Known Makers

American Fly Reels

Sometimes reels by known makers are unmarked. Such is the case with the William Slote reel pictured below, which is marked “Crown”. This tells us it was sold by William Mills & Son, as it is included in their catalogs. But it took a bit of sleuthing by knowledgeable collectors to determine these reels were made by Slote. The marking on a reel is often the seller, not the maker.

~ Click On Pictures To Enlarge ~


Talbot's "Ben Hur" Fly Reel. This Example Was Sold By Abercrombie & Fitch.

Talbot’s “Ben Hur” Fly Reel. This Example Was Sold By Abercrombie & Fitch.

The Talbot "Ben Hur" Fly Reel Was Made In Two Sizes: The Model 100 (2-1/8") And The Model 101 (2-1/2"). This Example Is A Model 100.

The Talbot “Ben Hur” Fly Reel Was Made In Two Sizes: The Model 100 (2-1/8″) And The Model 101 (2-1/2″). This Example Is A Model 100.

This Julius vom Hofe Reel Has Been Dubbed The “Perforated Reel” By Collectors.

This Julius vom Hofe Reel Has Been Dubbed The “Perforated Reel” By Collectors.

This Size #3 Reel Is 2-3/8″ In Diameter And Is Listed In The 1914 Catalog As The Model 163

This Size #3 Reel Is 2-3/8″ In Diameter And Is Listed In The 1914 Catalog As The Model 163

Francis J. Philbrook  Patented What Is Today Referred To As The  Leonard "Bi-Metal Reel". The Patent Number 191,813 Was Filed On May 10, 1877, And Issued On June 12, 1877. The Patent Covered Two New Ideas: The Use Of Raised Pillars And Recessing A Side Plate To House The Click  Mechanism.

Francis J. Philbrook Patented What Is Today Referred To As The Leonard “Bi-Metal Reel”. The Patent Number 191,813 Was Filed On May 10, 1877, And Issued On June 12, 1877. The Patent Covered Two New Ideas: The Use Of Raised Pillars And Recessing A Side Plate To House The Click Mechanism.

This Example Measures 2-5/8" In Diameter, Including The Pillars And Is Cataloged As A 2-1/2" Reel. In The Mid-1880s This Reel Cost $8.50 ...Which Was Roughly Two Weeks Average Wages At The Time.

This Example Measures 2-5/8″ In Diameter, Including The Pillars And Is Cataloged As A 2-1/2″ Reel. In The Mid-1880s This Reel Cost $8.50 …Which Was Roughly Two Weeks Average Wages At The Time.

This Philbrook & Paine Fly Reel is 2-5/8" In Diameter, Including The Pillars

This Philbrook & Paine Fly Reel is 2-5/8″ In Diameter, Including The Pillars

Philbrook & Payne's Reel Making Shop Was Located In Bangor, Maine

Philbrook & Payne’s Reel Making Shop Was Located In Bangor, Maine

Note Payne Is Misspelled As Paine _______________ The Beautiful Orange Mottled Plates Are Often Referred To As Hard Rubber, But, They Are Actually Molded Of "Mud". While There  Is  No Stringent Formula  For Mud, It Is Generally A Mix Of Natural Resins Similar To Shellac And Rosin With Added Coloring Agents.

Note Payne Is Misspelled As Paine
_______________
The Beautiful Orange Mottled Plates
Are Often Referred To As Hard Rubber, But, They Are Actually Molded Of “Mud”. While There Is No Stringent Formula For Mud, It Is Generally A Mix Of Natural Resins Similar To Shellac And Rosin With Added Coloring Agents.

The Edward vom Hofe "Perfection" Is Aptly Named As It Is Widely Considered As Such

The Edward vom Hofe “Perfection” Is Aptly Named As It Is Widely Considered As Such

This Size #3 Perfection (Model #360) Is 2.5″ In Diameter And Pre-Dates The Use Of Serial Numbers

This Size #3 Perfection (Model #360) Is 2.5″ In Diameter And Pre-Dates The Use Of Serial Numbers

Often Imitated ...To This Day

Often Imitated …To This Day

A 2.25" Gayle Fly Reel Constructed Of Aluminum And Nickel Silver

A 2.25″ Gayle Fly Reel Constructed Of Aluminum And Nickel Silver

George W. Gayle, A Silver Smith And Watch Maker, Apprenticed Under B. F. Meek

George W. Gayle, A Silver Smith And Watch Maker, Apprenticed Under B. F. Meek

There Are Currently Only Eight Known Examples Of This Reel

There Are Currently Only Eight Known Examples Of This Reel

The “Crown” Fly Reel Was Made For William Mills & Son By William Slote Of Brooklyn, NY. The Reel Has A Frame Of Hard Rubber, The Spool And Revolving Plate Are Aluminum And All Other Parts Are German Silver.

The “Crown” Fly Reel Was Made For William Mills & Son By William Slote Of Brooklyn, NY. The Reel Has A Frame Of Hard Rubber, The Spool And Revolving Plate Are Aluminum And All Other Parts Are German Silver.

