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Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:34 pm 
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John,

That Coxe reel makes a great avatar and it is a great reel too. I feel fortunate to have one as well. The reel has a 6 inch diameter with a narrow spool ... so ... is it a 10/0 or a 12/0 narrow or just a 12/0? Let's call it a 12/0 just for arguments sake as no one has ever seen a wider version of this 6 inch diameter reel.

We know the "no-screw" reels were being made at the same time as the "screw" model reels. Coxe produced a little pamphlet called "Tackle Facts" in 1925 that covered a lot of territory concerning fishing back in the day but also included the reels that he offered for sale at the time as well as their prices.

The reels were cataloged by their model names. In the catalog it would appear that the 4/0, 6/0 and 9/0 "screw" model Coxe reels were the "Catalina Swordfish-Tuna Reel". The 12/0 "screw" model was the "Zane Grey" and was "Special Order Only". The other reel listed is the 9/0 "Featherstone Broadbill" reel which I believe was the "no-screw" version of his 9/0 reel. He did not make the 4/0 or the 6/0 in a "no-screw" version only the 9/0 and its quick take-a-part features could have very easily justified the higher price tag. If you have ever had one of these reels in your possession you can appreciate the amazing way they are made and take apart without a tool.

Now, back to The 12/0 (?) reel in John's avatar - We know that a Coxe 12/0 "Zane Grey" reel has a 6 inch diameter as does John's reel so let's call it a 12/0 too. Also, let's assume that the "Featherstone Broadbill" reel referred to in the Coxe "Tackle Facts" brochure is the "no-screw" version of the Coxe reel ......

That would make this reel a Los Angeles Coxe 12/0, "Featherstone Broadbill", quick take-a-part big game fishing reel. The "Featherstone Broadbill" reels were built by Joe Coxe and were certainly "Special Order Only" and assuredly sold for a large premium over his regular reels of the same size as reflected in the price differences between Coxe's two 9/0 size reels (see below). To my knowledge, there have only been three of these "Featherstone Broadbill" reels found in the six inch diameter 12/0 size, most likely due to what must have been the reel's prohibitively high price tag.

Although custom sizes of Coxe reels have been found, the Los Angeles Coxe reels have only been found cataloged in 4 different sizes as shown in the attached page of the 1925 Coxe tackle catalog "Tackle Facts". They were -

4/0 - "Catalina Swordfish - Tuna Reel" - $150.00
6/0 - "Catalina Swordfish - Tuna Reel "- $150.00
9/0 - "Catalina Swordfish - Tuna Reel" - $150.00
12/0 - "Zane Grey" Special Made to Order Only - $750.00

Coxe also made a "no-screw" quick take-a-part version of the 9/0 and the 12/0 size reels. These reels, I believe, were the reels he called the "Featherstone Broadbill" reel and they sold for quite a bit more than his standard reels of the same size.

9/0 - "Featherstone Broadbill" Special Made to Order Only - $400.00
12/0 - "Featherstone Broadbill" - Uncatalogued - One can only imagine the price!

Compare the price of the 9/0 "Featherstone Broadbill" reel priced at $400.00 to the regular 9/0 "Catalina Swordfish - Tuna" reel priced at $150.00. Now figure that the Coxe "Zane Grey" 12/0 reel sold for $750.00, how much would the 12/0 "Featherstone Broadbill" version cost? If you figure the same percentage difference as with the 9/0 size reels then the Coxe 12/0 "Featherstone Broadbill" reel would have cost a whopping $2000.00.

Just to put the cost of Coxe reels into their proper perspective here are their prices compared to the comparable Edward vom Hofe and Julius vom Hofe reels of the day. The prices are taken from the 1930 Abercrombie & Fitch catalog -

- 4/0 SIZE REEL -
Edward vom Hofe Universal Star ..... $80.00
Julius vom Hofe, B-Ocean ............... $80.00
J. A. Coxe Swordfish - Tuna .......... $150.00

- 6/0 SIZE REEL -
Edward vom Hofe Universal Star ..... $85.00
Julius vom Hofe, B-Ocean ............... $85.00
J. A. Coxe Swordfish - Tuna .......... $150.00

