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Old 05-02-2009, 09:56 AM
FRW FRW is offline
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Default Heddon vs South Bend

Hope to get some insight here on something. I am currently looking at two rods on Ebay. One is a 9 ft Heddon model 20 5/6 wght., the other is a 9ft SB either a model 323, 23, 346 or 46 the guy's not sure which in a 6 wght. The 300's seem to be for dry flies and the others for wets, I'll admit I don't understand that at all. I am buying the rod to fish bigger water in Michigan. I will still be using size 10-18 dry flies, 10-14 wets and small to medium streamers. We usually have to deal with some wind when we are up there. The prices are pretty similar. For those who know more about these vintage rods than I do which would be the best value in terms of build quality and castibility. They seem to be pretty close in terms of condition.

I have read a lot about the older bamboo rods and there seems to be a great divergence of opinion about these makes. Some of it may be snob appeal, i.e, the SB being a "production" make. I ran into that in the double barrel shotgun crowd. There also seems to be a big divergence in the opinion of Heddon's based on model number. Any help would be appreciated

I presently have a 7ft, 4 wght boo that I love and bring with me to the Park when I come, but I need something a little bigger on the Manistee and Au Sable.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2009, 07:02 PM
canerod canerod is offline
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Hi FRW drop me a line at mmfarm@ccvn.com dave
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:32 PM
Arctic Grayling Arctic Grayling is offline
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The rankings of the production rods usually rank Heddon rods above South Bend rods. The Heddon #20 is usually considered to be a pretty good rod, one which I would like to have.

Having said that, I do have an 8'6" South Bend #346 and it is a very nice rod that is very enjoyable to fish.

If the Heddon is a Stanley Favorite is should be worth much more than an unmarked model according to one ten year old buying guide I have here. The dated guide shows the Heddon average price to be $30 more than the South Bend.

I have several nine foot Grangers so I'm usually looking for shorter rods. If I had a choice between two rods in similar condition for the same price, I would choose the Heddon, especially if it was a #20 and probably a #14 too. But I would not be unhappy if I had to settle for a SB #323 or #346.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:56 PM
FRW FRW is offline
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AG, thanks that is the type of info I was looking for. I had no idea there were so many bamboo rod makers back in the day. All I am looking for is a serviceable rod for those times when we make the trip to MI. I have talked to some local fly shop people and they turn their noses up when you talk about any of the "production" rod makers. I find this interesting since they all sell "production" graphite rods of various qualities. Just to take this to another level what do you think about Montagues if you have an opinion. You see a lot of those also.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:21 AM
Arctic Grayling Arctic Grayling is offline
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Generally I think that most people consider the Montague rods to be on the lower end in quality for vintage production rods, although some of their models are more respected than othere.

Some of the finest vintage rods such as Payne and Young rods were actually production rods as are current day rod by companies such as Winston and Sweetgrass.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:33 AM
Tentwing Tentwing is offline
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Most of the 300 series Southbends were considered to be Bass rods. However most have lost a little over the years and do quite a nice job with a modern 5/6WF line. My Southbends (unrestored) dont seem to lose as much of their punch as some of the higher end production rods,. I have always atributed this to the fact that in the butt sections they are usually heavier than their higher end counter parts.

As for the Bill Stanley Favorite model #20 Heddon If it is a #2 ferrule in would be a true 5 weight , and most will also cast a 4WF as all classic era rods tend to lose a little over time unless they have had a recent restoration. A quality restoration job with modern varnishes or polyurethanes tends to tighten them up and restore some of the power lost over the last 50+ years. If its a # 2 & 1/2 ferrule then it would be a solid 6wf. A solid 2 & 1/2 ferrule works great as a big river rod

As for the quality issue you could argue that it is in the eye of the beholder I personally own and love both brands. With that being said the only rod in the Southbend line that would be of comparable quality to Heddon would be the Southbend #290, and even the wonderful #290's aren't in the same league as the higher end Heddons.

Now if you were talking about a Heddon #35 or a #50 then they are clearly high quality rods. Both of my #50's are the superior to all of my classic and neo classic era production rods (that includes my Grangers, F.E. Thomas' and my Leonards) Only my Wes Jordan gives them a run for their money. Hope i didn't offend any fans of the above makers cause really I love those rods too.

Hope some of my rambling helps, ...........Tentwing

Last edited by Tentwing; 05-04-2009 at 10:25 AM..
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