Home | Rods
fishing rods were less common in Australia than their reels and lures in the 50's and
for many reasons.
The first rods from ABU appeared in Australia inthe 60's. Vic McCristal was an early adopter who brought the benefits of the Speedlock grip to our attention.
By the 70's they were becoming
more popular. My first ABU rods were bought in London in 1975 and the Diplomat 662 and Atlantic Surflex received my favour.
of the evolving range of rods can be seen here.
My Record/ABU studies indicate that first came the steel rods,
solid fibre glass rods, split cane Horgard rods, hollow fibre glass rods and finally Carbolite
or graphite and Boron rods.
Steel was Sweden's stock and trade product,
whilst Split cane came from Norway, and fibreglass originated post war from USA
from which ABU learnt and improved upon.
Record and ABU model names and rod terminology
that drip off the tongue from the 40's, 50's and 60'sand wre known world-wide
are Record Stalspo (steel), Glasfiberspon, Lapplandia, Salmo, Suecia,
Gothia,Scandia, Sport, Tournament, Snabbgrepp (Speedlock), Atlantic, Brilliant,
Adjusto, Match, Strong, Fladden, Pacific, Combino, All Round, Caster,
Safari, Feralite, Zoom, Telescopic, Duet, Diplomat, Royal .......
My personal collection (see below) on the ceiling, include Swedish made rods and others collaboratively made by ABU, from around the world. Here we see a couple of dozen examples ranging from Pacific sea class rods to baitcasters, long coarse fishing Telescopic rods to delicate fly fishing rods.
My most recent acquisitions over the las 2 years, and courtesy of Uffe's recent September 2013 fishing trip, are these following rods.
Perhaps my favourite is the very rarely seen, one piece 5 foot Record Gothia casting rod and its unique cylindrical large diameter fibre glass protective shipping tube, inside the usual cloth bag.
This Suecia Duet is a companion rod to the double tip Caster Duet further down the page
For something a bit older and different , enjoy my 4 Record Steel telescopic rods here.
They are numbers 22, 24, 25 and 40. They are 4 and a half feet long and are screw connected 2 piece with the exception of the Record 40 manufactured model. Two are cork gripped, while one is wooden and the other rubber. All have stainless steel reel seats with the fore-finger crurved grip. They hail from the late 40's early 50's. While stiff and heavy to use, these were the only option other than the more expensive S[lit cane model from other manufacturers like Horgard from Norway, featured below
The next intresting rod is a mint in bag 3 piece Match fishing rod called Feralite Mark 7, which is a Type 1 (ultralight) example of 13 feet or 395cm length for casting weights up to 25g. There are nine very fine runners and a tip to manage the line. It features and adjustable reel seat position and is finished in the Diplomat binding colours of gold foil and black/grey striped thread. An elegant rod indeed!
I also have a 5 piece telescopic Feralite Mark 5 Type 1 Match fishing rod, similarly liveried but with a fixed reel seat.
The next batch from Uffe's recent trip is the blue Pacific M 30, an old Record 155, a single -handed baitcaster yellow solid fibre glass rod of 5 and a half feet in length. It sports yhe relatively new Speedlock handgrip which ABU has become famous for more than 3 decades , due to its ease of use.
Early in 2013, I discovered the ABU variants in rod types from other manufacturers. Obviously USA's famous Conolon blanks were forward in the construction of Garcia's own designs and the Kilwell/ABU relationship in New Zealand produced very nice locally built rods. Milbro and ABU cooperated in Scotland in the early 60's. The ABU heritage of both these rods are featured further below
I own one example of each of the New Zealand Kilwell/ABU and Milbro/ABU Scottish made rods.
Duncan Francey from Scotland has recently re-homed his quite unique Milbrolite baitcasting rod with me.
A full story will appear soon indicating how ABU and Milbo are connected. The is what I see as a 'missing link' between the Scottish Milbro rod company and Swedish ABU production in the UK.
Soon my only Kilwell/ABU rod, courtesy of Alastair in New Zealand, will appear here.
