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  1. Whaaa. Epoxy. They were still using varnish when Harnell went out of business. Sorry, it's the a-hole coming out of me again.
  2. Man, that's really nice. You do good work. Here's a bit of Harnell trivia. I was unwrapping a little Harnell 640 spinning rod. I'd cut the end of the thread, pull and let the rod spin in my hand as it unwound. You know how you do. On some of the ornamental wraps a red band adjacent to a yellow/gold band would the same piece of thread. The red thread didn't end and a new yellow thread didn't begin. It was all the same piece of thread. Here's a picture of a section of it I don't know if it was dyed that way ahead of time (on the spool), or dyed or painted after it was on the rod. It was definitely a factory job though. -steve
  3. The Corpus Christi classics. A 542 with a squidder and a 552 with a 4/0 Senator. Really nice collection. The best I've ever heard of. -steve
  4. Medium light surf spinning rod. 12 to 20 lb line. I'll triple your money and give you sixty bucks for it. -steve
  5. It was not polyester and not exactly bakelite either, but a different type of phenolic resin. -steve
  6. Thank you very much for that Bubs. Since yesterday I also learned that Ashaway Line and Twine introduced their braided Dacron in 1952. Ashaway was the first to introduce braided nylon in 1937. I always thought of Ashaway as the nylon guys and Gudebrod as the Dacron guys. There are inaccuracies in the Sufix article. They say, "braided lines were not seriously considered as suitable for sport fishing purposes until the introduction of the braids we see today, composed of threads of polyethylene (PE or UHMPE) that are well known in the market as Dyneema or Spectra fibre." That's bull. Braided nylon squidding line sparked a revolution in fishing lines and most people were using it for surf and inshore fishing until mono was improved and limp enough to cast with. Gudebrod braided dacron was a mainstay for offshore trolling for a few decades. It does not stretch like braided nylon or mono so it provides great sensitivity. But, it has poor abrasion resistance and poor knotting. The Bimini Twist was invented to get better knot strength from braided Dacron. I just can't figure out when Gudebrod introduced their signature blue spot dacron. -steve
  7. Thanks Bubs. I got that they were Gudebrod Silk and know that Dacron had been invented but trying to figure out when braided Dacron line came along. I suspect 1940's but can't find any adverts to confirm it. Just trying to be period correct with my fishin' stuff. -steve
  8. Does anyone know if the IGFA-style Gudebrod Dacron, green spot or blue spot, was available in the early 1950's. Thanks. -steve
  9. Thank you for that Ryan. Next time you sand one take a good whiff of the dust. From the smell you may be able to tell if it is bakelite or polyester resin. -steve
  10. This thread deserves to be resurrected every year or so. Just read the whole thing again to make sure nothing was missed. I was really into Harnells in my youth; late 1960's. It was the thing to do and all the guys fishing shark and tarpon from the beach, piers and jetties had them. This was South Texas mostly between Port Aransas and Port Isabel. The thing is, nobody had factory rods. Ed's Tackle out near Flower Bluff and Cages Hardware at Six Points had tons of Harnell blanks, the white Harnell marshmallow grips, Mildrum and Varmac seats, Mildrum and Aftco guides, etc. But, nobody sold factory built Harnell rods locally. Everyone built their own. I don't know why it was that way, but it seemed normal to a punk at the time. It was much later before I even knew the factory wrap was always red/gold or green/yellow. Anyway, I had a 542 with a squidder, a 580 stand-up rod with 12/0 senator and a 536 with a 704. Neither the fishermen nor the salesmen referred to the shark rod blanks by their Harnell number. We called them either 24 thread, 36 thread or 54 thread. They were all 5'3" so they were probably 575, 580 and 585 respectively and usually paired with 9/0, 12/0 and 16/0 respectively. The line was always green Ashaway braided nylon, usually 100# for the 9/0's, 150# for the 12/0's and either 150 or 200# for the 16/0's . The plan was to complete my quiver with a 552 and 4/0 senator but I never got there. After discovering girls and surfing the shark rig was sold to buy a surfboard. I don't remember what happened to the spinning outfit. I still have the 542 and squidder but haven't used it in 40 years. What bought me here, again, was something I read in a book by Harlan Major, Salt Water Fishing Tackle. It was first published in 1939 and the third edition was 1955. So, it covers many aspects of the transition from bamboo and hickory to synthetic rods and the transition from linen and silk to synthetic lines. In nearly 300 pages of fishing tackle trivia, the thing that really got my attention was the statement that Harnell rods were being made of fiberglass impregnated with bakelite. Yes, bakelite, not polyester resin or epoxy. Before glass fiber became available, bamboo was also being impregnated with bakelite. Now I'm wondering, was Harlan Major just wrong? Were Harnell rods originally impregnated with bakelite and later switched to impregnation with polyester or more modern resins? Were they impregnated with bakelite until the end? It seems like a shift from Bakelite to polyester would be noticeable in the looks, feel and performance but I've never heard anyone mention there being an older material and a newer material. If anything, people say they never changed from the first to the last. By the time Harnell and the Harringtons hung it up, it seems unlikely they would have still been using bakelite. A fiberglass/bakelite composite would be more difficult to make than a fiberglass/polyester composite. If you have any thoughts or insight, please let me know. Finally, someone above mentioned sanding off the black surface when restoring a Harnel rod. Back in the day, this was a no-no. The dogma was that the surface "skin" was different from the dark grey composite below and it should not be removed. I don't know if there was any truth to it; that's just the way we did it. Also, back in the day the wrapping was given a coat of color preserver (usually Weber) followed by several coats of varnish. This was before rods were smothered with epoxy. The exposed blank was not varnished when the rod was built. It might be varnished if it was re-wrapped and the exposed blank had a lot of jetty rash but the original "skin" was thought to be more durable than varnish. When a rod was re-wrapped, the old varnish and thread residue was removed by scrubbing with mineral spirits or naphtha but the "skin" not removed. -steve
  11. Thank you for this John. I've been wondering about Komodos and like the prices. But, from you photos it looks like it has the third spool bearing with retaining pin through the shaft. Is that right? If so, then I'm not interested. The super free spool system with a stabilizer bearing on the pinion and two spool shaft bearings (like the Tranx and newer Curados) seems like a better system and they are easier to maintain. Why haven't other brands picked it up? Is it a patent issue or something? -steve
  12. I'm going to try the REC nickel titanium recoil guides for casting rods. The kind that is just a coiled piece of wire. They're lighter weight, more durable and as wear resistant as insert guides. Because they flex, they do not stiffen the blank and should be as tangle free as the Fuji KWAG I'm using now. -steve
  13. When was the last time you looked under a tail plate. It's packed with the centrifugal brake race and shoes. If you want a bait-and-wait reel then buy a bait-and-wait reel. If you want a plugging reel then buy a plugging reel. They're different tools for doing different jobs. -steve