New Member: Mark Simson

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Greely
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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:48 pm

New Member: Mark Simson

Post by Greely »

It all started for me about 8 years ago. It was an innocent Hardy Uniqua (circa 1914) that I had purchased for my son’s first birthday. I wanted to mark the occasion with something special that he would hopefully cherish the rest of his life. A reel that turned a century in his birth year seemed like a great idea. You see up until this time, I fished about 75 days a year, all with the same 4 reels. I had and old 1980’s Daiwa, a 1st generation Orvis Battenkill, a plastic Dragonfly reel and a nice large arbour Loop reel for salmon. Reels were just a thing to hold line, and not a lot of thought was put into them other than that.

That opinion changed the day I set my eyes on that 1914 Uniqua. When I held it in my hands I could feel history that it has been through. I could almost hear the reel scream while it relived past fights with the fish on its line. I imagined how many fish this reel must have caught in order to have the leaded finish wear as much as it did. I marveled at the workmanship put into the reel, as this was before the factory line approach to manufacturing had set in. Back to a time where a man started working on a reel on his bench, and kept that reel through to final completion. That reel ignited something in me that has been burning strong ever since.

Now, I am a bona-fied reel junkie. I collect mainly fly reels, but have several centre pin reels as well. One of my favourite whiskeys is Bookers Bourbon. It comes in a lovely wooden box, and I have reconstructed these boxes to hold my reels. When I put them all together it gives me a beautiful stack of reels which I line my fly tying shelves with. It was a vision I imagined when I first started building my arsenal, and honestly, it turned out much nicer that I ever imagined. I tend to have an affection for prewar English leaded style reels. Old Dingley’s, JW Young and Hardy reels really get my attention. That being said, I have a fair amount of prewar American reels as well, including a couple Heddon Imperial 125 with agate guards, and ½ dozen Shakespeare Perfect Clones. One of these is the burgundy South Bend reel, and one is the coveted green reel with no markings. Such beautiful reels with their rich colours.

So now, several years later and 60+ reels I say I am done, as everything on my (achievable) bucket list has been checked off. I have a feeling that this is not true, but I do need to slow down, liquidate some stock that does not fit in the collection, and re-evaluate. I have always been a collector of things, but reel collecting has brought my so much joy, and has caused me to do a lot of interesting research on the history of fly fishing and the manufacturing of reels that evolved alongside of the sport.

Thank you for letting me into your community, and I hope I can offer something of interest to this group. I will try and post some pictures of my faves when I get a choice.
Cheers
Mark

Roger Schulz
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Location: Alpharetta, GA
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Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by Roger Schulz »

Mark
With your interest in old fishing reels, I would encourage you to join ORCA. It is a great organization.

Roger

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john elder
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:44 pm

Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by john elder »

Yes, welcome, Mark! We will enjoy your company at ny level, but as Roger indicated, you’ll really enjoy the club and its publications and members. I look forward to seeing pics of your favorites! Several of us are fly reel nuts, so you are in good company!

John
ORCA member since 1999
Honorary Life Member

Specializing in saltwater reels...and fly reels...and oh, yeah, kentucky style reels.....and those tiny little RP reels.....oh, heck...i collect fishing reels!...and fly rods....and lures

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Mike N
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Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by Mike N »

Mark,
Glad to have you on board with the rest of us who likewise hold an old fishing reel in our hands and immediately drift off to the streams and lakes and rivers of our youth. It’s a good place to be in these trying times. Some of the foremost vintage tackle experts in the world hang out here on Reel Talk.

Mike N.
Mike N.
ORCA Founder, 1990

Greely
Big ORCA Fan
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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:48 pm

Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by Greely »

So this is the little beauty that first got me hooked.

Which had blossomed into this +

Highlighted by 2 of my faves...

And of course these babies from my hometown


And finally completed this trifecta!!!


The madness has begun to take me over!

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leland99
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:18 pm
Location: Lake Cherokee, Texas

Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by leland99 »

An amazing group of reels Mark! Thanks very much for sharing and welcome to this fine organization!
Bryce Tawney
The Reel Packrat

Packing these reels into my nest hole: Talbot, Milam, Meek, Horton, Heddon, Wm Shakespeare Jr, and small diameter skeleton fly reels!

Paul Roberts
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Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by Paul Roberts »

Welcome. And... nice collection and display.
ORCA 2020, 2021

Shellbelly
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Re: New Member: Mark Simson

Post by Shellbelly »

Hi Mark! I'm a new guy and I have to say that you certainly have a problem and are in dire need of help. I can't help you. What a body of work you have made from a single reel. That's what passion does to us. I have grown to understand the guy who collects license plates and the girl (my wife) who collects shoes. Keep touching those reels...they're alive.

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