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The Classic Fly Rod List

Quality Fly Rods from the Finest Makers

UPDATED October 8, 2018


Classic doesn't necessarily mean 'old' or 'vintage'. And it doesn't always mean bamboo. The rods offered on The List are fly rods of high quality spanning all eras of manufacture - from early Leonard and Thomas bamboo rods, through the pinnacle of fiberglass and graphite, to today's custom makers working with all blank materials. The List may seem eclectic at first. However, every rod offered has one quality in common with all others on The List: it is a well made and enjoyable fly fishing rod. 


Some items have additional photos. Click the photo in each listing for more images if available. You can always request additional photos when you begin communicating with us. 


Contact us for additional information using the form at the bottom of the page. 

The Granger List

It’s here!

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A Special section of The Classic Fly Rod and Reel. 


The Granger List


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Go to the Granger List

Paul H. Young

Paul H. Young “Little Giant” ~ 6’6” ~ 2/2 ~ 3.0oz.

Paul H. Young Little Giant

Here’s one of the absolute rarest of models by Paul Young. A remarkable little powerhouse trout rod, the “Little Giant” is as scarce as they come. Two known to be around, a rumor of a third rod surfaces from time to time. Made in 1956, this 3.0 oz. rod with wet and dry tips casts a 5/6wt on the light tip and strong 6wt line on the heavy tip - both with a parabolic action. 14/64 stepdown ferrule, .280 butt, 5-1/2 and 5 tip tops. This rod has been a ton of fun wherever large fish may be encountered in smaller waters, but can certainly punch out line when it’s asked to.

 

Marked in Paul Young’s hand:

H.W. Clapsaddle  Detroit  ~  May ‘56

“Little Giant”  6’6” - 3.0oz  H.D.H. Short Taper


The butt at tips are also marked with the serial number 2125. Champion-style tube and original sateen bag. 


Note that “Short Taper” isn’t in reference to the length or taper of the rod, but the taper of the fly line that Young designed this rod for. An “HDH Short Taper” would be a 6wt double taper with a steep drop in line dimension over a short distance of line. A Peach DT6 was perfect on this rod, but... as indicated by the maker’s marks.... the rod didn’t respond well to lines with long, delicate front tapers.  


The rod has seen some honest action and has a little bit of mystery in it’s past. The cane work isn’t Paul Young’s finest, but it has some of the loveliest dark flaming I’ve seen on a Young. The rod was glued up with Resorcinol and there 2x2x2 node spacing throughout. Wraps are non-CP’d copper. The varnish shows some wear and tear, but all wraps are fine and no cane is exposed. There is a turned-up wire hook keeper ahead of the cigar grip and down-locking reel seat. The tips are both short by the length of a tip top tube... about 1/2”. One tip has an overwrap over a fracture, but all cane is there and the repair is more than sound and honestly doesn’t have any effect on the action. 


The mystery stems from this rod having a tip that at one point was marked with a much later (4000s) serial number. A previous owner had the tip renumbered by Bob Summers to match the butt and other tip. This tip also has a slightly different male ferrule... possibly a lightweight aluminum job that was occasionally seen on Midges, Perfectionists and Driggs of the era. Ferrules fit smoothly, but aren’t super tight. Certainly not an issue during casting or fishing. 


This is by far one of the most interesting casting and fishing rods I’ve owned. Everyone that has cast it has laughed out loud and had an ear to ear grin for the sheer fun of such a little powerhouse of a rod. It’s a riot to cast. The action is smooth and parabolic and certainly has the backbone and constitution to horse large trout out of the sweepers. In New Mexico, it gave me a giggle casting big hoppers to jet-powered rainbows on the Rio Penasco. Home here in Pennsylvania, it was an absolute hoot to cast size 6 green drakes to chubby browns in the Narrows of Fishing Creek. The rod has been a joy and has taught me a lot of what is possible in a bamboo rod. Now it’s time for someone else to enjoy this interesting and unique rod. 


I just love these old Youngs and wish I could hear the stories they whisper. Where did this “Little Giant” go and what trout did it meet? Where did H.W. Clapsaddle envision fishing the rod when he called up the shop and placed an order for such a short, strong, parabolic trout rod? If rods could talk...


$2,995.00 NOW $2,595.00 + USPS Registered Mail & Insurance


Trades considered in part or whole for trout rods by Young, Dickerson, Powell or Payne. Reels by Thompson (could always use another 500...), Winston (3-1/8” or 3-3/8” Perfect), Hardy (3-1/4” Perfect) or Hodge&Sons/Siskiyou (6/7 or 7/8 disc).


Respectful offers respectfully received.


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.



Click the photos below for detailed images.

