1952 - 1954


The last of the Phillipson varnished bamboo rods were made from 1952 – 1954.  This phase represents a significant transition in rod design for Phillipson. With the weight savings derived from the plastic-to-aluminum reel seat swap, Bill Phillipson was able to add more power to the rods for the same overall weight.  Plastic reel seats on the earlier rods were heavy.  To achieve a 7 foot 3 ounce rod, the taper had to be relatively thin. The same cataloged 7 foot 3 ounce rod with an aluminum reel seat has a noticeable swell in the butt section for added power at the same weight.*  These last varnished rods are the most powerful of all the Phillipson rods.

Rods in the lineup from the 1952 catalog included the following grades: Premium, Paramount, Powr Pakt, Pacemaker plus a new grade, the Smuggler, which was only offered for 1 year.

 The bamboo embargo of the early 1950’s had a dramatic effect on the availability of Tonkin Cane for all bamboo rod makers. That, along with the introduction of fiberglass rods in 1952, led Phillipson to transition out of bamboo although he continued to manufacture cane rods through 1954 until inventories were exhausted.

*Some grades switched to aluminum reel seats as early as 1950.

Rods in the collection