Armour brand graphite rods?

desmobob

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I was given a like-new "Armour" brand 9 1/2' 8-10wt. two-piece graphite rod, probably from the '80s. It might be from a local builder as the label on the rod tube is typewritten. The blank is very dark grey/black. I'll try to get a few photos of it tomorrow if I get it outside for some casting trials.

I couldn't find any listings for Armour brand rods or blanks. The 94-year-old gentlemen who gave it to me used to do some landlocked salmon fishing in Maine and some fishing on Lake Ontario so there's a chance it was purchased in ME or western NY.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Hi, desmobob,
The only thing possibly close which I could find is this Aussie forum post where the op refers to a ''Riva Armour fishing rod."
He doesn't say if his is fly or not.
If you can show the ferrules in your photos it may help identify the blank.

All the best,
James.

Edit: On consideration, I think you can discount that 'lead'.
Australia, no fly mentioned and ''ebay seller'' selling ''them'' suggests its nothing to do with your rod. Good luck in your research.
 
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desmobob

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Thanks James,

I guess it is a custom build... "Custom built for Eddie's Flies" is written on the blank.

The flash photos make the rod look awful, but it actually looks very nice... for some reason, the photos seem to make the finish on the wraps disappear. What almost looks like bare thread in the photos has a nice, glass-smooth finish
9.5' 8-10wt. b.JPG

9.5' 8-10wt. a.JPG

9.5' 8-10wt. c.JPG
9.5' 8-10wt.JPG
The reel seat appears to be simple black plastic or phenolic.

I'm guessing the rod is nothing special, but I'll reserve that judgement until I get to cast it. As I did with the last rod that this same elderly friend gave me (Fenwick Feralite FF85) , I'll bring it to Cape Cod this spring and catch a few stripers on it.
 
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desmobob

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I just did a search for "Eddie's Flies." There are listings for a shop in Bagor, ME by that name. I don't know if it's still open... their Facebook page hasn't had activity since 2019... I'll try to find an e-mail address for them. If I can't, I'll give them a call tomorrow.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Absolutely, don't judge it until you've tried a couple of lines on it.
It certainly suggests 1980s to me. I suspect that's a urethane varnish, esp. if it has slightly yellowed with age. It was often applied lightly back in the day, more akin to the style of cane rod builders.
The rubber butt cap and insert wouldn't be amiss on an '80s rod and overfit spigot ferrules were the bees knees then.

I probably shouldn't get your expectations up - but you'll suss any quality when you cast it anyway .....
One company selling sanded blanks with overfitting spigot ferrules in the 1980s was this one. ;)
They weren't the only ones of course, Graphite USA were another. Here's an 8' 8" #4/5 boron/carbon built in 1990 I picked up recently, a delightfully soft-actioned rod with impressively fast recovery (considering how ridiculously whippy it is!). And J K Fisher used butt-mounted spigots too. Don't forget they supplied Winston in their early, pre IM6 days. G. Loomis IM6s had them too, I think, but were often a painted blank.

T&T tell me they were using IM6 graphite by 1980. I only have one completed T&T blank from that period and consider it noticeably smoother in the cast than my Loomis Composite '96% Graphites' from 1978-80 and possessing more backbone than either early generation of Fenwick HMGs - but my rods are not all the same size and # so direct comparison is tricky.

There were others in the US making spigotted blanks back them, I'm sure, but I think you can discount Sage, Orvis and Fenwick blanks of the period due to the spigot or the sanding..

Here's an email addy for Eddie's Flies in Bangor, ME.:

[email protected]

taken from this site. Hopefully they can shine a light on your 'Armour'.
 

desmobob

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Thanks for the information, James. I appreciate it.

I suspect the shop may be out of business. The e-mail bounced back. I did send a Facebook message last night and I do have a phone number to try.

All that is merely to satisfy my curiosity... the real issue is how the rod fishes! I have a selection of rods ranging from very fast modern graphite to old IM6 to fiberglass to bamboo. The action of this one will fit in somewhere... :)

Stay healthy,
Bob
 

desmobob

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:cool:

I just took the rod out to the back yard with a WF8F and a WF9I. It had that vague, under-lined feel with the 8wt line but the 9wt felt good on it. I could throw the entire RIO Aqualux 9wt. The rod kind of reminds me of my 'glass Fenwick FF858. Casting is deceptively smooth and slow but the line is really getting out there.

The extra six inches of length over the 9' 9wts. I'm used to makes it feel somewhat tip heavy (or makes my DXR 9/10 reel feel light). I think my Orvis Odyssey III will balance it a little better.

I can't wait to use it on the striped bass in May! It will be an interesting change of pace from my trusty Orvis Trident T3 and new Orvis Recon 9wts.
 

Lewis Chessman

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:cool:

Casting is deceptively smooth and slow but the line is really getting out there.
Told you it was a T&T in disguise. ;)

Funnily enough, one of our small UK companies, Bloke, who supply nice blanks as well as built rods released a new model this week. He's what Mick Bell, the main man (well, the man) wrote about his XL2 range:

Over my 50 years of fly fishing I have collected literally hundreds of rods and blanks and I decided to get them all out of the loft and take them into the field to see how designs and technology have changed. The results surprised me to be honest!
Yes the Orvis Power matrix and the Sage TCR 5wt still behave like broom handles, the Hardy smuggler is still a rubber band and the Milbro Verre from Woolworths is still a nice fly rod in spite of its weight.

BUT....what really impressed me was my old Thomas and Thomas H2 9' 4wt, the action is truly parabolic and it bends right into the grip but it casts a murder mile and with ease. OK I am getting older and my tennis elbow and arthritic shoulder have kept me out of the casting competitions and I prefer softer rods but the T&T loads and delivers so brilliantly I have launched a model as close to that action as possible.
I thought you might enjoy the parallels in his description and yours. :)
You'll find the right reel, Bob, I'm sure, and you'll have a cracking rod for those 'old school' days when something a touch more forgiving is a real joy to cast.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Welcome to my world! ;)
Right now I'm watching an old British-built 9 ft #8/9 on eBay which I know is built on an imported T&T blank - it's starting price is about US$35 .... and I reckon I'll get it for that or a little more. There are gems to be found out there - yours may well be one!
Truth is though, 'a rose is a rose is a rose' who ever made your blank. :)
 
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