The pics are of a boat rod for trolling with roller guides- maybe with wire line if you have a narrow spool Penn reel (it would like a heavy duty bait casting reel).
A surf rod would be a long stick, at least 9 feet long, more likely 10+ feet, meant to be paired up with a spinning reel or bait casting reel. I had an old Fenwick 10 1/2 footer that was stolen out of my truck along with a a lot of other surf stuff after many years of faithful service. You could tell if it was spinning rod if it had a large gathering guide about the diameter of a spinning reel spool. A conventional reel (bait casting type of reel used for throwing either bait or plugs) would have small diameter guides all the way up. Reels that used to be paired up with them are still sought after as fishing reels by hardcore surf guys. Surf spinning reels like "greenies" (Penn 706 and 704), D.A.M. Quick (from west germany, black reel with red knob on the top of the spool for drag adjustment), or RuMer or Crack reel (if it had a small round body where the handle connects to the reel) are still highly sought after. Conventional (baitcasting) reels like Penn Squidders and Abu Garcia's are also in demand.
Not worth a ton of money because there were so many being mass marketed, but they're still regarded as very fine reels. Hanging off the custom Lamiglas surf rods of the hardcore surfcasters at Montauk NY for example, odds are you'll either find a high end Van Staal (750 bucks), or an old school greenie from the 60-70's. Not much in between can take the punishment. Great reels, that go for 50-100+ used, if you happen to see any kicking around--- they'd all be from that era, and... along with the Fenwick and Conolon rods, considered the bees knees back in the day among people that fish a lot and knew what they were doing, so odds are there was a pairing. It sounds as if this guy knew his gear.
After looking at it closer, I would agree. The bottom of the hand is capped in metal and has an "X" in it for setting in a rod holder on a boat. I've done some off-shore fishing.
This guy knew his equipment and how to use it. I know most of you could imagine alot of equipment, but I doubt you could imagine how much this guy had. I'm glad that some of it was distributed to the family so they have something to remember him by. It was his passion.
Usually with a rod rated for two different lines it might be good match with a WF in the heavier weight or a DT in the lower weight. I'd try a 7 wf first.
It'll be a slower rod than you're used to, compared to the faster action graphite rods of today, but still a sweet stick. Just lay off the gas and mellow your casting stroke a bit-- think back to what it must have been like for this guy to be throwing among the lily pads to big bass with a deer hair bug in simpler times before bicycle helmets, baby monitors, blackberries, cell phones, hedge funds... it'll automatically adjust your timing.
This relative sounds like he was a great guy, and knew his stuff. He probably left some really neat plugs, tins, flies and other gear too. It's great that this is staying in the family, and it sounds like you'll appreciate the honor of having some of this stuff passed down to you. He sounds like the kinda guy you'd want to share some water with.
Yeah, he was a good guy. I only knew him a few years and only got to see him once or twice a year. He had quite a life.
He was Lithuanian and from Shenandoah, PA. Came to Philly for work. He worked on the Betsy Ross Bridge. When my wife and I first met, and she took me to Philly, she was struggling to find a way to tell me that it might not be a good idea to go into his house. Her Grandparents lived right across the street from each other in some row houses. I didn't really understand and she was upset because she didn't want me to feel offended in any way. I shrugged it off, which was totally unlike me at that time (lotsa **** and vinegar). It wasn't until a bit later (a few months) that I found out that the request came from his WIFE. Not that they didn't like me or anything, I'd never met them. I think I was the first boy she took to see her grandparents. Anyway, I'm part Japanese (and a few other dozen bloods) and he served as a Marine on Guadal Canal!!! They didn't know how he would react to having someone of even partial Japanese decent dating his grand daughter (not that she was the only grand daughter). We finally met and we hit it off. When he found out I fished and hunted, we became very good friends. I felt honored to know him. Towards the end of his time, he would hand out fishing rods to all the grand children and great-grand children. I still have a few. I mean, he would had them out everytime we were there, over a dozen times!!!!
When he passed on, the family tried to get together and go through this things. They got about 15% of it done. He had everything you could ask in a fisherman, even down to a couple of dozen molds to make his own weights. Even now, there are blanks, dozens and dozens of blanks to make rods. Everything from deep sea to trout rods.
Because we lived so far apart, we never shared any water together, but I would have loved to. I could have learned a few things. I wasn't into fishing as much back then. But, I will string this rod and reel and keep it. He's probably just glad someone got it who would use it, not have it hauled away or sold to someone.
I had a few family members in the USMC on Guadalcanal and Iwo that had a pretty rough time so i know how that goes. For all i know they may have shared a fox hole with him. I'm sure fishing brought him a lot of peace. There's nothing like time on the water to bring you into a better place.
Neat stuff. Glad you got to know each other a little bit.