Meet the Skyline Prostaff – 1976

Skyline Industries 100% graphite rods, In-Fisherman, May 1976.

Skyline Industries 100% graphite rods, In-Fisherman, May 1976.

We’ve talked about the advent of graphite (carbon fiber) into fishing rods before on the site, which happened in the early 70s. One of those early graphite rod pioneers was a company out of Texas called Skyline Industries. Back in December 1975, Skyline applied for a patent on the use of carbon fiber (Graphite fiber fishing rod – United States Patent 4043074), which they were later granted on 08/23/1977. But this piece isn’t focused so much on that technology as it is on the marketing at the time.

Skyline began back in 1960 when Jack Roach, Joe Cates and Melvin Haas formed a partnership and founded the company. Back then, the company was based around supplying the aerospace/military industry. Jack himself had previously worked for General Dynamics. Upon developing their carbon fiber rod line, they were one of the first to advertise in In-Fisherman magazine (1976), and like most companies of the time, they had a popular spokesperson in those ads, one Al Lindner. However, where they seemed to differ from a lot of other early fishing companies was that they were an early adopter of what we now refer to as the “pro staff” concept. In an interview from the AFTMA Trade Show in Chicago, 1977, Jack mentioned that they (Skyline) “…Had 29 of the 30 professional anglers who fished in the American Bass Fisherman’s championship fishoff last year using Skyline rods.” A slightly later IF Skyline ad (1976) in In-Fisherman had the entire ‘prostaff’ pictured, and the list of guys using their product was impressive. Many you might not recognize, but others such as Guy Eaker, Woo Daves, Ted Capra, John Fox, and Jerry Crowell, you likely do.

Take a look at the pictures below and see how many early professional bass fishing pioneers from the ad that used Skyline rods at the time, you can recognize.

SL1

SL2

SL3

SL4

  • A J Faria

    Wow. That was my first graphite. They where from Lufkin TX, right?

    I remember looking it up on a map and it was right up the way from Toledo Bend.
    Thought, these boys must know how to make a Bassin’ rod!

    Pistol grip and all!

    Thanks, AJ

  • Brian

    Very close, A. J.. Fort Worth, TX is where all the addresses I’ve seen for them are. They did seem to be very popular, so I’m guessing they were the first graphite rod for a lot of bassers back in the day.

  • Stephen Whyde

    I have Skyline spinning rod. 5 1/2 feet, extra light action. Need to have 1 eye replaced.
    Any idea how much its worth?

    • Stephan, I’m just guessing here but I’d say maybe $50.00. The only way to really find out is to put it on eBay and see what people are willing to spend for it. I have a number of original Phenix Boron rods and I don’t think I could get more than that for them. Now if you’re talking an old original Fenwick one-piece Flippin’ Stik, I’d say different.

      Terry

  • rolando

    I have one its the (4043074) skyline G.Any idea how much is worth?