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Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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In the mail today, I received an old Horrocks-Ibbotson fiberglass rod that my old man handed down to me. Yes, I have done some research on it and realize that the classic rod collector crowd looks down on these as inferior production rods and not worth much, but despite lack of use and low monetary value, it was my dad's and I intend on at least giving it the dignity of catching fish with it.

Anyway, it has sat for years unused because after a friend gave it to him a long time ago, Dad never really got keen on fly fishing (something about hooking himself in the eyelid while trying to learn made him run the other way). So, needless to say, he hadn't a clue what line weight equivalent he had used all of those decades back.

Any ideas on what line weight I should use with this particular rod? Thanks for any help you can give.

Details on the rod shank as seen in the pcs below:

* 2-piece fiberglass rod (under the trade moniker "Thermoweld")
* Says "UTICA 1308 1/2" on the shank followed by the rod length, "8 1/2 ft."
* Reading around, it appears that these are mostly a late-1960's era build.

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Posted on: 2013/9/19 14:36

Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/9/19 14:55:55
Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/9/19 14:57:27


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
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Just from what I know about glass, given the length I'd say it's probably between a 6 and 8wt.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 14:43


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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From Oxford, Chester Co., PA
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I would agree with Sasquatch. I believe the DT6F was the most common fly line in use in the 1960's. I would start experimenting there.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 14:49


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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2006/12/13 9:28
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Good for you. I'd also use it if I were you. It honors your father.

I'd start with a 6 wt and see how it feels. Glass rods definitely have a feel to them unlike the fast graphite rods today. See where the rod loads. I'm guessing you will want it to load at 3 feet or so, but that is a guess. If you have to have a lot of line out befoe you feel it load, go heavier. If it loads at say 20 to 25 feet, go lighter.

As I said, I am guessing. I'm a bamboo guy, and I keep several lines for figuring out what feels best. Bamboo and fiberglass are similar in that they are slower action (than graphite) and you can go more by feel. Also, they are more forgiving and there is usually a range of lines that can be used (see Sasquatch's post).

But the best advice I can give you is wait until Bikerfish responds and go by what he says. He knows his glass.

Edit: Tups posted while I was typing. I did not cheat off of his paper.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 14:57
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Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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2006/9/18 16:54
From Oxford, Chester Co., PA
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Allow me revise what I said earlier. I've thought a little about the markings on your rod and I believe the number 1308 1/2 is meaningful. the last 3 digits refer no doubt to the length of the rod: 8 1/2 feet. It is quite possible that the first three digits refer to the line weight intended for the rod: 130 grains, which would make it more of a 5-weight rod.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 14:57


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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From Ephrata, PA
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That would be long for a 5wt fiberglass rod built in the 60s, wouldn't it? All the 5wts I have are 7'6" or around that lenght. When I start getting above 8', the weights start getting into the 7wt range.

If it's a 5wt, that would be sweet!


Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:02


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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From Fairborn, OH
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Very good stuff, fellas. That's an intriguing observation, Tups. I had the same suspicion about the last 3 digits on what appears to be a the model #, as it's reflects the actual rod length, but I had no clue what the first 3 could translate into. Luckily, I have both 5 and 6-weight lines to try, so where see which performs better.

EDIT: Sasquatch may be onto something, too. This may turn into a pure cast of cast-n-see based purely on the rod's performance with a given line weight as used by this highly inexperienced fly angler.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:02


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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What Tups said about the first three numbers does sound logical, but then, my experience was more along the line of what Sasquatch said. And although it is obvious the 8 1/2 is rod length, I don't know what the 130 would mean. I don't know of any such numbering for line. The old system for lines used on bamboo and early fiberglass rods used letters such as HDH which corresponds to a 6wt DT.

Rather than post them all, here is a link.

link

Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:10
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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From harlansburg
Posts: 4471
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All I can say is try some different lines and see what one works best for you and the conditions/streams you plan on fishing. On most of my glass, I use up to 3 different line wts, depending on what streams I'm using that rod on. Just experiment and find out what feels good.
Like said above, a DT6 would be a good starting point. looks like it's in great condition! Enjoy!

Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:29


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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http://fiberglassflyrodders.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14043

Based on what I see in the attached link, I would say that my earlier impression is correct in that the last 3 digits do indeed refer to the rod length.

Regarding line weight, one of the responders at the link above owns several 7 1/2 foot model 1407 1/2 HI rods. He claims that model is a 7 1/2 foot rod on which he uses a 6wt line.

The AFTMA (tackle manufacturers) have established a range of 134 to 146 grains for 5 wt lines and a range of 152 to 168 grains for 6wt lines. So, if my guess about the first 3 digits of the rod model referring to line wt is correct, then the fellow with the 1407 1/2 has likely overweighted his rod slightly by using a 6 wt. I say this because, at 140 grains, his rod model falls within the upper range for a 5 wt. But, perhaps he likes to throw heavy flies for bass or casts relatively short distances and needs to load his rod earlier. In any case, he prefers a 6 wt.

If the model numbering theory holds, then your rod falls just below the lower range limit of a 5 wt, and you may wish to give a 4wt line a try. I suppose the best policy is to try several line weights until you find one that suits your casting style. However, based on the little info we have, you may wish to start experimenting on the lighter side of DT6 rather than the heavier side.




Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:32


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_fishing_tackle#Fly_lines

Farmer Dave: the 130 is likely to refer to 130 "grains" of weight measured in the first 30 feet of the line, which falls within the industry standard for a 5 wt.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:38


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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2006/9/18 16:54
From Oxford, Chester Co., PA
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correction: 130 grains actually falls between a 4wt and a 5wt, which is why I recommended to six-gun that he begin experimenting with lighter lines rather than heavier.

BTW, congrats to Six-gun on inheriting this cool old rod. Sasquatch is right, a fiberglass rod over 7 1/2 feet in a lighter line weight is a real gem, especially in a near-mint condition.


Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:45


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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Even more unique if it ends up on the 4wt side. If that's the case, I'll be extremely jealous!

Posted on: 2013/9/19 15:50


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

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From Fairborn, OH
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Thanks a lot, guys. While there is some cracking and a chipped spot on the decal, the reel seat in particular is in amazing condition on this rod.

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I just took it out back and did some false cast with some Scientific Anglers GPX WF-5-F line and whoa, was FarmerDave right: this is quite different that what I'm used to with modern graphite. Talk about FULL flex and having to go slow. I don't have a big enough yard to really test the loading point on this rod without risking damage to the line, so I'm going to head over to the local park later and see how it does with a few different line weights. I do not have a 4-weight to test it with, but I do have both 5 and 6.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 16:10

Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/9/19 16:29:36


Re: Old rod: what line weight do I use on it?

Joined:
2006/9/18 16:54
From Oxford, Chester Co., PA
Posts: 581
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Sasquatch: Agreed; an 8.5 ft 4wt would be a treat, unfortunately for you and me it sounds like this one has no price tag.

Naturally, this thread offers a fruitful field for worthless speculation, so here goes. By the late 60's the light line/dry fly revolution was well under way thanks to the writings of such fishermen as Marinaro, Lee Wulff and Ernie Schweibert, et. al. A rod like this, even one created by a manufacturer like H-I, was intended to appeal to a portion of that emerging market. The 6 and 7wts which were so popular in the 40's and 50's were being replaced by lighter rods in the 1960's, and because graphite was not commonly available yet, fiberglass was the material of choice. Custom fiberglass rods from the 1960's by Phillipson and Powell are still considered fine fishing tools. Fast forward to 2013; I suspect most of us regularly use 4 and 5 wts now, saving the 6wts for bass.

Though Six-gun's rod was created during the dry-fly era, I think it would be nice to swing a team of wet flies with it.

Posted on: 2013/9/19 16:10



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