Australian Vintage Collectable Thread-line Spinning Casting Fishing reels.

A comprehensive factual information reference and technical  guide by Bernie Ladd, 2009.

​This segement describes the vintage Spinning type fishing reel model brands made in Australia. The reels described are: Alpha, Apoid, Auto-flite, Capstan, Climax, Eildon, Florida, Halco, Hume, Illingwoth, Laurence, Plum, Reflex,Rodkraft, Spinall, Spinmaster, Surfmaster Eildon, Tru cast, Vanguard and Zephyr, which are meticulously described here with technical specifications and with images depicting fine detail for reference information.

ALPHA Threadline Casting Spinning Vintage Collectable Fishing Reels of Australia, information and reference guide.

History: 

M. B. Wragg & Co, was formed in 1883 by John Davey Wragg, who named the company in honor of his wife Margaret Bennet Wragg. John D. Wragg was initially an agent for the British tackle maker, S. Alcock & Co. A 1929 advertising cover suggests that manufacturing of the ALPHA fishing tackle begun as early as 1929 rather than 1931, as suggested in various established sources. M. B. Wragg & Co, already a dominant manufacturer of Bakelite Nottingham & Side Cast reels, commenced its production of die cast metal bodied thread line fishing reels in the 1950s. The initial ALPHA threadlines with 3 OMEGA models were followed by the ambidextrous CRESTA 400, and then in the early 1960s, by ALPHA 404 and 408, and still later by ALPHA 414, 415 and 416. In the late 1960s M. B. Wragg & Co. also produced a generic brand reel called the FLEXON, also an ambidextrous spinning-casting threadline reel made exclusively for Coles Pty Ltd. Alpha brand rapidly grew in popularity, and the company established export markets in Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. The production of reels ended in mid-1970s.

 

ALPHA OMEGA 'Blue hammer tone' First production Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950.

 This first production omega version is rare and featured a nickel plated mild steel rotor ; the anti-reverse check lever base is knurled. The common Omega model rotors were produced from the more versatile 316 grade Stainless Steel; anti-reverse check lever plain base.

1- ALPHA Omega First design vintage spin
2- ALPHA Omega First design vintage spin
6- ALPHA Omega First design vintage spin
3- ALPHA Omega First design vintage spin
5- ALPHA Omega First design vintage spin
4- ALPHA Omega First design vintage spin

Specifications: Die cast body;  brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; steel tapered bail line roller guide; nickel plated steel rotor, skirted Bakelite spool /drum; Bakelite handle knob; Bakelite drag knob; anti-reverse check lever knurled base. Weight 302g. Very hard to find in excellent order.

ALPHA OMEGA  'Blue hammertone' Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950.

Alpha Omega vintage fishing reel box
Alpha Omega vintage fishing reel
Alpha Omega vintage fishing reel
Alpha Omega vintage fishing reel gear housing specfications
reeLmanAustralia.com First Alpha vintage fishing reel information segment, 2009

Specfications: Die cast body;  brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; Stainless steel bail arm; Stainless steel rotor, skirted Bakelite spool-drum; Bakelite handle knob; bakelite drag knob; anti-reverse check lever. Weight 302g. Rare to find in excellent order with box.

ALPHA OMEGA Silver hammer tone paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950.  

Alpha Silver Omega vintage fishing reel
Alpha Silver Omega vintage fishing reel
Alpha Silver Omega vintage fishing reel made in Australia
Alpha Silver Omega vintage fishing reel Rotor Housing view

Specifications: Die-cast body; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; plated steel tapered bail line roller guide; stainless steel rotor, skirted bakelite spool; bakelite handle knob; anti-reverse lever. Weight 304g. Hard to find in good original condition!

ALPHA OMEGA Blue hammer tone paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950. 

Alpha Blue Omega vintage fishing reel
Alpha Blue Omega vintage fishing reel
Alpha Blue Omega vintage fishing reel made in Australia
Alpha Blue Omega vintage fishing reel

Specifications: Bronze type gearing; plated steel tapered bail line roller guide; stainless steel rotor, skirted bakelite spool; bakelite handle knob; anti-reverse lever. Weight 304g. Hard to find in good original condition.

ALPHA OMEGA new model Die-cast rotor Blue hammer tone paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950s.

Alpha Blue Omega all metal body vintage fishing reel
Alpha Blue Omega all metal body vintage fishing reel
Alpha Blue Omega all metal body vintage fishing reel
Alpha Blue Omega all metal body vintage fishing reel gear housing view

Specifications: Die-cast body & rotor; brass main gear, bronze pinion gear; plated steel tapered bail line roller guide; bakelite spool-drum;

bakelite handle knob; anti-reverse lever. Weight 332g. Very hard to find in original condition.

ALPHA CRESTA 400 new model Ambidextrous  Threadline  Casting Fishing reel -c. 1959.

Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
1- Alpha CRESTA vintage spinning fishing
2- Alpha CRESTA thread line spinning ree

Specifications:Teflon main gear, brass pinion gear; stainless steel bail arm; plastic type rotor bakelite spool; bakelite handle knob; anti-reverse, optional check lever. Weight 268g. Rare to find in excellent condition with original box.

ALPHA CRESTA 400. Cast Aluminium Alloy T Foot-saddle  Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1959.  It's unclear why this CRESTA model was produced with a cast aluminium alloy T foot-saddle and drag knob, thus suggesting a possible prototype.

Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel
Alpha CRESTA 400 vintage fishing reel gear housing view

Specifications: Cast aluminium alloy T-foot saddle and drag knob. Other specifications same as Alpha Cresta 400 model. Weight 286g. Rare!

ALPHA 404 Ambidextrous Threadline Casting reel . New design BLACK Teflon rotor, silver hammer tone paint finish -C.1960.

Alpha 404 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 404 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 404 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 404 vintage spinning fishing reel

Specifications: Die-cast alloy body; Teflon rotor; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; ratio 3 : 1; optional check-anti reverse lever; stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up. Weight 322g. Hard to find in genuine good condition.

