Mitchell Reel Museum - Mitchell Mates Discussion Group

garcia conolon competition
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Author:  rsgxj6 [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  garcia conolon competition

During the production of conolon rods, were Fenwick rods their major competitor. In my borusing of ebay I have noticed a lot of Fenwick rods of the same period. Does anyone have any comparative thoughts on these two manufactures? I am thinking of expanding my collection to include Fenwick rods but know very little about this two manufactures. Any comparative information would be apperciated.


Author:  Bonanza [ Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: garcia conolon competition

Hi Ron,

I am sorry I have not responded until now. Life is crazy in work, lots of long hours. 1st Fenwick rods are really great rods and are highly collectable, especially the ultra lights. Before Garcia bought Narmco in 1960 life was easy for all the tackle suppliers. Narmco Corporation was the major manufacturer of fiberglass rods throughout the fishing world. They supplied blanks to everyone including Fenwick and others. Most other suppliers would then paint, add line guides, add cork, reels seats and affix their own label. In 1960 Garcia bought Narmco and the rod world changed big time. Garcia the marketing and business magnates they were built their rod business to the likes that had never been seen before. Since they controlled a signifigant majority of all the fiberglass rod manufacturing in the world, they focused on dominating that market and taking the competition out.
Since the patents for making fiberglass rods was past protection and exclusivity for Garcia, other tackle companies eventually did compete but it was a up hill battle. Fenwick probably was the best rod manufacter other than Garcia. My personal opinion is that Fenwick rods were just as good as Garcia when it came to the fiberglass, but lacked the quality in line guide wrappings, cork and reel seats. I am also personally drawn to Garcia Conolon rods and only fish with them. I would not hesitate to collect Fenwick rods as they seem to do well in holding their value. Hope this helps!

Regards, Scott

Author:  rsgxj6 [ Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: garcia conolon competition

Am I to understand that narmco also sole blanks to Fenwick? If so were the blanks made to their specifications? I been looking at a lot opf Fenwicks and have noticed that their guides seem to tarnish/pit. They also seem to be priced higher than compratable garcia rods. I guess it may be based on quantity produced. I'm thinking of purchasing a Fenwick just to see if there is any apperciable difference.

Thanks for your comments, I really didn't mind the wait. If I purchase a fenwick that I can compare toa garcia( lenght,action, line &lure weight, I will post my opinion for what it is worth.

Thanks RON

Author:  Bonanza [ Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: garcia conolon competition

Hi Ron,

A couple things to observe on rods in general. Very early high end rods had stainless steel line guides. They are usually 16 guage wire that is wrapped into a coiled loop with the straightened ends laying flat to the rod with guide wrapping over top. The line guide wire is still round under the guide wrapping. Fenwick used these for quite a while as a way to make a nice rod a great rod. kind of like using expensive gift paper on a cheap present. They did this because nickel chrome on brass plating is a tough art. Garcia used the top quality parts known to man. They could do so because they either owned the parts company or because they had such high volume they could demand a better price on parts they ought on the outside. Smaller comanies such as Fenwick had to use what they could afford to stay competive.
later rods used aluminum line guides that were anodized and were able to handle more abuse.

Regards, Scott

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