ORCA Online Forum - Feel free to talk or ask about ALL kinds of old tackle here, with an emphasis on old reels!
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Post by Pinardi »

Zwarg reels are my first interest, although I collected Kentucky reels for many years before starting my Zwarg collection. I'm still looking for a Zwarg model 300 6/0 if you have one.

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Post by mjohnson »

I primarily collect pre 1930 reels made by Pflueger. My favorites are sandwich construction reels and black rubber reels. I like the challenge of unmarked Pflueger reels.

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Reels you collect

Post by tarpontamer »

Tycoon -Fin Nor and EWF. Mostly big game .
Thanks John!

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Post by Brian F. »

I like the bigger Pflueger saltwater reels but I've added a lot of them over the years so not much active "collecting" (although it is hard to pass up a nice one with a box/tin :D )

Also look for german silver/hard rubber saltwater reels like the Montague Imperial series

To fill in the dry spells, I also like to collect fishing tackle and anything to do with Hawaii's fishing history. Don't have much in terms of a collection but Native Hawaiian fishing implements interest me too.

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Post by arley »

I collect ultralight spinning reels. I particularly like the european models- alcedo,zangi and the reels these makers made for US companies- Wright and McGill,Orvis,Ted Williams etc .I also like Ul Daiwa .Compac from Japan made a number of nice little ultralight reels.I must have about 300 misc reels that i would trade for those mentioned.

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Post by billybait »

Exclusively saltwater & big game reels by top makers such as EVH, Zwarg, Fin Nor etc. Due to prices, collection grows slowly..

Hand made saltwater reels from the golden era are my prime target.

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Post by Churchill »

john elder wrote:
1. What types/brands of reels do you collect?
Older Hardy Fly Reels in smaller diameters and Dingleys in any size.
To add colour the occasional Ari Hart, Bo Mohlin & Teardrop Bougle. Interesting Perfect style reels, the occasional Silex and Aerial, and solitary Bogdan and Hermann.
john elder wrote:
2. How old are the reels you collect? that something that's a factor in your collecting?
Mainly pre WW2, but not exclusively (as you can see)


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Post by Jonathan P. Kring »

As can be seen on pictures from my web page. I collect too many reels,of too many kinds,most of which are worth too little, for which I paid too much. I cannot afford high dollar reels. I recently figured out how much I have invested in tackle and if I had all of that money, could be enjoying retirement (more). I have lots of newer reels. most of which I from time to time use. I have done very little research on the reels I have and have no idea who made many of them. I do enjoy collecting.

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Jim Schottenham
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Post by Jim Schottenham »

1. What types/brands of reels do you collect?

I collect mainly side-mount reels from Upstate NY. It seemed a good fit, since most were made along the Mohawk river/Erie canal cities close to where I live. I also like early Black Bass reels, since it was bass fishing that brought me to collecting reels - and like Phil, my tastes range from the oldest Vom Hofe, Chubb, Kopf reels to the new Daiwa and Shimano reels.

2. How old are the reels you collect? that something that's a factor in your collecting?
When it comes to my core collection, age does matter. As it relates to all other reels, age is not a factor.

Great question John!

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Post by Roger Schulz »

I have always tried to diversify my collection. Early on I liked everything that was pre-1940 - the older the better. I can be equally happy with a $50 reel or a $500 reel. Over the past 20 years of collecting I have found myself keying in more on Meisselbach reels and early Pflueger reels. When you like about everything it is easy to go to a show and always find something. I do like reels in boxes. However, that makes them more costly to purchase.

Roger Schulz

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Post by Jerry J in OK »

My first collecting effort was pre-1960 Pflueger/ 4 Brothers baitcasting reels which are hard to find down here in the prairie. Just to have something to do when the Pflueger supply dried up I started with Made in USA Zebco spincasting reels. Zebcos are more readily available for me but I still look for the Pfluegers and 4 Brothers when I travel.


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Post by m3040c »

My main interest is pre-war Penn but I will often fall for a nice Ocean City.

Then I move to Big Game reels and rods, especially complete rigs that have connections to celebrities or IGFA Record Holders.