ALPHA 404 Ambidextrous Threadline Casting reel RED Teflon rotor, silver hammer tone paint finish -C.1960.

Alpha 404 vintage spinning fishing reel with box & paper work
Alpha 404 vintage spinning fishing reel

Specifications: Die-cast alloy body; Teflon rotor; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; ratio 3 : 1; optional check-anti reverse lever; stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up. Weight 322g. Rare with original box and specification user guide booklet.

ALPHA 408 Ambidextrous Threadline Casting reel New model  Die-cast alloy rotor, Green hammer tone paint finish -C.1960.

Alpha 408 vintage spinning fishing reel with box & paper work
Alpha 408 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 408 vintage spinning fishing reel Rotor Housing view

Specifications: Die-cast alloy body and rotor; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; ratio 3 : 1; optional check-anti reverse lever; stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up. Weight 378g. Rare with original box and specification user guide booklet.

ALPHA 414 De-luxe Ambidextrous Threadline Casting fishing reel New model design Silver type paint finish -c.1963.

Alpha 414 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 414 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 414 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 414 vintage spinning fishing reel Gear housing specfications

Specifications: Zamac No.2 alloy die-cast body, rotor and  spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear; ratio 3:1, die cast crank, adjustable for storage; plastic type T-handle knob. Weight 616g. Hard to find in Mint condition

ALPHA 415 Ambidextrous 2.5 : 1 gear ratio model, Silver type paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1963.

Alpha 415 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 415 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 415 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 415 vintage spinning fishing reel

Specifications: Zamac No.2  alloy die-cast  body, rotor and spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear ratio 2.5 : 1; die cast crank; stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 590g. Hard to find in Mint condition.

ALPHA 416 Ambidextrous 2.5 : 1 gear ratio model, Grey type paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1963.

Alpha 416 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 416 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 416 vintage spinning fishing reel
Alpha 416 vintage spinning fishing reel

Specifications: Zamac No.2 alloy die-cast  body, rotor and spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear; ratio 3:1; die cast crank;

stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 414g. Hard to find in good condition.

ALPHA FLEXON model 3368A 'Lightweight de-luxe' Silver type paint finish. Made in Australia exclusively for Coles stores -c. 1963.

ALPHA FLEXON model 3368A 'Lightweight de-luxe' Silver type paint finish with box
ALPHA FLEXON model 3368A 'Lightweight de-luxe' Silver type paint finish. Made in Australia
ALPHA FLEXON model 3368A 'Lightweight de-luxe' Silver type paint finish. Made in Australia

Specifications: Zamac No.2 alloy die-cast body, rotor and spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear; ratio 3:1; die cast crank; stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 400g. Extremely Rare with original box and specification user guide booklet.

ALPHA FLEXON model No.3346 'Heavy model'  Silver type paint finish. Made in Australia exclusively for Coles stores -c. 1963.

ALPHA FLEXON model No.3346 'Heavy model'  Silver type paint finish vintage fishing reel with box
ALPHA FLEXON model No.3346 'Heavy model'  Silver type paint finish vintage fishing reel
ALPHA FLEXON model No.3346 'Heavy model'  Silver type paint finish vintage fishing reel

Specifications: Zamac No.2 alloy die-cast body, rotor and spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear; ratio 3 : 1 ; die cast crank; stainless steel bail arm, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 590g. Extremely Rare with original box and specification user guide booklet.

APOID Threadline Casting Fishing  Reel Alcock & Pierce, Melbourne -c. 1930. Extremely rare.

History:

 APOID brand appears to be derived from the Alcock & Pierce name. Inscribed "ALCOCK & Pierce APOID" on the body (gear housing), reel may have been made by Clive Staples from Melbourne, however it appears to have similarities to the English made Altex. It's pertinent to point out Bob Dunn's comment in his AFR book that: "Unfortunately the history of the first Australian-made threadlines is open to speculation" (AFR; p. 75). It is true that there is a lack of evidence-based verification in regard to the identity of the maker of the APOID. Nevertheless, there is also a certain degree of probability that the APOID was indeed produced in the State of Victoria Australia, as the available anecdotal evidence suggests so. B. Ladd, 2009.

Specifications: Aluminium alloy body, rotor and spool (drum) ; half bail arm, Auto pick up. Bronze open main gear; cast bronze T saddle; cast bronze crank; machined bronze handle knob. Inscribed 'APOID' ALCOCK & PIERCE on gear housing side.

APOID vintage spinning reel made in Australia
Apoid vintage fishing reel made in Australia advertisement

Auto-Flite Closed Face Fixed Spool-Drum Casting Fishing Reel. Designer Tom Leckie -c. 1958.

Manufactured by Stokes & Sons in Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, exclusively for sporting goods distributor  Michaelis Hallenstein.

                                                            

History:

  The AUTO FLITE was the brainchild of Tom Leckie who successfully received patent approval in 1962. In 1956 Leckie had designed and  manufactured the Magna-Flite Multiplying reel. Although Stokes manufactured the Auto-Flite, Leckie had made the prototypes at his own  factory Lexel Electric, and he was closely  involved in quality control  after production commenced. It was Leckie who suggested the striking  logo, a stylized representation of a diving Gannet. The Auto-Flite was not a success, probably due to distrust of the angling market for  closed face reels. The manufacturing lasted approximately 9 months producing about 1000 reels during its brief lifetime.

 

  During its brief life time, however, the Auto-Flite was produced in two models. In the first [standard] model, the nut is smaller and located  outside the crank. The later [second] model incorporated an over-riding handle brake, similar to the Abu-matic reel. The mechanism is    operated by reversing the handle to over-ride the star-drag.  This new addition has received a full page advertising in the January 1960  Anglers' Digest and Shooters' Monthly, depicting the new Auto-Flite the reel with 'Automatic Transmission' featuring an exclusive release  action multiplying drag that gives the angler full power during the retrieving".  The two models can be readily distinguished by the size and  position of the hexagonal nut, located next to the crank handle. (B.Ladd 2012)

 

 Specifications: Closed-face fixed spool; star drag; optional check, free spool & anti-reverse lever; Nylon spool control trigger, Aluminium  alloy cover diam, 2 1/2''; Alloy die-cast body, and black wrinkle paint finish; 4 anodised spool cover colour options, Red, Green, Blue and  Gold.

