What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

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Deepfins791
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What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Deepfins791 »

Gotta love this one! I was digitizing Randy Pauly's collection of negatives from the Zane Grey estate, and came across this one. No idea who made this contraption, but definitely a cool rod and reel combination. Note it was pouring rain at the time this picture was taken on his boat. What better way to spend a day when you can't go fishing, than to relax on the deck and play with tackle. Where, oh where did this one end up!

Cheers,
John

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Jay White »

John, that is a Mitchell-Henry outfit. I have the exact same setup. Will try to post some photos.

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Deepfins791 »

Yes, Jay, please!

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by john elder »

Jay, please explain what it’s doing while you arat it! Is that a locking reel seat? ...bizarre, even for M-H!
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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Jay White »

I purchased this outfit out Australia. The gentleman that had it had it shipped to him in two pieces. The shipper cut the rod in half to ship it. I have the complete set up, just need to fix the rod. Maybe its Zanes??

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Nick in NY »

....check to see what the serial number is.....I’ve the same minus the rod but my reels stamped #1
Wanted Ultra rare salt water reels including big game as well as unknown rare surf reels!

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Deepfins791 »

So Jay, does the "parking brake" lever control a drag?

According to Randy, this picture was taken in New Zealand. Could be the same one. I would have cut the rod in half, too! :loco:

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Nick in NY »

...do you notice a “strap” around the wheel on the rear of the reel! It applies pressure to the wheel.
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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by KIWI »

Super Cool ! Lots of history there. Jay, is the rod solid round hickory? Doug

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Jay White »

Yes, the rod is solid hickory.

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by reeltackle »

Zane Grey and Lorenzo Cecil Mitchell-Henry, two men who very much disliked each other.

I believe there is some film footage of Zane Grey aboard the Fisherman with that Mitchell-Henry reel in the short film "Zane Grey's Outdoors Adventure" which was taken at the same time as the photo you posted. I've always thought it strange that Grey would own one of Mitchell-Henry's reels based on the very public feud that took place between the two famous anglers.

Grey and Mitchell-Henry had very opposing views on what was considered sporting when it came to landing big fish. They made their feud public in a series of magazine articles where they directed their venom towards each quite openly and by name. Mitchell-Henry, it would seem, got in the last word in his book "Tunny Fishing" where he picked apart the story Zane Grey wrote in his book "Tales of Tahitian Waters" about his capture of his 1040 pound marlin in Tahiti. When you read it you almost feel embarrassed for Grey because Mitchell-Henry does such a thorough job of picking Grey's story apart sentence by sentence. I would recommend the Mitchell-Henry book to those who are serious about the history of big game fishing, big game reels and their history, it is a great read and he was quite an interesting guy. The book also has pictures of all the different variations of Mitchell-Henry's reels as well as some great fishing photos.

For a brief bio of the man and some photos of the different reel models check out my Mitchell-Henry page on my website.

https://antiquefishingreels.com/salt-wa ... ell-henry/

Here are a couple of photos of my reel which is the same model as Jay's and the one in the photo. I wish I had the complete outfit like Jay's!





Below are some different models of Mitchell-Henry reels that were produced over the years. I have always thought it awkward that the braking mechanism was completely exposed on the early models as it would leave them vulnerable to all kinds of obvious problems. The freespool mechanism I also find problematic as its operation is quite awkward and it is easy to disengage the gears by accident as the release is located on the handle right by the winding knob. One might speculate that these might be the reasons why you don't see many of these very cool reels floating around. The Edward vom Hofe reel pictured is a prototype that Mitchell-Henry documents in his book. I have only seen one other like it.



Last edited by reeltackle on Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by reeltackle »

Here are some photos of a later model Mitchell-Henry reel. These are the original photos that were used in the Harlan Major's book "Salt Water Fishing Tackle", another must have book for collectors. The braking mechanism is pretty darn intricate to say the least.







Mitchell-Henry's book, "Tunny Fishing".

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by reeltackle »

John asked -
Jay, please explain what it’s doing while you arat it! Is that a locking reel seat? ...bizarre, even for M-H!
It doesn't exactly lock the reel to the rod but it goes around the rod which would keep the reel from jumping overboard if the reel seat failed. What appears to be a rod clamp is part of a secondary braking mechanism.

Let me try and explain -

The hand you use to hold the rod above the reel operates the auxiliary brake. First you squeeze the lever mechanism mounted on the rod above the reel in towards the rod. When you squeeze the lever the "reel seat clamp", which was made to pivot, moves forward slightly which in turn moves the brass attachments you see mounted on the rims of both the front and rear side-plate slightly. The brass attachment on the rear side-plate is connected to a brass cable that then attaches to the band covered with asbestos that goes around the drag wheel ... so ... when you pull the lever it tightens the band on the wheel creating drag. The drag can also be tightened by turning the thumbscrew you see out near the brass band at the end of the cable ..... It's complicated :bash: .

Here is a photo from Mitchell-Henry's book that might help explain it a little.



Here is a photo of one of his later, more sophisticated outfits. It looks like it might have taken a couple of days to put it all on. Heaven help the poor son-of-a-bitch who wasn't lashed to his fighting chair if a giant tuna were to drag him overboard :shock: .



Here are photos that of the vom Hofe prototypes that Mitchell-Henry had touched up a bit so you could not pin the exact maker.

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by 54bullseye »

WOW :shock: Now that's Vintage big game tackle !!! Thanks for posting it John !! And thanks for posting your beautiful rig Jay REALLY COOL !!! And Thanks for the in depth explanation ED !!! Great post !!!!!
John Taylor

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Deepfins791 »

I second John Taylor! Cool tackle and history, especially about the feud!

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Reeltyme »

Fantastic thread guys! By the way Ed, could you please repeat what you said in your explanation. This time use small words and a crayon so I can follow as well!
Reeltyme

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Mike N »

Heckuva thread. Thanks all.

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Stef Duma »



Another EVH Michell-Henry modified reel.

I saw this in an auction many years ago did not know what it was but bought it.

I did sell it a little bit later in a trade.

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by reeltackle »

Very cool Stefan, now two prototypes have been recognized! I wonder who has that one now.
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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by Stef Duma »

Well you and I both know him.

Who would you contact if you were after something rare, and it was to be discrete and who has one of the greatest collections in the world?

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Re: What the Heck, Zane Grey? Reel with "Parking Brake"?

Post by reeltackle »

Yikes! I know three guys who fall into that category.
PM me if you wish.
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