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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:20 pm • #  
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After reading Tim Barton's great Article on NARMCO, I just had to do some study like I don't have anything to do Image

Here's some notes I made some may find interesting:

In an extremely rare 1954 Garcia Tackle Catalog, the "Mitchell Companion" series of fiberglass spinning rods were first introduced for fresh and salt-water reels "made of famous and dependable Conolon Fiberglass."

In another rare 1955 Garcia Tackle Catalog, Garcia still refers to these as the Mitchell Companion Rods. Knowing that Garcia would not give this credit away, it seams like these were made in France from NARMCO blanks and Garcia guides, tips and agates?

In 1956 it was now being called "Garcia Mitchell Companion Rods" and I believe the first mention of "hollow" fiberglass.

In 1957 the brand new "Garcia Gold Bond" rods were introduced. Some of the fresh water rods finally have the first screw type locking reel seat. This series now included bait-casting rods. The blanks were called "multi-layered THERMOTEX fiberglass" whatever that means?

In 1958 Garcia was still selling the Garcia Gold Bond rods. More bait casting rods and various others were introduced.

In 1959 they went back to Companion now called the "Garcia Companion" but they look like the same Gold Bond series to me. They also still refer to the blank as multi-layered THERMOTEX fiberglass. They now offer the Garcia Companion Fly Rods.

The 1960 tackle catalog had no rods in it except for to RD kits, one for the 300 and the other for the 304 but; there's a 1960 Garcia Tackle supplement on "new" products! These rods were called Garcia Companions on the inside cover page but now included the Five, Four and Three Star Lines however; each rod described is now called "Garcia Conolon!"

All of the above ads have been added to the Mitchell Reel Museum Gallery - Vintage NARMCO Conolon Rod Advertisements.

I hope someone likes it Image
Please let me know if I screwed anything up!

Wallace

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:39 am • #  
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hi wallace,great info on the narmco article.as i have two narmco rods in my collection i enjoyed the history.
doug


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:13 am • #  
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Hi Doug, Welcome to our group mate!

In doing research on NARMCO/Conolon I discovered two things. Other that Tim Barton's web site, very little information could be found so again, thanks Tim for sharing this and your article with us. The other thing was there's a LOT of overwhelming interest in these old rods within other discussion groups especially from fly fishermen. I've always liked the old Conolon rods but thought I was alone.

Best Regards,
Wallace

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:18 pm • #  
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I was looking over ads from 1951 that I have and I was wondering if anyone can clear a couple things up?
Image

ImageImageImage

In the first two ads with "plucky" and "the 3rd version Mitchell",  the last thing that it advertises is the Live Fiber-Glass Spinning Rod $22.50 with Agate Guides and Tip-Tops
In the Same magazine that had the third version Mitchell ad is also the Narmco ad
I'm a little confused and hope  you can help me
 
I was wondering if the "live fiber-glass" were in fact Narmco rods distributed by Garcia? or was the "live fiber-glass rod" a totally different rod?
(also notice in the plucky ad that they didn't spell Mitchell rightImage)
If nothing else, they are some interesting ads to look at

Regards,  Steve

  


Last edited by steveduford on Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:50 pm • #  
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Here are the pictures from ads from May of 1956 Sports Afield
these first pictures are from Klein's Sporting Goods out of Chicago.  If you notice the "combos" they offered.
I also liked how you could lay-away for $2.00
ImageImageImageImageImage
In a few pages is this Mitchell Ad
ImageImageImage

   No mention of Conolon Rods Yet...  (notice the planamatic gear wording for the Cap)

And then last but not least is the "National Rod Company" Ad
Image


I just think these ads are interesting... it does show some of the evolvement of Narmco, Garcia, etc.  . I am going to keep pulling ads from different years as I have time to add here
Regards ,  Steve


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:37 pm • #  
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Hi Steve,

See - Garcia Conolon Rod Advertisements (NARMCO) that may help with your questions. I may add that Garcia used Klein's as a wholesale outlet to get rid of old stock. In 1951 they were changing over to the full bail and; in 1956 they were changing over to the model number being engraved. Very interesting, thanks for sharing. Maybe someone can help clear this up?

