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Paul Roberts

Flea Market SCORE!!!

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Quite a few years ago I stopped at a garage sale and found an ABU XLT stuck on a cheap kiddie rod -for 5$! SCORE!

Yesterday I was at a consignment shop with my wife and son looking for a particular piece of furniture (something to help organize our chaotic mudroom/entry). Big place so we split up, checking for any tackle as I go, of course. My wife calls me and says, "There are a pile of fishing rods in the SW corner of the E room -easy to miss back there." I find my way there and find a tangle of old and cheap glass rods (some that bring back memories). Amongst the tangle I spot a Fuji guide sticking out. I reach in and disentangle it from the mess, and it's an Eagle Claw Blue Diamond, with an ABU XL Plus!! :D

Nice reel. Swedish made, dual brake, free floating line guide, narrow spool, Thumbar, Flippin' switch, quick remove sideplate for spool change, and in virtually spanking new condition! It apparently wasn't used much at all. Drag is still strong. No grease or gunk on it. Inside the side plate it's dry and shiny -looks literally like new -in better condition than the one I found in that garage sale years ago and have used flawlessly for years -although the magnets weren't ABU's strong suit then.

I've got to Google it to see just what I have, and lube and cast it. It's got a ~4.5:1 ratio so it was apparently designed as a fippin' winch. The price belied the junk pile I pulled it from -$25. But I happily paid it.

Oh yes, the Blue Diamond. Really nice light crisp graphite, esp for it's day (1980's -the reel comes form that era too I believe), but...they had breakage problems. And alas the rod was about 4inches shorter than it should be, and a pistol grip too. AND I accidently left it on the roof of the car DOH!, drove off, and heard it clatter off the roof. In my rearview I watched the car behind me not swerve to miss it. Oh well -not much of a loss -a shortened already short pistol grip rod, although I do have some reverence for those early attempts at high modulus rods. I owned and fished a BD rod for several years before getting lax and breaking it on a steelhead.

As to the reel SCORE!!! ;)

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It's amazes me what can be found. I picked up a Ambassadeur 5500C3 at a garage sale for $7. :D The guy said it was his dads' and didn't work very smooth. Cleaned it up and now it's like new. ;D

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I got a hand made 5'-6" fiberglass rod at a flea market yesterday for $15.00.  It has a good grip, good guides, and good wrapping.  I can't wait to see how it performs.  No markings on the rod whatever.  I also bought a like new Quantum KVD Tour Edition TE1170PT for $90.00.  The reel has no indication of any kind of use, inside or out.  I checked ebay and discovered I had paid the going price for it in used condition, but that still beats retail.  That is my first reel that goes for over $200.00 retail and I can tell the difference just in pitching with it in the living room.

I worry about buying used stuff at flea markets because I don't want to be fishing with equipment that was stolen from another fisherman.  I bought this from a guy who had nothing but fishing gear so I felt pretty confident he got it legally.  He said he bought it in a bulk lot from a guy in Florida. 

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Nice score!  I love flea markets!  You never know what you might find.  Yesterday I bought a BPS Extreme 7'MH casting rod for $12.  And last summer, I picked up a St. Croix Premier 7'ML casting rod with a Shimano Curado 200 Bantam on it for $30. 

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My find of finds was at an estate sale last year.  I bought a "lot" of fishing tackle and reels, intending to donate the reels because I didn't see anything of value.  When I picked it up, there were three other boxes of reels that came with the lot that I purchased.  Unknowingly, I bought two Calcuttas, 2 Luna 300s, 4 Records, a couple of Ultracast 5600c, 2 Citica's and a Curado NIB.  $50 for all of it.  (Not to mention, there were about 100 other reels from 202's on up.)

There were a bunch of rods and stuff that were all trashed, in that one, the lot of rods I wanted had a few really nice ones in it ended up going for a LOT more than it was worth.

Turns out the guy had owned part of a tackle shop that had closed just months before.  All the reels were either repairs that people never picked up, or they were display reels that never sold.

Occasionally, I'll  get lucky and buy a Bamboo rod from a known maker in antique shops.  I've gotten a couple Winstons, a Walker, and a Payne that way.

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A buddy of mine says he found an IMX spinning rod with a missing tip guide for $5.  I never seem to find the real scores.

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Cool stories.

Hooligan, that takes the cake. And finding fine cane rods is amazing. I've found only two of quality: a Winston and an Orvis (1960s). One reel I picked up a 1960s Hardy Princess (the champaign green one) I found in a box in Doctor's garage I was being paid to clean when I was about 16. He said I could have it. Then he wanted to pay me for my day. I told him "No, no. The Hardy is enough." I've used it ever since.

I bought and sold a lot of old vintage tackle to collector's too,  sometimes for surprising sums. I once sold some old muskie plugs for a buddy that had belonged to his grandfather. The collector bought 10 of the lures. I returned to my friend's house and had fun presenting him with the money. I handed him a $20 bill. Then another, then another, and another, ... and watched his eyes widen as I kept going, to $250. He couldn't believe it.

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:D

OK... I took the reel apart and found it was almost new inside. In VERY good condition. I didn't even find anything to clean -no gunk, no grit, no grime. Greased and oiling and that was that.

I did some research and the ABU XL series and they get very good reviews. I got a parts blow-up from Mike's Reel Rapair site too. One of the comments made was that the reels don't hold up to heavy flippin' work. It's a rather complicated reel (with all the it's bells and whistles) -one guy complained they tried to put everything into it. It also had some nylon gears I didn't like the looks of, but they appear to be associated with the levelwind worm gear and I assume get minor stress. Saltwater guys suggested drag washer upgrades.

Here's a pic. It was scarcely used! The sticker on the thumbar and levelwind hood where you'd rest your thumb when palming it, show virtually no wear at all! ;) :

Reels2.jpg

One more pic. What $110 dollars can buy, if you keep your eyes open:

Reels1.jpg

ABU UltraMagII ($5), ABU UltraMag XL Plus ($25), Daiwa Fuego ($80).

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