One piece rods

Lewis Chessman

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4ft 6in one was my first rod, but there were longer multi piece ones - my mate had one. I don't think there were ever tank aerial fly rods.
Why's that. o.c.? Do you think them a myth?
There were certainly hollow steel rods made in the 50s & 60s (e.g. Accles & Pollock 'Apollos') and I've read references to tank aerials which may have been the layman's choice after the war for some home-builders. It seems feasible enough to me - though I doubt they were pleasant to cast!

I've also read that these long, metal tank aerials had a habit of catching powerlines and giving the crew of the tank an electric shock! To obviate this the aerials were covered in a hollow, tapering fibreglass sheath .....
Can't think how a fisherman might use that, though. ;)
 

Rhithrogena

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I have a 7' one piece carbon job made up as a experiment from pieces of an experimental dapping rod that met with an accident.
Robbie Winram made the rod and gave it to me when I saw it propped in a corner and asked about it. It has a very powerful butt made from the mid section of the donor blank and into this is spliced about 4' of the tip.
The result is a very tippy rod with large reserves of power. It casts a #5 line well. Not a rod for tiny flies and fine tippets. In fact I plan to use it with an appropriate Skagit head for some commando fishing for silver tourists in heavy cover this season.
I made an extension handle for spinning with it and have landed salmon to about 8lb on it.
Interesting rod...
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JoeOh

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Jun 29, 2020
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Thomas Turner advertising :
Short Boat Rod Made from Converted Wireless Aerial
Dated 1949, this short saltwater boat fishing rod was made from an old metal wireless aerial
 

squimp

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In my experience a guide would always take the rod out of the boat when he got home.

I only know of one instance of running a boat in the dark, when a very experienced, famous Keys guide went out and hit a channel marker in the dark. He nearly killed himself and is in fact still, after a good few years not totally recovered.
I once got stuck in a thunderstorm in Cuba and the guide got disoriented. It was getting dark and the guide didn’t know what to do. We got him to run the boat very slowly towards the shore until we could see breakers. Then we dropped anchor and waited out the thunderstorm.

once the wind and rain subsided we had to get back to the mothership in the dark and that was really scary ! We could easily have hit something and it would have torn the transom out if the boat.....

Running the boat with an experienced Keys guide with good gps, lights and channel markers was a walk in the park (Everglades National Park to be precise).
 

original cormorant

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Why's that. o.c.? Do you think them a myth?
There were certainly hollow steel rods made in the 50s & 60s (e.g. Accles & Pollock 'Apollos') and I've read references to tank aerials which may have been the layman's choice after the war for some home-builders. It seems feasible enough to me - though I doubt they were pleasant to cast!

I've also read that these long, metal tank aerials had a habit of catching powerlines and giving the crew of the tank an electric shock! To obviate this the aerials were covered in a hollow, tapering fibreglass sheath .....
Can't think how a fisherman might use that, though. ;)
I am sceptical about tank aerial fly rods. There were plenty of metal rods in the '50's and early '60's . I remember lusting after a hexagonal telescopic coarse rod in a shop window before I chose split cane over glass fibre for my first "proper" rod. I just found this A&P double purpose (13.5 and 8.5 ft) fly rod.

The prime days of tank aerial rods would have been over before reservoir trout fishing took off so my guess is the recruits to fly fishing in the late '60's and '70's would not have been building their own tank aerial rods, which they may well have done 10 years earlier. The mentor of my fishing buddy who had a tank aerial coarse rod was Cyril Inwood and I suspect the rod was built by him.
Bob Church and Steve Parton are guys who could have given a definite answer on tank aerial fly rods.
 

Lewis Chessman

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I'm guessing, o.c., but I would imagine that true tank aerial rods would have been homemade from army surplus shortly after WWII, perhaps for no more than a decade, and possibly inspired the A&P 'Apollo' range - but I don't know. Once glass fibre rods came to market I should think there was no contest between the two in terms of weight and action.

It's an interesting topic for a bit of lockdown research, isn't it? :)
 

redietz

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May 22, 2017
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Maryland, USA
4ft 6in one was my first rod, but there were longer multi piece ones - my mate had one. I don't think there were ever tank aerial fly rods.
There were on this side of the Atlantic. Heddon put one out that they painted brown with black highlights to look like bamboo. Other makers did similar.

My first (non-fly) rod was steel.
 

shuck raider

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Belfast, Norn Iron
I'm guessing, o.c., but I would imagine that true tank aerial rods would have been homemade from army surplus shortly after WWII, perhaps for no more than a decade, and possibly inspired the A&P 'Apollo' range - but I don't know. Once glass fibre rods came to market I should think there was no contest between the two in terms of weight and action.

It's an interesting topic for a bit of lockdown research, isn't it? :)
Quite correct Lewis. I made several tank aerial rods as an impecunious teenager in the 60's, mainly for use as pike dead bait rods - you certainly could not have used them as fly rods. They were about 6' and made from copper and had a tendency to buckle when casting a half mackerel or whole herring, which is why I used the word 'several' above!

The last one collapsed just as I had landed a 20 pounder on herring dead bait. The blanks cost thirty bob (£1.50) from an army surplus store in Smithfield Market Belfast. Had managed by then to save up three quid for a 7' solid glass Milbro spinning rod which served me well for many years. Still in the back of a cupboard, must have a go at re-furbishing it for old times' sake.
 

original cormorant

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I'm guessing, o.c., but I would imagine that true tank aerial rods would have been homemade from army surplus shortly after WWII, perhaps for no more than a decade, and possibly inspired the A&P 'Apollo' range - but I don't know. Once glass fibre rods came to market I should think there was no contest between the two in terms of weight and action.

It's an interesting topic for a bit of lockdown research, isn't it? :)
They were definitely homemade and I suspect making them died out in about 1960. They were still being fished in the early 60's.
I wouldn't like to guess if home made inspired Apollo or vice versa. Pehaps A&P had been making tank aerials during the war and then looked for alternative uses of their manuacturing capacity when the market for tank aerials collapsed. I believe some apollo rods were part steel, part alluminium. Apollo also made javelins any vaulting poles, so they were proper metal tube experts.

The arrival of glass fibre rods before the reservoir trout boom in the 60's and 70's is why I suspect tank aerial fly rods didn't happen - but no doubt someone will chime in about shooting heads on tank aerials or kingfisher lines on the top section of a tank aerial.
 

original cormorant

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There were on this side of the Atlantic. Heddon put one out that they painted brown with black highlights to look like bamboo. Other makers did similar.

My first (non-fly) rod was steel.
Were these Heddon rods "just" steel or actual recycled tank aerials?
 

rabmax

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Sep 11, 2009
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Ayrshire
When i was a wee lad.I fished with my father & his pal.His pal used a 2 piece green hart rod.It had a splice in the middle .He would tape both together with electrical tape.He said it fished like a one piece. Did cast good from what i remember
 

easker1

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Nov 10, 2010
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Highlands
I have a bit of Tank aerial it's copper coated steel It's quite hard I have made a cutter for M.O.P. inlays for banjos. it had been part of a rod, A&P made Bows and Rods and air Pistols there was a nice looking 3pc trout fly rod, I saw this in a Newcastle shop, but I bought an Abu, easker1
 
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