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Tight Lines Tuesday Monarch

Tight Lines Tuesday Monarch

by John Etchieson

Tight Lines Tuesday Monarch; Thomas H. Wood (1846 – 1931) was the founder of the fishing line manufacturing company in South Coventry Connecticut which bore his name and produced this extremely rare and handsome looking MONARCH pure silk fishing line over 100 year ago in 1917.

The regal looking animal at the center of the label is from an engraving modeled after the world famous “Monarch of the Glen”, an oil-on-canvas painting of a red deer stag completed in 1851 by the English painter Sir Edwin Landseer, to hang in the Palace of Westminster in London. However, the stag has twelve points on his antlers, both in the painting and on the line spool label engraving which in deer terminology technically makes him a “royal stag” but not a “monarch stag”, for which sixteen points are needed. However, despite that discrepancy, it itill represents a magnificent looking example of mid 19th century sporting art at its finest.

Special thanks to Mike Pollack for the use of his Monarch spool for this article.

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

2018-01-09T07:10:49+00:00 January 9th, 2018|Comments Off on Tight Lines Tuesday Monarch

Bamboo Lore Notes on Making, Wrapping, and Repairing Bamboo Fly Rods

Bamboo Lore Notes on Making, Wrapping, and Repairing Bamboo Fly Rods

In Bamboo Lore, Edwin Thomas Whiffen (1874 – 1957) was a prominent outdoor writer in the 1910s and 1920s who led a varied and fascinating life. A native New Yorker, he spent an active career as a teacher in New York City. A graduate of Syracuse University, he was also a notable playwright and poet, as well as an amateur herpetologist. He published widely in his lifetime. Whiffen was also an outdoor writer in the 1900-1920 period and prominent in the pages of Outing, Forest & Stream, Outdoor Life, and other popular sporting journals. His subjects were as eclectic as he was, ranging from a defense of the Carp as an American sport fish (one of the earliest such articles) as well as fly fishing for Adirondack Frost Fish, a species of whitefish now endangered of which almost no other outdoor writers took note. Whiffen was also a rodmaker, who taught many contemporary outdoorsmen how to build their own rod from scratch through his popular articles in the sporting press. A man not bound by tradition, his writings are unlike any other rodmaking writings out there, and are filled with fascinating tidbits of information gleaned on the stream. He was a major advocate of very light fly rods at a time when this was almost unheard of, as well as a proponent of one-piece rods as superior to jointed models. He was fishing a six […]

2017-12-16T09:10:19+00:00 December 17th, 2017|Comments Off on Bamboo Lore Notes on Making, Wrapping, and Repairing Bamboo Fly Rods

The Home Rodmaker Book

The Home Rodmaker Book Building Saltwater, Bait Casting, and Fly Rods from Wood & Bamboo

In The Home Rodmaker, Stillman Taylor probably taught more people how to make fishing rods than any other writer of the 1900-1930 era. Yet today, he is virtually unknown even to the most advanced rod makers and fishing historians. How did someone so prominent in the field of rodmaking disappear so completely? The answer lies in the publications for which Taylor wrote. Unlike almost every other rodmaking writer known, Stillman Taylor did not target the fishing audience of sporting periodicals. Instead, he used his skills as one of the nation’s prominent “how-to” writers of the day to pen a number of rodmaking articles for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, etc. These magazines had subscription bases that dwarfed even the most widely read sporting periodical, and moreover, were read by handymen and women of a mechanical bent for whom his writings would have been easy to follow. Without doubt, he convinced a number of these readers to make their first rods from scratch. In this volume — the 10th in the on-going series on classic and overlooked rodmaking writings — all known rodmaking articles by Stillman Taylor are collected for the first time into one handy volume. They include how to make a saltwater rod, one of the very few detailed articles on how to make a classic wooden saltwater rod ever published, as well as articles on making one, two, and three-piece […]

2017-12-16T08:50:10+00:00 December 16th, 2017|Comments Off on The Home Rodmaker Book

Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod

Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod

In the Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod Robert W. Crompton was many things — artist, writer, advertising man, outdoorsman, fly fisherman — but we remember him best today as the father of the five strip bamboo fly rod. Noted bamboo rod maker and author Robert D. Smith has uncovered the fascinating history of this overlooked rod making genius, from his nineteenth century origins to the heights of his advertising career when his work was seen by millions of Americans to the accident that ended his career as an artist and propelled him into the world of fly rod making. The book is divided into four parts: the first reproducing all of his known writings on subjects from fly lines to camping; the second brings together all his rod making writings, including his unpublished rod making book; the third is a detailed biography of his life and career; and the fourth section covers his fly rods and fly rod taper designs. This book will be a revelation and will help modern readers understand how deeply influential Crompton was on both fly fishing and rod making.

To Order this book Please visit Whitefish Press by clicking below.

Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod

This definitive biography and collection of his original writings (including his unpublished rod making manual) is the product of five years of labor. It includes dozens […]

2017-12-12T21:59:53+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Comments Off on Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod

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