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Fishing Rods

With roots in ancient Egypt and China, fishing has a rich history in human culture for both sport and survival. The fishing rod itself is part of that history, beginning with a simple wooden pole designed to hold a line and a hook. Over the centuries, vast modifications in weight, design, and durability have created a diverse manufacturing industry that continues to improve the rod’s performance.

Rod material is thought to have changed from heavy to light wood during the Industrial Revolution, with England being noted for its rod making. Around 1946, American Sam Phillippe invented the first split-bamboo fishing rod, and in 1854, Charles de Saxe obtained the first U.S. rod patent. Following these milestones, fishing rod manufacturing diversified in the U.S., with dozens of craftsmen designing rods that are today considered some of the most collectible in the industry.

Most antique fishing rods are made of bamboo along with cork, wrapped cane, or wood on the grips. Something particular to note is that a pre-20th century rod often has a metal band just above the hand grip, and the real seat will not contain screws. When reviewing a rod, look for insignia, as manufacturers often engraved a name and a date of origin on the rod’s butt cap.


Quick Facts

  • One of the earliest written guides about fishing and its equipment dates back to 1662 when Robert Venables published "The Experienced Angler"
  • A fly rod made by influential American fly fisher Thaddeus Norris sold at a 2007 Lang’s auction for $16,000
  • The American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont has a collection of more than 1,400 rods, some from the likes of Babe Ruth, Ernest Hemingway, and Dwight Eisenhower

Recommended Items at Auction

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penn deep sea fishing reel 30tw & btw 60 sun fishing rod
Feb 25, 6:30 PM EST
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penn deep sea fishing outfit 113H 4.0 senator w/ 12 volt motor winder & bell fisher pole
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penn deep sea fishing outfit 113H 4.0 senator w/ 12 volt motor winder & bell fisher pole
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THREE FLY FISHING ITEMS
Feb 26, 6:00 PM PST
THREE FLY FISHING ITEMS
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vintage fishing poles lot of 3 Shakespeare, zebco
Feb 25, 6:30 PM EST
vintage fishing poles lot of 3 Shakespeare, zebco
by A KLEINS AUCTION GALLERY LLC
Est: $30- $300
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lot of 3 vtg fishing poles penn, diawa ,south bend
Feb 25, 6:30 PM EST
lot of 3 vtg fishing poles penn, diawa ,south bend
by A KLEINS AUCTION GALLERY LLC
Est: $30- $300
$101 Bid
FISHING RODS SET OF 2 VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Feb 22, 7:00 PM CST
FISHING RODS SET OF 2 VINTAGE ANTIQUE
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Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Fenwick FF807 8' 3 3/4 oz Feralite Fishing Rod
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Fenwick FF807 8' 3 3/4 oz Feralite Fishing Rod
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Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
Bruce Adams Riverwatch Kispiox Valley Fly Rod
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Bruce Adams Riverwatch Kispiox Valley Fly Rod
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Est: $1,500- $2,000
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Sellers Who Sell Fishing Rods


A KLEINS AUCTION GALLERY LLC

A KLEINS AUCTION GALLERY LLC

Davis Brothers Auction

Davis Brothers Auction

O'Gallerie

O'Gallerie

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Nadeau's Auction Gallery