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Friday Funhouse January 12 2018

Friday Funhouse January 12 2018

In this Friday Funhouse January 12 2018; NOTE: Guess what? I’M BACK BABY! Yes, I’ve got time to restart the Friday Funhouse and the blog again. It’s been some time but I’m happy to be back in the swing of things. I’m partnering with my man Matt Lollman over at Fin and Flame so check back for some cool happenings in 2018!

The Video of the Week

I’m a sucker for Hemingway. Not only was he a great writer, his love of fishing knew no bounds. For those who haven’t, pick up a copy of The Old Man and the Sea. You won’t be disappointed!

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Julius vom Hofe Perforated Fly Reel is incredibly rare, even missing an end cap. How rare? One in the box went for 25k in a past Lang’s Auction!


You have got to love this Manitou Minnow.


Pflueger Atlapacs in the carrying case are super fun reels.


This CCBC Jointed Pikie in Blue Head is very rare.


When’s the last time you’ve seen a Union Hardware reel get this much interest???


Instant Collection Alert: Storm Wiggle Warts from the pre-Rapala era. Remind me to tell you about Rapala’s purchase of Storm some time!


Spears are always fun collectively and this Brainerd, MN made Lewis Gaustas model is pretty great. …


An early Heddon Zaragossa in the box is a great classic bait.


Been busy laying out an Al Foss book so this cardboard Little Egypt intro box was good to see. Predates his tin boxes.


This Penn Model 420 Spinster is a reel with a fascinating history — made in Japan, and rejected by Penn. It was never sold commercially.


Any W.D.Chapman Spinner is a nice find.


The Salties out there love these Devonshire Surf Plugs.!


And it feels good to say once again, have a good weekend, and be good to each other and yourself.

— Dr. Todd

2018-01-12T11:53:43+00:00 January 12th, 2018|Fishing For History, The Friday Fun House|0 Comments

Tight Lines Tuesday The First Kingfisher Lines

Tight Lines Tuesday The First Kingfisher Lines

by John Etchieson

Its Tight Lines Tuesday The First Kingfisher Lines ; Between 1890 and 1905 the E J Martin Company Kingfisher brand was granted a registered trade mark by the U S Patent Office for each of three slightly different variations to the artwork that was used on their first Kingfisher brand fishing line labels. Finding any one of these 100 + year old label variations today would be considered quite a rare find due to their age and extreme scarcity. However, finding all three of these label variations on the smaller sewing thread type size wooden spools would be considered next to impossible. And, in fact, these three examples shown here represent the only complete set currently known to exist today making them the rarest of those first Kingfisher lines from the 19th century.

Comments or questions may be sent to John at

2017-12-19T07:18:59+00:00 December 19th, 2017|Antique Lures, Antique Reels, Collectible Fishing Empherma (Books, Catalogs, Photos, Etc), Fly Fishing|Comments Off on Tight Lines Tuesday The First Kingfisher Lines

ORCA November 2017 REEL NEWS

ORCA November 2017 REEL NEWS

The ORCA November 2017 REEL NEWS  has been published and has something for everyone! This edition’s front cover features an amazing Bradley reel bearing a historic inscription. The Reel News has a fascinating story to go with, entitled “Never say Never”. ORCA President David Lehmann recognizes the extraordinary efforts of our Branson ORCA National Convention organizers and introduces a number of new key ORCA personnel. Reel News editor Richard Lodge provides coverage about our Branson convention including recognition of our newest Honorary Member John Elder, our outgoing President Betty Barr and all of the convention contest winners. Everyone had a great time! Breakfast with the Board and the new ORCA Strategic Plan are also covered in detail.

Reel lovers will enjoy reading about “The Arbeco Reels of R. Blackington & Co.” which is the subject of Dr. Todd’s article on Reels of the Trade. Roger Schultz discusses the 2 variations of the 1914 Meisselbach Free Spool Surf Reel. Victor Koury explains the fine points of certain collectible Ambassadeur reels. Renzo Di Paolo discusses little known facts about big game reel maker Everol and his visit to their factory in Italy. Reels you may actually have on your collector shelf (or tackle box) are covered in “Smooth-casting Johnson closed-face reels”…. and this edition has much more to offer. If you are not already a Reel News subscriber, Join ORCA today and see what you have been missing, visit ORCA today @

ORCA November 2017 REEL NEWS ORCA November 2017 REEL NEWS

2017-12-15T08:30:40+00:00 December 15th, 2017|Antique Lures, Antique Reels, Collectible Fishing Empherma (Books, Catalogs, Photos, Etc), Fly Fishing|Comments Off on ORCA November 2017 REEL NEWS