F. E. Thomas

Special Browntone ~ 8’6” ~ 3/2 ~ 4.30 oz. ~ 1947

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Here’s an 8’6” 3/2 Special Browntone dry fly rod weighing 4.30 ounces. Serial dated to 1947, and lovely with a 4 or 5 weight line. My preference was certainly for a 4DT Peach. Crisp dry fly action. 


Measures .435” at the grip. Ferrules are 16/64 (.250” slide) and 9.5/64 (.150” slide). This rod has extremely fine tips measuring .056”... a 3-1/2 tip top. Perfection-style stripping guide. Heavy reverse-twist snakes. 3-7-3 signature wrap with olive green trim at grip and male ferrules. Thomas winding check with integeral hook keeper. 


Butt-to-mid ferrule is smooth and tight with a nice ’pop’. Tip ferrules are a bit looser than I’d like, but the rod certainly stays together and the sections do not rotate during fishing. There is a casting sweep to the right through the mid... something I would easily address if I were keeping the rod but that I prefer to let the new owner attend to as they see fit. No issue in casting or fishing for me. 


One tip has a repair wrap for a fracture or delam... It isn’t a scarf. Repair is sound and I almost always fished this tip. There are a few dark glue lines throughout the rod. 


Rod shows appropriate wear to the varnish, ferrules, guides, etc. for a frequently fished rod of this vintage. Grip is soiled with slight ridging, but all cork is sound. 


Original brass-capped tube with remnants of the Thomas label and an excellent original bag. 


I love everything about these Browntone trout rods. This is a vetran rod that was used but not abused, tells stories of time on the river, and has many years of service left to give. 


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


$695 + Priority Mail & Insurance

Trades Considered



Click the photos below for detailed images. 


A.J. Thramer

Hollowbuilt Signature Dry Fly ~ 8’ ~ 2/2 ~ 4wt

Thramer bamboo

This is as crisp and light-in-hand of a dry fly rod as you’ll find by any maker. Perfect with a Peach DT4 and a long, fine leader, A.J.’s Hollowbuilt Signature Dry Fly taper is a modern classic. A.J. recently (and deservedly) retired, so new Thramer rods are no longer coming to market. 


Darkly flamed cane with color preserved antique gold wraps. Agate stripper and bright guides. Blued stepdown ferrules show some slight bluing loss. Ferule fit is perfect. Half-Wells grip, Dickerson-style downlocking seat with Koa filler. There are two small marks on the spacer from mounting a reel. Original tube and bag. 


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


$925 + Priority Mail & Insurance

Trades Considered



Click the photos below for detailed images. 

Tim Zietak

Tim Zietak 7'9" Quadrate, 2/2, 5wt.

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Excellent, original condition. All sections full length and straight. Wrapped brown tipped black ala Bill Edwards pattern; half wells grip; d/l s/b reel seat over walnut filler; oxidized fittings. An accurate rendition of the original Edwards Quadrates from the current master of the design.


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


$875 + USPS Priority Mail shipping/insurance.

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P.W. Arend

P. W. Arend 7'7" 3/2

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This circa 1950s 7'7" 3/2 trout rod by P.W. Arend of Englewood, CO is a very rare example.

 

Arend and his successors made bamboo rods from about 1920 well into the 1970s. Most, however, were 8 1/2 to 9 foot rods. Smaller trout rods for lighter lines are extremely scarce. Bill Arend was a contemporary of Goodwin Granger and competed against him in casting competitions in the Denver area.

 

The rod is wrapped B&W jasper tipped yellow as were many Arends and has a bright aluminum "no roc" Phillipson-style d/l reel seat which is marked "P.W. AREND ROD-DENVER" on the butt cap. The bamboo is also marked in ink by Mrs. Arend ahead of the black bakelite grip check, "Arend Rod-Englewood, Colorado" on two flats.

 

This rod is original, full length and sound, but not perfect by any means. There are a few light plier marks on the butt/mid ferrule and a 2" clear over wrap above the ferrule on one tip. It is straight, however, and the Phillipson-style ferrules fit tightly. The grip is of a round, mild cigar profile. Original bag and Wright & McGill-style tube are included.


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


$450 + USPS Priority Mail shipping/insurance.

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Orvis Classic Graphite

Fine action graphite...

A little about these rods--they represent the First, Second and Third generation Orvis Graphite rods from the 1970s through the 1980s. (build dates are identifiable on most of the butt caps.)

 

All are on the famous "unsanded" Orvis graphite blanks of low-to-medium modulus. The HLS (High Line Speed) Third Gen rods are the fastest of the group. These early rods are all known for approximating the action of bamboo/glass and presenting a delicate line.

 

All of the rods are in EX to NM condition with no faults. Most have been fished, but lightly. All have labeled tubes and original bags.


Shipping/insurance will be additional per rod via USPS Priority Mail.


Reasonable offers on multiple rods or the complete collection will be considered. 


Sales on these rods are final unless we miss some major condition issue. 


