The Phillipson Smuggler was made for only 1 year—1952. The catalog states: “A fine economical fly rod easy to smuggle into your suitcase for light, fast traveling—perfect for week-end fishing while on business trips.
This 4/1 Phillipson Smuggler is in Excellent+ (likely Mint), all original condition. Ferrule sizes are: 19, 15 & 10.
All sections are straight and the 18% nickel silver ferrules separate cleanly. Perfect original varnish. Wraps are green nylon tipped in black. Green Aluminum anodized reel seat is in excellent condition. Round “Welsh” (Full Wells) split jar cork grip is clean and shows no wear. In fact, some of the plastic still appears on the top edge of the grip. Waldic black butt guide. Perfection snake and tip-top guides. Comes with original green cloth bag and original 24” aluminum tube with complete label.
The 1952 Catalog (pictured below) shows the Phillipson Smuggler 7′ 8″ – 4 3/4oz as the ONLY model offered.
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.
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.