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Flyfishing Camp Cook
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was lucky to receive an old greenheart double handed rod. I was curious if anyone could possibly give me some insight on the rod. Will post one pic if possible, and describe the rod as best I can. I'm just curious of timeframe of the rod and possible worth.

It's a 14 Farlow rod. It's greenheart of course, with a cork handle. Has a slider reel seat. One set ring and the other slides up and down the cork. Has a brass reel seat with a brick red rubbertype stopper for a butt cap that screws out. Looks like eyes may have been rewrapped. Looks like gut line holding them on, with snake eyes. Except tip top and stripper guide is made of either a red bakelite or agate. Looks in excellent shape, except the rubber stop which is cracked from drying out. No metal ferrules, looks like they're planed to be taped together. 3 piecer. Is inscribed H. Robertson/60 near top of handle. Probably the owner and possibly year it was bought? On the brass area near the buttcap says Cha Farlow H Makers, 191 Strand London with some misc. odd symbols. I'm a total novice, so really have no idea on these rods. But it's a nice bit of history. I'm thinking of just hanging it on the wall above my fly tying desk. Any help would be appreciated. Just wanted some history, that's all.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Don't know alot about Greenheart rods. However, Kelson spoke of having a preference for Farlow rods. In fact, he considered them to be the best spey rods available during the latter 1800's.

It seems that you have what would have been a grisle rod and it was probably made in 1860 - based upon the #60 inscribed on the rod. Grisle rods were light-line spey rods that would probably be matched with a modern 8 wt spey line.

The Greenheart sections were not taped, they were bound with either heavy well-waxed silk or leather strips to hold them together. The red-colored tip and stripper should be agate.

It sounds like you have a rod that could prove somewhat valuable. It is also obviously in nice condition, as can be seen by your photos. Why not lash it together, put an 8 wt spey line on it, and go cast it?
 

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Flyfishing Camp Cook
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks and can't

I was wondering about the rod. Wasn't sure timeframe.

I wish I could take it out, but can't. Have a shoulder/spinal injury. So can't even fish with a baitcaster, let alone a spey. Pretty hobbled up. So will be displayed for now. LOL But do want to find an old reel that will match it though. Doesn't need to be fancy, just suit the rod.
 

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Last year I bought, from England thru eBay, a 15-foot, three-section with two tips, greenheart spey rod. Its lower ferrule is marked: J. Forrest/24 Thomas Street/ Oxford St. W." (I believe this referrs to a street intersection in West London.) A helpful chap on the Fish & Fly Forums, a British website, told me: "Maybe John Forrest of Kelso; traded from 1837 to 1967 as Forrest and Sons at 35 the Square, Kelso. This reference is from 'Fishing Tackle, A Collector's guide' by Graham Turner." (Kelso is a town in the bend of the Tweed River, in southern Scotland near the British border.)
My rod has bayonet socket-type metal ferrules, a fixed band/sliding band reel seat like yours, and crosscaut cork, which exposes the pores to the outside. There is a threaded hole in the bottom seat bank, probably for a missing hard rubber mushroom cap. I replaced it with a round knob turned from African hardwood. The rod was in its original dark brown (slightly greenish) varnish, which was cracked or missing in places. Many of the dark brown windings were loose. The guides are full-circle saddle snakes, with one foot pointing forward from one side of the rod, the other foot pointing rearward on the other side. It has a big, red agate stripping guide.
I stripped and refinished the rod. Its natural color is a pleasant medium golden brown. I rewrapped the guides and ferrules with brown silk.
I've shown the refinished rod at two local spey claves, and fished with it during last fall's salmon season -- for about 45 minutes, as long as I could handle its two-pound weight. It's matched with an English DT11F. The rod is a brute to cast. Timing is critical, but when done properly, I could cast the full 87-foot line plus a 15-foot leader.
I'd like to know its actual vintage. It's tempting to imagine that it comes to me from the 19th century, or at least the pre-Great War early 20th Century. But I have a vague notion that greenheart rods continued to be made and used in England into mid-century, the era of fiberglass rods for us Yanks.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Nooksack Mac,

That greenheart of yours is indeed a brute of a rod. I'll never forget my first attempt at casting it at the Carnation Clave in February. I formed a "D" loop, and then put power into the forward spey, stopped the rod with a nice abrupt stop at about 11 o'clock and the rod tip hit the water as it unloaded itself. Unbelievable how it did this! The rod just kept bending further and further after I made my forward stop. And it seemed to take forever for it to react and finally quit bending.

When I very deliberately slowed way down, and made a far less abrupt stop that was also more like at 1 o'clock, and then simply waited for the rod to unload and throw the line it cast the line a good, long way. It is so much slower than the fast-action T&T's that I fish and prefer, and it weighs so much more that I couldn't dream of fishing it for a couple hours let alone a day. My hat is off to you for fishing with it,
 

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Farlow greenheart

Farlow was/is a major British tackle manufacturer and still has a very nice store in London on Pall Mall, I think.. They even took over the famous Hardy store. You could get info about your rod by contacting them, I'm fairly sure. It was probably intended to be held together with leather thongs wrapped around the joints. You could cast it by taping the joints with electicians tape. Good luck.
 

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Flyfishing Camp Cook
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Discussion Starter #9
Beat you to the punch

I've already emailed Farlow's. Just awaiting their response. Hoping to get some more info. But between a couple boards, I've rec'd alot of good info.
 

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Flyfishing Camp Cook
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Discussion Starter #10
Help with pricing

I may have to sell this rod off. As much as I'd like to keep it, finances are telling me I may have to dispose of the rod. I've tried getting ahold of Farlows, to no avail. So, if any of you have an idea on worth, let me know. Or, anyone I could take it to in Western WA to value it. I'm trying to contact a few, we'll see how that goes.
 

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greenheart spliced rod

did anyone get info from farlows? i thought splicing was invented by alexander grant about 1890. in early 1900's he sold his patent to playfair of aberdeen, who no longer exist. i would think farlows came into these rods much later. interested to know the answer.
 
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