SOUTHAM – Sydney, Australia
William Southam of Sydney Australia was considered Australia's finest rod maker. Southam made a full line of boat and big game rods for deep-sea anglers.
One of Southam's biggest supporters was Australia's famous big game angler Erroll Bullen. Bullen swore by Southam's rods and when Zane Grey came to Australia to do some fishing Bullen introduced him to Southam's rods. Grey was so taken by Southam's rods that he wrote in his book, American Angler In Australia - "We used hickory rods and some dualwoods made of black palm and hickory. These were the best obtainable in the United States. I will not recommend them here because toward the end of my stay in Australia I found that Australian rods are superior to ours. Bullen's Atalanta rod made by Southam is the most wonderful rod I have used. It is built of split cane in six pieces. Beyond doubt it is the most beautifully made and finished, the strongest and springiest, the most enduring rod I have ever bent upon a big fish." High praise indeed from Mr. Grey.
Grey did not just praise Southam's rods, he ordered an extra heavy "Errol Bullen Atalanta" rod from Southam along with a full set of smaller rods. You might say that he put his money where his mouth was.