The Lucky Strike

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Plumtart
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The Lucky Strike

Post by Plumtart » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:04 pm

I was interested to read Lee's very useful listed tapers for the Lucky Strike. It doesn't seem to be widely understood, that the Lucky Strike and the Record Breaker are built on the same blank set. Whether given a Lucky Strike or Record Breaker label, the blanks vary quite a bit from one batch to another, and from one period of manufacture to another; but they are essentially the same. I mention this because people seem to be prepared to pay a premium for the L/S, despite the fact that it is an inferior (originally much cheaper) rod.

The R/B has a longer - proper shive cork handle, higher quality ferrules, a decent shoulder collar at the top of the handle, and a higher standard of finish using less lurid colours (the L/S blues, blacks, and yellows were used to attract children's attention). Provided you're not bound-up with the subject of labels and originality on these very common rods, there's still a great deal that can be done to make the R/B a much better fishing rod - but that's another topic I suppose. But straight out of the factory the rod is a really good thing. Wise virgins think blank and fishing, not label. These rods were made in their tens-of-thousands - they are not historic, and they are not holy relics - they're fishing rods.

Of course, worship of the Lucky Strike is connected to Chris having used his early version in PFA. Because the taper is lovely that was a very good recommendation. For some more suggestible anglers the cult of personality overwhelms common sense. If Chris were to be seen with exactly the same blank set in R/B form, old ladies would be trampled underfoot in the mad rush to buy them.

For anyone interested, these are the measurements of the last R/B I measured, and they are averaged over the three flat-to-flat bare cane dimensions. If you compare with Lee's measurements you can see the differences are well within the margins of error from one batch to another. 5" centres from the top of the handle.

11.40
11.00
10.70
10.04

8.85
8.61
8.02
7.67
7.32
7.06
6.60
6.43

5.46
5.17
4.96
4.68
4.35
3.85
3.11
2.94


William.
What Great Ones do, the Less will prattle on. Wm. Shakespeare. Twelfth Night.

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Nobby
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Nobby » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:29 pm

So they were the same! I had long suspected they might be......there's not that many ways to make a 10 foot 6 inch rod, after all.

The price difference was quite significant, though....just down to build quality and materials used.

I've long looked for a good Lucky Strike, but so far none have had the feel that I hoped for after waggling a couple of belters, so I've sold them on. I think the basic blank, if done well in good cane can be a really top rod, but I just can't find one for myself.......

I suspect the super-rare and un-catalogued Allcock Record Breaker De-Luxe was really just a transfer change and this year another 10 foot 6inch rod turned up...was it called the Float Rod or something?....sorry I can't find the images I stored just at the moment......

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Champ
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Champ » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:40 pm

It seemed to me that yellow and black tipped whippings L Strikes were very similar to R Breakers.I have used both.The early Lucky Strike that i had with blue whippings an oval logo and brass fittings was a different rod altogether!.

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Dave Burr
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Dave Burr » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:44 pm

Not thinking of the Allcock Super Float are you Nobby? There was one at Mullocks last week and it was quite different to the Lucky Strike. I had an online punt on it but was foiled by the half second lag between sight and sound on the system. They don't half rattle through the list.

A good Lucky Strike is indeed a lovely rod to use but I have sold mine in favour of my Harvey Torbett as it has a better line pick-up on the strike.

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Crucian
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Crucian » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:26 pm

Thanks for posting the tapers, I would be very interested to compare them to the early tapers if anyone has them please.

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CrayCane
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by CrayCane » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:32 pm

Andrew Davis posted the LS taper here viewtopic.php?f=198&t=1721
but I'm not sure how the above figures tie in with the positions Andrew reported. Perhaps William can clarify. I'd be very interested to match them side by side.

Pete

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James
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by James » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:36 pm

William the Lucky strike and record breaker are two different rod tapers , If you have a look on the Chapman site under special offers you will note John lists two tapers for the tips depending on the year of manufacture ,the record breaker has a more stout taper.

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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Gurn » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:44 pm

I once owned a 10' 6" Allcocks Commodore fly rod and was struck by the similarity of the action to my Lucky Strike. I did wonder if Allcocks had used the same blanks on both...and of the possibility for a cheap tip section for the LS should the need arise.

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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Nobby » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:38 am

So they do!

http://www.chapmanblanks.co.uk/?page_id=105

It might have been a Super Float, Dave..it was on eBay about 3 months ago, looked unused...I was very tempted.


Funny to think that the first UK Shakespeare catalogue had Record Breakers in the back at half price just to get shot of them.........along with Super Wizards.......if only I knew then what I know now........

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Plumtart
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Re: The Lucky Strike

Post by Plumtart » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:17 pm

I used Lee's method on the last one I mic'd. 5" centres from 20" up the butt section. Andrew's measurements may not be the same, but if they're something like, then his rod will be superb, and no doubt very accurately made.

Over the years I've mic'd quite a few. No matter what the vintage, the tapers vary quite a bit from rod to rod, and from flat to flat, so clearly this was not an exact science for Allcocks. I don't think they suffered from the intense modern dedication to accuracy, although it would have been more critical in fly rod tapers. A few thou one way or another can be ignored in a big section, but fine fly rod tips are more demanding.

The marked difference is between the early L/S and the later (lurid yellow) version. The yellow boys' rod version is thicker in the tip. No matter what Chapmans offer, I've always found early L/S and R/B to have the same taper, within Allcocks' normal (apparently wide) margin of error from one batch to another.

But we can rattle-on about tiny taper differences for ever, and they really don't matter much at all. In use they feel the same, so I was simply offering a 'heads-up' about the two rods effectively being the same (or nearly, if you prefer that view). The main point I was making is that Lucky Strikes are in high demand because of PFA and command a higher price than you might expect, despite their amazingly poor standard of fittings and finish in later years. There are greater differences between one L/S and another, than there are between a L/S and a R/B. Straight out of its bag, the R/B is a much better rod, which is exactly what you'd expect from a product that had a premium price on its head when new. Given common-sense modification by a decent finisher, or reincarnation by Andrew under the Lucky Strike name (for under £900) it is a wonderful rod to use. Forget the name - it's about the blank.

W.
What Great Ones do, the Less will prattle on. Wm. Shakespeare. Twelfth Night.

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