Just another guy trying to ID a rod blank! Truline and possible Sabre Grafast in honey

BBLDarkStar

I'll fish next to you while you get bit
Aug 13, 2015
125
68
Redlands
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Randy Champion
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Tyrant Flycatcher
Hi guys,

Looking for help to identify a couple rods, please!

I would be very appreciative of any help anyone can give me with this. I have hit several dead ends while researching to the point that I can't remember what I've read and what I haven't read

I'm having trouble finding any info on a custom wrapped Truline that I found at a consignment store locally here in Redlands, CA. The rod was wrapped with cork take up to and through the reel seat (clamp only seat) and hypalon for the fore grip. I stripped the old cork tape and whipped it with paracord (for more diameter) then put x-wrap shrink tubing over the cord.

Has a very whippy tip and light action. Like a perfect albacore stick for flipping chovies. Very parabolic all the way into the fore grip.

Blank material: glass, I believe, although it's very thin walled
Blank color: root beer
Length: 78" (6' 6")
Butt OD: just over 5/8" (21/32" or so)
Butt wall thickness: a hair over 1/32"
Butt ID: just under 9/16"
Tip OD: 1/8"

The only identification on the wrap is "Truline FW"
"Harry"
"Custom built by Harry"

Second rod is pretty light in the tip, but with a fast action and plenty of backbone as soon as the tip shuts down. Like a 20# tip with a 60# spine.

Blank material: looks like honey colored glass to me, but covered with a thin sheet of semi transparent green fabric from the base to about halfway up the rod. The closest I can find to it is the few pictures of honey colored Sabre Grafast rods I can find. I haven't found any great pictures and now I know why. It's tough to get a picture of the subtle green overlay on the blank. To much light and it gets washed out in the picture.

Blank color: honey with green overlay on bottom half of blank
Length: 71" (5' 11")
Butt OD: 3/4"
Butt ID: 1/2"
Butt wall thickness: 1/8"
Tip OD: 1/8"

Rod was wrapped by LeRoy Belardes for a family friend that recently passed. Unlike every other rod that I've seen wrapped by LeRoy, this one has no writing on it to identify the blank, line test range, etc...

Does anybody know of any lists of Sabre blank models and specs? It seems those are hard to come by for most rod manufacturers prior to the 90s except Fenwick. I would feel pretty comfortable fishing anything from 25-60 based on the feel of it.

Thank you in advance for looking and any info you can give me.

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plj46

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Jan 7, 2008
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The Truline should have some sort of ID on the blank near the butt end.You didn't notice anything before you wrapped the cord ?
 
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BBLDarkStar

I'll fish next to you while you get bit
Aug 13, 2015
125
68
Redlands
Name
Randy Champion
Boat
Tyrant Flycatcher
The Truline should have some sort of ID on the blank near the butt end.You didn't notice anything before you wrapped the cord ?

There was so much residue from the cork tape adhesive that I didn't see anything. I might have to cut off the x wrap and unwrap some cord to see if I can clean up the blank enough to see anything. Any idea what the blanks were marked with and whether or not it would survive me trying to clean the cork tape adhesive off with some denatured alcohol?
 
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BBLDarkStar

I'll fish next to you while you get bit
Aug 13, 2015
125
68
Redlands
Name
Randy Champion
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Tyrant Flycatcher
The Tru line may be a VL. The second rod may be a Contender

The Contenders were a Shakespeare blank, right? That would make sense because this friend had at least one other Contender in his quiver.
 
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BBLDarkStar

I'll fish next to you while you get bit
Aug 13, 2015
125
68
Redlands
Name
Randy Champion
Boat
Tyrant Flycatcher
You may also find four numbers. Then its a Kennedy Fisher.

So Kennedy Fisher and Contender both had some similar blanks to the Grafast where you could see a different color of fabric laid over the honey colored majority of the material?
 
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mike mitchell

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Jul 25, 2017
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No. The rod marked as a Tru Line would be a Kennedy Fisher if you find 4 numbers. The different material is graphite.
 
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plj46

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Jan 7, 2008
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There was so much residue from the cork tape adhesive that I didn't see anything. I might have to cut off the x wrap and unwrap some cord to see if I can clean up the blank enough to see anything. Any idea what the blanks were marked with and whether or not it would survive me trying to clean the cork tape adhesive off with some denatured alcohol?
Usually marked with a black felt pen.Try scraping most of the residue before wiping anything with a solvent.You should be able to see something.
 
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Mtnfshr

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So Kennedy Fisher and Contender both had some similar blanks to the Grafast where you could see a different color of fabric laid over the honey colored majority of the material?

I can't speak to the JKF blanks. I only recall seeing their fiberglass blanks. And any of their rods or blanks I would run across here in Denver, are FW or flyrod stuff.

I think the Contender rods were made by Shakespeare. I can't say with any certainty though. I don't recall the blanks being available for sale. I have a couple of Contender rods, picked up at yard sales,etc. They are great rods. Just heavy for what they are. I may strip them down and rebuild them some day. The blanks themselves are quite similar in appearance to your "Grafast" rod. Several companies in that era put out similar blanks. Fenwick had their line of Crankingstik rods and blanks for the FW crowd looking for rods to fish crankbaits. They needed a softer tip to keep the treble hooks from pulling on bass. As I recall, I think they used S-glass. Their Pacificstik Royales were similar. I still have a 270 blank in that series. Great rods! Fenwick had input from Yo Yoshida himself, along with Terry Randall, and one other, on those blanks.
 
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swami 805

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Mar 9, 2016
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That yellow glass looks like a contender. I thought Contender started out by themselves and were bought out by Shakespeare, the quality dropped off after that, kind of like what happened to Sabre. I still have a couple,nice rods.
 
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Mtnfshr

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You could be right. Yeah, when one company acquires another, quality typically goes downhill. In many cases, it's due to changes in the new companies management style, company policies, etc. The good employees bail, leaving lesser qualified people behind to fill their shoes.
Sabre's QC towards the end really fell off...
 
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Mtnfshr

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As I said before, I don't recall anyone ever selling Contender blanks. Contender rods weren't manufactured with Varmac or Lakeland chromed brass reel seats. They typically had Fuji or Aftco, maybe Pac Bay seats. I have a Contender rod that actually has what appears to be an Aftco, or PacBay seat with a Dymondwood insert. I'll try to post pics tomorrow.
 
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swami 805

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Funny, the shop I went to only had contender blanks, no built rods. I built a couple dozen when I first started wrapping. I still have a few of them, an 8' I still use. The OG factory rods were very well built with good components and nice wrap jobs.
 
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swami 805

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It was a shop in LA, also had them in Santa Barbara when I moved here
 
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Mtnfshr

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Both of my Contenders to show the flags and transition.
The first shot of the seat shows the Dymondwood insert if I recall, Clemens Custom Tackle sold those for a year or two. Or was it Bullard? I don't remember...😆 I had a rough 70s and 80s.

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2nakiller

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Looking at my contender, it’s graphite section is pretty black, the rod in the op‘s looks more like one of the early Sabre half graphite models More greenish.
mine is from Goleta, Ed’s Rodcrafting shop, he sold Contender blanks, this one is a 197 cut down
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SMYLEE

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Mar 9, 2011
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""
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I have a 30# factory wrapped contender and I absolutely love it for dragging featheres. It's held up well even tho its softer now! Great rods!
 
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