For sale here is a very early Gary Howells rod - 8'6 2/1 6wt. Mint condition. It has nickel-silver ferrules that are not wrapped with silk like later Howells rods. It is also a single tip rod which he made a few of in the first three years (mostly longer rods). It could have also been an experimental taper or prototype rod. No one can be certain. The serial number of the rod is 3725. This indicates that the rod was made in 1970 when Gary was 37 years old (he started numbering his rods at 3700) so this is the 25th rod he made after leaving Winston. Original tube. The bag is not considered standard, perhaps a Winston bag. Gary's business card is affixed to the tube unlike the typical label one sees on later rods. The 8 1/2 rod for a six weight line is one of Winston's best tapers and probably Gary's as well, and not many were made in this configuration. I have also recently learned (courtesy of Joe Beelart) that there are only seven of the 4 1/4 oz. 8 1/2 feet rods known to have ever been made by Gary. This rod has been authenticated by Craig Lynch and Glenn Brackett as absolutely original.