|04-20-08, 07:56 AM||#1|
Former NGTO President
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Classic Cane History: Horrock & Ibbotson
This is the tenth installment in the NGTO classic cane history series. This week, we take a look at another well known production rod company; Horrocks & Ibbotson (or H-I) . HI was probably the largest of the production rod companys and turned out decent bamboo fly rods by the thousands. This is why there are still so many of them out there and why you can usually pick one up for around $200 bucks. These were truly the working man's fly rods of the day!
The below article contains some information originally written by Dick Spurr and has been maintained on Fishnbajo's site for those who wish to learn more about bamboo rods and their makers. http://mysite.verizon.net/vze2h7gi/f...opy/index.html.
The Horrocks & Ibbotson Company has a long history from its beginnings as the George A. Clark & Co. in 1880, to the renaming of Clark-Horrocks Co. in 1891, to its last name in 1909. They made a large variety of split bamboo fly rods for almost 50 years. The vast majority of the rods sold by H&I were very inexpensive, rather plain looking rods. Some of them sold for less than one dollar. Consequently, many collectors tend to ignore the more common models, lumping them into the category of "tomato stakes". However, some of the more expensive models were very nice.
Horrocks-Ibbotson was one of America's largest production rod companies for many years, competing head to head with Montague and South Bend. This company that came to be known as the World's Largest Manufacturer of Fishing Tackle traces its history to 1812 but did not become involved with fishing tackle until 1863 when an English immigrant named James Horrocks was hired as a clerk. In 1894, Edward Ibbotson was hired as an errand boy. Gradually the company acquired existing tackle companies. In 1905 the company built a new factory in Utica, New York and continued to grow until it was known throughout the world. The firm was incorporated in 1909 as the Horrocks-Ibbotson Co.
The rods made by Horrocks-Ibbotson in the years up to 1935 filled every niche in the rod making business. The high grade rods such as the President and the Chancellor featured nickel silver fittings and were as good as any rods being produced by the competition. At the other end of the spectrum were the cheapest production rods. H-I made literally hundreds of different models throughout the years, and many had such minor differences in fittings and wraps that they were indistinguishable without direct comparison.
The types of ferrules used on Horrocks & Ibbotson rods vary as much as the overall quality of their rods. The vast majority of the ferrules were nickel-plated brass. Many of them from the 1950's lacked inscribed lines or any other decorations and were not pinned. Others were very similar to those used by Montague and are almost impossible to tell apart unless the rod is marked.
Decals are useful for dating Horrocks-Ibbotson rods. The diamond with the UTK logo dates from 1905 until World War I. This logo is usually stamped into the reel seat, but also appears as a decal. The Trout logo decal was then used until 1929. It is rarely seen and is the most beautiful of the H-I decals. Next to appear was an elongated Double Diamond with Utica, NY inside; it was used until 1933. In 1934, a double-diamond logo including the banner reading Best by Test was introduced and was used until 1939. Next came the fanciest of all H-I decals featuring a bright red H-I on a white diamond and accompanied by two banners reading Fish Rod and Genuine Tonkin Cane. The decal of the early 1950's was rectangular with a small gold foil diamond logo. The final decal was a simple red diamond with a large white H-I.
If you are trying to identify a rod that has no decal, the writing of the model name is helpful. H-I used white ink, and usually wrote with the words running toward the grip. The only other maker that used white ink was Edwards, who usually wrote with the words reading away from the grip. The reel seats did not change much; the spacers were usually solid color plastic before World War II, and marbleized plastic after the war. As with all rods, the most recent H-I products are most commonly seen.
Simple Goat Herder
Former NGTO President
Hall of Fame Member
Last edited by Buck Henry; 04-20-08 at 08:56 AM.