You can count the number of 7630 slide band Premier’s on one hand… This ultra-rare 4th Era Premier was the top of the Granger line before the Registered appeared in 1939. The Goodwin Granger Premier 7630 was made in this configuration for only about 4 years. This particular rod can be seen in the large photo on pg. 210 of “Goodwin Granger The Rod Man From Denver” by Michael Sinclair.
The Premier grade was known for its simplicity (no trim wraps) to cut as much weight as possible for tournament casting. The Premier grade comprised just 2% or less of Granger’s production each year. The 7630 was also the shortest and lightest rod available in the Granger lineup until 1938. The 7630 taper is buttery smooth with a DT 4wt silk line.
This GP7630 was beautifully restored in 2012 by Scott Whitman. All sections are full length and straight. The gold wraps are beautiful and show the usual Granger “casting cracks” at the ferrules. All ferrules are perfectly sound and separate with a pleasant pop. The cane (all from from the same culm) is a warm caramel color and represents some of the finest of any Granger. The sliding band nickel silver reel seat states: “Granger Premier” cleanly stamped between two incised lines at the top and “Made By / Goodwin Granger Company / Denver” below that. Original line guides and tip tops (with patent dates) are chromium plated steel. Original chromium plated stripper guide. New Coke bottle grip created with the same specs as the original was applied in March 2013 by Mike Clark of South Creek Ltd. Nickel silver ferrules. Replacement olive bag and original aluminum tube (with reproduction label).
The 4th era 1931 Catalog (pictured below) shows the Goodwin Granger Premier 7630 as one of nine models offered that year. Also available were the 8040, 8642, 9043, 9050, 9652, 9653, 9660, and 1062.
ABOUT THE GRANGER PREMIER
The Granger Premier grade was first introduced in the 1st Era along with the DeLuxe and the Special. The first recorded mention of the Premier appears in Granger’s 1922 advertisements. Premier rods from the 1st Era have varying signature wrap patterns and guides are wound in black & white jasper tipped in gold plus 3 additional gold bands (like the later DeLuxe rods.)
The Premier grade name disappeared in the 2nd and 3rd Eras, but was revived in 1930 as the highest grade available. The 1931 Catalog describes the Premier this way:
“The Granger Premier is the finest rod we build. Its perfect balance, quick action, and maximum power per ounce or weight, satisfy the most exacting fisherman. the colorful beauty of its golden-brown finish, and the obvious quality of workmanship and materials win your instant admiration.”
Goodwin Granger Premier rods of the 4th Era were available in 7 1/2′ to 10′ lengths (3 oz. to 6.5oz.) and priced at $50. Tournament models were available in 9′ and 9.5′ lengths. Each was outfitted with a sliding band reel seat with “GRANGER PREMIER” inscribed between two knurled bands. Grips were Coke Bottle shaped. Windings were simple—single gold wraps with no trim.
Changes to the Premier rods in the 5th Era included the new uplocking reel seat and a Western (Reverse Half-wells) style grip.
The Premier remained the top grade in the Granger lineup until the introduction of the Registered in the 1939 Catalog. Production of the Goodwin Granger Premier grade lasted until the company closed its doors during WWII in 1941.
Wright & McGill Rod Co. purchased Granger Rods in 1946 and resumed production of the Premier grade beginning with the 1947 Catalog. It was offered in 7.5′ to 9.5′ lengths (3.75 oz. to 6.0oz.) and priced at $75. Interestingly, the 1947 W&M Catalog also shows two 9′ Tournament models offered in the Premier grade. The Premier made its final appearance in the 1952 W&M Catalog.
GOODWIN GRANGER ADVERTISING IN THE 4TH ERA (1930 – 1933)
Goodwin Granger advertisements of the 4th Era reflect a change in style and format. The earliest ads from 1930—and supported by the 1931 Goodwin Granger Catalog—introduce radical changes to the names of the Granger grades. The Denver Special and Colorado Special were replaced with simply a “Special”, The Goodwin Rod was renamed the “Favorite”, The Granger Rod was renamed the “DeLuxe”, and the former Tournament Grade became known as the “Premier”.
Ads from 1931 introduced a new writing style that describes how “YOU”—the buyer—will get the most out of “YOUR” Granger Rod. Prices range from $10 to $55 for a Premier Tournament Rod.
Ads from 1932 are the first of the smaller size—likely to save on cost. These ads also reflect a change in design style from previous ads. As far as we can tell, these are the firsts ad that use illustrations of people that a viewer may identify with.
To date, we have found no ads from 1933. The reason for this remains unclear.
All ads list “GOODWIN GRANGER COMPANY” as the business entity and the address is consistent at Grant St, Denver, Colo.
You might notice that a different street number was assigned to each publication on all Granger ads. This was done to accurately track the responses for the same ad across different publications.