This GP8040 “Premier” is in Excellent+ condition. Beautiful, deep ammonia treated cane with 3×3 nodes. Cut from the same culm. Wrapped in yellow-gold silk thread. The varnish is in excellent condition showing little signs of use. All sections are original, full length and straight. German nickel silver ferrules. Excellent western cork grip. Perfection chromium plated pear shape tip-top guides have a lot of their original varnish suggesting limited use. Chromium plated hardened steel butt guide. Patented W&M Granger up-locking nickel silver reel seat stamped: “April 12th, 1938, Pat.No.2.114.107. MADE By WRIGHT & MCGILL ROD CO., DENVER, COLO. U.S.A.” Comes with original tan cloth bag and original Burgundy aluminum tube (90% label).
The 1948 Catalog (pictured below) shows the Wright & McGill Granger Premier 8040 as one of six models offered that year. Also available were models 7633, 8642, 9050, 9053 and 9660. Premier rods were also offered in Tournament rods in 9050 and 9053 models until 1950.
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.
WRIGHT & MCGILL ADVERTISING IN THE LATE 1940’S
Wright & McGill began to advertise their newly-acquired Granger Rods beginning in August of 1947. This first Ad (Outdoor Life) states that rods will be “SOON AVAILABLE in Limited Quantities”. Evidence suggests that rods were finally available in “late 1947” corresponding with the release of the 1947 W&M Granger Rods Catalog.
This was followed in September 1947 (Field & Stream) with the tagline: “The ONE ROD Most Fishermen Aspire to Own”.
Both 1947 Ads show the W&M address as Forest Drive at Grant, Denver Colorado.
We believe that in 1948, Wright & McGill chose to spend it’s advertising dollars on Eagle Claw Hooks and W&M Lures as we have yet to discover any specific ads for Granger Rods.
1949 saw the reemergence of advertising dedicated specifically to Granger Rods with tall, 2-color tower ads. The 1949 W&M Catalog (“booklet”) is pictured on the bottom featuring actor Dennis Morgan. The W&M address is now changed to Capital Hill Station, Denver, Colorado.