Switching vintage fly rods

I’ve got a bunch of old and classic Hardy fly rods in lengths from 9’-10´ to 10´6”. AFTM classes range from 6 to 8.

It’s Favourite-, De Luxe- and Sovereign models. Most of these have a full flexing action – and would in my point of view make splendid switch rods. Problem was I couldn’t find any extension butts for these old rods. I talked to my friend Thorkild Damm, and he told me this wasn’t really a problem, that he could not solve for me. So, being a bit of a wizard in a metal workshop, Thorkild made me some prototype extensions (the centre hardware at least). A short fight butt for… uhm… keeping the reel free of my clothes while fighting fish – and a longer model for two handed casting. He also made a little adapter for my power tool (drill) so I could rotate the cork while shaping.

After that I got hold of some cork from a rod building supplier. I chose Ussingbeck, and was totally impressed by the quality of the products. The cork was marvellous. I highly recommend these guys.

Then I spend an evening gluing and shaping. And the results… well check out the pictures. Great thing is, I haven’t altered the classic rods in any way – just made them more versatile.

I’m very pleased with the outcome. So far I have only done a bit of lawn casting, but I’m am going fishing later this week. I will follow up on my progress in switching.



    (April 21, 2014 - 8:06 pm)

    Hi Michael,
    Your blog popped up in my Google journey looking for a replacement section for my Dads 10ft 6 4 piece sovereign. The third piece broke at the third/fourth joint and he hasn’t had the same satisfaction from the other fly rods he has tried.
    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you like this but it has proven difficult to return the rod to its former glory. I was hoping you might be able to advise as to the best place to focus my search for this elusive part.
    Thank you,

      Michael Jensen

      (April 21, 2014 - 8:17 pm)

      Hi MC
      Thank you for your comment. Well atlas I don’t think it is an easy task you’re on. First off I would try to contact Hardy. They might be able to help you, even though it is a long shot. These rods went out of production decades ago. The next best advice i can give you is to watch eBay and similar auction sites, for a spare part… or a new sovereign rod. Another chance could be to enter some or the vintage- or classic rod forums and ask for help.
      Most of these rods probably were sold in UK, so that could be a lead too. Hope you succeed.
      Best regards

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