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.
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
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.
ORCA Founder, 1990
- Frequent Board Poster
- Posts: 98
- Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:18 pm
- Location: Lake Cherokee, Texas
The Reel Packrat
Packing these reels into my nest hole: Talbot, Milam, Meek, Horton, Heddon, Wm Shakespeare Jr, and small diameter skeleton fly reels!