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Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:46 am 
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Unusual, unknown maker, skeleton type multiplier reel

(Yes, I considered that this was a kite string winder. I searched and saw nothing even similar. The foot is curved to fit around a rod’s reel seat, and I saw nothing that multiplied. I welcome some opinions and comments here, please.)

Got this from a collector about a year ago, paid well, but I liked it- reminds me of a ferris wheel! Very well-made! Close tolerances, gears mesh smoothly. At first thought, I had been thinking home made. But after examination, this is either a VERY well-made shop reel (why would someone put so much effort into making a single reel?) or a limited production, small maker, commercial one. Eh, from what Dr. Todd has said, there are some very well made shop reels done!




Construction:

The feature that caught my eye of course was the three “in-line” gears! The way they’re arranged explains why the reel stands so high off the rod I think. All-in-all, the three gears give it a 3 1/2:1 ratio.

The handle is very fancy, aluminum (or possibly NPB- having a tough time deciding!) and has a pair of knobs stacked end-end. Interesting.

No click. Spool is aluminum, possibly NPB, with steel cross bars. Frame and crank also aluminum, or once again possibly NPB. Foot is brass, as is the hub for the handle. The overall appearance is like that of a “large arbor” style modern reel.

There’s several drilled holes and/or screws that apparently serve no purpose. Possibly they were put there for mounting a click or other feature?See pics.

The screw for the handle hub has a spring around it? May be a way to increase/decrease drag? I tried turning, but it is frozen.

Another old, odd reel (kite line winder? Heh heh). Thanks for taking the time to look, and as I said I welcome some opinions and comments!
Best--- Joe Walkowski (WNYTC, ORCA)



Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:12 pm 
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Seems like we had something similar on here a year or two ago. Mr. Vernon may remember some details about it.


Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:22 pm 
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The spring may be for a free spool. Did you try pulling straight out on the handle? There is also what looks like a dog so that it would only turn in one direction.


Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:23 pm 
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I owned it at one point, can't remember who I sold it to.

Image

Image

Image

I am pretty sure I posted pictures of it here when I bought it and nothing definitive about it was said.

Dean.


Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:22 pm 
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Don! Bingo! Handles pulls outward just enough to disengage the gearing! Freespool! Now... what's a "dog"?

And Dean, I might have been the one that bot the reel from you. I posted some hand made reels here I'd been collecting and someone emailed me and offered it. If it was you, thank you! I really enjoy "playing" with that one.

Thanks all. Best--- Joe Walkowski (WNYTC, ORCA)


Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:28 pm 
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reelsmith. wrote:I owned it at one point, can't remember who I sold it to.

I am pretty sure I posted pictures of it here when I bought it and nothing definitive about it was said.

Dean.

That would be the one I was remembering. At least my memory hasn't totally faded. :)


Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Is it likely that handle originally had a grasp on both ends with the center hole as the shaft center? That is, the grasp on one end was removed and added to the other one to make a longer grasp, then the center hole was covered with the screw/nut, and it was mounted using the hole from the removed grasp?

...or not!


Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:59 am 
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Jimbo! Man- you should get a job with CSI or "Bones" or something. The handle actually DOES look like a two knob to one knob conversion! The dbl handles are held on by a long threaded bolt with a nut facing toward to reel- pretty crude compared to everything else. The distance from center of each knob to center handle is 7/8 inch. Coincidence? I think not!

However- the shape of the handle is different on both ends. Kinda odd to have a handle designed to be double have the ends shaped differently, isn't it? I was thinking the handle was pulled off an old Shakespeare or something then modified, but that may not have been the case. And why would the maker use a part from another reel just for the handle when everything else seems to be hand-fashioned? Doesn't fit into the design of the rest of the reel.

My guess now is that... the maker HAD designed the reel to be double handle. Went through the time and effort to fashion the piece, drill it, etc. THEN decided the radius was much to small for the reel! So, probably after cursing up and down, he then modified his own original handle (including cutting down the one end of the crank!) to be a longer single handle crank. How's all that sound to you learned gentleman.

'Nuther question just popped into my head: do you think this reel was meant to be mounted on top of, or below the rod?

And Don, where is that "dog" you mentioned above?

Thanks all for the input! Reels are neat-o! Best---- Joe Walkowski (WNYTC, ORCA)


Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:37 pm 
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I'm going to suggest that this is, in fact, a line drier rather than a reel. I might have missed it...what's the diameter of the spool, Joe??


Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Hi John-- the idea that this is a line dryer did pass through my mind.

However, the dryers I could find were all with a very large spool- this unknown has a spool diameter across the crosspieces of just 2 3/8", hardly more than a reel.

