November 07, 2013
Vintage Tackle Contest: Newton's Silkaline Fly Line
By Joe Cermele
Though we've had a few vintage fly lines in the contest in the past, I don't believe we've seen this particular one before. These Silkaline spools belong to James Armstrong, who found them at an estate sale in Colorado. I must admit, I always keep an eye out for similar lines because I'd love to cast one just to see what it feels like. Interestingly, according to Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, these lines have ties to the furniture industry.
Dr. Todd says:
"Silkaline fly line was named after a soft, light cotton fabric with a smooth, shiny surface similar to silk that was popular in the 1905-1935 era on lower priced curtains, sofa coverings, and chairs. As such, it is not a silk fly line, but a reasonably priced cotton braided fly line with a shiny surface. The Newton Line Co. was founded in 1909 by D.D. Newton in Homer, New York, and soon after became one of the most popular line companies in the world. Originators of the Mermaid brand, they also offered a huge line of silk and fly lines, including their Silkaline brand in the 1930s. Vintage fly lines are quite collectable, and yours are worth $10-$20 each. They make for a great display item!"
If you've already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven't and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to email@example.com, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers (above) worth $50.