Here we have a magnificent Payne204 8'6" 3/2 #5 fly rod with a smooth medium action. This is a gorgeous specimen: there is a tiny amount of brassing inside the guides and that is the only sign of use. All original from the tip-tops down to the butt cap. Rare in this condition indeed.
My estimation is that this rod dates to the mid-to-late 1930's. The tip-tops are full length tapered tubes with perfect small hoops and a perfection die stamp (I wish that these were made today!). Guides are high slant tungsten steel. Guide wraps are brown edged black with maroon accents at ferrules and keeper.
Incredibly, all hardware and ferrules and tip-tops retain 99.99% original oxidation. The varnish is superb, with no chip digs or alligatoring. The cigar grip is 5 3/4" long and composed of 3/8" corks. About the only issue exhibited in this rod are 2 tiny guide impressions in the cork near the base of the grip caused from pressing against the other sections. But quite small. The cap and ring seat is flawlessly varnished walnut. All sections are straight.
When this rod came into the shop the ferrule fit was a smidge too tight so I cleaned the ferrules for a better fit. The hanging tag states: 8 1/2', 4 1/2oz, #204. Rod tube is original.
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