Auto-Flite first model nut crank.

Auto Flite vintage spinning reel made in Australia

Auto-Flite later model crank nut.Described in January 1960 Anglers' Digest & shooters' monthly add Multi-clutch model, the reel with 'Automatic Transmission'

Auto Flite  vintage spinning reelDiving Gannet logo.

Auto-Flite Box same all models. Rare.

The AUTO - FLITE Closed Face Casting Reel came in 4  Anodised Spool-drum cover colour options, Green, Blue, Red and Gold.

Auto Flite green anodised vintage fishing reel made in Australia

 Standard first Auto-Flite.

Hard to find in good condition

Auto Flite blue anodised vintage fishing reel made in Australia

Standard first Auto-Flite.

Hard to find in good condition.

Auto Flite red anodised second model design vintage fishing reel

Second model Auto-Flite.

Hard to find in good condition

Auto Flite gold anodised second model design vintage fishing reel

Second model Auto-Flite. Rare gold colour..

Auto Flite vintage fishing reel specification manual
Auto Flite vintage fishing reel specification manual
Auto Flite vintage fishing reel schematics manual
Auto Flite vintage fishing reel advertisement
Auto Flite vintage fishing reel advertisement
Auto Flite vintage fishing reel advertisement

Capstan 77 Whirlaway Threadline Casting Reel Capstan Plastic Moldings N.S.W. -c 1950.  Rare with box and specification  booklet.

History: Frank Pataky founded the Capstan Plastic Moldings, an engineering company formerly

situated at 50 Queen Street Petersham in New South Wales. Frank, a qualified toolmaker, who

migrated to Australia from Hungry in 1929, obtained a patent approval in 1938 for a 

Nottingham  reel. This particular patent featured the reel support foot bracket, molded within

the Bakelite back. Capstan Plastic Moldings produced 20 different sizes, and was one of the

last manufacturers involved in mass-production of  bakelite Nottingham fishing reels. 

  

    From the year 1950, the company also embarked on mass-production of their very own 

Capstan 69. It is prudent to mention that this particular design is an Australian look-a-like of 

the American Penn Delmar reel. Capstan 69 came in six different models.

 

In the late 1950s, Capstan Plastic Moldings again expanded the their reel production with introduction

of the Capstan Whirlaway 77, a look a like of the German Dam Quick. The Capstan Whirlaway featured

a similar fish logo on its body. Surprisingly there is no evidence of any dissatisfaction on the part of the

Dam Quick makers. There are two versions of Capstan Whirlaway 77 the Standard 3.2:1; and Fast

Retrieve 4.5:1 high speed model. B Ladd, 2013.

.

Specifications:  threadline reel for left or right- handed use. Ball bearing races for spindle -shaft; Bronze bearing at crank shaft; on and off anti- reverse, check lever; Stainless steel bail arm with revolving line roller; plastic drag knob-nut. Weight of reel approx. 18. ozs. (factory specifications) 

Capstan 77 threadline reel with early box -c.1950
 Capstan 77 threadline reel  Hi-speed model with later box.
Capstan 77 internal  view and spool-drum options.

Early Capstan threadline casting  reel box -

slide show view.

Capstan 77 threadline casting reel box - slide show view.

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Capstan 77 specification;

internal parts, user guide leaflet.

CLIMAX Threadline Casting fishing reel -c. 1934. Extremely rare.

The Climax threadline spinning casting fishing reel, which consists of: alloy body; bakelite spool-drum; brass crank; star shaped Aluminium alloy drag clutch control; and gear ratio 2.5 : 1. Two models produced: i) a non-bail arm (manual line pick-up); and ii) a half bail arm version.  The reels were made for Hartleys Pty Ltd, a large Australian retail wholesale company specializing in fishing tackle and manufacturing and supplying of sporting goods. H. B. Chalmers conceptualized and manufactured the bakelite spool-drum, but the Aluminium alloy rotor and body concepts were based on the existing English Hardex reel made by Hardy Bros. The Melbourne manufacturer of the body components that Hartleys' contracted out,  is not officially known. B. Ladd, 2009.

Climax threadline manual line pick-up model. Aluminium alloy body & rotor, Brass type crank, ebonite tapered handle -knob, exposed brass type gear, gear ratio 2.5: 1 (2 1/2 : 1), Molded in bakelite spool-drum face CLIMAX REG. CASTING REEL. weight of reel 194 grams. - c. 1934.

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Climax threadline reel half bail arm model. Aluminium alloy body & rotor, Brass type crank,

ebonite handle -knob, exposed brass type gear,gear ratio 2.5: 1 (2 1/2 : 1). Moulded in bakelite

spool-drum face CLIMAX REG. CASTING REEL. weight of reel 192 grams. - c. 1934.

Climax threadline spinning reel box - slide show view.

Climax vintage threadline  reel advertisement.

Eildon Threadline Casting Reel Manufactured by Herbert Bain Melbourne -c.1946.

History:

Herbert Bain, known to many as ‘Bud’, became a fishing enthusiast during his teenage years, when 

he started to venture out to the streams of Bayswater in Victoria. There he experienced the 

excitement of catching Black Fish (Gadopsis Marmoratus) and the Mountain Galaxias (Galaxias Olidus). 

 

As an adult in 1930s he gravitated to Lake Eildon area, which was endowed with many rivers and 

tributaries. His interest in fishing paralleled his growing interest in engineering, which led to the 

later establishment of his manufacturing engineering firm, known as H. R. Bain & Co. During the War II

the firm manufactured munitions. When the war ended, Bain was on a look out for a new 

product. It is at this turning point in his life, that his love of fishing has germinated into the idea of 

manufacturing fishing reels and other angling equipment. There was a scarcity of imported reels; 

thus a local production, from Bain's perspective, seemed like an attractive idea.  

