ABOUT THE PHILLIPSON PREMIUM
The Premium represents the top grade in the Phillipson line. It was introduced as—and remained—the top grade from the very beginning of the Phillipson Rod & Tackle Co. in 1947 until the early 1950’s when the the bamboo embargo had a dramatic effect on the availability of Tonkin Cane.
As introduced in the 1947 -1948 Catalog, “This is the finest of all fishing rods. Perfect action, perfect balance, extreme sensitivity and tremendous power for every ounce of weight. It is a rod that will win the heart of the most particular angler who loves the very finest equipment.” Each Premium has the “exclusive Phillipson natural grip (patent pending)”—aka the Elliptical grip. Much like the Granger Registered, the Premium was available only as a Fly Rod—no Bait Casting or Spinning rods were ever offered in this grade.
Beginning in 1947, the first Premium’s were outfitted with “brown plastic and metal locking reel seats”. Ferrules were 18% black plated nickel silver. Perfection chrome plated butt guide and tip tops. Tungsten steel snake guides. Wraps were “pure black thread tipped gold”. Packed in cloth and plastic rod case.
Changes in listed in the 1949 Catalog were minor, the ferrules were no longer listed as black plated, but polished 18% nickel silver. Rod cases for 2-piece rods were changed to aluminum, while 3-piece rods remained in plastic.
Premium rods according to the 1950 Catalog brought the most significant change from a brown plastic reel seat to “black anodized aluminum locking reel seat”—a change that saved a tremendous amount of weight. Ferrules were cataloged again as 18% black nickel silver. All Premium rods were now packed with aluminum cases.
As noted in the 1951 Catalog, the wraps on all Premiums were changed to “pure black silk tipped with gold and black”. This year also marks the 5th year in business where rods were inked with a “51” after the grade name.
The only significant change listed in the 1952 Catalog is the switch from tungsten steel line guides to stainless steel. This was the final last year that varnished bamboo rods were listed in the catalogs, however, Phillipson continued to supply its dealers into 1954 until inventories were exhausted.