4, that was only about 30 feet long tied to some very light backing line.

That rod cast like a freakin' cannon! The first cast I shot out about 30 feet of backing line! My wife came out and said "Hey! Ed said that's my rod and you're not allowed to touch it"

So I don't know what the heck that rod is but My Gosh it shoots line like a gun. Yep, my wife got a pretty special rod.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: What are these rods that I just got?

I think you did indeed get gifted some gems. The first two are fiberglass rods. Fiberglass was once viewed as heavy and outdated, but it is making a bit of a come-back. 'Glass' rods have a very different action than graphite rods generally. They will tend to flex more deeply into the blank, but don't let this make you think they aren't powerful. A well made glass rod, like those ones you have just acquired, will flex deeply during casting but still have plenty of power down in the butt section to apply power to fish if need be. Glass rods are also tougher than graphite rods, for this reason it is still the preferred material for the stout offshore rods used to crank in fish bigger than us. On that Silaflex, I would try a WF6F before a 7, as this will add less swing weight to a rod that already may be a bit heavy, and also won't over-flex the rod. It sounds like you already have a pretty good grasp of casting timing, so its not like you need the rod loaded heavily with line in order to cast it well. Enjoy your new toys!
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: What are these rods that I just got?

I found a reference on Google to the WonderRod Presidential. Apparently it is a collectible rod. Ed says he's never used it and it's in perfect condition. It feels really nice for a small stream lightweight rod but if it's valuable then I may just hang it on the wall.

Is the EKE, in fact, the old line weight designation? It cast pretty well with a 5 weight line but it really does bend a lot. But if that's normal for a glass rod then perhaps a WF5F would be perfect.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: What are these rods that I just got?

That EKE sounds like one of the old designations used for different weights of fly lines, but I'm as knowledgeable on those as I am WWII ration stamps. Google can tell you much more than I. I'd search "vintage fly line designations" or something like that.
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: What are these rods that I just got?

Hmmm, It looks like the old designations all start with H or G. But Man oh man! That rod is my new favorite. Compared to my cheap Caddis Creek fly rod the WonderRod is super flexible. But now that I'm getting use to it it's really growing on me. I can shoot a line just as far as I could with my 9' Caddis Creek. But I was also able to do a roll cast for the first time yesterday. The rod just seems to give me a level of control that fits my casting style.

Dang, my new favorite rod is a rare and probably valuable antique. Every time I pick it up I can't help but think "Don't break it!"
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