 

   For his production, Bain conceptualised and developed the early Eildon reel prototype, which 

was an Altex look-alike. The subsequent advertisement of the Eildon prototype has resulted in 

many fishing enthusiasts lodging their orders, despite the fact that full production has not yet 

begun. During those days, war-related regulations were still in force, stipulating that all production

had to involve scrap materials only. In 1946 the manufacturing restriction was finally lifted allowing 

the Eildon reel to enter full-scale production. 

 

 In 1949 Bain sold his engineering business, but retained the fishing tackle side, transferring  

 its operations to a garage at his home in Toorak, Melbourne. For some years Bain assembled the last 

 of the Eildons from the surplus parts manufactured in past productions (B Ladd, 2013). 

EILDON specifications: automatic line pick-up; capstan drag (star) slipping clutch;  200 yd. line capacity;

entirely die cast frame; rotor and crank with interchangeable bakelite (plastic) or alloy spool-drums.

 All bearings, which are broached and machined to 0.0005 tolerance, are of  Phosphor Bronze with high tensile steel for worm shaft and gears. Screwed-on spring retainer cap on pick up mechanism assures durability and 

easy spring replacement. Black wrinkle paint finish (factory specifications). 

 Herbert  (Bud) Bain maker of Eildon thread line vintage spinning reel,  pictured at  his Melbourne office 1940s.

 Herbert  (Bud) Bain pictured at

 his Melbourne office 1940s.

  H .R. Bain engineering Factory   Melbourne 1940s.

  H .R. Bain engineering Factory

  Melbourne 1940s.

Early Eildon thread line spinning vintage fishing reel  advertisement.

Early Eildon advertisement.

  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 5 .
  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 5 .
  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 5 .
  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon vintage threadline casting fishing reel reel .

  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 5 . Rare with box.

Vintage Eildon spinning reel made in Australia, Specifications
  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 5 .
  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 5 .
  Early H .R. Bain vintage  Eildon threadline casting  reel Rotor housing view.

H .R. Bain Eildon threadline casting reel with original box. Ergonomic larger knurled plastic type handle-knob model.

Id U plate stamped Serial No. D 5. Mechanical specifications similar to other Bain Eildon models, with exception of the

ergonomically knurled plastic type handle-knob. -c.1940.  Extremely Rare in Mint condition with box.

Bain Eildon threadline spinning     reel box - slide show view.

  Early H .R. Bain  Eildon threadline casting  reel with original box -c.1946. Id U plate stamped Serial No. 80, Specifications
 H .R. Bain Eidon threadline casting reel id U plate stamped serial No. 80. Aluminium alloy spool-drum model.  Inscribed under body 'Evans & Balfour Melbourne' -c.1940s. Its perplexing why Bain had this reel inscribed Evans & Balfour Melbourne, a Melbourne based sporting goods retail, wholesale outlet.

 H .R. Bain Eidon threadline casting reel id U plate stamped serial No. 80. Aluminium alloy spool-drum model.  Inscribed under body 'Evans & Balfour Melbourne' -c.1940s. Its perplexing why Bain had this reel inscribed Evans & Balfour Melbourne, a Melbourne based sporting goods retail, wholesale outlet.

Eildon vintage Antique Spinning reel.
 Eildon vintage fishing reel Aluminium & bakelite spool-drum options.
Eildon vintage spinning reel specfications
Eildon vintage spinning reel with box
Eildon vintage spinning reel
Eildon vintage spinning reel
Eildon vintage spinning reel ID plate

  H .R. Bain Eildon with original box. Wider (13/16 inches) rotor model; mechanical specifications similar to other Eildon reels.  Id U plate stamped serial No. 173. -c. late 1940. Rare with Box.

Model 2 Last Version H. R. Bain Eildon Threadline Casting fishing reel -c.1950s. Extremely rare!

Last version model Eildon vintage spinning reel Specifications
Last version model Eildon vintage spinning reel
Last version Eildon model vintage spinning reel
Last version Eildon vintage spinning reel model Rotor housing view
Last version model Eildon vintage spinning reel
The updated Bain Eildon Model 2 Threadline Spinning reel was produced by Herbert Bain in the 1950s. Clearly evident, on the U shape aluminium alloy ID Plate, is the production stamp: "H. R. Bain Serial No. 6". The Permit Number ordinarily required during World War II period, was no longer needed for licensing purposes in 1950s, hence it is absent in the ID Plate of Bain Eildon Model 2. The Model 2 also had a modified sliding crank, the body and rotor a green hammer tone paint finish. It was produced in small numbers, before Bain decided to sell his buisness to Halcyon Products, a Sydney manufacturing engineering company, well known for its production of the Surfmaster and Castmaster fishing reels. 
Florida vintage fishing reel casting reel & box.
Florida Wonder cast vintage fishing reel made in Australia
Florida Wonder cast vintage fishing reel made in Australia
Florida Wonder cast vintage fishing reel made in Australia

FLORIDA Push - Button Wonder Cast Closed - Face Fixed Spool Casting Reel -c.1958.

 

History

It is reported in Bob Dunn's book, Australian Fishing Reels Book, that the first Australian closed-face reel, named FLORIDA, was made by Bennett Engineering Pty. Ltd., based in New South Wales. Dunn claims that the reel's name is linked to the initial intention of the manufacturer to produce the reel for the American market. Interestingly, with exception of few export sales to South Africa and New Zealand, most of the reels produced, were sold withinin Australia.  

 

Further exploration of this perplexing circumstance reveals that the Florida reel is strikingly similar in size and design to the American closed-face reel named Shakesphere Wonder Cast. In researching this further it is evident that Shakesphere Wonder Cast was a non-patented design.  Also the FLORIDA itself does not appear to be a patented design. This begs the question whether the Florida was intended for the American market as it is claimed by Dunn? Is it simply that the Australian reel was a copy of the Shakesphere Wonder Cast? Dunn has rightly made a valid point that "this was a market dominated by ABU, Shakespeare, Whyte-Hall and Zebco" (Dunn 1994; p. 80).

