On breeding, SOMEONE is always selecting the female and stud for their next production. Tracing those back to Fred Arant's original line or the characteristics he was selecting may in fact involve selecting for similar traits that Arant desired. It all depends upon the breeder just as Arant depended on those who bred the dogs he originally used.
So describing the "Rebel" line as deceased is only partially true in my mind. There are a number of guys still active who saw Buckboard, A Rambling Rebel, Thunderclap, Double Rebel Jack, etc run in trials. Their offspring are the foundation of dogs that individuals are competing with today and using to breed their next generation. The influence of A Rambling Rebel as an individual may be a tiny percentage of the genetics BUT characteristics selected for by the breeders may indeed be following many traits he possessed.
ALL of us breeding dogs are influencing the gene pool when we get a good one or keep a solid line of winners going no matter what the line. I used a son of Law's High Noon myself to get the dogs I am now competing in AA trials. He was selected because I liked the characteristics he possessed much more than he was a Law's High Noon dog. That was very secondary.