I photographed it along side the Milbro to show similarity in finish.
It is a Spiraflex Customline Model 53-114 9 and half foot ATFMA 9 Flyrod
It is in mint condition complete with red bag and label.
Please click group image below to see more detailed images
Most of my 50 odd ABU rods are the real McCoy, made in Sweden versions covering the wide range of styles mentions above.
Make your choice wisely ...read on
"The Rod for the Job"
personal (in hand) piece of equipment than a rod?
Below you will see my favourite
Anninversary 1971 catalog depicting a fine range of rods. Click on thumbnails.
Rods are more difficult to handle over long transport
distances for warranty purposes but
largely I think because Aussies (including myself were inclined to be
independent ) were used to building their own reliable rods of quality Fuji components. Only when ABU Speedlock grips, zoom and more improved blanks were seen did we realize the
potential of these mighty little baitcasters like the Diplomats!
I just had to
have a Diplomat 662! Little did I realize 40 years later I would collect
4 of them.
My friend Steve Wilkinson from UK has shared
some of his ABU rod/reel combos here.
My most recent purchases are the ABU Ferrulite Safari Fly rod AFTM 7/8 soon to
appear here generously traded to me by Thomas McColgan of the UK.
I have long sought this almost mint condition 5 piece beauty.
Catalog information below
Also this week I met a surprise benefactor by the name of Keith Sayer who wanted
his nearly 40 year old very gently used ABU Caster Duet to be in my
collection . This is the twin
tip model for Type 1 and Type 2 fishing. John told me he left instructions in
his will for this rod to eventually come into my possession. However a change of
heart and hopefully very good health must have encouraged Keith to think I could
not wait this long so it appeared to me last week.
Interestingly, both these rods were first released in 1969, over forty years
again when I was studying for my Senior High School exams.
Catalog info here
Pictures of my rod below.
On Uffe's recent trip to fish me me in Australia, he came bearing some 8kg of old
ABU/Record rods numbering some 13 items in two big strong rod tubes.
Some are below
ABU 140 and 152
5 More lovely old ABU Record rods from same era are the Adjusto, Tournament,
Sport and Scandia
Recent additions to the collection are two early Record rods, viz
Record Excellent ,
Record 60 and Record 165, the latter being a 4 piece travel rod. Both are built
utilizing the Speedlock handgrips. Thanks to Uffe for helping bring these rods
to my display.
Below a ABU Tournament II
Next a ABU Scandia Robust
2 New ABU rods to my collection in the form of Surflex 343 and Atlantic
BothBothBoth are 2 piece with Surflex being a 13 foot monster with long casting
grip/stainless reel mount and the Atlantic having the trusty Speedlock
winch mount. Both employ quality cork grips.
Some more lovely old Record and ABU Rodsa
Record Scandia 5
My Personal Collection numbers merely 50+ Record/ABU rods, covering.....
1. Baitcasters over several decades
ranging from short steel Record rods to ABU Diplomat Zooms
2. Spinning from Atlantic 4 series to miniscule
3. F3. Fly fishing from early Laplandia to Diplomat
Series and more modern Carbolite Series
4. Match fishing only the huge telescopic Mark
5. Ice fishing Pimpel rod/reel combos
6. IGFA rods, notably the lovely Pacific 30 S
with unique handgrip , old Pacific Fladen and most recently a friend Alan
from Queensland that I met on www.lure lovers.com who decided his
1975 Pacific 20 should have a new home in my collection here. Many thanks Alan.
7. Missing and wanted
are Tournament Caster integrated reel and rod AND a Horgard split cane
baitcaster or spinrod imported by
ABU from Norway (Click to see big Horgard page), ABU Salmo 12', ABU
Ferrulite Fly, Suecia Safari Spin
Suecia Safari Spin
Combo Tournament Caster
Thanks for help with images and text Wolfram , Jon and Hans!
Hopefully one of
these fine rods will come to my collection here one day to further flesh out
more of the wonderful A.B.Urfabriken history.