The dryers I found were all single action (facilitated of course by the large diameter). This item is a 3 1/2:1 multiplier. Seems kind of odd that someone would design a line dryer more sophisticated than some reels.

Lastly- the dryers I found are free standing, or have a clamp or some way of attaching to a tabletop or possibly a rod. This is to allow one hand to crank the line onto the dryer without it falling over while the other hand held the reel being stripped to keep it from bouncing all over the place. This piece has what is obviously a cupped foot for attaching it to a rod. That would require a separate reel seat or set of rings to hold it on the rod. There would have to be rings of different diameters to accommodate rod handles of different diameters.

I hope my thinking is logical and makes sense. Line dryer is a good thought, but I have to stick with reel. Open for more opinions. I'm still amazed that it can be put into free spool by pulling outward on the handle!

Best---- Joe Walkowski (WNYTC, ORCA)


Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:35 pm 
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A "dog" would be a piece that fits into a gear to act as an anti-reverse. It would also click as the reel is turned. That's your dog barking.


Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:29 am 
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However- the shape of the handle is different on both ends.


With all due respect, I don't think this was a double grasp handle - rather a dog-leg style counter balance handle like the one on this Style B reel

The counter balance weight looks to have been removed and the subsequent hole used to screw to the handle to the reel. As for the purpose of the rig, I'm guessing it was used for deep water trolling, such as the Great Lakes, where long lines were let to drift with multiple spinner blades at the business end, before mono lines were introduced. The large pinned arbor would allow the line to dry, and the large spool would have been to accommodate the large amount of line (both in length and diameter). Free-spool makes sense too, since you wouldn't be casting with it, letting out the desired length of line to reach the depth desired. Just my .02 cents.
Jim


Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:23 pm 
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Ah ha! Sure looks and sounds good to me, Jim! Great insight! I appreciate the input. I'm learning a lot about this little sweetheart!

Any thoughts as to whether it was used on top of or beneath the rod? Best---- Joe Walkowski (WNYTC, ORCA)


Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Having had the advantage of handling this reel, I agree with Jim and think it was used for deep water trolling.

I don't think it was a line dryer as the line would be too stacked up and not spread out enough to effectively dry.

As to the back-to-back knobs on the reel, they appear (to me) to have been swiped from a production reel.

Joe, I'm happy you are enjoying it.

Reels with more questions than answers are often the best kind.

Dean.


Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:24 am 
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I'm going to throw out that it appears to me that this reel was used beneath the rod for two reasons: 1) the gearing makes the spool turn in the same direction as the handle, so on the bottom it would've wound line on the reel as we are accustomed to seeing it go on the spool, both right- and left-handed. 2) The size (particularly the height) would have made it difficult to control the torque/twist on the rod if it were used on top. I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense to me.


Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:50 am 
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Lot's to think about!

Jim- Seems odd that someone would put together a home-made reel but then use a scavenged handle. But... possibly the maker was good at working with rods, tubes, and flat sheets of metal, but not so good cutting and shaping parts (like the handle). Or maybe he just felt like saving time and effort. Scavenging a handle sounds good.

Matter of fact, the brass foot doesn't seem to go with the rest of the reel. That might have been scavenged, too? I'm sure the knobs came from somewhere, off of something, but maybe not a reel. They almost look like big jewelry beads!

And Sid-- I gotta agree the reel likely sat hanging down from the rod. I see your point about the direction of the winding in. If reel was on top, line would come in between the reel and the rod, just a couple inches of clearance and looks awkward, and just "not right"! Reel underneath and the line comes in on the bottom- much better! And yep- the weight and height of the reel would really tend to make it difficult to keep on top! Plus you'd never be able to rest it on the gunwale while waiting for bite without the whole thing flipping over! Hey, maybe it's an early multiplying fly reel! Only thing is you'd need a rod of about 36 ounces to balance with it- not exactly a "delicate wand". LOL!

And yep, any old tackle makes you think about "the stories they could tell"- but old home made reels like this, makes you think that the best stories they could tell would be how, and why, they were made! I'm still amazed it's a free-spool and I didn't even know it!

One of my favorite homers! Thanks all for your insight and comments. Anything else to add, fire away! Best--- Joe Walkowski (WNYTC, ORCA)


Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Those Great Lakes guys came up with all sorts of trolling gimmicks that one can only imagine, including the Victrola Box. Joe, yours will always be a good one to sit on the shelf and hypothetically discuss. :)


Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:26 pm 
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Yes, I believe what you have is an early downrigger. I have come across similar reels manufactured for that purpose in the past.


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