from Deanna Travis

FlyAnglers Online

Publisher & Owner



August 1, 2011

You may have noticed a particular listing on the For Sale section of our very well read Bulletin Board. The listing is FAOL Equipment Sale. Before you start any rumors forming in the back of your conspiracy-theory fisherman's mind, we have decided we just have too much stuff and fly rods and reels fall into that slot. No other thoughts at all. 

We're running out of room - we donated about a thousand fly fishing books to the college library in Bozeman as well last summer. Some were 'doubles' caused by combining two households where people are serious anglers, and others weren't of particular interest to either of us. Some books which I had used for research found a home at Trav's nephew Tom Travis' library. All in all it was a very satisfactory way to dispose of them.

We have kept some rods which we use locally here in Montana, but it's pretty clear that I'm not going to be doing any saltwater fishing with big rods. My doctor here is recommending a surgical procedure called 'total shoulder replacement' for my right shoulder. No guarantee of course and about a year for recovery. The other problem is my left shoulder isn't much better except it hasn't had any surgery. I'm not complaining, I've outlasted my warrantee, just worn out most of the moving parts.

Besides, it seems just wrong to have stacks of rods in closets which aren't going to see the light of day for who knows how long. I would much prefer they be used - and moreover to be owned by people we know (well sort of known if they go to people from FAOL.)

The rods which have been fished have been taken care of. We are careful with our rods and reels as well. If reels were used in salt, including ones especially made for saltwater use, they were rinsed, cleaned, dried and oiled if necessary.

Some rods were never fished at all, just too many rods, too little time. Especially interesting and very fine rods include the saltwater Hardy Angel (Smuggler version) and the matching reel - this combination actually made the last trip of myself and the late JC to the Bahamas for Bonefish. He died before he could fish it. I don't think the plastic was even removed from the grip.

Another special Hardy, the Perfection is a fiberglass rod which we both discovered at a Bamboo Fair in Sisters, OR on the Metolius River. This is a very smooth casting, but yes, a slow beautiful rod. In mint condition, it didn't make the Bahamas trip, but it did make it to Livingston MT.

I have some very nice memories of acquiring the collection of rods and reels - and of fishing some. The Sage saltwater rods are work-horses and if you are fishing for bonz, tarpon or permit they are the ones to get the cast out where you need it to be. Again, we took very good care of our gear - rods were cleaned after saltwater use as well. That really is an easy job, just take the rod and reel into the shower with you at the end of the day.  Piece of cake.

My husband Trav struggled with how to price the gear. He checked a couple of manufacturers web sites as well as some "used" sources and decided instead of pricing everything it might be better to let interested folks drop him an email with what they thought was a fair price. We realize the economy sucks, so if the gear doesn't sell we may hold it until a later date, or list some of it on Ebay. Take a look and let us know if you see something you would like to buy.

When we first talked about downsizing the amount of gear we have, I told Trav I would like to see it go to folks who would fish it, and preferably folks we know. There are a couple of fly shops which might have taken it, or I could have sold it outright to a dealer like Carmine Lisella (who was a Sponsor here at one time.) And frankly if I ever decide to sell my cane rods I may go that route, but I would still prefer that FAOL people have it.

We made a lot of memories with some of that gear. The late JC (Castwell) was very fond of fine rods - even if he didn't ever fish them - he did appreciate what we had. I have said this before and I'll repeat it here, the Gatti rods are the smoothest casting rods I've ever had the pleasure of casting - and fishing.  A gentleman who does fly casting for movies uses a Gatti rod - and when I asked him why he said, "because they make me look better than I am."

So that's the story, I hope those who purchase the rods and reels enjoy just having them - but I truly hope they get out and fish them. Make some memories with them.

 ~ LadyFisher

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