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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend gave me a bamboo fly rod that is approximately 50 years old if not older. It was sold by LL Bean and is a salmon rod with 2 tips. The rod itself looks like it is in reasonable shape but 1 of the guides is bent and the thread holding the other guides needs to be rewound . It comes in a cloth bag inside a leather rod case. I called LL Bean to get some history on the rod but never heard back from them.
I have always wanted to use a small bamboo trout rod to fish small streams but could never justify the cost. The value of this rod is unknown to me plus I have the reel that came with it. If one of the members on this forum who makes bamboo rods could tell me of it's value perhaps we could come to an arrangement of some kind. Thank you.
 

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You might try giving Eric Baylis at Eric's Reel Shop a call, he might be able to offer you some info regarding the rod and reel.
 

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Fishing/LL Bean Bamboo Fly Rod

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Expert: Joe Douglas - 5/12/2010

Question
Joe:
Been away from fly fishing for a quite while but will be heading out to Montana in June 2010 with some very good anglers. Trying to work out the cob webs and purchased a couple used Orvis rods (Superfine 4wt, 7' 11" & old Trout 6wt, 8 1/2') but always wanted to try bamboo, so last night I acquired,locally, an old LL Bean 9', 3/2 "Bean's Double L" in ivory or old faded white script. Came in an old, extremely cracked leather carrier/pouch with a zipper top and LL Bean tag sewn inside. No other writing on rod, nothing stamped on seat or butt. Varnish is rough and needs refinished but threads(faded red or cinnamon thread with ivory at the edges)and guides are all there and tight. All sections are same lenghth but one tip has a red plastic insert (wet fly I'm guessing) and the other tip is standard snake/wire. The first (and only)guide on the butt section also has the red insert in the guide. There are thinner thread ties every 3/4" or so on all sections, alternating in color of red, then ivory. Has round hook set above handle.Cork is like new but darkened very slightly. Very plain all metal seat has the shading of a faded bronze or darkened/oxidized look of stainless or nickle silver with a simple sliding locking ring that does have some detail/decoration of cross cut detail at edges and two recessed cicles around the center circumference of the ring.
I would appreciate any information you could provide about the approximate age or maybe guess the manufacturer for LL Bean. I would like to have it refinished or at least stripped and varnished and would welcome any recomendation of a shop for this purpose. I question the cost of restoration plus purchase price versus it's value when completed or even if the quality of the rod is worth restoring. Probably should have done some homework before I bought it but it was local on Craigslist and it looked OK in front of my headlights last night.
Again, any info, advice or additional lead(s)would be welcome. I don't want to sell this or hang it on a wall

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Answer
Hi Ed,

Sorry for the delay in responding. This should be a fairly nice rod. Sounds like you picked a good one.

According to A.J. Campbell's "Classic & Antique Fly Fishing Tackle", Bean's introduced the "Double LL" series around 1940. Originally, the rods were built by Gene Edwards at Bristol, perhaps aided by his brother Bill Edwards. After WW II these rods were produced by Bill Phillipson. Either of these makers would have produced a good quality rod that fishes well.

For some reason, that I have yet to understand, there was a period of time when many rod makers put up rod with one wire tiptop and one agate tiptop. I suppose your guess that the agate tip was best for wet flies is as good as any other reason I have heard. The red lining is an agate liner; the same for the stripper guide, it is also agate lined. The intermediate wraps may be decorative or may indicate the rod was built using animal based glues...if so it is likely from the earlier era. The intermediates, in addition to being decorative, serve to reinforce the rod blank and help keep the animal based glue from deteriorating. If it is a latter era rod, the wraps may be purely decorative.

The hardware is nickel silver and your description sounds like a Chubb design which was commonly used on bamboo rods by many, many makers for years.

After restoration, value of the rod would likely be in the $400-$600 range depending on maker. It sounds as if the majority of work may be the finish. It should not be too difficult to put it back in shape.

Contact me via email at [email protected] and we'll discuss restoration options and providers.

Thanks, Joe

Does the above description sound like your rod?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your responses. I need to look the rod over again to see if I missed any markings. In the meantime. I have a number of a guy at LL Bean to call who is supposed to be knowledgeable about bamboo rods, we will see. Thank you again.
 
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