- 9/0 SIZE REEL -
Edward vom Hofe Universal Star ..... $90.00
Julius vom Hofe, B-Ocean ............... $90.00
J. A. Coxe Swordfish - Tuna .......... $150.00

The difference was even greater in the larger 12/0 size big game reels -

12/0 or 6 inch Hardy Zane Grey .................... $235.00
12/0 Edward vom Hofe Commander Ross .... $250.00
12/0 J. A. Coxe "Zane Grey" ......................... $750.00

The 1st model double handled 15/0 Fin-Nor retailed for $500.00 in the late 1930s and a 16/0 Kovalovsky "Zane Grey" rim control reel sold for right around $500.00 as well.

In today's dollars the Coxe 12/0 "Zane Grey" reel would cost $9740.83 and, if in fact the 12/0 Coxe "Featherstone Broadbill" reel sold for $2000.00 back in 1925, it would cost $25,975.54 today, making it by far the most expensive big game reel ever produced. It's no wonder that only a small handful of both the 12/0 Coxe "Zane Grey" and 12/0 "Featherstone Broadbill" reels have ever surfaced.

Would love to hear other people's opinion on the "Featherstone Broadbill" reel. Do you agree that it is, or isn't the "no-screw" version of the Coxe reel. If not, what was?









Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:31 pm 
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How about a photo of your reel John. Is it the same as Eds?


Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:51 pm 
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What a nice piece of research compiled, Ed! I can't disagree with anything you've put together. I would just add that Joe did so many one-offs...or "few"-offs...that is hard to carry any generality about his reel production too far. I think what you say directly addresses what he offered in any quantity to anyone that could pull out the cash! As for generalities about the no-screw reels, it gets tougher because even though you don't see as many of them as screwed models, he was making them early...possibly earlier than the screwed Catalina reels. I have a 4/0 no-screw L.A. reel in my collection, for instance, that was likely an early reel and also likely became the prototype for all the 4/0 Bronson Coxe reels (I'll have to dig out detailed pics of that one to add). The "Oldest Coxe Cradle" reel that I recently posted about (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20832) is an example of the early use of the "no-screw" format.

In any event, here is my 12/0 narrow spool (or 10/0), with some pics of the guts added that I took as I cleaned it up. the only obvious difference to Ed's reel on the outside is the presence of two rod supports instead of just one. What you see on the inside is a relatively simple design, made with a minimum of moving parts that can make it a nightmare to overhaul on a rocking ship:







It's interesting that as expensive as this reel likely was, the number of bearings, which would have to be considered a hallmark of better quality reels, is nil in these reels, in favor of brass bushings. Presumably, this is again keeping it as simple as possible while putting in big enough guns to make this reel competitive in a big fish fight:


Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:38 pm 
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John & Ed,

I think your reels look a little like this.

Alan



Last edited by Alan Baracco on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:48 am 
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Thanks Ed and John. Great reels and great info to have!!


Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Guys what’s the possibility of transferring a handle from an early reel to a later....


Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Oops I’ve also seen 1st hand a very wide spool 9-0 screw version with extra heavy duty hardware...another version to note. I know it doesn’t help with out photos but it’s out there. Tight lines Nick in NY


Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Nick in NY wrote:Guys what’s the possibility of transferring a handle from an early reel to a later....

I don't know why anyone would want to transfer a handle from an earlier reel to either John's reel or my reel as they both have their original handles already on them. The handles on our reels have the detentes on the back side that match-up to the spring loaded ball that is affixed to the star drag, earlier handles, or later handles for that matter, would not work on these reels. Again, I don't understand why anyone would want to change out the original handles that are on our reels now.

Nick in NY wrote:Oops I’ve also seen 1st hand a very wide spool 9-0 screw version with extra heavy duty hardware...another version to note.

John and I both mention in our posts above that there are variations of Coxe reels but if you reread my original post you will see that I am talking about "CATALOGED" or "ADVERTISED" reels, reels that Coxe advertised through his own catalog or through other catalogs like the A&F catalog. The only reels I have ever seen "cataloged" are the 4/0, 6/0, 9/0 Catalina Swordfish-Tuna reels, the 12/0 "Zane Grey" reel and the 9/0 "Featherstone Broadbill" reel. If you have seen other "cataloged" Coxe reels made in Los Angeles please let us know which reel it was, the size and the cost. Thanks.


Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:43 pm 
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I mentioned handle switching because of the early California address as opposed to the Michigan address AND the earliest hold the most value, I’ve personally never tried switching them and shied away from the later but if some unscrupulous individuals were able to switch handles it’s possible it’s happened. It’s been done with Stead reels years ago from a reel coming out of Hawaii! I also noted another version of Coxe in general NOT cataloged! Tight lines Nick in NY


Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Nick, the Bronson reels are all plated... these are nickel silver!!


Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:17 pm 
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reeltackle wrote:I mentioned handle switching because of the early California address as opposed to the Michigan address AND the earliest hold the most value, I’ve personally never tried switching them and shied away from the later but if some unscrupulous individuals were able to switch handles it’s possible it’s happened.


What Coxe reel made in Los Angeles, earlier or later, would this handle have been "Switched" from? Have you ever seen an early, or later, Los Angeles Coxe reel having a handle with no counterbalance, detentes on the back-side and marked with the Los Angeles markings? I for one have not, but, I would not mind being proven wrong on this. If in fact these three handles were switched off other Los Angeles Coxe reels they would have had to come off a never before seen model reel that is every bit as scarce as these reels are, and then, the handles would have to fit our reels exactly. Also, considering all three reels came out years apart and from different sources, it would have had to have been a very well planned out "handle switching" conspiracy. If anyone has ever seen handles like this on any other L.A. reels please let me know, they measure 3 1/2 inches long and the round part is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The knob is extra large, much larger than the knob on a 9/0, it is the same size as the knob on a 12/0 "Zane Grey" Coxe reel.





In the picture below, the two reels on the left are Los Angeles Coxe reels and the reel on the right is a Bronson reel. The L.A. reels do not have a clicker and the pinning near the bearing cover is also different - one pin near the bearing cover for the L.A. reels - five pins near the bearing cover on the Bronson reels. There is also a pin up high in 12:00 position on all three L.A. marked reels (including John's reel). Both L.A. Coxe reels in the picture below and John's reel are configured exactly the same. There are other differences but these differences are external and easy to spot. Nick, I am open to hearing your theory on how these handles may have been switched.



Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Let me rephrase, John/Ed I’ve seen and had Bronson Coxe 12-0 reels in a wide spool and narrow nickel spool that had remains of clear coating still on it. The handle was also a half but stamped with the genuine Coxe info. The rest of the reel appeared possibly chrome plated. I’ve never seen the California next to a Bronson side by side to note the suttle differences. My reply/comment should have been to ask about the possibility of handle switching on a later Bronson version.....


Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:38 pm 
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I don’t follow your logic Nick. Why would someone take a handle that was obviously made for a 12/0 Los Angeles Coxe reel off their 12/0 Los Angeles Coxe reel and switch it onto later Bronson reel as you suggest. That just makes no sense to me.


Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:49 pm 
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My thoughts are if someone’s with a “possible parts reel” how easy would it “HAD been” to switch over a handle. Understand my “logic” judging by the handle differences you noted...not to easy. Also to note the narrow spool I owned did not have a rear click. Tight lines Nick


Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:13 am 
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Perhaps it is possible that some unscrupulous person at one time pulled off the old handle switch-a-roo on these three reels. But to make it happen on these three reels here is what he would have had to do to make it go down. First, he had to have owned the only three 12/0 Los Angeles Coxe reels with that style handle and all three would have to have been “parts” reels. He would then have to purchased three unique 12/0 Bronson Coxe reels, take the handles off the three unique 12/0 L.A. Coxe “parts” reels and then switch them onto the three unique 12/0 Bronson reels. Then, 44 years ago, he would have had to sell the first reel to Russel Griffith in Atlanta Georgia (God rest his soul) who owned it for 15 years before he sold it to me 29 years ago. The second one he then would have placed in an auction a few years ago. The third reel he somehow engineered it so that John could acquire it in a field find last year.

I understand what you are saying but I don’t think that handle switching is the case with these reels.


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