Re: post your vintage surf rod / reel pics!
Uslan Rod Company
The 1940's and 50's saw high quality Penta bamboo rods produced by Nathanial (Nat) Uslan, renowned as the major innovator with five-sided bamboo fly rods. He claimed his rods were inherently stronger than traditional six-sided bamboo rods since there was no continuous glue line through the cross-section of the rods and the stress from flexing was transferred more directly to the bamboo itself.
Shortly after World War II, Nat Uslan set up shop in Spring Valley, New York and began producing five-strip fly rods. The business prospered and five-sided rods were very popular for a brief period of time, due probably in part to their novelty. During the 1950's the situation in China created an embargo on Tonkin cane. Uslan was one of the first major rod companies to be affected by the shortage of raw cane. He struggled along for a number of years but eventually the company succumbed to a federal tax auction. Uslan produced two distinct series of five-strip rods; the Deluxe model with a resin impregnation finish, and the Spencer model with a traditional varnish finish. Both series were produced in two-piece and three-piece versions, ranging in length from seven to nine feet. Because of the limited supply of Uslan rods, their value has remained relatively high on the collector market.
And the Uslan story has a southern connection. As mentioned, the Uslan Rod Company didnít survive the cane embargo and the advent of fiberglass rods, and much of the surviving content of the uslan rod building enterprise eventually found its way to Tennessee, where well known rod maker James Beasley now uses it. One machine obtained by Mr Beasely stands out from all the others; a strange looking machine that runs the length of his shop. It is the custom rod-making mill created by Nat Uslan. Mr Beasly stated that it took him two years to get the mill figured out as it came without any instructions.