For the past couple of years I've been an avid fan of Ebay's vintage fly rod listings. Even bought a couple of classic fiberglass rods through them a while back. Cripes, now I've got more fly rods than you can shake a stick at and don't really use them a lot. Once in a while I get the urge and whip some line. I'm not all that good at it and never will be. But I have caught my share of foolish fish with them. Gotta admit a fly rod is a lot of fun when the fishing is hot. And the rods are a pleasure to pull out of the tubes once in a while simply to see and hold them. And when the urge strikes I've got a choice of sticks.
Not needing another rod is no reason for me to stop looking at the Ebay listings. That and checking out bamboo rod discussion forums have both taught me a lot about an esoteric subject which has little or no real meaning in life. But it's fun. I've come to know manufacturers, models, what's good and bad, which rods would be affordable if I ever went insane. Can't say I'm anywhere near an expert. Heck, I've never actually held a bamboo rod in my hands.
That all changed about a week ago. Lois and I were visiting friends and relatives in the Milwaukee area. While there we did a brief rummage through the antique shops of Cedarburg. Off in the corner of one of them I spied a cloth fly rod sock. Oh me, oh my, just had to check it out. A quick check told me it was complete and in very good shape. The manufacturer's label was gone but the model was written in white ink near the cork, Vernley. been over the charts enough times to know the rod was a top model from Horrocks-Ibbotson. Nearly all their rods were bottom end and sold for five to seven bucks in 1950s hardware stores and such. The Vernley however, sold for five times that and was considered a decent casting rod.
Long story short I bought it for the tag price of forty-five dollars. So now it sits here at home. Needs one tip straightened and touched up with varnish. That'll give me a fun project for the winter months. Outside of those minor shortcomings, she's a fine rod that can't be easily used with modern fly lines without redoing the stripping guide. And I have no need for it whatsoever. And will never buy another, unless I stumble upon one.