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Looking For A Rod and Reel NOT Made in China

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  • Looking For A Rod and Reel NOT Made in China

    I haven't been fishing since I moved from PA 10 years ago, and I'd like to pick up a freshwater rod & spinning reel. I Live close to several well-stocked BOW.

    I'm no longer willing to look away from the country of manufacture to save money. I've searched pretty extensively online, and it seems like everything right down to the packaging seems to be trying to keep you from being able to tell. At this point I'm figuring on hitting eBay for vintage gear, and even then, I know it's going to be a bit of a chore, but as it turns out, I've got the time on my hands, right?

    Any advice on freshwater spinning gear? Whether it's specific recommendations, brands you know manufactured in (fill in the country) up until a certain year, how you look for stuff, or particular other countries that have or still do produce decent gear. For example, I fished with some great MIJ Shimano stuff, and I would be happy to go that route. But in some cases, even they apparently have stuff made in China, sent to Japan, and then export it from there. So sometimes you can't tell for sure till you see it stamped in the metal. That's why I'm leaning toward vintage/used stuff on eBay, so at least my money's going to a former user instead of the manufacturer.

    Like I said, I assume I'll still have a bunch of homework to do, and some trial and error. So I don't need perfect advice, just whatever suggestions you might have.

    Much obliged.

    (BTW - I also used to fly fish, so if any of what you know is about that, fire away!)

  • #2
    That's a great question. My first response was going to be Shimano but you covered that in your post.

    Penn has a couple models still made in the US, the Senator and International
    https://allamericanreviews.com/penn-reels/

    Here's a more complete list of American Made reels:
    https://allamericanreviews.com/best-fishing-reels/

    And here's a list of American made rods:
    https://allamericanreviews.com/best-fishing-rods/

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you - Very helpful site!

      In the meantime I also found Falcon, which has several collections marked as "Imported", but their Slab Series (crappie-oriented design) touts American Craftsmanship, and are surprisingly affordable: https://shop.falconrods.com/collecti...on-slab-series

      Nothing on the other collections' listings specifies what "Imported" means, so I have to assume China is the most likely.

      On eBay, the most of the vintage Garcia Conolon series rods are marked "Made in USA", and I was surprised to see a decent crop of US-made older Ugly Stiks as well. Older Eagle Claw and True Temper rods are also available.

      I picked up a DAM Quick 220 (West Germany, from back when there was such a thing), which my Dad reminded me was one of the first spinner reels I learned on. Well-built and in good shape, the bail just needs a little cleaning and lube. I have my eye on a few for a second reel - A Mitchell 300 (France) probably from the 50's, and a relatively newer Shimano with Japan stamped on the foot, among others.

      There are some Orvis 100's (Italy) available, but enough of them seem to need work, at least bail springs, that I don't know if it's the design or if they're just so popular that they've been used heavily enough to wear them out. But there are enough other options, and the good examples seem to be getting "Collector Prices".

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FrettnOvrNuttn View Post
        Thank you - Very helpful site!

        In the meantime I also found Falcon, which has several collections marked as "Imported", but their Slab Series (crappie-oriented design) touts American Craftsmanship, and are surprisingly affordable: https://shop.falconrods.com/collecti...on-slab-series

        Nothing on the other collections' listings specifies what "Imported" means, so I have to assume China is the most likely.

        On eBay, the most of the vintage Garcia Conolon series rods are marked "Made in USA", and I was surprised to see a decent crop of US-made older Ugly Stiks as well. Older Eagle Claw and True Temper rods are also available.

        I picked up a DAM Quick 220 (West Germany, from back when there was such a thing), which my Dad reminded me was one of the first spinner reels I learned on. Well-built and in good shape, the bail just needs a little cleaning and lube. I have my eye on a few for a second reel - A Mitchell 300 (France) probably from the 50's, and a relatively newer Shimano with Japan stamped on the foot, among others.

        There are some Orvis 100's (Italy) available, but enough of them seem to need work, at least bail springs, that I don't know if it's the design or if they're just so popular that they've been used heavily enough to wear them out. But there are enough other options, and the good examples seem to be getting "Collector Prices".
        Excellent. I forgot Ebay as a source. That's where I go when wanting to get an 'Old Timer' knife made in America.

        Comment

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