ABOUT THE PHILLIPSON SMUGGLER
The Smuggler (as the name suggests) was designed as the ultimate travel/pack rod. It was only produced for a single year (1952) and in one size (7′ 8″ – 4.75oz) making it a very rare model. The Smuggler was only offered as a 4 piece rod with a single tip.
The 1952 Catalog describes the Smuggler this way:
A fine economical fly rod easy to smuggle into your suitcase for light, fast traveling—prefect for week-end fishing while on business trips.
It continues with; “Made in one model only, 7 ft. 8 in.., 4 3/4 ounces. A four-piece rod, with each section only 23 1/2 inches long. Made of good grade Tonkin butt cane. Round Welsh split jar cork grip. Aluminum anodized reel seat. Hard drawn nickel silver ferrules. Guaranteed waterproof “neverbreak” glue joints. Waldic black butt guide. Perfection snake guides and tip tops. Wrapped with green nylon tipped with black. Perfect action, perfect balance, uses HDH or HCF line. A fly rod that can be used for most any kind of fishing. Packed in 24-inch aluminum case.”
In 1953, the bamboo embargo had a dramatic effect on the availability of Tonkin Cane and Phillipson began the transition to impregnated bamboo and fiberglass rods. The Smuggler does appear in a couple of trade catalogs (1953 A&F and 1954 VL&A) to presumably clear out inventory.