 

Despite this seeming controversy, Dunn mentions that John Nicholls, New South Wales Manager for Alvey, a major compititor of Bennett Engineering, considered the FLORIDA to be the best closed-face reel on the market. When Bennett Engineering ceased production of the FLORIDA, Alvey tried to get hold of the dyes for the FLORIDA only to find that Bennett Engineering had sold them for scrap (Dunn, 1994).

 

Specifications

Produced by Bennett Engineering, Hardbord, NSW - c. 1958. Closed-face, fixed spool casting reel; die-cast body (housing) baked enamel wrinkle brown finish; gold anodised aluminium spool cover; anodised gold aluminium side plates, screwed to housing; twin handle knobs, anti-reverse lever; spool cover full circle Micro-Drag adjustment. "Florida Push Button WONDERCAST" is printed on aluminium rivited side plate. Weight of reel: 246 grams. B. Ladd, 2009.  Rare with original box.

Florida Wonder cast vintage fishing reel made in Australia
Florida Wonder cast vintage fishing reel 'Bennett Engineering' advertisement.
Florida Wonder cast vintage fishing reel made by 'Bennett Engineering' advertisement.
Mick Simmons guide 1959-60, Stating Florida  reel made in Australia.(Bennett engineering)

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Florida  casting reel box-slide show view.

HALCO Junior Threadline Casting Reel -c. 1957.

HALCO Engineering founded by Hal Cooper. !n1950, Cooper an engineer by profession and a keen fisherman, had an interest in fishing reel and lure manufacturing, in conjunction with general engineering production at his premises in Mosman Park, Western Australia.

 

The company was sold to Neil Patrick in 1980. In late 2001 the ownership of the company was passed on to Mr Patrick's son, Ben Patrick.

 To date  HALCO Engineering, based in Fremantle W.A., remains the largest fishing lure maker in Australia.

HALCO vintage spinning fishing reel made in Australia
HALCO vintage spinning fishing reel made in Australia
Halco vintage old fishing reel
HALCO vintage spinning fishing reel made in Australia
HALCO vintage spinning fishing reel made in Australia
HALCO vintage spinning fishing reel made in Australia
HALCO vintage spinning fishing reel internal specifications made in Australia
HALCO vintage fishing reel made in Australia, Rotor housing view

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 "Intrepid De- Luxe"  a striking resemblance to the Halco Junior.

 Halco threadline reel specifications: Die-cast metal body; rotor; crank and handle knob; auto pick-up. Bronze type main gear, steel pinion gear, steel pinion shaft. Die-cast drag clutch control. rotor diameter 2 1/2'', width 5/8''; Die-cast spool-drum width 7/16''; anti-reverse check lever. Weight of reel: 334 grams; -c. 1957.  Extremely rare to find in Mint condition!

The Halco Junior Threadline casting reel has a striking resemblance to the English made reel "Intrepid  Deluxe".

Extremely rare Hume Threadline casting fishing reel & original Hume Box -c.1957.

HUME  Threadline Casting Reel, Tasman Mfg Co; Melbourne Vic. -c. 1957.

Tasman Manufacturing were quite open to the fact that their Hume reel was a look-alike of the Mitchell Intermediate threadline spinning reel produced in France.  As the Hume reel was not able to compete with its competitors, its production was very limited. 

 

Specifications:

Folding Aluminium alloy crank; right hand wind option; stainless steel main drive gear; Bronze type pinion and idler gears; Diecast metal body & rotor with black paint finish; Plastic spool drum and drag knob; Auto pick-up, Stainless steel bail arm, spool drum release pin; anti-reverse/check; Ratio 4:1; weight of reel 322 grams.

The Hume reel with original box is extremely rare. Ladd. B.

Hume vintage fishing reel made in Australia side plate decal.
Hume threadline casting  fishing reel.
Hume threadline casting  fishing reel.
Hume threadline casting reel Rotor internal view.
Hume threadline casting  reel Internal view.

Hume threadline casting 

reel box - Slide show view.

HUME Left Hand Wind Model Green Hammer tone Paint Finish Threadline Casting Reel, Tasman Mfg Co; Melbourne Vic. -c. 1957.

1- HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishin
2- HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishin
3- HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishin
5- HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishin
7-HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishing
6- HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishin
4- HUME L H wind vintage spinning fishin

  ILLINGWORTH COPY vintage threadline casting reel workshop-made in Vic Australia -c. 1930s maker un-known.

ILLINGWORTH No. 3 vintage Thread line spinning reel Copy

 Illingworth No.3. Copy. Believed to be made in Vic Australia -c.1930s.

ILLINGWORTH vintage Thread line fishing reel invented by Alfred Ellington

English made Illingworth patented in 1913. Alfred Illingworth invented the first threadline reel in 1905.

The Illingworth No. 3 Copy is a look-alike of the English Illingworth No. 3 thread line spinning reel designed by Alfred Illingworth and patented in 1913. ILLINGWORTH is credited to have invented  the first threadline reel in 1905. 

 

Speculation exists as to who made the ‘Illingworth No. 3 Copy’. Bob Dunn (AFR book page 75), correctly states that Illingworth is a copy of the English manufactured Illingworth, which was patented in 1913.

 

To date, we have not been able to fully uncover the perplexing historical circumstances surrounding the making of the ‘Illingworth No. 3 Copy’.  However careful examination and study of this particular exhibit and of the existing information pertaining to its history, points to an unequivocal conclusion that the ‘Illingworth No. 3 Copy’ was indeed workshop-made in Victoria, Australia. Further research also strongly indicates that it is highly probable that the ‘Illingworth No. 3 Copy’ was made at the Federal Government’s “Bendigo Ordinance Workshop”, which was well known for its brass metal hobby craft projects, that were  performed during company's production down times.

