The rarity of finding old rods in truly “mint” condition these days is infrequent to say the least. Rods of this nature always stop me in my tracks. I was contacted by Ed Kitchen who literally lives about five minutes from me claiming that he had in his possession what I call a “mintage” Heddon Black Beauty. This is what I refer to as a rod that is not only very old but has remained untouched, unfished, and has literally been in cryostasis for many many years. Apparently this rod was Ed's Grandfather's and was handled with such infrequency that the grip had no soiling whatsoever.
I soon was invited over to his house and he unveiled the rod. All of the labels were in incredible condition. The rod bag looked like it had just been sewn. The finish on the rod was immaculate. The guides looked as though they were freshly coated from the previous week. The black Pyaralin reel seat glistened. Probably the most well preserved Heddon let alone fly rod of this age I have ever seen. Ed, his father, and grandfather all seemed to have been Heddon enthusiasts which I thought was especially heartwarming. He had a few other Heddon rods that he showed me one of which I offered my services to revive a bit. The 9' Heddon #17 was his personal rod that he currently fishes with.
Ed loves these rods and it shows when you talk with him, a little glint in his eye beams when he recalls different fishing experiences with his father and grandfather. Meeting fishermen like Ed really brings genuine meaning to the bamboo legacy. This is especially true when considering the memories that revolve, and still evolve from rods from one generation to the next.
The slogan:"Made by Heddon and Well Made" lives on...