Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brad Bradford: Sila-Flex Rod Tester

Brad Bradford: Sila-Flex Rod Tester

One of the great joys of doing this blog is the many great people I am able to connect with, some of whom have legendary affiliations to the angling world. The following photo was sent to me out of the blue a few weeks ago by Mike and Joanne Bradford. It's a fabulous picture of a rod demonstration at a tackle show:

Here is part of the email the Bradfords sent me:
My Dad [Brad Bradford] was a demonstrator for the Sila-flex rod company. He recently passed away. I have a picture of him making a trick cast during one of the shows. I also located one of 2 rods that were given to him by Sila-flex (this was before Browning bought them out). This rod is inscribed and signed by the owner of Sila-flex. I know that this rod is over 55 years old. Dad had me casting in these shows when I was 3 years old, and he had the rod then. I know that the rod is not worth much to anyone else, but I would like to be able to have a history of the Sila-flex company just to put with this rod.
My Dad was Woodrow W. "Brad" Bradford.  The rod is inscribed:

 "To "Tops" in Sila-flex Field Testers

"Brad" Bradford


Lee Harter and Sila-flex

This rod is one of the early spinning rods from Sila-flex.  I know that Dad also had a 3 piece Sila-flex that was made for him by the company.  This was a custom rod made from 3 pieces of 3 different Sila-flex fly rods.

Well, that is a pretty awesome rod and a phenomenal picture.

Sila-Flex had a great history and made some classic glass rods. I bet this picture dates from the early 1950s. I pointed Mike in the direction of The Fiberglass Fly Rod board, as they have put up a series of Wikis describing the history of the glass fly rod. Their great history of Sila-Flex (which was bought out by Browning, who continued to use the name for many years) can be found by Clicking Here.

I love this kind of tackle history as it so rarely gets recorded. Fortunately, thanks to Mike and Joanne, we have a record of Brad Bradford and his connection to Sila-Flex.

-- Dr. Todd

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