Mystery California Saltwater Reel

ORCA Online Forum - Feel free to talk or ask about ALL kinds of old tackle here, with an emphasis on old reels!
Post Reply
User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

Someone from another forum just asked me for help in identifying this reel. He gave me a neat, colorful story about how old it might be and where it came from,
Mike, thanks for all your insight to Penn reels.....but I do have a question regarding a reel I cannot find info on....it's a Roll's Engineering Model 300....the company was listed out of Los Angeles, Ca.....I got this reel from my dad who states he bought it from a "wino" on the Santa Monica pier that needed money for another bottle of liquid libation.....this was back in the mid 50's and was attached to a Harnell Rod that "was built like a 2x4".....the rod is long gone but I do have the reel....it's about the size of a jigmaster and the sheet metal side plates have been factory jeweled.....any help would be appreciated...
Then he added some pictures of the reel,
Image

Image

Image

Image

I have never seen this model before, can anyone help with the identification of this reel and possibly any history about it :?:

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

Still have no info on this reel, can anyone help :?:

Brian F.
Star Board Poster
Posts: 3335
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2003 1:23 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Brian F. »

Sorry, doesn't look like it, Mike. I guess we are all as puzzled as you are.

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

Yes Brian, this is a strange one. It would be easier to understand if it was a Chinese Trade reel but this is a made in the USA reel. This one is tough.

User avatar
kingfisher
Super Board Poster
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by kingfisher »

Mike,

Is there anything on the foot that you could use to look for a patent?

Ray

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

Is there anything on the foot that you could use to look for a patent?
I do not see anything in the pictures. The reel is not mine. The reel is marked "Patent Pending". That is vague because Patent Pending may or may not mean it was ever patented. The Manufacturer is the "Rolls Engineering Company" of Los Angeles, California.

I guess at this point, a search of businesses in Los Angeles from the 1930's to about the 1960 might be a starting point. I do not know if pending patents could possibly be searched for?

Usually a no name trade reel could be related to a build style of a major manufacturer but this one is odd. The frame of the reel is one piece that seems like it may be spot welded or possibly riveted to the inner side plate trim rings and handle looks like a 1930's style, sort of like a Pflueger copy.

A mystery for sure. :?

User avatar
john elder
Star Board Poster
Posts: 7807
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:44 pm

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by john elder »

I'm beginning to think you could do a sizeable book just on the subject "Fishing Reel Makers of Los Angeles". Lots of talent ended up there after each war and were likely inspired by the success of folks like Coxe, Stead, Klein, Kovalovsky, just to name some biggies. I think we could expand this list greatly if we counted surrounding areas: "Reels of Southern California". Many were likely one-offs from talented folks that never had the resources or marketing skills to compete with the likes of Pflueger, Bronson and Penn for the smaller reel market. That swirlled character on the sideplates gives the reel a bit of uniqueness, but is an easy thing to create for anyone with a lathe or drill press, so could be done in a garage shop..

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

I'm beginning to think you could do a sizeable book just on the subject "Fishing Reel Makers of Los Angeles". Lots of talent ended up there after each war and were likely inspired by the success of folks like Coxe, Stead, Klein, Kovalovsky, just to name some biggies. I think we could expand this list greatly if we counted surrounding areas: "Reels of Southern California". Many were likely one-offs from talented folks that never had the resources or marketing skills to compete with the likes of Pflueger, Bronson and Penn for the smaller reel market. That swirlled character on the sideplates gives the reel a bit of uniqueness, but is an easy thing to create for anyone with a lathe or drill press, so could be done in a garage shop..
No doubt the jeweling on the side plates is the easiest part of the reel appearance to create, that could possibly be throwing us off because it could be done by someone after they bought the reel. I assume the reel's material is aluminum, which makes the jeweling process very simple.

The side plates and frame look like they may have been stamped in a press. If they were, that means someone invested some money to create this reel. At the very least a few dies had to be machined to make the parts.

""Fishing Reel Makers of Los Angeles"", John you would be the perfect author for a work with that title. :D I will buy the first copy.

User avatar
kingfisher
Super Board Poster
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by kingfisher »

The stamping on the foot was done while it was flat and then pressed into shape. Not likely a back yard job.

User avatar
Mike N
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2549
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: West Virginia ORCA CHARTER MEMBER c. 1990

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Mike N »

Can the OP or someone else post what exactly is written on each line of the reel foot?

There seem to be four lines of print, and I can make out what appears to be the following on my iPad:


RO***ENG Co.
***-ROLLS-***
*00
LOS ANGELES CA
Last edited by Mike N on Fri May 01, 2015 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Midway Tommy D
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2514
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:23 pm
Location: Eastern NE

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Midway Tommy D »

ROLLS ENG Co.
PAT. - ROLLS - PEND.
300
LOS ANGELES CA

All caps except the "o" in Co. The end letter sizes have been reduced because the foot ends were tapered. Lines are centered in the length of the foot but the post won't let me configure it that way.

Tom

User avatar
Mike N
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2549
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: West Virginia ORCA CHARTER MEMBER c. 1990

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Mike N »

Thanks, Tommy.

User avatar
Mike N
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2549
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: West Virginia ORCA CHARTER MEMBER c. 1990

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Mike N »

Mike N wrote:Can the OP or someone else post what exactly is written on each line of the reel foot?

There seem to be four lines of print, and I can make out what appears to be the following on my iPad:


RO***ENG Co.
***-ROLLS-***
*00
LOS ANGELES CA

I hope a search of some old Los Angeles business directories can turn up something.

User avatar
Mike N
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2549
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: West Virginia ORCA CHARTER MEMBER c. 1990

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Mike N »

Here is a link to the last 150 or so years of Los Angeles County directories.

https://sites.google.com/site/onlinedir ... losangeles

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

Whether we find any info or not, I really appreciate the help. Thank you all.

nomdeplume57
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by nomdeplume57 »

Here is another that sold a while ago.
http://junksave.com/item/vintage-rolls- ... nstruction

There was a Rolls England Fly Reel .Maybe the England is abrieviated on that base and they were trying to get into the casting reel business back when and just never took off???????????

User avatar
john elder
Star Board Poster
Posts: 7807
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:44 pm

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by john elder »

Well, i believe that solves the mystery as to whether it was a production reel or not! Looks to be identical to mike's post. Given its from LA, it would seem very unlikely to have connection to the UK Rolls reels, although they may have chased them off from the name use?

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by m3040c »

Great piece of info. So we now know that is a real reel, not a one off. Thanks.

User avatar
kingfisher
Super Board Poster
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by kingfisher »

Did you notice that the handle looks more at home . It also has a knurled counterweight that matches the knurling on other parts of the reel.

User avatar
Lynn Thomas
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:12 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Lynn Thomas »


Here's another one. Different grasp than on the first picture.

Harry Verdurchi
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:01 am
Location: in a van down by the River
Contact:

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Harry Verdurchi »

Image

Stef Duma
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:54 am
Location: England

Re: Mystery California Saltwater Reel

Post by Stef Duma »

The Rolls England are JW Young reels the one above is an Ambidex.

Post Reply