Best Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:54 pm • #  
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Hi Wallace
I actually had already referred to the Narmco Advertisements in the Museum...
In the ads,  in 1949 it is about agate eyes, but no rods
then it jumps to a 1954 ad with companion rods...
The in between is what I was curious about because in 1951,  Garcia is advertising live fiber-glass rods with agate eyes for sale. this tells me one of two things.

1)  That they were selling Narmco rods...   (Narmco refers to theirs differently, they refer to them as Live Fiber ,  and not live fiber-glass)

2)  That Garcia had another line of rods ( they could have been solid fiberglass even) but they had agate eyes.  If so I would like to know what they were called so that I can keep an eye out for them


The other interesting points about the ads I posted were...  

1)Narmco refered to their rods as the "original tubular fiberglas rods"  In the 1951 ad, it says "hollow center"   and number 5 which didn't show well in the picture says ""welded" into perfectly tapered hollow-center design".  All the later ads use the "trademark"saying

2)  I have ads up to 1958 (and then I have a gap afterwards),  Narmco was advertising their rods in the same magazines as Garcia and all the Garcia ads do not use the Conolon rods in their ads,  I figure that there was an agreement with Narmco not to do that for conflicting interest, just a guess

Anyhow... I was hoping someone had some early Garcia (pre 1954) ads or catalogs showing what rods they were offering.
Regards,  Steve


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:41 am • #  
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Hi Steve,

The reason I jump from 1949 to 1954 is because every Garcia catalog I have between these years do not show fishing rods for sale. I have no knowledge of Garcia selling any rods other than those made by NARMCO under various names. I wish I could help more, maybe someone else can?

Best Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:35 pm • #  
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Hey Steve and Wallace,

The information you guys have provided is wonderful documentation of early fiberglass technology.  I have only 1 question for Steve,  I am not aware of any technolgy for solid rod fiberglass.  fiberglass get it's strength from impregnated layers of resin (in those days it would be phenolic resin) that was rolled via a mandrel,  then mandrel removed, then cured in an oven.  The rods may look solid but I believe that they are actually still a hollow core.  Early rods all had a metal joint to attach upper and lower halves.  The closest I believe that Garcia or any manufacturer came whether glass or graphite  was late seventies -early eighties rods as metal joint technolgy shifted to an all fiberglass joint which was technology developed by Garcia.  It was not easy to do but they did it.  The male piece was still made from being made on a mandrel.  If one views closely you can see the hollow core.  When the rods are cured in the oven they resin fill the hollow gap some sometime which gives the appearance of being solid.  If there is something I have missed or have gone off my rocker please correct me.  But from an engineering standpoint you would loose strength from a solid design. 

Regards,  Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:56 pm • #  
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Hey Scott, 
I am going to answer this to the best of my knowledge...
fiberglass was first invented in the late 30's, about 10 years prior to Narmco and Shakespeare's  invention of the tubular or hollow glass rods.  fiberglas is actually a registered name which Owens Corning had the rights to.  I'm not sure when the first glass rods came out but they were made of long strands of fiber and yes... were solid.  The pro's to these rods were their ability to withstand water, and normal wear and tear of fishing.  The cons were that the rods were either too stiff or didn't have the backbone to set the hook... feels like fishing with a willow branch. 
I'm going to stick to ads from 1951 because they have some interesting information in them.  
Image


This is obviously a "Pal Spook" ad... as you can see they are advertising their solid glass rods, they were getting a better taper to them.

Image


South Bend had this new design whereas they "stepped" the rod to get the taper for a better feel and action...

Image


Horrocks-Ibbotson had a choice this year between solid and tubular....They also used the term "Power Glass" for their rods.   I really think that like with anything new that some people are a little slow to change because the solids were so rugged and also cheaper.  


