Flashback Friday: Got a Light?

I sometimes carry a pipe in the evening, puffing on some Captain Black when the mosquitoes are particularly aggressive. Some evenings are just not complete without a nice cigar but smoking no longer holds the allure it once did. There was a time, though, when (male) anglers were almost expected to smoke and the image of an angler with a pipe in his mouth became darn near iconic.

Abercrombie & Fitch featured pipe-smoking anglers for years, at least before they turned their attention to scrawny, beautiful young people and making push-up swimsuits for seven year old girls.

I have never quite figured these two out but the guy with the rod has a pipe so he must be cool. Pretty clever, using a guy with a fly rod and a pipe to sell safari suits. And just look at the size of his fly!

The Bantamac “Umbrella Jacket” was “more than a fine spectator jacket.” Rugged and capable of keeping you “warm as a campfire,” it offered protection on the water or on the links. Again, the pipe is an integral part of the image.

Somewhere along the line, pipes became less popular and common, as anglers (or at least the ads targeting them) switched over to the much cleaner, healthier and convenient smoking of cigarettes.

Cigars are the more common smoke of choice today, at least among the anglers of Fish in a Barrel Pond (not, of course, if I am asked by their wives) but, no matter what guys chose to smoke through the years, they had to light it on fire first and, as with all things an angler might desire, someone was there to make sure he could have it.

The Zippo has been providing reliable service and dependable flames for years.

The Beattie Jet Flame lighter had a “conventional” flame for cigars and cigarettes, but when tilted slightly it shot out a hot jet of flame for pipes and many other unspecified “plus-uses”.

But who says you can’t have both function and style? The VU-lighter by Scripto filled the bill, with a choice of colors and insert options, including one with a real hand-tied fly in the reservoir.

Sometimes I see ads like this in the old magazines I collect and wonder what someone must have been thinking. Then, I’ll come home with something I’ve found and Mrs Gordon will wonder what I must have been thinking.

There it was, in a tray of old bottle openers and Hot Wheels cars and I had to have it. I only have one, so it’s not like I collect them. It takes at least three of something to be a collection. Give me a few months.

Got a light?

Categories: Flashback Fridays | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Got a Light?

  1. That lighter is AWESOME. I wonder how those guys fly fished with a pipe in their mouth… I have enough trouble staying on my two feet while casting. (:

  2. Ah, the good old days. You really need to be “older” to appreciate how the times have changed. Put a hook on a Zippo once…took out the guts and drilled a hole in the end opposite the hook and caught a pipe…clack, clack.

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  4. Love the lighter too. You have stimulated my antiquing and collecting gland……at least as far as craigslist will go!

    Home Skillet

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