Vintage & Classic Rods & Reels by Orvis and Other Great Makers
We offer vintage and classic fly fishing rods, specializing in bamboo rods produced by Orvis but also offering rods by other quality makers including Phillipson, Hardy, Granger, Leonard, and Wright & McGill. These are beautiful, quality fly rods that do not cost a fortune. You can fish with them just like your father or grandfather did, or use them as period furnishings in your home, cabin or restaurant. Why not fish with a classic, functional rod from an earlier era?
Why vintage and classic fishing rods? New fly anglers are usually not aware of one fact; the graphite rods their friends fish with behave differently than bamboo rods. Bamboo rods have slower actions than graphite. A graphite angler may tell you how bad bamboo rods are, while anyone who has fished with both will sing the praises of the bamboo rods. There is a good reason why Orvis has been making bamboo rods continuously for over 150 years.
With all of the graphite fly rods available these days, why do we specialize in vintage and classic bamboo rods? Why, after the introduction of fiberglass, steel, boron, and graphite rods, are bamboo rods still so popular? Partly due to nostalgia for sure. Did your father or grandfather fish with a bamboo rod? Many people purchase vintage and classic bamboo rods because they remember them from their youth.
Maybe due to their uniqueness. Go out fishing with a bamboo rod and you will definitely attract attention.
Partly due to aesthetics. No rod looks nicer than a beautiful bamboo with colorful windings. Similar to a fine wood desk that has taken on a patina after years of use, an heirloom bamboo rod has character. Graphite or fiberglass cannot reproduce the warmth and depth of bamboo, particularly on a rod that has been used and cherished for many years.
And partly due to the way bamboo fishes. Bamboo rods are slower. They make you relax and enjoy the experience.
But there is something else at play here. Unlike all other rod types, bamboo was once a living organism. It begins life as a stalk of grass, growing rapidly until it is harvested, dried, split, and glued into a fine fishing instrument. Sure, graphite rods can be produced faster and in greater quantities for lower cost, but doesn't something go missing in the process?
Some people believe that the bamboo in a rod is still alive, that it carries with it the soul of its maker, just like a finely crafted Samurai sword. They believe that if the craftsman of a fine sword goes into battle with the soldier, then the spirit of a bamboo rod maker must accompany the angler to the river.
Others believe that a bamboo rod communicates with them. No other rod type gives feedback to the angler quite like bamboo. Cast a good bamboo rod and you can feel every bit of pressure that the line exerts on the back cast, and every slight strike on the fly. You know exactly when to bring the rod forward, and you cast better as a result. Plus, you will land more fish due to bamboo's sensitivity to strikes.
In addition to vintage and classic fly rods, many enthusiasts have collections of fly reels and other tackle, and many anglers still use vintage and classic reels as their everyday reels. The fact that so many are still fishable today is testimony to their quality. We offer vintage and classic reels from great makers including Hardy, Orvis, and others. These reels look great on a vintage or classic fly fishing rod and will offer many more years of reliable service.
Our vintage and classic fly fishing tackle also includes fly boxes and wallets, fly tying kits, and landing nets. These classic offerings can complement your vintage and classic rods and be the perfect addition to your fly fishing collection or furnishings in your home, office or restaurant. They are great conversation starters!
Many people own vintage and classic fly fishing rods that need restoration. Don't let your father's treasured bamboo rod deteriorate in the garage. Whether it needs a complete restoration or just a few replacement windings or guides, let us bring your rod back to its original beauty and functionality. Send us your rod for an analysis of its condition and cost for restoration.
We can also appraise your vintage and classic fly fishing rods and reels to determine their history, age and approximate value. This is useful if you are considering restoring or selling them but can also be quite interesting if you just want know more about them. Find out if you have a $50 wall hanger or a $5000 treasure!
We charge a small fee for appraisals. If we purchase your tackle from you we will credit the appraisal fee back to you.
Colorado Vintage Fly Fishing was started by Craig Haney in 2017 after a career in architecture specializing in historic restoration. Working in the field of architecture gave him an appreciation for well-designed objects, and fishing with his father and grandfather as a boy exposed him to the art of fly angling. Restoring vintage and classic rods and reels allows him to work with the historical objects that he loves while still having time to enjoy the sport himself!