I like prototype reels, cradle reels and have a deep appreciation for the high quality salt water reels and rods from Vom Hofe, Zwarg, Joe Coxe, Early Pflueger, Fin-Nor and any salt water reel that I can connect a special history to.

The main thing I need is a bigger house to put all my junk in. :)

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Post by keebranch »

Mine tend to be blue collar in the scheme of things
Airex Ablettes fly reels
Fuerer Bros fly reels
Ocean city fly reels
Old HI fly variants
Berkley and Daisy Heddon which knock off the Hardy Princess and fly weights.

Nicest fly reel - 3 3/8" Hardy Perfect with 2 extra spool finish still in- tact. I pull it out and fish it in NM and Colorado.

In the auto fly reel I am interested in Mitchell 710 - I really like the fact that the spool can be changed out. This will be fished out of a Kayak for line control.


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What do I collect

Post by orourke »

I collect Bronson - Coxe - Bronson made trade reels. That means I have 25 cent utility reels and a couple of reels you could deep sea fish with.

I have been known to buy wooden reels of other manufacture as Bronson did not make wood reels. I have also picked up a few reels cause they just looked interesting.

I'm a true guy; if it is old, rusty, wooden, sharp or made in Bronson - I'll buy it :D

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Post by nomdeplume57 »

If it holds line I want it . Got several hundred including ,Pfluegers,Shakespeare's,Ocean City,Johnson,Coxe,Bronson,Winchester,Browning,Daiwa,Airex,Wards,Sears,Penn,Heddon,Langley,Southbend,Red River, Zebco 22,33,11,404,66.606,202,1,just to name a few sitting on my desk right now.
I prob need help from the Hoarder People with the Lures addiction I have also .:oops: Will link to some of this stuff one of these days .

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What I collect

Post by Airexguy »

As most of you know I collect Airex, Bache H. Brown and the Feurer Bros. lines. This includes the Bache Brown USA made Luxors, Bache Brown/Airex Equipment Co., Airex/Division of Lionel and all of the Feurer Bros line. I believe I still have a couple of F.B.'s to locate and of course any factory display reels that might be floating around, if there was such an item.

These reels go from around 1946-1973 and because I have been collecting for 18+ years I've now turned to collecting paper of any kind pertaining to these brands and doing research.
Thanks, Bob Halver----->The Airex Guy

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Post by Kevin McJunkin »

It might be easier to name reels that I don't collect! I have a collection of skeleton fly reels, Mitchell spinning reels, ultralight spinning reels, and early Pflueger Medalist and Progress fly reels (some in boxes). Being from PA I run across some interesting Penn reels in the field and have put a few of them into my collection. Phil White's Meisselbach and Shimano Bantam books have added immensely to my pleasure in collecting those items. Thanks, Henry, for selling me the gold Bantampromag at Grantsville! Recently found an early level wind model Pflueger Akron, purchased RAM's excellent Akron and Summit book, and found out it is a first model! I never sell a catalog unless it is a duplicate. I really like Italian spinning reels but am trying to resist them - maybe I'll just hold on to a few ultralight examples.

Age is not a critical factor as I like quality 70's and 80's reels (like Shimano Bantams) or those with a classic design. Of course I love the high end, early collectible reels like Vom Hofe but I also greatly appreciate (and my budget dictates) quality blue collar reels.

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Post by quashnet »

Hardy St. George fly reels with 3-screw latch plates from the 1920s and 1930s.




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Post by steve399 »

1. conventionals, mostly NLW's but some bait casters. Right now I'm building an assortment of mitchell 600 series. Have collected penn, OC, abu, mostly but not exclusively. I turn over pretty frequently.

2. typically 1920's and up.

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Post by Jim Madden »

I collect South Bend reels from 1911 to 1965 (with a few later exceptions). The goal was to catalogue and hopefully own 1 example of every model including any variations in logos or other markings within baitcaster and trolling models. The process would soon include spinning, fly, and the first few spin casters.

