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Tight Lines Tuesday Line Blocks

Tight Lines Tuesday Line Blocks

by John Etchieson

Tight Lines Tuesday Line Blocks; 133 years ago in 1884 a fisherman was just as likely to find his fishing lines to be packaged on a wooden frame, called a “line block”, as he was to find them wrapped onto a round wooden spool since those had only been introduced 5 years earlier in 1879. One of the earliest known brands of fishing lines on a 19th century “line block” is this rare example of an Empire City Braid Company – long staple cotton braided line with a simple paper label depicting the image of a fish and which is still intact on this unused fishing line that has become both stained and darkened with age. The Empire City Braid Company was not actually a real company, but rather a “house brand” name that was made up and used solely for marketing purposes by the New York City fishing tackle firm known as the Abbey and Imbrie Company which had been formed by the partnership of L. H. Abbey and C. F. Imbrie in 1875. Finding a fishing “line block” from 1884 is indeed a rare find today, but finding one that has never been used and still has its original fishing line with label is a true tackle treasure for any collector of antique fishing tackle to find.

Comments or questions may be sent to John at johnsetch@aol.com

2017-12-26T08:19:02+00:00 December 26th, 2017|Comments Off on Tight Lines Tuesday Line Blocks

Tight Lines Tuesday Rare Tsatlees Silk

Tight Lines Tuesday Rare Tsatlees Silk

by John Etchieson

As a longtime collector, researcher, and an author on the history of America’s fishing lines I have seen many wonderful examples of the packaging and graphics used to sell fishing lines one hundred or more years ago. One such recent discovery I made was this Abbey & Imbrie (Est. 1820) boxed coil of unused Braided Tsatlees Silk Fly line. The graphic image in the bottom of the box was certainly eye appealing and the owner, Markus Schober of Thun Switzerland, was seeking to learn more about its age. Markus had found the unused box of line in the barn of a neighbor’s farm and thought it might be from 1900. I offered to help him and found from reviewing my research records that the Tsatlees silk came from China in the heart of the geographical region known for producing the very best quality white silk that was so popular in the 1880s era.

This led me to check my records of pre 1900 catalogs and ads for Abbey & Imbrie fishing lines in my research journals where I discovered a single ad published by the American Angler magazine on March 3 1883 for this very same rare braided “Tsatlees silk” fishing line offered in either raw, boiled or oiled and in the tapered polished finish.

After 35 years of researching I have learned that just when you think you have seen and learned it […]

2017-12-05T06:51:00+00:00 December 5th, 2017|Comments Off on Tight Lines Tuesday Rare Tsatlees Silk