Montague fly reel??

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Stunt Fisher
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Montague fly reel??

Post by Stunt Fisher »

All right guys, remember, there are no stupid questions. That being said, I feel pretty stupid asking this.

The July issue of Reel News has a Montague fly reel in the auction report. A color photo of the same reel is on the back page. That particular reel "looks" very similar to a number of bait casting reels I have, but not at all like what I generally think of when I think of fly reels. What makes a fly reel a fly reel?

For some perspective, I've never fly fished in my life. Years (decades) ago my dad had fly reels, but I don't think I even picked one up. So, I really don't know anything about fly reels and very little about fly fishing.

Ray Hencken
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Ray Hencken »

With a very few exceptions, the crank (handle) of a fly reel is attached in the center of the front plate by a screw. If you look at the reels described as fly reels in the News you will see the handles are attached as I described. Bait casting, salt water trolling reels, etc. have the crank attached off center at 3, 4, 6, etc. o'clock.

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Re: Montague fly reel??

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Thanks Ray. I have a couple old reels with the crank in the center. Here's a Lawrence No. 3 Click reel. Is this also a fly reel or is it an exception to the rule? Or maybe this is just so cheaply designed and manufactured that they didn't allow for an offset? Also, why don't fly reels have the offset crank? Is that important to the design of a fly reel? Even if the gear ration is 1:1?

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Re: Montague fly reel??

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Still trying to figure out this Image Upload

Stunt Fisher
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Re: Montague fly reel??

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Lawrence No. #3

Stunt Fisher
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Re: Montague fly reel??

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There you have it. Proof that I am not smart enough to upload a simple photo.

*** Thanks to John I was able to perform the simple task of uploading an image. See reel below. The Lawrence No. 3 has the crank in the center.
Last edited by Stunt Fisher on Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Shellbelly
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Shellbelly »

Don't be too hard on yourself. Uploading photos is a rite of passage.

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john elder
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Re: Montague fly reel??

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-Go find pic
-“Upload all”
-Choose which url you want… thumbnail or regular and click on it
-Submit
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by john elder »

The offset crank on casting reels is because they are multipliers and so two gears: a main gear meshing with the spindle gear on the spool, giving a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio (typically). The exceptions Ray referred to are a relative few muliplier fly reels. Most of those still have the handle in the middle, but ingenious makers figured how to add the gearing to make the reel a multiplier but retain line retrieve from the bottom of the reel, fished under the rod.
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Re: Montague fly reel??

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Thanks for the explanation John. Before the multiplier reels were made were there fly reels? At that time did all reels have a center crank?

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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Ray Hencken »

Stunt Fisher wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:28 pm


That is not a fly reel. It is an inexpensive direct drive (no gears) reel usually used in bait fishing.

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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Stunt Fisher »

Thanks Ray. Yeah, my Lawrence No. 3 is clearly a "cheap" casting reel. I just used it as an example of a center crank reel that is NOT a fly reel. Overall this reel is similar in appearance to the Montague fly reel in July's Reel News: 2 round sides, a center crank, a spool, a foot, 3 pillars, and similarly sized and proportioned. The only obvious difference is the material they are made of. So, if I pick up an old reel that matches this description, and I want to appear to know what I'm talking about, do I call it a casting reel or do I call it a fly reel? I may be oversimplifying things, but when I saw the Montague and read that it is a fly reel, I wondered why.

Thanks again for all the responses. I still feel kind of ignorant asking, but it's always better to learn something that to not learn anything.

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Midway Tommy D
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Midway Tommy D »

You go, Dave, I'm enjoying the lesson & explanations. I have numerous standard type manual crank fly reels and none of them have the crank knob in the center. They all have the crank knob near the rim of the rotating spool. The main shaft is in the center but the knob is close to the outer edge for leverage. Maybe Ray is talking about a specific type of fly reel.
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Ray Hencken
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Ray Hencken »


When I said "The crank is attached to the center..." , I was not referring to the knob. Here is a picture of some fly reels all with the crank attached in the center of the reel, the spool shaft.

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john elder
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by john elder »

Tommy, i believe you are referring to fly reels where the spool is, in essence the crank; ie, the grasp is mounted on the spool and there is no crank, per se. the Pflueger Medalists are classic examples along with many others.
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Paul Roberts
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Paul Roberts »

I was wondering about a similar thing, about the very early reels that might not fit into either category. I supposed predating “fly-fishing”and “bait/lure casting”, as we now know them. Some early fly reels were listed as 40yd, 60yd, etc…, the convention that held for “casting reels” for a time. This then gave way to “capacities”, I suppose as line types began to diversify?
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Shellbelly »

So, a first question could be, when did humans recognize that weighted fishing line with natural bait was not the only way to "hook" a fish? This would have naturally given rise to specialized equipment, techniques and names for same.

So, who has an example of the 1st, or earliest known prototype reel sole-purposed for fly-casting?

A picture of a stick with floating kite string tied to a dead bug doesn't count.

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Steve
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Steve »

earliest known prototype reel

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Re: Montague fly reel??

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Wrong. Prove it is sole purposed for fly casting. Try again.

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Midway Tommy D
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Midway Tommy D »

john elder wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:02 am
Tommy, i believe you are referring to fly reels where the spool is, in essence the crank; ie, the grasp is mounted on the spool and there is no crank, per se. the Pflueger Medalists are classic examples along with many others.
Yes, I surely was. Ray clarified his original statement so that aspect is better now.

I would like to know, though, why an early narrow spool type direct drive non-level wind non-click style reel couldn't be mounted under, say a cane pole, and then, in fact, be called a fly reel? :fished :mrgreen:
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Shellbelly
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Shellbelly »

Me too!

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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Paul Roberts »

I’d never looked into the origins of fly-reels but since I’m now wondering, I found this on the fishing museum.org site from the UK:

According to this site, the very first reels were called winders or winches, simply to hold more line than when tied to the tip. Things evolved from there… Multipliers came in to deal with spindle/arbor diameters. Imagine winding in a fish that’s run a ways with a pencil thin spindle.

One modern day de-evolution of the fly reel came, in my mind, in the form of the Martin 72, the snagger’s/“lifter’s” choice for illegally snagging tributary salmonids. Picture the Martin 72 with 17lb Stren on a short 3wt Fenwick fly rod; All the appearance of refined ‘sport’ without any of the actual knowledge and work involved. A true de-evolution, if I may be so opinionated. There’s a place in my gut that still burns at the memories of “sharing” waters with the illegal snaggers.
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Montague fly reel??

Post by Shellbelly »

Thanks, Paul! Looks like you came across a time frame when the terms were established.

I've seen the foul hook method as well. Illegal in Texas and probably most states. Usually involves exceeded limits, undersized fish and waste. Always looked like an exhausting method to me. I can understand any method used in the mid 19th century when food was a priority above most other things.

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