When Garcia went into business in the late 40's,  they obviously didn't make rods yet... but yet they were selling them.  I was mainly wanting to fill in the gap of what they were selling up to the point in 1954 when they went to bed with Narmco.     They sold the agate guides....  and rods with their guides...were they on a Narmco?  a different rod?  Just curious

Best Regards,  Steve


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:39 am • #  
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Hey Steve, 

Ok,  I forgot about Owens-Corning.  I would have thought solid strands would have been the opposite and to flexible especially at the base if the rod diameter is the same throughout the length.  I new of solid steel rods and their drawbacks of weight just did not figure glass.  Where they long bundles of strands or small fibers in a resin that was extruded?  The advertisements you posted were really great.  I guess I will be looking for an early solid rods from Narmco and Garcia.  Thanks for teaching me something I did not realize.  Regards,  Scott


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:58 am • #  
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Scott... I don't know of any solid rods of Narmco or Garcia... I apologize if I made you think that. What I was looking fo ris answers in the blank area from when Garcia started up as a company to the point they started offering rods companion rods in 1954... In the 1951 ad it says they offer rods... "live fiber-glass spinning rods 22.50 with agate guides and tip top".... and to send away for their free illustrated literature... What were they selling? I was wondering what they were and if they were hollow or solid... I have absolutely no clue. anyhow... the older glass rods that I remember were long strand fiber.

I just find this very fascinating...
Regards, Steve


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:53 am • #  
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Hello Mates,

Tim Barton emailed me the below list of NARMCO rods that was reported to him as dated October, 1952:

ImageImageImage

I do know that they were going through a very large research and development stage for several years beginning in the late 1940s. This included the hiring of Johnny Dieckman and Lee Wulff in the early 1950s to help.

Best Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:25 pm • #  
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Wallace you are absolutley amazing!  I was correct, the great KARNAK you are!  Thanks to Tim Barton and the great early Narmco ad.  Holy crap I will need more rod racks to grow the collection.  This will be super info for the data base also.  A very Happy person on a late Sunday!  Regards,  Scott  


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:02 pm • #  
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Scott... lmao,
Did you notice the solid rods listed? interesting.... at least to me anyway.

I'd still like to keep digging but this sure helps on the Narmco stuff!

Wallace... Thank you again, and thank you Tim

Best Regards, Steve


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:26 am • #  
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Hey Steve,  Yes I did see the solid rod listing.  From a manufacturing perspective, I would have thought it would have been easier back then to make short fibers an weave in to a cloth to then roll into a rod via a mandrel.  I guess the technology to make bundled long strands probably via extrusion was more advanced then thought.  I guess it is time to look more closley at the forest instead of focusing on a small clump of trees.   Don't give up on me yet.  Regards,  Scott



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:09 am • #  
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Hello Mates,

At the risk of sounding like a charlatan or better described as a person who pretends or claims to have more knowledge or skill than they possess; I am always happy to share what I have. This list along with a lot more was sent to me about two years ago. In reading your comments I thought to look and found this among the mess. I have heard NARMCO and other rod makers claim to have made the first fiberglass rod but from what I've read; NARMCO claims only to have made the first "hollow" rod from cloth.

I appreciate both of your efforts and will help in any way I can.

Best Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:27 pm • #  
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Wallace, et al;

That you are and do to always share what you have. I can only say in my humbled opinion that I enjoy 1st as a mate the information you have provided to me so that I might one day be able to do the same thing. PASS IT ON. The 2nd part is what really matters to me is having the friendship which binds us closer together. Sure would like to have a month free to look thru your rod ephemera. Unfortunatley I don't think the month would put a dent in it. Since I am new new person on the block I hope that I don't drive all crazy from my assumptions or my poorly thought out questions. Scott
Who is Tim Barton? by the way.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:06 am • #  
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Bonanza wrote:
Since I am new new person on the block I hope that I don't drive all crazy from my assumptions or my poorly thought out questions. Scott Who is Tim Barton? by the way.
Hi Scott,

First off, I was talking about me and my lack of knowledge in this topic where I know so little, I find it difficult to ask questions and/or give opinions/assumptions. The posts between you and Steve makes us watch with great interest. All opinions, assumptions and questions help bring out the facts regardless of the accuracy or validity of each. Please keep up the search for knowledge...

Tim Barton is a Mitchell collector for many years, a true gentleman and friend who has always shared even before sharing was popular. In my search for information on NARMCO I discovered he had already taken this search to a high level.