 

Specifications of Illingworth copy:

All brass body, rotor & crank . Bakelite handle knob; aluminium alloy spool-drum. Open-sided gear semi shrouded housing diameter 1 5/8’’; rotor diameter 2 3/8’’; spool-drum width 11/16’’. Brass drag dial; brass bail arm, manual action. exposed brass main gear face, bronze type pinion gear, steel pinion shaft. Gear ratio 3 : 1.

Weight of reel 226 grams. Possibly made at the Bendigo Ordinance workshop. Extremely rare.

ILLINGWORTH No. 3 Thread line vintage fishing reel Copy
ILLINGWORTH vintage spinning  No. 3 Copy
Illingworth copy exposed rotor view.
Illingworth copy exposed rotor view.

 LAWRENCE Threadline Surf Casting fishing reel -c. 1950. Rare.

Lawrence vintage Thread line spinning Surf Fishing reel made in Australia

 Origin of the 'LAWRENCE' Surf reel is un-known, although there is a strong possibility that it was produced in Melbourne Australia, by SPINALL threadline reel maker, Manfred (Fred) Schmul. Fred Schmul managed a tool-making manufacturing plant, named James Small & Co. Pty. Ltd, established 1945. Material types used and engineering style of the 'LAWRENCE', indicate a manufacturing era of 1950s. Extensive research into the past advertising adds, fishing reel catalogues, and other souces to date, has not uncovered any information pertaining to the 'LAWRENCE' surf reels origin.

 

Specifications:

Cast aluminium alloy body; rotor; spool-drum, finished in hammer tone green paint. Polished aluminium alloy folding crank; plastic type torpedo handle knob; 316 grade Stainless steel bail arm, revolving line roller; plastic type drag clutch  knob. Rotor diameter 3 7/16'', rotor width 1 1/16''; spool-drum width 1 5/16''.

Brass type main drive gear; Bronze type pinion gear; steel pinion shaft (spindle) Bronze type bush bearings. Individually numbered inside gear housing edge. Exibit displayed, stamped with the unique No.24.

PLUM vintage threadline casting fishing reel with box made in Vic Australia -c 1920s. Extremely rare.

Plum vintage spinning reel with Box made in Australia

 PLUM threadline reel is credited by Bob Dunn (AFR book page 75) to have been produced  by Clive Staples at his home "backyard workshop" for Alcock & Pierce, Melbourne, Victoria, where he was employed in their fishing sales department. No other factual information pertaining to the PLUM reel history has been uncovered to date.

 

Specifications:

Cast aluminium alloy body; rotor; bakelite handle knob; polished cast aluminium alloy crank;

bakelite spool-drum; manual line pick-up; brass drag knob. The letters PLUM stamped in an oval circle on both sides of reel & rotor back plate. Rotor diameter: 2 5/16''- width 5/8''; Spool-drum width: 11/16''; Weight of reel: 274 grams.

 

Plum vintage spinning reel made in Australia
Plum vintage spinning reel Branding view
Plum vintage spinning reel made in Australia
Plum vintage spinning reel made in Australia
Plum vintage spinning reel made in Australia
Plum vintage spinning reel made in Australia Rotor Housing view

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Plum threadline spinning

reel box - slide show view.

Reflex vintage spinning reel made in Australia  specification view.
 REFLEX Threadline Casting fishing reel Maker Clive Staples Melbourne, Vic.
 Cast aluminium alloy body & rotor, nickle plated brass crank spindle housing; nickel plated brass handle-knob; manual line pick-up; nickle plated brass drag knob; hardened steel gearing; gear ratio: 2. 5 : 1;  underbody servicing aluminium plate. Rotor diameter: 2 7/16'' width: 13/16; spool-drum width: 13/16''. Weight of reel: 322 grams. Extremely rare!

                 

Reflex vintage fishing reel housing cover view.
Reflex vitage fishing reel made in Australia  crank handle view.
Reflex vintage fishing reel produced in Australia  drum face view.
Reflex vintage fishing reel made in Australia  exposed rotor view.

RODKRAFT Threadline  Stationary Drum Casting Fishing Reel -c.1935. 

Made in Melbourne, Victoria. Maker un-known. 

Specifications: Aluminium alloy body, black paint finish; chromed brass foot & saddle; auto bail line pick-up, with separate optional manual line pick-up; aluminium alloy spool-drum with nickel silver lined rim-face; cast brass crank  arm [ painted black] handle knob bakelite. Brass gear-revolving face; gear ratio: 3:1. Weight of reel: 276 grams. Extremely rare with original box.

Rodkraft vintage fishing reel exposed rotor view.

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Rodkraft threadline casting

reel box - slide show view.

 SPINALL Threadline Casting fishing reel manufactured by James Small & Co.

 

 History:

 The Spinall Thread-Line Fishing Reel was manufactured by a skillful engineer, Manfred (Fred) Schmul who managed his tool-making manufacturing plant James Small & Co. Pty. Ltd, established 1945 in Graham Road Highett, Melbourne, Victoria. The Spinall reel is a close approximation of the 'Spinette' - a popular reel among the northern European fishing enthusiasts in 1940s and 1950s.

 

  Unlike the ‘Spinette’, which has been calibrated in Metric measurements, ‘Spinall’ reel is based on Imperial specifications. Two models were produced by Small & Co: the Standard model available in left or right-hand drive, either in a hammer-tone Burgundy or Silver paint finish; and the De Luxe model, also available in left or right hand drive, in a flat black colour finish.

Produced in 1957, the ‘Spinall’ reel has enjoyed only a small distribution within Australia.  ( B. Ladd,  2012)

 

 Specifications of Spinall models.

 SPINALL Standard: Die cast Aluminium alloy body and rotor; plastic skirted  spool; full bail pick up, 

clutch drag control, anti-reverse switch, optional check plastic switch, gear ratio 3 1/2 :1. 

Spinall logo embossed on removable aluminium alloy side plate cover. Weight: 280 grams -c 1957.

