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Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a long line of fishermen and women behind me..... fishing and spending time on the water is born and bred into me just as deeply as the color of my eyes.

I got the greatest gift of all this Christmas when I showed up at my parents' house in FWB and there was my 90-year-old grandfather, one of my favorite childhood fishing buddies, come to visit from across the country. Surprise!!!! This holidaywas a greattime for some good reflections and memories, and with my grandfather, my Dad and me all in one room, the fish stories were diverse and full of adventure but all had one common thread- that love of fresh salt air, the bow of a rod, and sharing thecatch over a fine mealafter the trip.

A really special treat was for me to see for the first time the collection of rods and reels that belonged to 3 generations of anglers: great-grandfather, grandfather, and father.Dad is keeping these safe and doing what cleaning he can on these beauties. I love fishing memorabilia anyway, but knowing that these have been in the family for as long as they have and the stories behind them, is priceless. Thought I'd share the memories.....

Here are just a few of the rods lined up against the shed....



Here are some of my grandfather's well-used pieces. If they could talk, the stories they'd tell..... Grandpa fished the northern Atlantic coast throughout his life (as well as freshwater trout fishing and ice fishing), and made frequent visits to FWB throughout my childhood andfished the Gulf with us every chance he had. He tells stories of huge cod, stripers, and bluefish.

A wrap on one of my grandfather's custom rods...



The pattern of threads makes the image appear 3D when seen up close. His name is carved into the rod itself.

This old Olympic reel ispretty neat:



It is still spooled with steel for those big northern Atlantic sharks. Another view of the Olympic:



Another wrap on one of my grandfather's spinning rods (this one, if I remember, was built on Long Island):



Dad still has some of HIS grandfather's stuff. One of the rods is about a 9 foot wooden pole with but one guide remaining at the tip, a heavy one with a patina coating. Dad says he thinks there may have only been one or two more guides on that rod, and I did not expect a wooden rod to have such backbone to it, especially one so long. It may have been a tuna rod... not sure but imagining catching northern Atlantic tuna in the 1930's and 40's on that stick is really something else. I don't know where the reel is, but here is the seat:



The clamp on the bottom threw me off a little, but all the carving on the wooden handle is still in good shape. The rod is so long that I could not get a good picture of much of the rest of it.

This gem was my great-grandfather's cod fishing rod. Dad told me that my great-grandfather knew cod so well that even when no one else was catching them, he could and this was his tool:



I love the carved wooden grips and handles. This old Ocean City reel served my great-grandfather well. The rod it is on is a lacquered wood with uncoated threads wrapped at the guides. It won't fish again- since the rod is wood, it is prone to warping and has done so slightly at the tip. Dad is working it back as straight as he can,and this precious piece of family fishing history will be put on display.

My Dad is a fan of old Mitchell reels, and between him, my grandfather, and my late grandmother, there is a decent collection built up. Here are 2 views of the Mitchell 300 Pro with the wooden handle.





This next one I think is great because of where it stands in history-

If I rememeber correctly, spinning reels were imported into the U.S. until the 1940's when Airex made the first U.S.-made spinners. This one is a half-bail Airex Bache Brown:



The same reel from the top:



It's attached to a very light wooden rod, and if I remember correctly it was my grandmother's freshwater trout rod.

I would never dream of running off to the "Antiques Roadshow" with these- no matter what their dollar value, they are priceless for the stories and family tradition they hold- they represent my roots and that ingrained passion for fishing that spans and bonds generations. Fifty some-odd years of fishing held in this collection!

Soooooo... here I am in the latest generation of my clan of anglers, in appreciation and fascination of these really nifty pieces, and carrying on one tradition- having custom rods built. But that's another thread. ;)

Hope y'all enjoyed the photos- these are just a sample of the wonderful memorabilia I got to share with my family this holiday. Thanks for letting me share. :)
 

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very very cool....great pics:bowdown
 

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Great post. I still have the Mitchell 300 Dad and I used for salmon in Alaska.
 

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Great stuff!!!! My father unfourtatley passed away 3 years ago and left me his fishing equipment. I attpemteted to to keep it all preserved and in working order. If you choose to do the same,be carfeul to whom you intrust it to for repairs or parts if you do. I know its not the same situation, but these kind of things have to be preservedandadmired. I would linseed oil all the wood' then use "Crorossion X" on all the reels and reel seats and eyelets with a toothbrush them wipe them down with a good gun or reel oil , it will help stop the decay of these fishing treasures. I by no means am trying to have you alter them, you may want to keep them as they are, but the corroision that is on them will only attract moisture and further degrade them. Thanks for showing them. I've never seen checkering on a rod foregrip or butt like that. Pretty cool. :clap
 

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Great photos and memories. My dad passed away 2-years ago and my mom asked me to clean out a lot of his old "stuff". Dad was a freshwater crappie and bream fisherman, I didn't realize how many model of reels that Zebco made in the 50's and 60's. I think he owned one of each.

I even found 3 new Mitchells still in the box (he just didn't like the open spinners)as well as a brand new, Lew's speed stick that I gave him for Christmas in the early 70's.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Great pic's!!!! thanks for sharing....got to love those mitchell 300!!!:clap...that's what I grew up with
 

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Great Post Karon - You admire your grandpa & dad I can tell you they most likely think the world of you also. Cherish the memories
 

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Memories which will be cherished forever...That is the best part of life. "we are only given this moment, make it the best it can be"...and you have! Great story.:bowdown
 
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