A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

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reeltackle
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A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by reeltackle »

I have pursued this historic reel for the past 16 years and was just recently lucky enough to secure it. This L.A. Coxe reel measures 5 1/4 inch in diameter and has a much wider spool than your typical 9/0 size reel as it measures 3 3/4 inches across the inside spool. The reel belonged to President Herbert Hoover and is inscribed with his name and the date - November 3, 1933. The reel comes in its original leather case with Hoover's initials in gold just below the buckle as well as a great letter of provenance.

Hoover was perhaps the most avid angler of all our Presidents. Hoover fished the waters off Florida for many years and vacationed at the Long Key Fishing Camp as President. Hoover also fished the waters off Catalina Island and was an honorary member of the Tuna Club.

Dubbed the fishing President, his passion for the sport was well documented. As Secretary of Commerce in 1927, Hoover delivered a speech to the Izaak Walton League titled, A Remedy for Disappearing Game Fish, that was later published because of its progressive ideas. A year before Hoover died in 1964 he wrote a book titled, Fishing For Fun and to Wash Your Soul. In 2004, author Hal Wert published his book, Hoover, the Fishing President, which chronicles his fishing exploits and his love of the sport.

I have tried to research the date on the reel, November 3, 1933, but have come up empty as it being a special day in his life. His birthday was August 10 so it was not a birthday present. Hoover left the office as President on March 4, 1933 so it may have been a retirement gift from family or friends. Perhaps he got the reel while fishing in Catalina or as a gift from fellow Tuna Club members. Whatever the occasion, this special order Coxe reel was not an inexpensive gift. If anyone can think of a connection between Hoover and this date please let me know.















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Steve
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Steve »

Probably nothing more than the date of presentation or the date HH got his swordfish. Good way to get one's mind off the Depression.

1933:


In contrast, this must refer to an earlier trip:

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john elder
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by john elder »

Beautiful! Note that this reel lacks the patented spring-loaded drag and as far as I can tell, also lacks the swordfish drag. One would bet that Coxe was pretty proud of that drag, but we know that many fishermen didn’t like it. I wonder if it was omitted on request!
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Bill Muth
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Bill Muth »

Congratulations Ed, beautiful reel!
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stevenm
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by stevenm »

This is absolutely amazing. A very cool connection to a former president!
Like those Kentucky style reels

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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by reelsmith. »

Very cool Ed !

Congratulations.

As for November 3, 1933, here is a bit of reading - https://www.newspapers.com/search/#lnd=1&ymd=1933-11-03

Your answer may be in there somewhere !

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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by reeltackle »

Thank you for the kind comments.

Steve - Thanks for posting the newspaper clippings, as always your research is appreciated. November 3, 1933 was the date he started his fishing trip out of Catalina. Seems like a slam dunk there.

John - Although the reel does not have the trigger release mechanism that takes it out of free-spool it does have a calibrated drag. There is a thin German silver arm on the back of the star drag that is pinned on one end to the star. On the other end of the arm there is a rounded knob that protrudes through a hole in the star drag and pops in to detents in the underside of the handle so that when you turn the star drag it clicks into place. I have seen this on a couple other Coxe reels but it is a pretty scarce feature.

Dean - I searched Hoover on that date and there are a couple of papers that noted that he started his fishing trip out of Catalina on that day, it must have been presented to him at the onset of the trip! Also, if you want to know who won in the third at Santa Anita on that day let me know :roll: Oh yeah, and Happy 60th old man, welcome to the club!
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Mike N »

Really great piece of fishing history, Ed. I hope I get to see it in person in Daytona.

“In the early 1920s, Willits J. Hole, a real estate developer originally from Indiana, took up boating. Naval architect, Leslie Edward Geary designed, and N. J. Blanchard built in 1923, the 115-foot motor yacht Samona for Hole. In 1931, the Craig Shipbuilding Company built the 147-foot, a steel-hulled long-range cruiser Samona II, which was bought by the US Navy in 1940, and commissioned as the USS Amethyst (PYc-3)”

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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Mike N »

I really appreciated the 1933 fishing trip article Steve posted. Here is W.J. Hole’s yacht they fished, the Samona II:



Source- https://www.navsource.org/archives/12/1403.htm
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by reelsmith. »

Amazing sleuthing !

At this rate we'll have a a picture of Hoover polishing the reel by morning.

Dean.
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Mike N »

:bricks:
reelsmith. wrote:Amazing sleuthing !

At this rate we'll have a a picture of Hoover polishing the reel by morning.

Dean.
Now, Ed needs to find this Florida reel...








The above fishing trip was on the presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia. “Herbert Hoover, an avid fisherman, had decommissioned the presidential yacht Mayflower in 1929 as an economy measure, and borrowed Sequoia from the Commerce Department as an unofficial yacht during the last two years of his presidency. Hoover was not personally a supporter of prohibition and drank while on the yacht.”

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john elder
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by john elder »

Shape looks right, but was Hoover big enough that his gut would devour a 9/0 reel?..
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Jay White »

Very Nice Ed!

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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by bettybarr »

That is the find of a lifetime. Considering the use, it is in remarkable condition. Bring it to Tulsa so we can drool over it.
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Re: A reel fit for a king ... or at least a President!

Post by Chuck Gano »

a friend of mine restored his private rr car not sure where it went after the resto. but it was quite fancy in its day, they wanted it to go to iowa where his presidential library is, but they didnt show much interest in it.

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