Hurd Supercaster & Casters made in Almont Michigan

edFactory-zmaykueaeq.png

Everywhere I look, someone is stating that the Supertcasters & Casters were made in Detroit Michigan and this is just not so. AS you will see faintly in the background on the water tower it says “ALMONT”…

Yes, Edwin Hurd was from Detroit and he operated a portion of his business from Detroit offices. But the Supercasters & Casters were Manufactured in Almont

Two rare Super Casters – the “Black” version built for saltwater
angling and a prototype built with a solid fiberglass rod.

From the Bob Clevio Collection

Bob is the son of the Hurd Factory Superintendent. Bob has told me many amusing anecdotes about Edwin Hurd. He also told me about the times his father brought home Hurd parts and he and his brother sat at a table in the basement and assembled Supercasters.

A photo of Ed Hurd and the plane that was built in the Hurd shop on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit

And YES Edwin Hurd built and flew his own Airplane and loved new fast Cars.

 

A new/old feature of the Hurdcasters

My friend Gary and I were chatting on the phone about Hurdcasters and the subject of the bearing cap on the left sideplates function. Of course it’s primary function is to stabilize the left hand end of the spool. If it is to lose, the spool will chatter. It should be lubricated so friction from the rotation of the spool does not loosen it and cause it to fall out. Since this is one of the most common pieces missing, it is believed that the spring loaded cap will will go bye bye if not lubed and adjusted frequently. We also discussed whether the bearing caps all had small holes in them for applying lube. I right away stated that not all of them had holes. Gary quickly asked me about the stamped lettering on the periphery of the caps.He caught off guard on that one. He quickly sent me the following photo. It is not real clear but it is instructions for turning the Anti-back lash on or off.  So of course I had to check my 50 some Hurds only to find another mystery to solve. It was about 50/50 on bearing  caps with lube holes and the same with the never before noticed backlash message. No particular attachment to specific serial numbers. It just goes to show how much you can miss by not focusing on each and every Detail

Thank you Gary J0nes

Tutorial on Removing a Rod that is stuck in the SuperCaster Reel Assy

First of all, don’t hammer on that nice Shiny thing (cover) on the reel snout. It is a chrome fitting that was swaeged on at the factory. Hammering on it will ruin it as far as appearance is concerned and you will not be successful in removing the rod without causing avoidable damage.  The alloy snout that is cast into the frame  is basically the same shape as the the cover. There is a small steel pin under that cover that protrudes into the hole and locates the correct insertion (groove up, guides up) of the rod.  (see image of  groove in rod below)

If the rod will not come out of the hole, you should  stop your efforts and apply some Kroil Oil,  Rust Buster, etc.  Hang the rod upside  down and apply solvent in the hole so it runs down and away from the reel assy.. Steel and aluminum alloys tend to corrode so be patient and let the process work, it may take a couple of days and several applications of solvents. If the solvent doesn’t seem to help (it did but doesn’t seem like it)  You should resort to the pin punch method.

I buy my pin punches at Harbor Freight (Pittsburgh long drive) because they seem to have the longest pins that I find locally. Any 1/8″ pin punch will work but length is essential as you will see in the photo. The above punches will stand a little bending to keep it from binding. You should insert the punch into the hole as shown,where the end of the rod is.

In the picture below, you will see where I add some foam padding where the pin punch will rest on the rod next to the thumb drag.

At this point, some patience must prevail. It is almost a straight shot for the punch unless you use a shorter one and that is not advised. Even with the long ones I use, I add a slow curve bend if the rod is stubborn. If the solvent did it’s job, the rod should come out fairly easy.

 

P.S. if your rod has a shiny collar on it,  it is a rod that was purchased from hurd as additional equipment. If you ordered a 4′ 6″ rod in medium action, that collar on the rod will confirm the length and action . The example I am using has a collar and it says: 4 1/2 ft. Stiff action.

Hurd SuperCaster: The other serial numbers

Hurd SuperCaster: The other serial numbers

All of the Hurd SuperCasters had Walnut grips attached to the 81-101 body assembly by 4 screws, 2 on each side. These walnut grips were almost always ornately checkered. Every so often there are  non-checkered walnut (smooth) walnut grips found on the SuperCasters. There are those who believe that the non-checkered walnut grips indicate an earlier production date.

The 81-101 body assembly has the part number 81-101 stamped into it. There is also another 4-6 digit number stamped into the 81-101 body assembly This 4-6 digit number has a significant purpose.

When the body assembly Is sent to the crew that fits the fits the wooden grips to the 81-101 they will do some grinding and shaping to ensure a smooth comfortable fit. Since the fitting process was a hand worked process, the wooden grips would usually not be consistent.

This is where the 4-6digit number comes into play. The next step is checkering and finishing. The fitting crew hand writes the 4-6-digit number that is on the body assembly onto the backside of the wooden grips to identify them to the body assembly they were fitted to. This ensured the grips were then put on the body they were fitted to.

Now for the smooth grips: Checkering could have been an option that a purchaser could take advantage of or turn down to save some money when ordering his SuperCaster or just a decision made by the finishing crew.

I will attach a couple of images of the serialized grips.

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment

How to almost date your Hurd by Serial Number

The Hurds were first advertised for sale in 1946. So 1946 would be the  beginning of sales even though the patent wasn’t granted until 1951. There does not appear to be any time frame that started or ended any of the series of serial numbers .

Before going any further, the serial numbers are found on the under side of the reel body just aft of the nose cone. The shape did not lend itself to consistent/accurate stamping, so they might be hard to read.

