This all original Wright & McGill Granger Registered RX9660 is inscribed with serial number 1952392. The serial number signifies that this particular rod—crafted in 1952—was the 392nd Registered sequentially made between 1939 and 1952. Total Registered production during that period was less than 400 rods.
Len Codella’s Description: This is Granger’s Highest quality rod model. A few less than 400 of these rods were made in the Company’s entire history. Words like rare and scarce do not truly convey the nearly total absence of these rods from the marketplace. Actually seeing one or two of these in a lifetime is about all the collector can hope for. Registered models were built from the same culm of bamboo according to the 1941 Granger catalog.
This rod was professionally restored by Steve Blake in 1995 following the original specifications throughout and barely touched since. Western Style Half Wells grip. The Registered rod was the only Granger model to ever be fitted with a fly keeper. This rod was built in 1952 and is serial number 392, nearly the last of the breed. Includes a replacement rod bag and the original Nickel trimmed and properly marked black aluminum rod case. Over its entire history, Granger actually built very few 9-1/2′ rods, making this example a doubly rare size. It is likely one of surely only a couple of 9.5′ Registered rods in existence. Tremendously gratifying heavier line rod with a smooth and pleasant action to cast. Perhaps the best production rod ever built in nice, restored to original, condition. This is the most difficult of all the Granger rod models to acquire and one worth all the sweat.
The black rod tube is original and the engraved silver medallion reads: “Granger Registered, RX9660, Length 9½ Ft., Weight 6 oz., Wright & McGill Rod Co., Denver, CO”. The bag is a new reproduction crafted by SCL in black silk to match the original.
The 1952 Catalog (pictured below) shows the Wright & McGill Granger Registered 9660 as one of only four models offered that year. Also available were models 8642, 9050 and 9053. — Take note that the 7030, 7633 and 8040 models were no longer available after 1951.
ABOUT THE GRANGER REGISTERED
The Granger Registered was first offered for sale by Goodwin Granger Company in the 1939 Catalog. Each rod was “registered” to the original owner by a card that was stored at the Granger factory. The card contained the owner’s name, address, purchase date and rod serial number. The 1939 Catalog describes the Registered this way:
“Think of the finest automobile you can name; the finest grand piano; the greatest violin ever made by the hand of man. Think of the imperishable work of master craftsmen—and then look at this Granger Registered Fly Rod. Examine the lucent golden color of its cane. Note the rich beauty of its black and silver windings, and the clean hard efficiency of chromium on guides, ferrules, tip-top and reel seat. Then put the rod together and take it in your casting hand. Feel the brave, sturdy heart of it—the delicate balance, sensitiveness and action. Take it to a fishing stream and match it against whatever fish you will; watch it come through with its black and silver colors flying—the greatest fly rod of them all!”
Serial numbers for all Registered rods begin with the year they were produced (first 4 digits) followed by the consecutive build number (1 to less than 400). The first Registered would therefore be numbered 19391 and the last (known) would be 1952393.
From 1939 to the start of WWII, there were less than 70 Registered rods produced by Goodwin Granger. They were available in 7′ to 10′ lengths (3 oz. to 6.5oz.) and priced at $75. Because of the war, production of all Granger rods ceased so there are no serial numbers associated with those war years.
In 1946, Wright & McGill Rod Company purchased Granger Rods and later resumed production of the Registered grade. The Registered was listed in the 1947 Catalog at a cost of $100 and offered in 7′ to 9.5′ lengths (3 oz. to 6.0oz.). It last appeared in the 1952 Catalog. In 6 short years, Wright & McGill produced approximately 325 Registered grade rods.
In all, the Registered grade was only produced for a total of about 8 or 9 years with fewer than 400 produced—making it one of the rarest of fine cane fly rods.
Excerpts from Colorado Classic Cane by Dick Spurr and Michael Sinclair
“The Granger Registered rod was the epitome of the rod makers craft in Colorado, and the one model that represents all three major Colorado companies. The Registered rod was designed by Bill Phillipson, produced first by Goodwin Granger Company and later by Wright & McGill Rod Company.
The special features that set the Registered rods apart from all others include a serial number on each rod, white trim wraps at both ends of the black wraps, a chrome plated internal uplocking reel seat rather than the normal nickel silver type, and a hook keeper. They were the only Granger rods fitted by the factory with a hook keeper.
Each rod came in a black bag and a black tube with an inscribed medallion attached to the tube. The tubes for the Registered rods were aluminum for all years except 1942, when World War II forced a switch to plastic tubes.”
WRIGHT & MCGILL ADVERTISING IN THE EARLY 1950’S
In the early 50’s, Wright & McGill changed the style of their advertising to reflect the more diversified product portfolio. They also began to tell a story of the Granger heritage with the slogan, “for 40 years the World’s Best!”
The first ad in 1950 follows the same format as the 1950 W&M Catalog where each grade was listed along with the available lengths and prices (although the Stream & Lake grade was left out.)
Later in 1950, Wright & McGill created a large number of skyscraper ads in the same format so they could occupy a consistent space in a wide variety of sporting publications.
Advertising for 1951 followed a similar skyscraper format with the addition of the 1951 Catalog pictured along the bottom.
Interestingly, there was a single ad from 1951 that saw the return of actor Dennis Morgan as a spokesperson for W&M Fishing Tackle. Mr. Morgan graced the cover of earlier Granger Rods catalogs from 1947, 1948 and 1949.
All 1950 & 1951 ads show the W&M address as Capitol Hill Station, Denver Colo.