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My first Restle Decoys

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My first Restle Decoys
Good morning, All~


I have just begun rehab on a batch of Restle Decoys - a first for me. Although I have learned about them here and elsewhere on the interwebs, this is the first time I have seen them in-hand. As I understand it, Restle invented the first coated foam decoys - gluing on ground corn-cobs as "Trestle Coat". I do not know when this was begun. As always, I am anxious to learn from others.


The batch includes 7 decoys - 5 Blacks and 2 Hen Mallards.....






...and 3 extra heads - Hen Pintails from the bill paint:






The herd includes birds from 3 or 4 "vintages"; most have intact Trestle Coat on the bodies, most heads are un-coated hollow plastic; one bird seemed to have been flocked, body and head. Here is one from Maumee, Ohio.







Another from the same locale - perhaps a more recent brand/imprint - or are these near-mint bodies earlier?







One from Beaver Dam. I am wondering if there was a connection with Herter's - which I believe operated from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin in their later years. (I visted their store there in 1976.)









All share the same keel design - 3/4-inch on edge, with a unique shape:






One tail needed a bit of patching and re-coating. A few heads had been glued on - so I coated them on the decoy. The foam is white and appears to be styrofoam - not urethane.







Wherever I could, I removed the heads for coating. I brushed on straight epoxy (US Composites 635) and sprinkled on fine sawdust from my bandsaw. I am taking advantage of the warm Spring sun to hasten the cure - doing the work the woodstove does all Winter.


One body appeared to be un-coated; another was very thin - so I coated those 2 bodies.







I take pains on the heads to not coat the bills or eyes.






Question: I am wondering if Restle Pintails used the same bodies - which have a fairly broad tail - or bodies with a unique Pintail shape (as Herter's used to do).



Any photos or scanned catalog pages would be welcome!


Stay tuned,


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Apr 7, 2021, 4:05 AM
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Steve, what a great project. I acquired two dozen Broadbill many years ago that sit graciously in my attic. They have never been rigged or hunted over. If I could keel them to self right they might someday be added to my rig.

Looking forward to your progress.

RVZ
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
I have always liked Restle Decoys; I used to own 5 dozen of them until someone decided they liked them more than me and swiped them from my truck while I was having breakfast after a morning hunt. Restle Decoys were eventually purchased by Herters, and so any bodies with the Beaver Dam, Wisc marking is of a more recent vintage.
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Have several i,ve redone over the years. All puddle ducks . Re restle coated all of them and originally reused factory heads. Switched them all since to Homer heads which really make them a nice looking decoy. Don,t know if that keel was designed like that to make them swim in current but it does. May have been simply to match the eyebolt size or possablly to allow for cord wrapping around body without sliding back when stowed. They ride choppy water great.
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Restle Decoy users, and collectors have their own website that contains lots of info.

Many of the older Ohio waterfowlers, and decoy carver/makers are a wealth of info on Restle Decoys.

If and when the Ohio show resumes make a point to get to the show.

Some Restle decoys have been in my rig for many years, with original Restle Decoy Anchors. I was a bit surprised as to how collectable the old anchors are. Still have six that are new and unused, NFS.

VP











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
All~


Thanks for the info!


Vince: Yes, this site is very helpful.



http://www.restledecoys.com/


Lots of other sweet decoys there, too.


Roy~ I love the wide flat bodies - and bet they would look just fine with Homer heads.


All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Steve

Here's a brochure from Restle they mailed me in 1994. Any chance you have one of their anchors hanging in your shop?

Eric








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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
I have a half dozen of the magnum mallards. Never seen water.
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Restle may be gone, but the puddler and diver bodies are still available.

Blank Foam Bodies - Puddle Duck Bodies (fowlfoolers.com)

Blank Foam Bodies - Diver Bodies (fowlfoolers.com)

Eric

Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Apr 9, 2021, 10:43 AM
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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Thanks, Eric~


I have some anchors that are close in shape - but not exactly the same.


More progress on the herd:






All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
Tony~


I am trying to figure out whether the birds I'm working on are standard or magnum. I'm thinking standard; the bodies are about 16.5 inches LOA.


Are yours handy for a quick measurement?






All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: My first Restle Decoys In reply to
All~


The Mallard pair is done - but for their bottoms, which need sealing and painting.






Here's what other Mallards see....






All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com