Pflueger SkillKast 1953 Reel

Pflueger SkillKast 1953 Reel

The Pflueger SkillKast 1953 Reel is a reel that seems to have transcended the years. Made in Akron, Ohio this reel would last over three decades in the Pflueger Reel line up. Introduced as new in 1941 the lure would be produced until into the 1970’s. A good reel if your looking to start a collection and theres actually a more tough variation to find. The example here, is shown with the number of screw variation. New in 1941 this pre WWII model has six screws on the side plate instead of the later 5. A Orca online resource stated” This extra screw is the same size as the screw that holds the pawl cover on the level wind. A picture of this screw is shown on the Skilkast AMPRO reel in the copyright 1941 catalog. The description in the 1941 catalog also states that the reel came with a cork arbor glued onto the lightweight aluminum spool”

So Just when you think things are common digging a bit deeper you can find small yet significant differences, which of course leads to why you need to buy another one.

Pflueger SkillKast 1953 Reel & Box Combo Gallery

2017-08-07T08:05:20+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Antique Reels, Pflueger Lures|Comments Off on Pflueger SkillKast 1953 Reel

Heddon Waltonian No31 AB Reel

Heddon Waltonian No31 AB Reel

The Heddon Waltonian No31 AB Reel was first introduced around 1927. Made in Dowagiac Michigan by James Heddons Sons, the Heddon NO.31 AB “WALTONIAN” Casting reel was produced. The level wind reel themselves made are of lightweight aluminum. The casting reels were first introduced by James Heddon’s Sons in their 1927 catalog and would only sell for a couple years. These were actually Trade reels produced for Heddon by the Meisselbach-Catucci Mfg. Co. of Newark, N.J. and were identical to their No.1000 “Superlite” models.

Heddon Waltonian No31 AB Photo Gallery



2017-08-07T08:03:07+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Antique Reels, Heddon Lures|Comments Off on Heddon Waltonian No31 AB Reel

Winchester Reel Model 4250

Winchester Reel Model 4250

In the 1920s and into the 1930s the Winchester Repeating Arms company dabbled in fishing goods selling Winchester reel and well as rods, lures and flies. As of today is still one of the most prominent names that comes to mind when one thinks longevity in the sporting good vein. Diving all the way back to 1866 to one of its namesakes Oliver Winchester and how he retooled and revamped the Henry rifle from New Haven Arms to create its most famous rifle model, the 1866.

The Winchester reel 4250 below in the gallery is a 80 yard reel. The reel has a wonderful patina and is in nice condition. Unfortunately, Winchester like many other that are considered to be antiques now have been subject to decades of fake and fantasy items. Where there is money to be made there will always be fakes. Winchester has placed their name son so many items it sometimes hard to tell if its true so do your due diligence.

Winchester Reel 4250 Gallery


2017-06-14T12:49:15+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Antique Reels|1 Comment

J.A Coxe Reel Oil Bottle

J.A Coxe Reel Oil Bottle

This great J.A Coxe Reel Oil bottle shows us that yes there are other things we can collect besides just the lures, reel and rods themselves. This hard to find oil bottle is part of a segment of collecting, Reel Oil Bottles, Rod Varnish Bottles, even Fly Dope or Mosquito Repellents. Thus giving some of us hoarders a green light to add and amass something else outside of the proverbial tackle box. J.A. Coxe began manufacturing and selling reels on the west coast. Coxe an Ex Shakespeare Reel Company employee turned his small company to one of the largest Reel Manufactures in the whole country. The company would early on move its operations to Bronson, Michigan and would seemingly have changed is small handcrafted reel stature to an assembly line typ production of some of America’s most favored Bakelite reels.

J.A Coxe Reel Oil Bottle Photo Gallery

2016-12-13T08:50:00+00:00 November 14th, 2016|Antique Reels, Collectible Fishing Empherma (Books, Catalogs, Photos, Etc)|Comments Off on J.A Coxe Reel Oil Bottle

Heddon Dowagiac Pal P41 Reel

Heddon Dowagiac Pal P41 Reel

The Heddon Dowagiac Pal P41 Reel is almost 70 years old. Its hard to believe when you find examples as clean as this. This antique reel mad by Heddon of Dowagiac Michigan was first introduced in 1947.  I was really suprised to read that Bronson made this reel for Heddon, I really would have thought they would have mad it themselves. The reel is atributed to a gentleman who was a famous tournoment caster Walter William. The reel would have a few differnt stariations through the years from bing made of just aluminum, to have a jeweled end cap. The reel was made with a easily removable endcap so that cleaning and oiling would be of ease. The foot of the reel is stamped patent applied for made in the USA.

Heddon Pal P41 Reel

Heddon Dowagiac Pal P41 Reel Photo Gallery

2016-07-05T23:32:16+00:00 July 5th, 2016|Antique Reels|Comments Off on Heddon Dowagiac Pal P41 Reel

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