Extremely rare in Mint condition with original box.

 

SPINALL Deluxe: Diecast aluminium alloy body and rotor; plastic spool-drum; auto bail pick up.

Drive gear & crank shaft made from Teflon. Actuating block made from Teflon.

 Spinall Deluxe embossed on removable aluminium alloy side plate cover. Weight: 288 grams -c 1958.

Spinall vintage fishing reel maker Manfred  (Fred) Schmul,engineer.  Melb, Vic.
Spinall vintage fishing reel factory 1945 in Australia.
Spinall right hand wind  with original box.

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Spinall specification; internal

parts, user guide leaflet.

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Spinall threadline spinning

reel box - slide show view.

James Small & Co factory Melbourne 1962.
Spinall threadline spinning reel Left hand wind, silver hammer-tone paint finish - A mint example.
Spinall threadline spinning reel Left hand wind, silver hammer-tone paint finish - A mint example.
Spinall threadline spinning reel Left hand wind, silver hammer-tone paint finish - A mint example.
Spinall threadline spinning reel Left hand wind, silver hammer-tone paint finish - A mint example.

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 De Luxe Spinall Right Hand Wind Threadline Casting fishing reel. Rare.

Spinall De Luxe R/H wind
Spinall vintage fishing reel Exposed gear housing, spindle & spec view.
Spinall vintage fishing reel Teflon spiral thread spindle main drive gear view.
Spinall De Luxe vintage fishing reel   embossed logo  view.
Spinall  vintage fishing reel Drag knob front view.
Spinall De Luxe vintage fishing reel made in Australia

 De Luxe Spinall Left Hand Wind Threadline Casting Fishing reel. Extremely rare with original box!

Spinall De Luxe L/H wind model.

Exposed Spinall rotor, gear housing  view.

Spinall De Luxe Box.

1-Spinall  De Luxe vintage fishing reel

Spinall Standard and Spinall De Luxe threadline casting fishing reel  advertisements.

Spin-Master Mk.1. vintage fishing reel

Spinmaster models, maker John Holroyd, Holroyd Motors, Melbourne, Australia.

History:

John Holroyd, successfully patented the SPIN-MASTER Mark-I reel in 1950 after lodging the patent application three years earlier. The patent claimed that the reel offered an  improved line laying capability through the use of a cam - controlled level wind mechanism. The first model was made in 1950 from die cast metal & aluminium alloy using dies made at Holroyd Motors. Production is estimated at 1000 to 1500 reels.

 

 The second model SPIN-MASTER Mark-II was introduced in 1957 using polyamide nylon for construction of the gear housing and rotor. According to Bob Dun (AFR book page 79) this proved to be somewhat of a disaster, because when the reel got wet, the nylon would swell, causing bearings to jam on the shaft. Please refer to the detailed explanation outlined below providing evidence for the incorrectness of Dunn's assertion.

 

Only 500 to 600 reels of Mark-II model were made. Holroyd was considering reverting to the original aluminium alloy construction when the government lifted import restrictions, making the SPIN-MASTER no longer economic. ( B Ladd 2012)

Specifications SPIN-MASTER Mk.1.
SPIN-MASTER Mk I: Helical Geared Drive and Ball-Race; mounted drum Shaft; gear housing (body) stamped aluminium; anodised black, Rotor die-cast metal; Drag knob die-cast metal; plastic spool; left or right hand individual cranks; nickel plated bail arm; die cast removable curved T saddle foot mounting; gear ratio: 3:1. Weight of reel: 288 grams -c.1947. Extremely rare with original box and specfiction booklet.

First model Spin-Master

 Mk.1 specification view.

Spin-master Mk.1 front and back view.

Spin-Master exposed rotor & clutch view.

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Spin-master Mk.1 parts;

guide booklet Slide show.

Spin-Master new design

 crank & specification view.

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Spin-Master Mk.1 patent

 slide show view.

Spin-Master new 

design crank  view.

Spin-master Mk.1 add

Australian Outdoors 1955.

Spin-Master exposed rotor

& clutch view.

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Spin-Master Mk.1 box

slide show view.

Spin-Master Proto-type reels -c 1940s.

 Rare Spin-master  Brass proto-type Fishing reel made in Australia.
 Rare Spin-master  Brass proto-type Fishing reel made in Australia.
  Rare Spin-master  Brass proto-type Fishing reel made in Australia.

Prototype Spin Master. Brass gear housing, Aluminium rotor and Aluminium drag knob. Extremely rare.

Rare Spin-master proto-type Fishing reel.

S 7

Prototype Spin Master. Aluminium gear housing, Aluminium rotor and Aluminium drag knob. Extremely rare.

SPIN-MASTER Mark II -c. 1957.

In 1957 John Holroyd introduced an innovative new patented design Mark-II threadline casting fishing reel. Holroyd took advantage of every scientific empirical evidence concerning the efficacy of various anti-corrosion and rust-resisting treatments. These treatments combined with materials such as stainless steel and polyamide nylon for the casing, and poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (PTFE) also known as Teflon, for housing of the metal gear assembly, made the Spin-Master Mark-II  a very suitable reel for saltwater fishing, and indeed, ahead of other manufacturing materials used during the 1950s. 

 

The first production models of Mark-II can be identified by the grey polyamide nylon with a narrow gap between Gear Cover and Rotor, which was problematic as it recurrently contributed to fishing line entanglement . Holroyd rectified this problem with a new improved design distinguished by its black polyamide nylon Lipped Gear Cover Edge, lapping over the rotor, thus eliminating line entangle problems. It became evident then that with extensive use involving exposure to saltwater and freshwater fishing,  during all weather conditions, there was no more line entanglement issues, that were experienced with Holroyd’s initial Mark-II grey polyamide design. 