Best Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:49 pm • #  
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Hi guys:

Now that is just awesome documentation regarding the Conolon rods!!!  Bravo, Wallace and Steve!  I can actually now understand the naming system used by Narmco for their rods and have a feel for the dates of production!  I recall fishing with my cousins on a farm pond in northern Wisconsin as a boy.  Us kids got the junk tackle to use.  I remember using old baitcasting reels with solid fiberglass poles.  We could barely cast them 20 feet and many times had birds nests from reel backlash!  The poles would practically bend in half trying to set the hook!  Ha, ha, ha------great memories!  Thanks much, guys!

Best regards,

Wayne


Last edited by Rock on Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:28 am • #  
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Hi Wayne, nice to see you!
Wallace as always has great information for everyone. I am still hoping that with this topic that someone will come through with some info that shows what rods Garcia was selling in its earliest years that they were advertising. What area of Wisconsin are you in?


Regards,
Steve


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:34 am • #  
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Hi Wayne,

Thank you for sharing your memories! These are the ties that bind us all together Image

Hi Steve,

I have added to the Mitchell Museum what I think may be Garcia's first ad campaign in their own catalogs. See - Garcia Conolon Rod Advertisements (NARMCO) and look at the added 1953 pages. I have gone through all my early years documents and can not find anything else except a Garcia supplement, date unknown but appears to be 1952 meaning printed in 1951 in most cases. In this, the rod/reel combos only are shown for the Mitchell code 300RK and the Mitchell C.A.P with code 304RK. Hope this help...

Best Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:47 pm • #  
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Hi, Steve:

I currently live in Southeast Wisconsin in the City of Oconomowoc (if you pronounce the name slowly you'll find it means "boy I sure am pooped" in Chippewa Indian).  Where are you at?

Regards,

Wayne


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:16 pm • #  
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Wayne

We are actually in the Tampa Bay area now (economy), I was born and lived most of my life across the pond from you in the Traverse City Michigan area, I knew you were from somewhere in WI... my wife is from Poynette, about 30 miles north of Madison on Lake Wisconsin, and her family has a house on Big Cedar Lake near West Bend. We usually are up there once or twice a year. My wife just got back last weekend.

Steve


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:26 pm • #  
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Hi Steve:

I'm about 30 miles due west of Milwaukee.  I have fished for largemouth bass before on Big Cedar and have done pretty well.  As a kid I spent a lot of summers working on my uncle's dairy farm in Antigo (50 miles or so northwest of Green Bay) and that is where I learned to fish.  I really enjoy smallmouth fishing on the Menominee River which borders Wisconsin and the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, but my favorite are the chain of ten lakes that encompass the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation about 15 miles west of Minoqua, Wisconsin.

Best regards,

Wayne


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:19 pm • #  
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Hello Mates!

Thanks to Stevie D pointing it out, I have added two more Garcia Tackle catalogs to the museum website. See the 1955 catalog and the 1953 supplement at - Garcia Tackle Catalogs for more information. I welcome any help to make this site complete and accurate.

Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:01 am • #  
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Thanks Wallace,  my wish list keeps growing.  It is funny how big a person's wish list is when they are newer to the hobby,  I just need to stick to realistic.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:32 am • #  
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Hi,
Not to add to the confusion but....
A couple weeks ago there was an Ebay auction for a Narmco catalog, price list and letters...
the letters were dated January 23, 1958 and the mailer was dated one day later...


the price list is the exact one sent to Wallace by Tim Barton from October 1952
Image

ImageImage
Best Regards,  Steve



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:46 am • #  
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Hi Steve,

Confusion is what were here for Image

Can you find any dates on the price list and/or catalog? I am so happy you won this!

Regards, Wallace

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:08 am • #  
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Hi Wallace,
I really like this catalog and the stuff that came with it, it is absolute mint condition (other than the mailer). There is not a date or hint of one anywhere on the catalogs or the price sheet. . On the back cover it just says Copyright, no date. The one thing I do notice is this...
the catalog and letters say "Narmco Conolon Co."... in the catalog there is an extra insert page to buy "flex" guides, it says "National Rod Company". Not sure if that tells us anything.

Regards, Steve


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