If there’s one thing I’ll never forget about my grandfather, it’s that he had no issue fishing with a rod haphazardly repaired with butcher’s twine and epoxy where it had snapped, guides loosely held on with electrical tape, and if he ever broke a tip, well, he’d just break the rest of the rod off down to the next guide…problem solved. I suppose it was Depression-Era utility and function trumping looks. Every time I break a rod or a guide, I’m so mad I can’t wait to get home and check the warranty. Anyway, all those memories came flooding back when Scott Sievers’s Jiffy Ferrule entry came in to our ongoing vintage tackle contest.
This quick-fix invention for broken sticks was outside the box of most entries we’ve received, so I was curious to hear what Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog had to say about it.
“Broken ferrules were a major problem for American anglers up until the advent of fiberglass in the late 1940s. There were any number of products on the market to help a fisherman fix a loose ferrule, but a broken rod was a different story. Even great rodmakers spent a good deal of time repairing rods, and every town of any size had a resident rod repair expert who was usually kept busy. The Jiffy Ferrule was one of the last ingenious inventions of this kind, invented by Lou DeWolfe and sold by A.F. Driscoll Co. of Denver, Colorado beginning in 1949. Jiffy Ferrules were short aluminum tubes that went over the break in the rod and locked in place with screw-in ends and offered an angler the opportunity to continue fishing instead of going home. They came in sets of three (all different diameters) and sold for $1.55 postpaid. Had they come along a decade earlier, they would probably have been a big hit. However, fiberglass ended the dominance of bamboo rods and the need to repair them, so they did not last long on the market. Your ferrule set is worth $10-$20 if complete in the package. To see the contents of a full set of Jiffy Ferrules, click here.”
Really awesome find, Scott. Thanks so much for sending in the photo and giving me the chance to reminisce about my grandad’s motley crew of beat-up rods. Enjoy the Berkley Digital Tournament Scale that’s headed your way.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Berkley Digital Tournament Scale (left, $40).