Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

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Woodlakejag
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#101

Post by Woodlakejag »

Dave
There’s a house across the intersection from this one but it’s hard to tell if it’s original or not.
Edwards’ house on Washington Street in Brewer (across from FE Thomas) is still there but in really bad shape. I don’t think it will be there much longer.
George
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jeffkn1
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#102

Post by jeffkn1 »

It's fun to dream about having salvage rights to shops, et al of rod makers. What might be under the Edwards house when it's razed? What was in the basement of the Wheeler house when it was torn down a few years back, only for the lot to be to be resodded. What was found in the Wheeler factory attic when the place was sold? I have it on good authority that there were Kosmic hardware parts under the shop of a certain now-retired rod maker.........

jeffkn1
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#103

Post by jeffkn1 »

I've brought photos of a salmon Leonard, UK spec, from another venue. Other than a swap out of agate guides for original strap-and-rings, three things stand out: it has a butt cap threaded for a spear, it's green, and it's stamped Mills/Sole Agent. The "patented" 1880 locking reel seat is also present, not surprisingly. I've stated here on a number of occasions that the green was an option of Leonard's but I can't recall where I read that. This well-worn example is pictured with a butt section of UK origin that happens to have the same ferrule size as the Leonard. (More on that one, should I find it.) I'm hoping to have photos of another green Leonard in the near future. I have no particulars at this time
The green fly rod era seems to have included part or all of the Twenties, but the catch 22 is that the Mills SA stamp began 40 years +/- before the Twenties began. So, is this a vote for extended use of that stamp, or very early application of green varnish(maybe even during Hiram's tenure), assuming it's factory applied? Here's a visual.
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Bamboocollector#1
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#104

Post by Bamboocollector#1 »

Thanks for sharing Jeff!
Previously known as bamboocollector11

chestatee
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#105

Post by chestatee »

Agreed, these posts are fascinating. Thank you Jeff.

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cwfly
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#106

Post by cwfly »

Thank you, Jeff for showing us this interesting rod.
Your memory is great! The 1922 Wm. Mills & Son catalog includes, for the Leonard rods, the extra of "Staining rods, green ...$3.00." However, just from looking at the rod you present, it just seems older than the 1920's.
Charlie

jeffkn1
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#107

Post by jeffkn1 »

Charlie

As a former employer, the late Ray Lueddeke of NJ, used to say, "My memory's good, but it's short".
I'm hoping the rod gets what it deserves, i.e. a sensitive restoration, whether here or across The Pond.
This past November I saw a green Leonard, maybe Twenties vintage, but it was more of a translucent tint than what we see here. I don't know whether Leonard was a leader or a follower, but a fellow collector(more to follow) was kind enough to snap a few pix of his green Leonard and to give me permission to post them here. I'm going to quote the specs first, from his email:

"The rod is 7'11" long. 3.1 oz. Ferrules are 14 and 9, tip top is 3.5. Wraps are black and white jasper that was typical on the Hewitt Leonards. Missing one tip, but everything else full length. Original finish except that I had to re oxidize the hardware as someone had polished the finish off. That kind of defeats the purpose of a green rod to have bright ferrules. I cast it this morning with a 3wt silk line, and it is lovely. I cast it before with a 4wt and it handles that as well.
The ferrules and reel seat hardware are oxidized. The stamp is pre 1925. I am guessing this is from late teens or early 20s as it does not have intermediate wraps. Not sure when they were phased out."


With enough legwork, we might be able to find the concept's origins. More about that below, but here is his rod.
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My anonymous contributor also tracked down a related item, which follows:

"Here is what I said on the subject in the 'Field' of March 28, 1903. Why startle the fish with yellow or brown or shiny steel? We are accustomed to heliographic signaling, but he is accustomed to green, waving boughs and tall, bending reeds. Why have a bright varnished rod with silver rings within his sight? Go on to a salmon water and see the heliograph rods . You can count the rods at a mile off by the glisten and flash. Many a man goes to the chalk stream and flashes the rod like a streak of lightning.
I had my rods painted green. Fashion says that a dull green is not a shop finish, but I buy tackle to kill fish, not to advertise the tackle dealer. (Baden-Powell 18 June 1904)"


Yes, it was that Baden-Powell.

bluesjay
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#108

Post by bluesjay »

Hi Guys, Some years ago I think Gierach had a story in which a 'poacher' was using a Leonard painted 'battleship gray.' I think a .25 Auto was also involved. I like the green!

Jay Edwards

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Caneghost
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#109

Post by Caneghost »

Per Brandin told me about this idea at Leonard when I commented on a green dyed rod he brought to the Catskill Cane Revival in 2022. It was an 8-foot hex for a number three line and was very impressive. He called it the "Green Hornet" after a well-known shop rod his friend and mentor, the late Sam Carlson used to keep in his rod shop.

What I recall of our conversation was that a group of guys at Leonard had thought coloring the rod shaft green would provide a measure of stealth when fishing the wild Catskill streams. He developed an interest in experimenting with the idea as a result. His execution was perfect.

I have a dyed rod made by former PA maker Tom Nigro of Spring Creek Rods. He dyed this single-tip 7-foot 4 weight to a dark brown and it is stealthy. I fished it on Falling Spring and other Cumberland Valley spring creeks.
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...a wink of gold like the glint of sunlight on polished cane...

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Woodlakejag
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Re: Leonard in Hiram's lifetime

#110

Post by Woodlakejag »

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