(EDIT: since I published this entry I stumbled upon an online auction site (not EBay) that had a very similar rod listed. Instead of a pack rod it was a two piece rod (model 8220), but everything else about it rang very familiar, down to the color of the blank and wraps as well as the style of grip. Unfortunately this auction had ended recently (the rod sold for a paltry $50!). Photos from that auction are posted at the end of this entry for reference.)
Been a while it has since last I scribed an entry. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or so it goes. Or, maybe not. For anyone who still reads this blog, I’d like to request your help in locating a specific fly rod, my first fly rod. It was gifted to me in about 1974 or 1975 by the friend of my dad, who was a gonzo fly fisherman. His wife worked at Eddie Bauer back when Eddie Bauer actually produced outdoor gear such as camping and backpacking equipment as well as fly fishing gear. The rods that he gifted my brother and I were Eddie Bauer branded, though obviously made by another rod manufacturer. Maybe Orvis?
I dunno. It was either a 7’ or 7-1/2 foot spin-fly combo pack rod. The cork grip was full length without a reel seat. The retainer rings for the reel foot could be slid forward or aft depending on the style of reel and fishing to be done at the time. The blank was likely fiberglass and was a either a dark maroon or brown—I can’t recall at this time. I don’t recall a weight designation. It came with a nice aluminum tube, somewhere upon which was my name, neatly engraved by my mother, using her Dremel tool. I have no photos of the rod, just memories that are more fleeting with each passing year. Back in the day I had the rod paired with a Cortland Crown reel (I have since located and acquired an identical reel, but it needs the old rod to be complete).
The last time I used the rod was on a family boating/camping trip on Lake Roosevelt in eastern Washington in 2002. I unintentionally left it behind at a campsite one night, and by the time I realized it was missing, it was too far to go back and search for it. I’m sure someone found the rod, but no attempt was ever made to return it to me. None that I am aware of, anyway.
In this day and age where, in the deep bowels of the internet one can find most anything, finding a similar rod has proven futile. I’ve performed many a Google search, most often turning up nothing. Any hopeful leads have always resulted in an old listing that has long since been closed, or a forum discussion that yields no definitive information. The fact that I am not even sure what model rod I am looking for makes the search even more challenging. To date the following has been the most promising, but I was never been able to confirm as it was an old listing on some obscure website that doesn’t exist by someone masquerading as be Jim Bridger (the famous mountain man). Bridger died in 1881 so I know it wasn’t really him.
If you know or can dredge up the whereabouts or hear of a such a rod, please let me know (there’s a finder’s fee for you). To summarize, it’s an Eddie Bauer Pack Rod, Spin-Fly combo, 7.5 ft fiberglass rod from the mid-1970’s era. Quite possibly a model #8238.
The following photos are of the auction rod I mentioned at the top of this entry.
Help a brother out in his quest for a needle in a haystack. Like bigfoot, there must be one out there, somewhere.