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Australian home-made cane fishing rod

Date: 1942-1943
Dimensions:
Overall: (Three pieces included) 313.5 x 25 mm
Medium: Cane, cork , brass, metal line guides
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Paul Leaudis
Object Name: Fishing rod
Object No: 00050841
Place Manufactured:Balmain

User Terms

    Description
    This three-piece cane fishing rod was made by Dave Collis for recreational angling on Sydney Harbour in the early 1940s. Such rods were a cheaper alternative to manufactured fishing gear and an example of making-do on the homefront during WWII.

    This rod was made from Australian cane, possibly sourced from Queensland, as the commonly used cane from the Philippines was unavailable during WWII. It was also used with a Stewart & Allwood Steelite Model 31 Nottingham reel [00050840] in the late 1940s.
    SignificanceThis a fine example of a home-made Australian fishing rod made during WWI.
    HistoryDave Collis made this cane fishing rod in 1942- 43 at a time when manufactured fishing rods were too expensive for him to buy. He lived in Balmain as a youth spending his time on the waterfront fishing off the wharfs and jetties and from small boats. He used this rod primarily for catching blackfish in Sydney Harbour.

    This rod was made from Australian cane, possibly sourced from Queensland, as the commonly used cane from the Philippines was unavailable during WWII.

    The Nottingham style reel enabled bait to be cast from the reel rather than from loose coils of line on the ground and was used in Australia from 1900. It was suited to rock and estuary fishing and was particularly popular for catching black fish (Girella tricupspidata). Its simple construction appealed to the do-it-yourself angler. Wooden Nottingham reels were superseded by cheaply manufactured Bakelite reels in the 1930s.

    The Sydney based firm Stewart & Allward (S&A) was founded in 1910 by Harold Stewart. In 1919 Stewart went into partnership with Norman Allwood, an Englishman with extensive contacts with the British tackle industry. The firm operated as an importer and wholesaler until the late 1920s. In 1931 Stewart registered a patent for a Bakelite Nottingham reel using the brand name Steelite. Between 1931 and 1987 when manufacturing ceased over a million Steelite reels were made, making them the most popular model of all Australian-made reels. They were also exported to the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada where they were popular for salmon fishing.







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