EDIT: I forgot to put this in, and may be of interest to the collector-angler: I make video-documentaries on fish behavior, currently focusing on largemouth bass. They can be found in my Documentaries playlist on my YouTube channel, "The Nature of Fishing".
Ron Mc lured me in from a bass fishing site with stunning photos of stunning reels. So I'm starting down that somewhat narrow road, trying to remain sensible... and failing!
My interest will focus on fishing with these old reels. Ron's photos blew life onto an ember I've carried for a long time. It's not one based on nostalgia, although I have some of that, remembering my grandfather John's tackle that my dad kept down in the basement. Bass fishing was something they shared, and those times became especially memorable and important since John died in a wreck when my dad was only 22yrs old and away serving in the Navy. It truly broke his heart.
That tackle I remember surprisingly well: a few tubular steel telescoping rods, and a lone solid glass rod, a translucent milky white in color with green wraps, a rod that holds some aesthetic value in my mind. I only remember the reels as being shiny chrome and having clickers. All are long gone now. But I have some of the lures that were in John’s brown metal tackle box, among these is a Jitterbug that has earned fame across the generations (4 now). A story I’ll save for another day, or web site? The result was that my dad passed the fishing bug on to me, in spades.
That “ember” has less to do with nostalgia and more to do with a penchant for beauty and both challenging, and interesting, limitations. As an archer I started with a cams, to traditional, to... going into the woods with a hatchet and coming out with a bow. So I'm running a similar path here. Cool thing with old reels is the progression of technological advancements over the decades, that are so well-documented by folks like you all that one could actually pick their train stop through time. Pretty cool.
So… currently I’ve begun to “collect” up some antique/vintage/old reels to fish with. I’m trying them on, seeing what each offers, and where the limitations lie.
I keep a YouTube channel, called the Nature of Fishing, that is fish science and ecology based, working to bridge the angling and fish sciences worlds. Where the old tackle fits in is in toying with the limitations imposed by the real world out there.
I still regularly use gear I bought in the early 1980’s, which elicits comments from my viewers, like, “You need to upgrade your tackle!” To which I say, “No I don’t!”. Or, “Hey, what’s with the retro tackle?” To which I reply, “That’s not retro, that’s just my stuff!” The fishing world is so commercialized, something that has driven the technological advances we enjoy. But it has also permeated the educational/informative aspects of fish and fishing, to the point that it’s darn difficult to separate fishing how-to’s from infomercials, and knowledge from hype. The sheer number of product choices out there has become mind-boggling, and something of a double-edged sword with much of the current debates more about the splitting of hairs.
The drawback to, or limitation imposed by, these old reels in terms of fishing I can see is going to be retrieve speed. 16ipt is pretty limiting in lure fishing. Second might be lines that can be used. Third, might be casting distance —not so much what the reels can muster but whether retrieve speed —with a near empty spool— can keep up with fish out there. Still, fishing is all about working within and around limitations, and chipping away at probabilities. Looking forward to the lessons that old reels will offer. And, did I mention already that they are just plain stunning to look at?
Happy to be on board here. I’m afraid I’m going to have a lot of questions and will try to contribute where I can.
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Collector of Casting Weights, KY Reels and KY Tackle
Thanks, Matt. I have modern, even new, reels of course. And they are required for a lot of fishing scenarios and techniques. I can't wait to see where these true antique reels can fit it. It appears they are more capable than I ever would have thought.
- Ron Mc
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Different Ron - that was me posting on BR, but I did mention RonG's amazing collection and knowledge base on the BR thread.
RonG, I linked to your website, used your examples for some of my history examples, and said you probably had the biggest, and definitely the most valuable collection on the planet.
Regards guys, and Happy 2021
For any of you gents, in case your ears were burning, here's the thread I OP'd on BR
https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishi ... old-stuff/