0270: Heddon, Premier, Varnished 6-strip bamboo fly rod. 9', 2-3/4F, 3/2, 5-1/4 oz. for #7 line (GBG or C). Down-locking Black Pyralin (celluloid) reel seat with chrome finish hoods. "Pat.No.1807078" is stamped into the bright knurled locking nut. The 7" half-Wells shaped cork grip is in very good condition and provides a substantial feel. Japanned black finish ferrules, hardened-steel snake guides, and black SS stripper guide. Burnt-Gold silk wraps tipped black. Open wound hosel (winding check). No hook keeper - as issued.
All lettering is perfect. The "Heddon Premier" name runs straight up the shaft. The model data "#125 - 9'- 2 3/4F - GBG or C" runs straight up the shaft from the grip on the opposing single flat. Very good ferrule fit and all joints are the correct lengths. Both tip joints are brand new, new-old-stock replacements. The rod comes with its serviceable, original labeled Heddon four-section cloth bag. Supplied with a good aluminum case, missing the cap. However, a quality storage case is available.
There is an interesting mystery behind this particular rod. This 'Heddon Premier' has been marked as a model #125 at the factory. The 'Heddon #125' is listed as an "Expert". The 'Heddon Premier" is listed as model #115.
I have read critiques of this particular rod voiced by other restorers, collectors, and users dating from as far back as August 2010. Many have brushed this off as a fake. Some say that the handwriting must not be correct, or that it has been somehow modified after issue in an effort to create a "Expert #125" which generally commands a higher price.
I have several examples of the 'Heddon #125 Expert' with which to compare handwriting. I have many other Heddon models with which to do the same. I have photographed the lettering on this rod and enlarged the image to extreme detail in an effort to see if telltale marks, which could lead one to believe it has been altered, exist. No such evidence exists. Having collected, repaired, and refinished split bamboo fly rods for more than 25 years I am convinced that the lettering on this Heddon rod is legitimate and that this rod was 'mislabeled' at the factory. I will agree that Heddon produced and sold a model '#125 Premier', but it was not bamboo, being fiberglass instead.
The repair work I did was to rewrap all the guides on the mid section with silk; create two new tip joints from brand new old stock bamboo tip sections and re-glue the loose reel seat. I purposely left the butt joint undisturbed, save for a coat of varnish on the wraps alone, keeping the shaft varnish intact. I did this to preserve the integrity of the lettering and maintain the collectability aspect of this rod. I think that this mislabeled rod would be a significant addition to a high level Heddon collection. A rare collectible, despite the repairs which made it fully serviceable, due to the labeling error.
The two new replacement tip joints follow the same taper as the originals which where broken off at the second and third snake guides. The replacements are made up from brand new old stock bamboo with the guides properly positioned and wrapped with matching silk thread. The original guides were retained during refinishing with the mid, and both tip joints, receiving UV protective spar varnish. Upon request, I will include the two original broken tip joints with your purchase.
CALL FOR INPUT: If you know of another Heddon 'Premier' rod with this same labeling error, please CONTACT me with the information. Thank You!
If you are looking for a 'Heddon Premier' - one that may be unique - this "Mystery Rod" is for you. Both the "Premier" and The "Expert" were originally sold exclusively through Sears, Roebuck & Co. around 1947. Refinished, Excellent. Asking $425