Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

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Thehorseman
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Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

Can’t seem to get a real answer on these reels. Posted on a couple of other sites and people know they are Frank Crawford reels but these have no markings and are 12/0 size. Nether reel looks used at all. And the tool box was a extra perk. Wonder if some kind of Crawford prototypes.


Last edited by kyreels on Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fix image tags

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reeltackle
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by reeltackle »

Crawford, a postal worker who lived in Hawaii made some interesting reels before moving to California. He received a patent for his reel in 1934.

I have owned a couple versions of his reel including a fairly crude reel with unmarked micarta side-plates that I always considered a prototype. The other reels I have owned have had the black side-plates like your reels, one was not marked with the makers name and two were marked with Crawford's name. The prototype reel I had came in a wooden box like the wooden boxes your reels are in. I have never seen a Crawford with a cradle attachment like the ones on your reels. The Crawford reels I have owned and seen have always been fitted with a raised reel seat like the "spare" reel seats you show in your last picture. I have also never seen the reels fitted with dual knob handles like yours. Can you post a picture of the front of the reels so I can get a better look at the handles?

I would place your reels chronologically somewhere between the Micarta prototype and the reels with the black side-plates with Crawford's name on them. You can view a couple of the reels I have owned on my web site.

https://antiquefishingreels.com/salt-wa ... /crawford/

I'm sure that Brian can add more information on the Crawford reels.
Ed Pritchard
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

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Thehorseman
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

I’m hoping you can see the pic of the handle side now.

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reeltackle
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by reeltackle »

Thanks for the additional photo.

It appears that all of the reel's handles, the ones on the reel and the "spares", were all made to adapt two knobs. The handle was designed with one side of the handle longer than the other. The longer side of the handle would provide the angler with more leverage while the shorter side was built for faster winding. The problem with dual knobs is that the knob you are not holding tends to bump your arm on the way around, awkward. I find it unusual that all four handles were set up for dual knobs like this.

All of the knobs that I have seen previously are the bicycle grip style knobs like the one on your "spare" handle. These are the first I have seen with the light bulb style knobs.

The one reel is missing its star drag unless you have another one running around lose somewhere.

Are they prototypes? I doubt it, however, like many hand made reels from back in the day Crawford reels seemed to evolve over time. Makers like Crawford would come up with improvements from reel to reel and implement these improvements along the way. I am never surprised when I see small variations from reel to reel on big game reels that were made in one man shops during the 1930s and 40s, it is almost a given.
Ed Pritchard
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

Many thanks for your time and input !

Shellbelly
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Shellbelly »

Very nice. How are adjustments made to tighten/loosen the spools L/R travel? Assuming the handle nut is a bearing cap and the assembly is fitted with a lock nut?

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reeltackle
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by reeltackle »

Just one more question about the reels? What is the diameter of the reels, the measurement across the black side-plate. After a closer look at the picture of the reels next to the ruler it appears that they are good bit smaller than 12/0 reels. A 12/0 Crawford reel would measure 6 inches across the side-plate. Your reels look like they are quite a bit smaller. Here is a basic rule of thumb for reel sizes that holds true in most cases (there are exceptions).

6 inch diameter reel is a 12/0
5 inch diameter reel is a 9/0
4 1/2 inch diameter reel is a 6/0
4 inch diameter reel is a 4/0

What size reels do you have? If the reels are not 6 inch diameter, 12/0 reels then they would be the only Crawford reels I have ever seen that were not 12/0 in size. Let us know.
Ed Pritchard
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

Ed Pritchard they are 5 1/2 across.

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reeltackle
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by reeltackle »

By most reel standards that would make your reels 10/0 size reels. I hope Brian jumps in here with measurements of his Crawford reels for comparison.
Ed Pritchard
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"Reels As Big As Your Head" Always looking for BIG game reels and anything else that might go along.

http://www.AntiqueFishingReels.com

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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

Me too , would love to learn more.

Jay White
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Jay White »

Great set of reels! If you ever decide to part with them, I would love to have shot at them. :bow:

Nick in NY
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Nick in NY »

Absolutely Crawford...no doubt! I’m wondering if the reel minus the star drag free spools when the handle is reversed. It possible like my Millers and Bannisters! What a great set! Should you decide to part with them I’d love to display them next to my prototype! Tight lines Nick in New York
Wanted Ultra rare salt water reels including big game as well as unknown rare surf reels!

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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Brian F. »

Mike,

I think you have enough information to pretty well nail down that they are Crawford reels. I've mentioned that the refinements on your reels look to be something that were implemented over time and your reels look to be the latest versions. The lack of labeling on the tailplate cover of "Hawaiian Swordfish Reel" might be due to someone or a manufacturer breaking ties with Mr. Crawford. Friend Steve Vernon so kindly offered his assistance in doing some follow up research to assist, seeing the interest in your reels and the story behind them. He pointed out:
He (Crawford) applied for that 2nd reel patent in 1947, when he was in his mid-70s. Although I don't know the differences among the reels you've seen, I would theorize that if his later reels were based on his 2nd patent, he probably would have considered outsourcing their production, possibly to a company like Singer. The situation could have been similar to that of Frank Perez, who outsourced the manufacture of his reels after the war. Ergo, maybe the Singer folks should start their hunt in 1947 or so.
Steve mentions Singer because people I've talked to here who's families fished with Mr. Crawford informed me that he eventually had them produced by Singer, the sewing machine manufacturer. Which brings up maybe a coincidental point that you got the reels in an auction from Wisconsin, where Singer has been manufacturing for years.

I'll have to check the dimensions on my reel later tonight.

Anyway, verifying the manufacturer is one key sticking point that's kept me from writing an article for the Reel News for many, many years since Ed first told me about this reel. Mike, your find helps lean the needle more towards Singer so thanks for sharing your information. One other thing that I do need to point out is that Mr. Crawford came from Indiana to be the Postmaster for the new Lihue Post Office. After a few years, he became the manager of the new Bank of Hawaii branch that opened next door to the Post Office. He was a very prominent business and community figure on the Island of Kauai and, along with is wife, Mary, were well known in many aspects of Island life, particularly the fishing community. Unfortunately, they never had children, even though the prototype that Ed has photos of has a story of coming from a son or descendant in California.
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Brian F.
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Richard Lodge
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Richard Lodge »

It sounds like a very interesting article on Crawford reels in our future then, Brian? Would love to see it in an upcoming Reel News. (Hint, hint....)
;-)
Richard

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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

It would seen that the reels are indeed 10/0 as they are the same size as my OCEAN CITY PANAMA. As far as I know that would make these the only known 10/0 Crawford’s .

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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »




I also want to post a picture of the tail plate off so you can see the large gear.
And I added a photo of the drag wheel as well.

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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Brian F. »

The reel I have measures 5-7/8" across the plate.

Richard,
That's been my intention for 15 years!
Aloha
Brian F.
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Got a spare reel stamped "Pflueger" or a Montague Imperial?
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Thehorseman
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Thehorseman »

So Brian, with reels only measure it 5 1/2 inches do you think these are the only known 10/0 Crawford’s ?

Brian F.
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Re: Maybe 12/0 Frank Crawford reels

Post by Brian F. »

Sorry, Mike, I don't know. I never measured the other that I had in my hands and don't know if anyone's measured the others that I know of. If you do a search on Reel Talk, you 'll find a couple of other reels that have been posted long ago.
Aloha
Brian F.
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Got a spare reel stamped "Pflueger" or a Montague Imperial?
"Caution, objects in reel view mirror are older than they appear."

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