This Example Is A Model 543, Which Is Stamped On The Underside Of The Foot. The Reel Is A Bit Under 2.5″ In Diameter (Including The Pillars) And The Serial Number “24″ Is Stamped Between The Foot Pillars.

This Example Is A Model 543, Which Is Stamped On The Underside Of The Foot. The Reel Is A Bit Under 2.5″ In Diameter (Including The Pillars) And The Serial Number “24″ Is Stamped Between The Foot Pillars.

Fancy Pillars Are A Hallmark Of Slote Fly Reels

Turned Pillars Are A Hallmark Of Slote Fly Reels

Raised Pillar Julius vom Hofe Reels Were Cataloged In Sizes 1, 2 and 3, With Size 3 Being The Smallest

Raised Pillar Julius vom Hofe Reels Were Cataloged In Sizes 1, 2 and 3, With Size 3 Being The Smallest

This Tiny Example Is A Size 4, Which Was Not Cataloged And Measure Just 2-1/8" From Pillar To Pillar. This One Pre-Dates The 1889 Patent.

This Tiny Example Is A Size 4, Which Was Not Cataloged And Measure Just 2-1/8″ From Pillar To Pillar. This One Pre-Dates The 1889 Patent.

The Redifor Model X is 2-1/4″ In Diameter And Is Aluminum With A German Silver “Handle Disc”

The Redifor Model X is 2-1/4″ In Diameter And Is Aluminum With A German Silver “Handle Disc”

Redifor’s Patent 820,326 Is For A “Protected Handle On A Fly Reel”, Which Kept The Line From Fouling

Redifor’s Patent 820,326 Is For A “Protected Handle On A Fly Reel”, Which Kept The Line From Fouling

This 4X Multiplier Was Marketed As “The First And Only Multiplying Fly Reel”

This 4X Multiplier Was Marketed As “The First And Only Multiplying Fly Reel”

This 2-1/4" Reel Was Made In Brooklyn By William Slote

This 2-1/4″ Reel Was Made In Brooklyn By William Slote

This Nickel Silver And Hard Rubber Rivals The Edward Vom Hofe Peerless In Quality

This Nickel Silver And Hard Rubber Rivals The Edward Vom Hofe Peerless In Quality

Tackle Historians Hypothesize That Tiny Kentucky Reels, Such As This Narrow Spool Meek & Milam, Were Likely Used As Fly Reels By Some Anglers

Tackle Historians Hypothesize That Tiny Kentucky Reels, Such As This Narrow Spool Meek & Milam, Were Likely Used As Fly Reels By Some Anglers

An Early Julius vom Hofe Fly Reel With Influences From His Design For Kosmic

An Early Julius vom Hofe Fly Reel With Influences From His Design For Kosmic

A #3 Size Reel Measuring 2-3/8" In Diameter, Including The Pillars

A #3 Size Reel Measuring 2-3/8″ In Diameter, Including The Pillars

The Hardy "Perfect" Seen Here Is The Smallest Cataloged Size: 2.5". This Example Has The 1905 Check.

The Hardy “Perfect” Seen Here Is The Smallest Cataloged Size: 2.5″. This Example Has The 1905 Check.

A Fairly Early Julius vom Hofe Fly Reel Constructed Of Nickel Silver And Hard Rubber.

A Fairly Early Julius vom Hofe Fly Reel Constructed Of Nickel Silver And Hard Rubber.

This 1-7/8" Reel Pre-Dates vom Hofe's 1889 Patent For His Compensating Bearing.

This 1-7/8″ Reel Pre-Dates vom Hofe’s 1889 Patent For His Compensating Bearing.

Julius' Signature Hole In The Foot And The Size Marking, #5

Julius’ Signature Hole In The Foot And The Size Marking, #5

Edward vom Hofe "Peereless" Fly Reel

Edward vom Hofe “Peereless” Fly Reel

This Size 3-1/2 Reel Is 2-1/4" in Diameter And Constructed Of Nickel Silver & Hard Rubber With An Aluminum Spool And Foot

This Size 3-1/2 Reel Is 2-1/4″ in Diameter And Constructed Of Nickel Silver & Hard Rubber With An Aluminum Spool And Foot

This Tiny Reel Is Stamped "Wyers Freres, Redditch & Paris". In 1900 Wyers Freres Won A Gold Medal At La Grande Exposition Universelle In Paris For Their Exhibit Of Fishing Rods And Tackle.

This Tiny Reel Is Stamped “Wyers Freres, Redditch & Paris”. In 1900 Wyers Freres Won A Gold Medal At La Grande Exposition Universelle In Paris For Their Exhibit Of Fishing Rods And Tackle.

Just 2" In Diameter, Including The Pillars, This Reel Is Constructed Of Brass With Iron Screws

Just 2″ In Diameter, Including The Pillars, This Reel Is Constructed Of Brass With Iron Screws

This 2.25" Reel Was Made By Frederick Malleson ...

This 2.25″ Reel Was Made By Frederick Malleson …

...And Was Sold By Hawks & Ogilvy

…And Was Sold By Hawks & Ogilvy

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