As the collection matured, I also looked for narrow spool tournament reels, and ultralite spinning reels mostly to use for fishing. Like Warren and Bill, I have some old favorites to use when fishing with old tackle. I've also had some enjoyment from color-matching reels from the various companies with unusual or colorful rod handles. I had to build some rod racks because of it, but the display is worth it.

The time period or current value of the reel is not so important. The yard stick is just whether I like it for some reason or not.

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Collecting interests

Post by radesrochers »

I collect vintage spinning reels, with particular emphasis on Alcedo, Luxor, Mepps,and Centaure. I especially like to find them with original box and instructions. I have numerous other makes as well as lots of duplicates and I'd bev happy to trade with other ORCA members.

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Post by racoonbeast »

Great topic. There are so many doors to enter "reel collecting" world from it is amazing that we ever agree on anything. My collection started with one criteria. "Big". I started out with and have most Penn Senators, all first generation Penn Internationals, most Ocean City 600 series, a growing handful of Ocean City 800 series cradle reels, one 10/0 with a rod of unknown manufacture attached, the whole unit being in pretty close to new condition, at leat half a dozen OC Long Keys. I just like them. No two are exactly alike. Strange oil ports and other little features on them seemed to come and go. I have one that is all German Silver. I have a respectable representation of Fin Nor sixties and seventies two speeds. I have perfect and complete wooden boxed specimens of Penn's 50th and 75th Anniversary commenorative Internationals. Then I discovered Italy and have a nearly complete collection of J.C. Rossetti Gladiators, a bunch of Everols of various periods, one 12/0 Mitchell President, basically a Rossetti that said "Mitchell President" for three years instead of Rossetti. A bunch of Duels, even though they began manufacture in 1990 and are not old. They are just an intoxicatingly beautiful piece of machinery. Then I discovered rare. I have a pre-production prototype one of three, Everol 18/0's. The other two will never leave the ownership of Everol, so I have the only one around in this phase of developement. There were several earlier ones while they were working on the size of the spool, with spools left "in the white". If you have one of these (I know an ORCA Member has one) and would like some money instead of a reel, let me know. Mine has been fully documented by Everol. I have THE 12/0 Fin Nor Tri-Speed owned by Stephen Zuckerman, the man who holds the patent on the mechanism, though the design work was done by Oscar Kovalovsky. The transmission of my reel is picutured and featured in Kovalovsky's book. I also have a specimen that belonged to Zuckerman of the 4/0 two speed that he and Oscar Kovalovsky collaborated on, Kovalovsky being the design wizard with Zuckerman being the man with the vision. At that time Fin Nor had not figured out how to make a two speed that small. The historian that Fin Nor referred me to says that very few of these were actually made. I have an Arthur Kovalovsky "C" type 9/0. Only fifty made, with only five of them with a brush nickel finish. Mine is the brush nickel and looks pretty close to new. Last, but not least, I accidently stumbled into a 10/0 Australian L.T. Willis "Neptuna" that was probably his "shop model" due to no markings, serial number, and other features that seem to support this. This one ended up paying me about two hundred bucks to own, but that is another story.

And it grows. I haven't gone down the Pflueger road yet, but I see it on my map.

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Post by m3040c »

Hello Jim,

You better watch out. Big Game Pflueger's can turn into a obsession. Just break down one Atlapac and you will be hooked. They are great reels that are as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside. :)

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Post by racoonbeast »

Hi Mike,

That's what I am afraid of. I have passed on some beautiful stuff at the right price. But, even though I hate the word, restraint has a place. I have lots of holes to fill in what I have going now. My first Pflueger will give me more holes to fill than I can juggle right now, because I am a finish one before starting another kind of guy. But, what to heck. I have had my eye on that Altapac for some time now. One could be coming to live with me any day now. As I said, restraint has a place. But and I am pretty close to deciding reel collecting isn't one of them.


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Post by Hoosier Dave »

I collect what strikes me as something I want in my collection, but try to focus on Indiana style reels. I have over 300 different Indiana style reels and many times that of the old bait casters in my collection and know of a couple more that I would like to have.

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