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Old 05-04-08, 09:13 AM   #1
Buck Henry
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Default Classic Cane History: Wright & McGill

This is the eleventh installment in the NGTO classic cane history series. This week, we head back out west again take a look at another well known Colorodo based rod company; the Wright and McGill Rod Company.

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.

Wright & McGill Rod Company
Shortly after World War II, the Wright & McGill Co. of Denver, Colorado, acquired the Goodwin Granger Co. Wright & McGill had been in the tackle business since the 1920's, but had never produced rods. The Wright & McGill Rod Company was formed in 1946, and rehired many former Granger employees as well as many new employees to meet the post-war demand. The first year, there were no changes in the rods themselves. All Granger rods built by Wright & McGill Rod Co. were clearly marked and were referred to as Wright & McGill Granger Rods, not Wright & McGill Rods. From the very beginning of the rod company, the patented internal uplock reel seat used on all rods was stamped Wright & McGill Rod Co. and the Wright & McGill name was applied to the rod shaft two flats above the Granger model name.



Production of Wright & McGill bamboo rods eventually reached between two and three times the number of rods produced annually by the Granger Co. In 1947 W&M began to make changes. The Champion model was dropped and replaced by the Stream and Lake. Other changes by W&M were simply cosmetic, but can be used to help tell the earlier rods from the later ones. At some point, probably about 1951, the rod shaft markings were changed. The direction of the lettering was reversed so that it read toward the grip, rather than away from the grip. Also, the rubber stamp was changed to a heavier and larger script which made the marking much easier to read.

The straight-walled, drawn ferrules on WM rods have two narrow incised bands near the base of the ferrule and a wide angular welt. The base of their well-made ferrules was not serrated but was thinner and covered by wraps. They are similar to the ferrules on Goodwin Granger rods except the welt is more sharply angled on W & M rods.



The only major addition by the Wright & McGill Rod Co. came in 1952 with introduction of the impregnated series of Water Seal rods. The company called the impregnated bamboo for these rods Densified Cane. This was the only bamboo rod model marketed by Wright & McGill that was not called a Granger rod. Water Seal rods were produced in two grades, the F. A. and the less expensive F. B. 1952 was the last year bamboo rod blanks were produced by the Wright & McGill Rod Co. There were still bamboo rods cataloged in 1953 on a limited basis, and bamboo rods were available during 1954 in limited lengths and weights, by special order only. Water Seal rods were available for several more years, in fact, as late as 1960.

Interesting Footnote: The Granger Registered rods were the epitome of the rod makers craft in Colorado, and the one model that represents all three major Colorado companies. The Registered rod was designed by Bill Phillipson, produced first by Goodwin Granger Company and later by Wright & McGill Rod Co. The special features that set the Registered rods apart from all others include a serial number on each rod, white trim wraps at both ends of the black wraps, chrome plated internal up locking reel seat rather than the normal nickel silver type, and a hook keeper. They were the only Granger rods fitted by the factory with a hook keeper. The serial numbers ran consecutively from the first one built until they were discontinued in 1953. The first four digits of each serial number are the year the rod was built and the remaining numbers are the chronological number of the rod; numbering did not start over each year. No company records exist of exactly how many Registered rods were manufactured, but based on serial numbers of rods we have inspected, it appears fewer than 400 were built. Each rod came in a black bag and a black tube with an inscribed medallion attached to the tube. The tubes for Registered rods were aluminum for all years except 1942, when World War II forced a switch to plastic tubes.
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Old 05-04-08, 01:02 PM   #2
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Default Hey Buck,

What are the defineing differences in the "Waterseal" FA & FB grades? I'm thinking the length had something to do w/ it. Got a pretty good example of the rod, but don't know what grade. TRW
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Old 05-04-08, 05:45 PM   #3
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Tom,

I do not know the specifics, but the higher grade rod was built with nicer hardware, etc. Both grades used the same impregnated blanks. Kind of like how Orvis did with their Battenkill versus Madison versions of their boo rods.
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