Montague Rod & Reel Company - Montague City, Amherst, Pelham
Montague City was a tiny village, first settled in 1792, when it became a manufacturing center in 1885. Taking advantage of the water power available at the terminus of the reconstructed Turners Falls canal, which emptied into the river at Montague City, the Montague City Rod Company set up their operations in 1882. Montague made a variety of bamboo rods, including a line of long and sturdy surf rods, as well as boat rods. The venture was successful, but things really took off in the 1920s when the Montague Machine Company developed a milling machine that could plane the individual bamboo pieces to exacting measurements. The Montague Rod Company used it for over 20 years, and as many as one thousand rods a day were made in the factory. It produced more rods and had the largest line of split bamboo rods than any other company in history. The 1920's price ranged from $1.25 to $30, and the rods were available just about everywhere. In 1927 the company name was changed to Montague Rod and Reel Company. The company began to produce a line of reels in a range of prices and types. This historic fishing tackle company came to an end in 1934 when Montague was purchased by the Ocean City Manufacturing Company, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Montague City factory continued to produce fishing rods, but all reels were produced in Philadelphia. In 1955, the name was changed to Montague-Ocean City Rod and Reel Co.
History from 1930 Financial Report: MONTAGUE ROD & REEL CO.: Established in Massachusetts in 1887 as Montague City Rod Co. Present title adopted Sept. 20, 1927. Manufactures split bamboo fishing rods. Plants located at Amherst, Mass., Post Mills, Vt., and Montague City Mass. Acquired about 1906, Malleson Rod & Reel Co., with plant in Brooklyn, N. Y. for manufacture of fishing reels. In 1928, acquired control of Montague Oar & Paddle Corp., manufacturers of "Ted Shea" oars and paddles. Employees number 400.