The Premium represents the top of the Phillipson bamboo rod line. The catalogs describe it as: “Perfect action, perfect balance, extreme sensitivity and tremendous power for every ounce of weight.”
This 8 1/2′ – 5 1/2oz Phillipson Premium “51” DFS (Dry Fly Special) is in Good condition. The Dry Fly Special was Phillipson’s ideal taper for casting large dry flies on “breezy”, Western rivers. This DFS has blued ferrules with cane that has a deep reddish color that’s richer and darker than many other Premiums. This one has had the male mid ferrule reset at some point and is now approximately 3/4″ short. The black anodized aluminum reel seat has some slight wear on the base, but is in great condition overall. The Phillipson “patent pending” elliptical grip is in excellent shape. Wrapped with pure black silk thread tipped with gold and black. Comes with non-original cloth bag and original bronze Phillipson aluminum tube (no label).
The “51” rods were marked as a reminder to Mrs. Granger and Agnes Marshall who reportedly told him, “You won’t last five years on your own.” In Phillipson’s 5th year in business—1951—Bill had some rods of each model marked “51” as a subtle way of saying, “It’s been five years, and I’m still here.” According to the employees this was an inside joke and that is why the “51” marked rods were never cataloged.”
The 1951 Catalog (pictured below) shows the Phillipson Premium 8 1/2′ – 5oz as one of eight models offered that year. Also available in 7′ 7.5′, 8′, 8.5′, 9′, 9′-6oz and 9.5′ lengths.
PHILLIPSON ADVERTISING IN THE EARLY 1950’S
Phillipson Rod and Tackle Co. ads in the early 1950’s followed a similar format the previous era, however there was one major change… The reel seats on the illustrated rods show the change from plastic to the “new all-metal ‘no-rock’ locking type reel seat”. This is also evidenced in the 1950 Catalog where 3 grades (Premium, Paramount and Powr Pakt) are listed with new aluminum reel seats.
This phase also represents a significant transition in rod design for Phillipson. With the weight savings derived from the reel seat swap, Bill Phillipson was able to add more power to the rods for the same overall weight. The earlier rods with plastic reel seats possess thinner tapers, whereas rods with the aluminum reel seats have enhanced swells in the butt section for added power.
Early 1950’s ads list the Phillipson address as High Street, Denver, Colorado.