8. Possibly, even for a collector, there are others I don't know a lot about yet!
like the Boron Classic
A recent interest of mine has been the
Pacific boat rods.
Of course these rods were always supplied in bags ranging from plastic to cloth and even some had a heavy duty plastic tube protecting the cloth covered rod within. I am not sure if any were sold with threaded aluminium tubes.
Click image below to see samples of rod covers.
He was in my
mind always Australia's Premier Rod Builder.
He was also recognized by
ABY, with an Ambassadeur named after him.
The fact that overseas
film stars like Lee Marvin came to Australia to catch Marlin, also had Jack
build his rods, say a lot i think.
If one wanted simply
the best, you looked no further. See below.
I am fortunate to have
had Jack build two special rods for me long before we became friends.
high quality commercial Custom rod builders are available in Australia now in
the last 3 decades or so.
My first two ABU rods are a
re-worked Atlantic 484 (due to a fall on the rocks) and ending in a subsequent
unintentional shortening, beautifully customized by
Steve Pill of Barra Jacks Bait and Tackle in Rockhampton,
it doesn't get a lot of work now as I fish predominantly from my boat.
The other an ABU Diplomat 662, bought new in
London athe same time as the big Atlantic (1975) saw 2 decades of hard use!
Since starting collecting, I have now managed to
find Record steel, solid glass, hollow glass, Diplomats (I still need the short
handed baitcaster 651) carbolite and in all forms , spin, fly, casting except
for the Pacific Boat class rods.
I have at last found a few old
annodized speedlock handles , both Record and ABU branded in black, green and silver.
Some have been added to new custom rods for a bit nostalgia fishing!
once had an ABU Diplomat 622 Doubled handed baitcaster that I bought in
London in the seventies. Alas sadly, it was broken and the only
part left was the Speedlock handle for which I'm trying to find a
suitable 3 or 4 piece rod blank suitable for packing in a suitcase. The
double-handed speedlock butt from this 622 rod was rebuilt on a
Fenwick 10kg bait-casting blank in October 1979 by genius and cutting
Jack Erskine of Precision Reel Engineering
2 Finch Street Bayview Heights
P O Box 2382 Cairns
QLD 4870 Australia
Phone: (07) 40546048
Mobile: 0413 584 897
Fax: (07) 4054 7487
By the way, Jack's Bronze Trophy small
oblique view above, see larger view of (front
back) of the one eyed bragging fisherman with elastic arms is now gracing
these pages as it has just been restored. It has its
little bronze ABU (naturally) fishing rod and reel missing from the stand. If
anyone has idea how I can restore this attachment, ie finding another or making
a cast from another, I would very much appreciate hearing from you.
We have recently re-met via this website and
when he learned of this new failure in the cast alloy of the butt, he
immediately has offered a solution to the problem (after 26 years....What a
warranty!! Who said quality is not as important as price?) It will be fantastic
to feel the old double handed speedlock butt again in my hands...I could just
never throw it away!
So , in summary, I presently only have around
Record and ABU rods, 7 being multi piece (3 or 4) as well as a Safari
Telescopic rod , one Record 15 Pimpel and the ABU Pimpel 1 & 2 Ice fishing
rod and reel combos at present, but hope to collect some more rods over time. I
would be looking for a steel rod circa Record days, a split cane Horgard
baitcasting or spin rod, a hollow fibre glass rod and
a Boron model from any of the Type 1,2,3 or 4 balanced tackle fishing groups. A
replacement ABU Diplomat 662 has been found!
Many more fine Record or ABU rods will hopefully
find there way to my collection filling in the year gaps!
For actually fishing with
is this IM6 Graphite Pure Fishing Ambassadeur Steelhead rod which is just
superb, points and casts and loads beautifully from the beach or rocky
If you have any
others listed above, that are unneeded or doubles in your collection and
are available for a reasonable fee, I would be very pleased to hear from you.
Particularly any Record rods
or Safari Fly rod and a Pacific Series boat rod.