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The Leonard Rod

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#1 salmo

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:35 PM

I've decided to take a break from building complete rods and concentrate on repair and restoration for a while. I have quite a few rods in my collection that require work of varying degrees before they can be fished and this seems like a good time to get a little bit of that done before doing another rod from scratch. I pulled one from the barrel but, before I go too far, I thought I'd get some advice.

The rod I pulled is a Leonard that appears to have its original hardware and wraps. It used to be a nine foot three piece rod but now the mid is 1.5 inches short and the solitary tip is eight inches short. The smallish 4.5" cork grip is in good shape but dark. I don't think it's varnish, more like sweat and fish slime from years of use. The nickel silver cap and ring reel seat is marked "Tournament" immediately above the end cap and the end cap is marked "The Leonard Rod" and "H.L. Leonard Rod Co. Makers." Wraps are goldenrod tipped with red and there are no intermediates. The ferrules are all in excellent shape with the exception that most of the pins have been removed. The honey colored cane is sound. The stripping guide is an 8 mm white agate. There is no tip top. The snakes that are present are English twist.

My question is whether I should make a new tip and mid and attempt to restore the rod to original condition or whether I should sell the rod as is. I'm sure there would be a market for a rod of this quality regardless of which way I go but, being no expert in restorations of this caliber, I wonder if I would inadvertently destroy some of its value by doing the restoration myself. Any advice or opinions from those familiar with this type of work would be greatly appreciated.

Bill Ernst

#2 matt_a

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:28 PM

A lot of experts and "expert" hand out over a the classic fly rod forum.

They eat this kind of stuff for breakfast....might get more traffic there on this type of question.

oh..and WELCOME!! give some updates it you decide to restore it and share some of those builds.

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#3 salmo

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:50 PM

Thanks for the tip Matt but I didn't find much interest on that site either. I had a few responses but it seems like they were more interested in semantics than in my inquiry. The best advice (i.e. only) came from the Bamboo Rod Room where it was suggested that the rod is probably only good for parts. If that's the case then I have nothing to lose and I'll do my best to put the rod back into fishing condition. I think the rod has potential and just didn't want to destroy whatever value it might have.

#4 kbproctor

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:02 AM

With the condition you describe, I would do what I could to make new sections and fish the heck out of it.

Colorado Custom Fly Rods, Ltd.

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