Vintage and collectables

I love classic vintage rods and reels. I have modest collection and am always on the look out for additional Items. I grew up on a fly fishing family, including my Dad, and Grandfather. These Items make me feel part of the great tradition. Some where handed down others came to me more recently. I grew up on a fly fishing family, including my Dad, and Grandfather. These Items make me feel part of the great tradition. Some where handed down others came to me more recently.


Here is a St. John that I recently picked up, action is tight and like new. I was actually buying a 12′ FE Thomas Salmon rod that I couldn’t pass on. The young fellow who had it mentioned he also had this reel, that was originally came with the rod. Haven’t got the year pegged yet, but I love the tag.  It will hunt big browns on the Bow river.

I stumbled by chance on this great old St. John. 3 screw knurled bullet foot and an incredible sound. It has a really great root beer agate set in a brass collar with Hardy logo that looks factory as the rivets seem to match but not sure as St. John’s never had agates. The date seems to be from 1925 to 1928 on this onef.

The back side was most likely sitting on something nasty, or perhaps it’s from a chalk stream or salt. Originated in Idaho, shipping cost me more than the reel. When I first saw a picture of it (see below) looked like corrosion but is more like a tarry substance on the back  or a reaction to the leading. I gave it the bulldog vinegar bath treatment and a light brushing with a soft tooth brush, then Bioshild. Should I treat it to another bath, just some localized cleaning or leave it be. Would be nice to clear a few of the deposits. Anyway here she is quite a sight from her original condition even with a touch of pitting. Someone had used what looked like auto grease inside so heavy she was seized. Careful cleaning and she it running prefect and tight. Thanks for looking. Further to this post I’ve had two collectors that have assured me the agate is originally done by Hardy. There are only 3 others that I have heard of with agates. Perhaps a limited run by Hardy.

Perhaps one of my very favorite fishing reels is this 3″ Hardy Perfect wide. Vintage 1940’s I believe. A honey of a reel that I acquired last spring and lives on my 12′ 5″ Meiser Spey rod. Lots of capacity for a Spey line. She has played in countless browns and Rainbows, a fun reel with a great clicker and drag.

Recently acquired this Lee Wulff Signature Limited -Edition 3″ Bougle Mk IV from another member.  This is number #34 out of a hundred made. This is my first Bougle and I’m impressed by the workings. A lot like a mini Perfect. I just received the matching one piece Lee Wulff 6″ single piece rod.  Should be a heck of a fun combo for the coming year, a Wulff Triangle taper on there too.

This is a wonderful old reel pouch I received with the old Dingley in the next post.

Two handled 3.5″ Dingley with brass cage.

Another Dingley in 3″ with brass cage. Love these reels.

Recently bought this Lee Wulff Classic Rod, with a matching 3″ Bougle Mk IV.  Beautiful Six feet, one-piece medium action for a 5 weight line. Quit impressed with this little rod, am not really familiar with the maker. I am impressed with the detail, and like the holes in the cap for breathing.  Can’t wait till spring to try it out on some of our waters here in Alberta. Should make a great dry fly rod.
Thanks for looking.

Hardy St George
The Hardy St George is one of my favorite reels. Wonderfully constructed in the typical Hardy quality. This one is from the 30″s. Great Agate line guard and brass foot. A great fighting reel for large trout.

This is a newer St. George MK II from the 50″s / 60’s. Smooth as butter, made in England in perhaps the late 50’s, certainly before the manufacturing went overseas. Makes a great large trout reel or to hang on a small Spey rod or switch rod or great for an 7 wt plus rod.

This one came with an extra spool, looks like it was from a St. John. The handle size is different I believe the St. John was the heftier one.

I picked up this perfect style reel by Sharps, “The Scottie” a  4″ big boy. Nice dark blue Hardy case (Sharps must have had their own). wonderful smooth action and not as heavy as I thought it would be. Handle has crackling on it but it works well, might address it down the road. Came to me filled with grey brown grease but she came out really nice with some TLC.  I believe this Dlngly made after Walter had retired and his son Ernest was running the show,late 40,s to mid 50,s .  -46-54 maybe? The screw in pawl posts and the slotted pawls are the main indicators of the later reels I think. Will make a dandy spey reel if you have reel seat big enough for foot on reel to fit. My only complaint about Dingley reels.


2 responses to “Vintage and collectables

  1. As a long time hardware and single handed fly fisher I am just begining to Spey Fish
    My friend from Ireland only Spey fishes and has picqued my interest
    I am researching equipment and assembling my newgear.
    Really enjoyed your articles and hope to bring my drift boat to the BowTks again

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