To begin with I'm not even sure what you are talking about with those other rod brands. I am not a collector, and comparisons mean little to me.
I would ask what you refer to when you mention factory made, as I can see the usual slight deviations that one would attribute to had crafting vs. machine built. Also I am curious to find out what the difference between production rods and hand made would mean. Also there is the matter of the "Blake” marking which, unless Al&W made a brand name rod called a Blake, seems to point to a custom order.
So far in my research, I have found absolutely no reference linking the two marks, AL&W and Blake together. By the way, I re-examined the rod after reading your post, and both marks appear to be directly on the rod, and not on the surface of the varnish. This would support the fact that the marking was made pre-finishing.
Perhaps it is just the production brand....the search still continues. Somewhere out there. someone know more about this. It'll just take time.
Anyway, thanks for you reply. I'll have a local builder check the two tips to see if they are the same weight, but in all honesty I think you're right on that one.
One of the folks I contacted relayed my information to a resource in Winnipeg, who came back with the following:
AL&W set up shop in Canada, and began making rods domestically in 1850. It appears that this rod may be one of those. The master builder/plant manager was none other than John Milward.
By extension, seeing how AL&W changed their name 1898 to the The Allcock, Laight & Westwood Company of Toronto Limited, from Allcock, Laight & Westwood and based on the cloth tag affixed to the rod's canvas bag (the latter not the former), it would seem to narrow the rod's construction timeframe to 1850 - 1900.
(Unless the company failed to change it name tags when the company changed names.)
We're still trying to track down the purpose of the elusive "Blake" marking. I'm still not thinking the rod is extraordinary as the "Blake" marking could still indicate a contrary finding to the one we made so far.
Thanks for your help.
Last edited by Stormlock; 08-26-2005 at 08:56 AM.