There is no exact writing reflecting periods of time for Hurd  serial numbers. The oldest/lowest serial numbers  had black plastic grasps on the crank handles. The black plastic handles were grooved just as the later aluminum/magnesium alloy ones are.  They would carry serial numbers 1 thru ?.  Black plastic grasps shown in photo below. I have a number of Supercasters with black plastic grasps and ser. numbers above 1000 to believe the first generation stopped at ser. number 1000. It is not logically feasible that there were a bunch of black plastic grasps laying around to apply to later models in order to make them appear older and possibly more collectable and or valuable. I am also convinced that there were no Changes in the ser. no. schema until they began the Letter series of serial numbers

 

The next Series, the lettered series  had metal Grasps (Alum. Magnesium alloy) Grasps and would carry serial numbers sstarting with the A Series

A series – ( the letter “A” could have been before or after the Numbers

C series – (the letter “C” could have been before or after the Numbers

R series – (the letter “R” could have been before or after the Numbers

AC series – ( the letter “AC could have been before or after the Numbers

ACR series–(the letter “ACR” could have been before or after the Numbers

Note:  I track and record all Hurd serial numbers I find and have yet to see an “C” or an. This leads me to think the doesn’t exist.

I also have yet to see the last number of a series run sequentially with the first number of the next lettered series.

We may never figure this out.

The all Black Saltwater series: – very little is known about the black corrosion resistant coating called out for certain parts on the schematic.  My source, whose father was the Superintendent of the Hurd factory believes  it was the same black baked on paint that they used on the rods. I own 6 of the Saltwater Models and do not find any special  serial number sequence or dating series for them.

A true Black Salt Water reel, would have the Hurd  Insignia stamped on the left side cover. They did this to prevent someone from painting their  Supercaster black and calling it a Salt Water model.

Note: The Hurd Logo is always stamped on the right side cover just forward of the crank.  Here is a picture of the Hurd Logo that will normally be stamped on the RH side cover of a non salt water model . The same logo will be stamped on the LH  side plate of the Salt Water model.

Note: a Hurd schematic will identify what parts will have the black corrosion resistant coating.

Note: there are many salt water versions seen that have lost the black coating. They will still have the Hurd logo on the left hand side plate.

Spring Steel Rod vs Tank Antenna

There are lots of folks that like to quote mis-information and rumors. I have heard  too many people state that Hurd made their rods from surplus Tank antennae at the end of the war. Hurd was making rods prior to the War ending, so they certainly knew how.

Based on first hand information from the son of the man that Managed the Hurd SuperCaster & Caster factory, Hurd made their own Rods from tapered Spring Steel.  Hurd applied black baked on paint, Chrome bridge Guides and red and yellow wraps to the following Rod and Actions

RODS Length Action
81-1099 *3 ft.  Rod Assembly Stiff Action
81-1010 *3.5 ft.  Rod Assembly Stiff Action
81-1037 *4 ft.  Rod Assembly Flexible Action
81-134 *4 ft.  Rod Assembly Medium Action
81-1038 *4 ft.  Rod Assembly Stiff Action
81-1039 *4.5 ft.  Rod Assembly Flexible Action
81-134 *4.5 ft. Rod Assembly Medium Action
81-1040 *4.5 ft. Rod Assembly Stiff Action
81-187 *5ft. Rod Assembly Flexible Action
81-155 *5ft. Rod Assembly Medium Action
81-1041 *5 ft. Rod Assembly Stiff Action
81-188 *5.5 ft. Rod Assembly Flexible Action
*Indicates over-all length with Handle

There 12 different Rods just by Part Number. Add any one of them in three different actions then do the math. I don’t believe for a second that surplus tank antennae’s came in flexible, medium or stiff action.

It is reputed that Heddon started that rumor just for fun.

Hurd: The SuperCasters and Casters

Publication number US2559433 A
Publication type Grant
Publication date Jul 3, 1951
Filing date Dec 22, 1947
Priority date Dec 22, 1947
Inventors Hurd Edwin P
Original Assignee Hurd Lock & Mfg Company
Export Citation BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (8), Classifications (11)Edwin Hurd applied for about five reel patents in 1946 and 1947, so Hurd Lock & Mfg. Co. could have gotten into reel making anytime before or after that even though the first patent wasn’t granted until 1951. .

The Fishing Tackle Digest for 1947 described the Super-Caster as “new” and showed a picture, mentioned interchangeable rods of high-carbon, spring steel in 4′, 4.5′, and 5′ lengths. The grip was checkered walnut. It  was not an uncommon practice for a Manufacturer  to get their product on the street before their patent was Granted. publication

Hurd went on to build the Supercaster in a factory located in Almont, Michigan

Hurd Locks before the SuperCaster

Detroit Michigan  1930’s

E.P. Hurd

Hurd Lock Patent filing

Patent  US 1914639A

My invention relates to a new and useful improvement in a lock and particularly that type of lock in which a. key plug and a core are mounted in a suitable casing or supporting structure.

Filed:         Oct. 21, 1931

Granted:     June 20, 1933

It is written that he got into the lock business after making a devise/lock that would prevent the spare tires from being stolen from the older cars. If you recall the old movies and pictures, the spare tires were mounted in the open on the back or the fenders.

Hurd Lock and Manufacturing Company manufactures security products for the automotive and industrial applications. Its products include cam locks and cams, plate locks, bolt locks, display case locks, self adjusting latch locks, non-locking twist locks, tubular keyed locks, switch locks, garage door locks, push locks, latches, and mechanical fuel pumps. The company was founded in 1919 and is based in Greeneville, Tennessee. Hurd Lock and Manufacturing Company operates as a subsidiary of Avis Industrial Corporation.

This is relative only to the fact that he wasn’t in the Fishing Rod/Reel business yet.

However it is very relative to the Genius of Edwin Hurd. His locks, keys, SuperCasters & Casters have been selling for approximately 70 years at this writing. The above items are always selling on almost every market where collectibles are sold or auctioned.