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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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Fishing Rods/Poles & Holders
Sep 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Fishing Rods/Poles & Holders
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$2217 Bids
CUSTOM MADE FLY FISHING ROD
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
CUSTOM MADE FLY FISHING ROD
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $50- $75
$152 Bids
2 Vintage Fishing Rods & Reels
Oct 01, 10:00 AM EDT
2 Vintage Fishing Rods & Reels
by Auctioneers, Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
CORTLAND FLY FISHING ROD
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
CORTLAND FLY FISHING ROD
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $50- $75
$101 Bid
fishing
Oct 13, 6:00 PM EDT
fishing
by BLG Auction Services
Est: $0- $0
$21 Bid
BAMBOO FLY FISHING ROD
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
BAMBOO FLY FISHING ROD
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$101 Bid
3 Ice Fishing Rods by Ziggie Obidzinski
Oct 01, 10:00 AM EDT
3 Ice Fishing Rods by Ziggie Obidzinski
by Auctioneers, Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Rod Caddy & Fly Rods/ Reels
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Rod Caddy & Fly Rods/ Reels
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Fine Phillipson Paramount "51" Bamboo Fishing Rod with two extra tips
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
Fine Phillipson Paramount "51" Bamboo Fishing Rod with two extra tips
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2500 Bids
Vintage Wright & Mcgill Sweetheart no 2A Fishing Rod
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
Vintage Wright & Mcgill Sweetheart no 2A Fishing Rod
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$800 Bids
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Montague Sunbeam Genuine Tonkin Bamboo Fly Rod
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
Montague Sunbeam Genuine Tonkin Bamboo Fly Rod
by North American Auction Company
Est: $150- $300
$500 Bids
Vintage Garcia-Conolon 3 Piece Bamboo Fly Fishing Rod
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
Vintage Garcia-Conolon 3 Piece Bamboo Fly Fishing Rod
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $250- $350
$1000 Bids
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Scientific Anglers Fly Rod & Pflueger Reel
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
Scientific Anglers Fly Rod & Pflueger Reel
by North American Auction Company
Est: $250- $500
$1500 Bids
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Custom Made Bamboo & Cork Handle Fly Rod
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
Custom Made Bamboo & Cork Handle Fly Rod
by North American Auction Company
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
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Fenwick Feralite FF 605 Fly Fishing 6' Rod
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
Fenwick Feralite FF 605 Fly Fishing 6' Rod
by North American Auction Company
Est: $150- $300
$700 Bids
WRIGHT & McGILL TRAILMASTER SPIN-FLY COMBINATION 4PC FISHING ROD WITH TUBE 7 1/2 feet
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
WRIGHT & McGILL TRAILMASTER SPIN-FLY COMBINATION 4PC FISHING ROD WITH TUBE 7 1/2 feet
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
G.Loomis Blank F1085 GLX Fly Fishing Rod
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
G.Loomis Blank F1085 GLX Fly Fishing Rod
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $800- $2,500
$4000 Bids
GROUP OF ANTIQUE FISHING ROD REEL COVERS
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
GROUP OF ANTIQUE FISHING ROD REEL COVERS
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
BRISTOL AND FENWICK FISHING POLES
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
BRISTOL AND FENWICK FISHING POLES
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
DIAMOND EDGE SHAPLEIGH KEEN KUTTER FLY FISHING ROD
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
DIAMOND EDGE SHAPLEIGH KEEN KUTTER FLY FISHING ROD
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $50- $75
$100 Bids
Eagle Claw WF300 8'6" Water Eagle Fly Rod and Reel, EC
Oct 05, 6:00 PM EDT
Eagle Claw WF300 8'6" Water Eagle Fly Rod and Reel, EC
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$30 Bids
Pair of modern surf casting rods and reels
Oct 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Pair of modern surf casting rods and reels
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $100- $125
$750 Bids
DAVE COOK 100TH ANNIVERSARY FISHING ROD
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
DAVE COOK 100TH ANNIVERSARY FISHING ROD
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Fishing Rods


Davis Brothers Auction

Davis Brothers Auction

Sofe Design Auctions

Sofe Design Auctions

North American Auction Company

North American Auction Company

Auctioneers, Inc.

Auctioneers, Inc.