Best-looking reel ever made?

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Deepfins791
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Deepfins791 »

My vote would be for the "Albatross". This 2-speed reel was designed and built by Oscar Kovalovsky, for Steve Zuckerman. No, it's not old, having been finished in 1990. But man, look at this thing! Note the color-coded lever drag and the custom reel seat. Oscar was very proud of it, and believed it was the finest big game reel ever made. Below, see the 2-page letter Oscar typed up describing the reel. Oscar gave the Albatross to Zuckerman, who promptly had a custom rod made for it by Erskine and Fitch, of Cairns, Australia, and fished marlin with it. Oscar was actually in communication with the Zane Grey estate to potentially put this reel into production, and name it the “Zane Grey”. Thanks to Jay White for passing this one on to me!

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John





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Mike N
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Mike N »

Wow, John. It’s a beauty and looks kind of space age to me. Definitely worthy of a reel made in a place called Hollywood.

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Eric J
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Eric J »

I agree! The C’s are beautiful, and Mr. Shakespeare said he wanted to make it as artistically as possible to make. That particular C is a beauty!
I was at the Thoms auction with every intention of going home with an A. But the opening bid blew right past my self-imposed high bid and I just sat back and marveled at the bidding. I did go home with a nice old C and a nice Marhoff Reel Company reel. There was a Frederic VomHofe that caught my fancy too, but someone else wanted it more. So many great reels there!

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54bullseye
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by 54bullseye »

John I just came across this post and I agree 100 percent !! Best looking reel ever made !! Rod to !!!! John Taylor

wrong99
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by wrong99 »

Still the finest-looking casting reel that "was never put into production", IMO.


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reeltackle
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by reeltackle »

This Meek No.11 Tarpon & Tuna reel has to be in the running too.




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Paul Roberts
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Paul Roberts »

My first thought was, "There's no such animal!" Yes, there are ugly, and/or crappy, reels. But most quality reels are quite lovely. I guess I just like lots of looks, for different reasons. With modern tackle, I like both the organic and the Darth Vader tech look. If I had to choose, and do (heck, I'm buying them and aesthetics weighs in) I'm more in the camp with Wrong99, being a FW guy. I think the Summit's are mighty pretty too.

Here are some of mine I like for different reasons:
The South Bend 1200 is just simple, clean, and solid. The Marhoff No. 26 is too, and just serious looking. The Wondereel I like for the marbled head ring and handle grips. Wrong99's reel above takes this to a new level, along with some other details. The Supreme 1576 is not "pretty" but a serious machine that knows what it's for: The nicely detailed leaping bass. (This 1576 unfortunately has a parts reel in its future, and may become one itself. :( Seller gave it to me when I discovered its issues.)


This is a South Bend 1000 and a "vintage facsimile" S-glass rod that's being built for it. At this point the rod is just a gleam in daddy's eye. But you get the idea. Wraps will allow for other reels too.


Lastly, this Hercules takes a prize in my mind for its serious simplicity, clean lines, solid build quality, and functional design for its purpose: a heavy FW trolling and big lure casting reel.
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Nick in NY
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Nick in NY »

No no no no...about 25 years ago Lang’s sold a bait casting reel that was engraved top to bottom. Jim will agree it was 1 of the most impressive reel I’ve ever seen! Talk about coincidence...couple months after it sold I met the gentleman who sold it! Turns out it was found in the Bronx years earlier. The guy did custom rod wrappings and gifted it to him...I’m sure someone has a copy of the catalog.
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Nick in NY »

Wow the Kovalovsky is a close second and a 2 speed...gets no better!
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Paul M »

The fisherman scene reels must be considered among the best-looking collectible reels given all the reproductions.

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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Paul Roberts »

Yes, those "scene" reels are lovely. I could happily fish with one of those.
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John Savu
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

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With a great deal of bias, this is my favorite, REDIFOR Model "B". John

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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Steve »

Thanks to Mike, this beauty contest is held every three years. Here are three of my candidates, one for each year since the last pageant.



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RonG
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by RonG »

That Holzmann reel needs some eye drops. What a cool looking jeweled reel. I love those jewels.

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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Shellbelly »

All of these you have posted are great examples and each of you express your particular focus.
I'm captivated by the history and development of reels in general. Having used a wide variety in size and in different settings at a young age, they all mean something to me. Makers who emphasized art in their designs were just as masterful as those who stressed purpose, strength, and simplicity in their work.
Some love the lines of a Rolls Royce, others love the engine and there are those who love the M1 Abrams. All are impressive works.

I like to see these reels together because they cover a lot of ground in their designs and purposes.
Nobby, Superior, Jupiter, Sailfisher.



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Ron Mc
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Ron Mc »

What an awesome thread, and great entries.
I have an entry for fly reels. Osden Smiths Exchequer, JW Young pattern 2a.
Young's sliding agate patent;
palming rim;
optional click-pawl with variable friction drag;
spool riding on 2 Hoffmann aircraft control system ball bearings.
Image Image
Image Image
Image
There's also a spy story that goes with this reel.
The 1935 armaments directive surreptitiously began war production on parallel lines spread across small production shops throughout England.
JW Young made aircraft control systems, including the firing trigger mechanism for Hurricane and later Spitfire fighters.
This reel was probably designed to mask the boxes of Hoffmann aircraft control system ball bearings arriving at Mayfield works.
Image
Hoffmann had the ball bearing patent before WWI. During the war, both England and US nationalized Hoffmann ball bearing plants on their shores.

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54bullseye
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by 54bullseye »

These are a bit newer 1950s Fin-Nor's but pretty easy on the eyes !!! John Taylor




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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Ray Hencken »

For me it's a toss up between the Philbrook & Paine Marbelized Salmon Reel and the Leonard First Model Bi-metal Salmon reel. However, I can't exclude either of those models in the 3 in. diameter trout size.

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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Steve »

pretty easy on the eyes
Which reminds me:

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Nick in NY
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Nick in NY »

Nice John and condition to boot! Many moons ago I had an opportunity to purchase a 15-0 Fin-Nor from the late 40’s in an ice blue color. Unfortunately I passed on it (already had a double handle with pull handle and a super narrow double handle) being limited on space. No worries your phone will ring when next one is found! Tight lines Nick n New York
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54bullseye
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by 54bullseye »

Nick in NY wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:16 pm
Nice John and condition to boot! Many moons ago I had an opportunity to purchase a 15-0 Fin-Nor from the late 40’s in an ice blue color. Unfortunately I passed on it (already had a double handle with pull handle and a super narrow double handle) being limited on space. No worries your phone will ring when next one is found! Tight lines Nick n New York



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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Paul Roberts »

They are all beautiful in their own way. Or maybe I should say many are beautiful. Maybe an ugliest reel thread is warranted? :)) I'd say that the ugliest reels are the ones that are so poorly made that they... should never have been made.
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Bill Sonnett
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Re: Best-looking reel ever made?

Post by Bill Sonnett »

A couple of contestants. I use to think the single slide reels were earlier but Eric Jeska proved to me that the double slide was an option and that both were available at the same time.Image
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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