For more information, or to purchase one of these outstanding rods, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


Pricing

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  1. 7' 1oz. 4wt HLS $295 SOLD
  2. 7'6" 1-3/8oz. 1wt  One Weight $200 SOLD
  3. 7'6" 1-1/2oz. 3wt Tippet $295 SOLD
  4. 7'6" 2-1/8oz. 6wt Superfine $200 
  5. 7'9" 2-5/8oz. 5wt Far & Fine $295 SOLD
  6. 8' 2-1/4oz. 6wt Superfine $200 SOLD
  7. 8' 2-1/2oz. 4wt Western $295
  8. 8'3" 2-1/2oz. 3wt Western $350 NOW $325

Pricing

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  1. 8'6" 2-3/4oz. 2wt Western Two $350 NOW $295
  2. 8'6" 2-1/2oz. 5wt Henry's Fork $250 SOLD
  3. 8'6" 2-5/8oz. 6wt Limestone $250 SOLD
  4. 8'6" 2-3/4oz. 5wt HLS $250 
  5. 8'6" 2-3/4oz. 4wt HLS 4-pc. $350 NOW $325
  6. 9' 2-3/4oz. 4wt Western $250 SOLD
  7. 9' 3-1/2oz. 6wt Western Trout $200
  8. 9'3" 3-1/8oz. 7wt Superfine Advantage $250 NOW $225

Walton Powell

8’8” ~ 3/2 ~ 4.90 oz. ~ 5wt.

Walton Powell bamboo fly rod

All original early Walton Powell 8’8” 3/2 5wt cane rod.  Rod weighs 4.9oz.  Welted drawn Powell ferrules size 7 and 11.  Keyway groove seat.  Caramel color wraps, mildrum strip guide and chrome snake guides.  Some cork soiling but otherwise EX+ condition.  All sections straight and ferrules perfect.  All sections have matching 0280 serial numbers.  This is a lovely early soft action Walton Powell trout rod.  


SOLD!



F. E. Thomas

Special Streamer ~ 9' ~ 3/2 ~ 6.0oz ~ 1936

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9' 3/2 6.0 oz. Special Streamer with a diamond stamp (1936 - second year of the Streamer being a formal model). Such a neat rod. Full length and straight and an absolute rocket launcher with a WF7. And no, I don't think I underlined the rod with a 7wt, though it will certainly handle an 8 as well. I had almost the entire line off the reel, and the rod didn't bog down. I reached my limit before the rod reached its. Original bag and tube with 40% label (tube may be later), but no hang tag. This rod had a very sympathetic refinish at some point in the past, and from what I can tell, the grip was cleaned and the signature wrap was possibly redone. Everything else looks original with a light varnish overcoat. Hard to let this one go, but I'm heavy on 7wts at the moment.


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


$SOLD + USPS Priority Mail shipping/insurance - trades considered

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Rick Cunningham

Rick Cunningham Premier 7'6", 2/2, 4/5wt.

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Near Mint, original condition. Rick's top-of-the-line rod and the first Premier built - #1; honey-colored cane; deep red wraps tipped black; cigar grip; d/l cap and ring reel seat over birds eye maple filler; beautiful hand-engraved n/s ferrules and reel seat fittings; ferrule plug. A wonderful casting 4/5wt. 


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


TRADED!!

E.C. Powell

8'6" 2/2 4.0oz B-Taper

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Click the photo for additional images.


Semi-Hollow, EC-built rod with patent number. This is a transition-period rod from the mid- to late-1950s, built by EC while Tony Maslan was active in the shop and has some Maslan cosmetic attributes. Very good condition after some wrap repair work by Jim Clarkson. Has some varnish lift in a few places that should eventually be addressed, but no bamboo is exposed or wraps compromised. Ferrules are smooth and fit well. Marysville reel seat. Bright guides and tip top. Agate stripping guide. Original tube and brown replacement bag, no hang tag. Actual measured weight is 4.0oz. It's an amazing, delicate 5wt in my hands, though some have liked it with a 4DT. Beautiful, classy, light trout rod that has great mojo. Hard to let this one go, but I now have some overlap in my Powell trout lineup. 


Please click the photo above for additional images. 


For more information, or to purchase this rod, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.


$SOLD! 

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Coming Soon to The List

A really nifty Paul H. Young 8'6" 2/2 15F 4-1/4oz non-parabolic 7wt made circa 1947. Probably a Standby model. This rod is a casting machine!


Use the contact form at the bottom of the page if you would like more information.

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The List

The Classic Fly Reel List

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Miscellaneous Offerings

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The Want List

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Bamboo fly rods, classic fly reels, and vintage tackle to better enjoy your time fly fishing. 

The Classic Fly Rod & Reel

Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

570.898.1543

ryan.p.sabo@gmail.com