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ANDREAS Game Reel, Invented by Harry Andreas, Sydney Australia A.C. REEL Co, Andreas, Sydney N.S.W. Australia,

ReeLpedia ® by Bernard (Bernie) Ladd, 20/3/ 2016.

Australian Antique Vintage Fishing reels, Reelman's rare reels page 66. ReeLpedia®

Ehenriech Phillip [Harry] Andreas (1879 – 1955)

Andreas reel 1917 patent.

Andreas Fortuna.

Harry Andreas was described by a fishing historian Bob Dunn as "a gentleman of independent means who pioneered game fishing from 1908, spending most of his fishing time in New Zealand waters" (Dunn, 1994; p. 57). In one notable fishing event, in 1915, Andreas captured the second-only Marlin recorded in New Zealand using a rod and reel. A few days later he followed this with the capture of New Zealand’s first rod and reel Mako shark. Much later, in 1934, Andreas' success continued with Australia’s first documented Striped Marlin on rod and reel, at Montague Island on the south coast of New South Wales.


Impelled by his passion for game fishing, Andreas looked at ways to improve the reel mechanics implicated in game fishing. In 1917 he lodged a patent application for an innovative game reel design featuring a unique combination of adjustable clutch drag, free spool, and anti-reverse configuration. The drag was regulated by a large knurled edge tension nut. Mounted on the backplate was another smaller knurled nut which placed the reel in either free spool or anti-reverse mode. Dunn implied, in his authoritative book that “we may never know to what extent, if at all, Andreas might have borrowed elements of his design from Boschen, Coxe, Mitchell-Henry or, indeed, vice versa” (Dunn, 1994; p. 58). Andreas was recognised as a highly reputable entrepreneur game fisherman in 1927, during the Royal Tour of Australasia, he acted as a fishing guide for the Duke and Dutches of York (later King George V and Queen Elizabeth. The production models of the ANDREAS reel appear to have been introduced about 1920 - at least that is when they first appeared in the Mick Simmons Catalog in 5 and 6 1/4 inch models.


In 1921, catalogues of British tackle makers Hardy Brothers featured a TUNA reel which appears to have incorporated certain features of the Andreas patent. When this was pointed out, Hardy Brothers changed the name in 1924 to FORTUNA and thereafter acknowledged the Andreas name and patent. Only 46 of "Fortuna Reel Andreas Pat. No 123405/18 & 19 Ex Wide" were produced between 1934 and 1936. Subsequently, Andreas lodged another patent in 1937 for an improved drag system featuring an increased number of drag washers together with a capstan-shaped adjusting wheel to facilitate a more delicate adjustment. On 14 July 2012, at an auction in London, a Fortuna Reel Andreas sold for £5,200.

ANDREAS 5'' Game reel. Stamped on back: A.C. REEL Co, SYDNEY N.S.W. PATENT No. 4233 ANDREAS REEL B 112. Frame dia 5 3/16''; spool-drum width 1 7/8''; Maganese bronze bearing; brass drag regulator; fixed check; anti-reverse -c 1917.

ANDREAS 4'' Game reel. Stamped on back: ANDREAS REEL PAT 4433 / 6162 29. 6. 17. Frame diameter 3 3/4''; spool-drum width 1''; Manganese bronze bearing; brass drag regulator; fixed check; anti reverse; frame & spool nickel plated -c 1917. Images courtesy Simon Wilkinson.

ANDREAS 7'' Game reel, A.C. Reel Co, Sydney Australia -c. 1930s. Fame dia 6 7/8'', spool-drum width 2 1/16''; Hoffmann roller bearings; fixed -check; Frame & spool-drum of cast alumunium alloy; fittings of cast brass.

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