 

It is pertinent to comment about the information pertaining to Mark-II (grey model), that was passed on to Bob Dunn, which he subsequently included in his AFR book (see p. 79). The certain informant misinformed Bob Dunn that if the Mark II grey polyamide got wet then “…the nylon would swell, causing the bearings to jam on the shaft” (Dunn, 1994, p. 79). Sadly Bob Dunn, as it appears was not aware of the false face-validity of this assertion. The experimental approach utilising the Mark II In Vivo situations revealed that there was no jamming of the bearings or the gears at all.  Close observation also has revealed that the fishing line would initially become caught in the gap between the rotor and the gear casing, and this in turn would result in line entanglement within the rotor resulting in  “jamming” of the rotor. Hence this is why Holroyd came up with an improved design in which the Lipped Gear Cover Edge extends over the rotor, thus stopping line entanglement that caused seizure of the rotor from re-occurring. 

 

Holroyd’s unique innovative patented Australian design concept was unfortunately rejected by most anglers, due to its ‘plastic appearance’ and the earlier problems associated with the grey polyamide Mark-II model. Thus, for those reasons the production of the Spin-Master Mark-II  was very limited, today making the surviving models highly sought after by the threadline fishing reel enthusiasts.

Specifications SPIN-MASTER Mk.11.

Spin-Master Mk II. Threadline Casting fishing reel. Polyamide nylon body & rotor: Push button plastic spool clutch drag [brake]; control removable stem [foot]  s/s bail arm; Ambidextrous crank; gear ratio 3:1 Pat.No138919 Mark II. SPINMASTER 

Australia moulded in gear housing - c. 1957. Exremely rare in Mint condition with original box.

Spin-Master Grey Mark 11 vintage fishing reel specfications
Spin-Master Grey Mark 11 vintage fishing reel made in Australia
Spin-Master Grey Mark 11 vintage fishing reel
Spin-Master Grey Mk.11 vintage fishing reel spool face view
Spin-Master Grey Mark 11 vintage fishing reel Rotor & Clutch view
Spin-Master Grey Mark 11 vintage fishing reel embossed back view view
Spin-Master Grey Mk.11 vintage fishing reel  specifications.
Spin-Master black Mk.11 vintage fishing reel  specifications.
Spin-Master black Mk.11 vintage fishing reel  .
Spin-Master black Mk.11 vintage fishing reel .
Improved Spin-Master Mk.11. vintage fishing reel

Improved Spin-Master Mk. 11  was produced in very limited  numbers and only in Black colour.

Spin-Master black Mk.11 vintage fishing reel  specifications.
Spin-Master black Mk.11 exposed gear housing.
Spin-Master black Mk.11 vintage fishing reel exposed gear housing

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Spin-Master Mk.11  box -

slide show view.

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Spin master Mk.11 specification,
 guide booklet slide show view.

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Spin-Master Mk. 11 

adds Slide show view.

Spinmaster Mark11 vintage fishing reel  advertisement.
Spinmaster Mark11 vintage fishing reel  advertisement.
First Spin-Master Mk. 11 advertisement. Australian Outdoors, September, 1957.

Surfmaster Eildon Threadline Spinning Fishing reel -c.1957. Robert 'Bob' Conaghan, Halcyon Products Pty. Ltd.

History
In 1950, Bob Conaghan from Sydney, purchased the patent rights for the popular Surfmaster Revolving                                         Drum Multiplying fishing reel, from Dalkeith ‘Keith’ Hilder, a welding engineer. With the patent rights,                                             Conaghan’s company, Halcyon Products Pty Ltd, embarked on mass production of the Surfmaster                                                    Multiplier, which ended in 1972.  

 

In 1957, Conaghan’s company, purchased the tooling stock and brand names of the Eildon Threadline Spinning reel from Herbet ‘Bud’ Bain, who was the owner of H. R. Bain & Co.  Conaghan thought at the time, that the marriage of the Eildon and Surfmaster brands would provide some marketing synergy. He produced his first Threadline Spinning reel, based on Bain’s Eildon Spinning reel model, with some cosmetic changes. Conaghan’s conceptually amalgamated new design, has a clearly identifiable convex aluminium alloy circular badge, fitted to the gear housing side, stating in red print: - Surfmaster Eildon Mk. 1 Spinning Reel.

Shortly after the Mk 1 model release, Conaghan also introduced a salt water model, the Surfmaster Eildon Mk. 2, featuring a larger diameter spool and rotor, offering an increased line capacity to aide surf cast fishing. However, the Mk. 2 model, produced specifically for surf fishing, did not enjoy the marketing success of the smaller spool rotor Mk. 1 model, that was a popular choice of many fresh water anglers. Hence, very few models of the Surfmaster Eildon Spinning Reel Mk. 2 model where produced; and in this regard, the Mk.2 model is definitely quite rare. Both Surfmaster models were produced with left hand and right hand options; different style handle-knobs; and different colours, that are clearly outlined in the Surfmaster Eildon technical reference segment below.

Robert 'Bob' Conaghan 1950s.

First Version of the Surfmaster  Eildon Reel model.

The early production of the Surfmaster Eildon Threadline Spinning Reel, undertaken by Halcyon Products Pty. Ltd., involved utilisation of internal gearing and body parts, that came with the tooling stock acquired by Halcyon from H. B. Bain & Co, which previously manufactured the ‘Eildon’  Threadline Spinning Reel. The parts acquired and utilised were: bail arm assembly; crank handle configuration; gear housing and rotor castings; cast alloy drag wheel (Spider); and plastic spool (Drum),  marked on spool face:-  ‘More Brake - Eildon - Less Brake’.  The Halcyon  Surfmaster Eildon Reel, also featured a new design escutcheon, that is a U - shaped identification plate, stamped with a unique production number and a convex aluminium alloy circular badge. All these components are clearly defined in the 7 images below, which depict the early production model, produced by Halcyon Products. It’s pertinent to comment that only a small number were made from Bains’ limited stock of acquired parts, thus making the first production style model of Surfmaster Eildon Threadline Vintage Spinning Fishing Reel extremely rare! Bernie Ladd 2007.

2-Surfmaster Eildon first production
3-Surfmaster Eildon first production