Wooden Seamartin Type Workshop Surf Casting Reel. Maker Les Collins, Queensland (Circa 2012) by Bernie Ladd, 10/3/2014.
Les Collins is a retired master plumber and an avid fisherman from Hervey Bay Queensland. During his retirement Les's keen fishing interests and passion led him to become interested in the history of Australian manufactured fishing reels and their collectability. One reel in particular that fascinated Les, is the unique "Cedar SEAMARTIN" surf reel, designed and made by Cliff Martin, Lakes Entrance Victoria. Les was compelled to cleverly fashion his own design for display, a hand made wood body & spool drum seamartin type surf reel. A limited edition of 15, were made and stamped with the unique production number. A Certificate of Authenticity was provided stating the unique limited edition number and personally signed by Les Collins.
The first prototype stamped L C No. 1 was made from Australian Red Cedar; followed by a second prototype made from Australian Silky Oak, stamped LC No. 2; and a third model in Australian Red Cedar stamped with the new abreviation LRC No. 3. It became difficult for Les to obtain these timbers and he decided to produce the remainder of 12 reels from Taun, a moderately durable hardwood timber, originating from the Pacific Islands, which has a range of applications including general building, flooring, cladding, and joinery, as well as cooperage, outdoor furniture, and boat building.
In 2015, encouraged by Seamartin enthusiasts, Les created a new improved Seamartin lookalike. Les carefully considered and used in his new design, Australian White cedar wood, and a newly designed Aluminium alloy heavy duty T saddle foot. The housing, spool-drum specifications were measured from an original Seamartin wood reel. The crank and handle-knobs are Seamartin Mark 2 parts, clearly identified by the nut locking tab fixed with a single screw. These aspects were never fitted to the original wood Seamartin's crank arm. The rolled S/S back plate is clearly stamped with the markings L C (initials for Les Collins); S (special) and respective production number. The red id plate copy, is of thicker gauge. These modifications assure Les’ reels, will never be confused or misrepresented as an original Seamartin wood surf casting fishing reel, that was invented, and manufactured by the famous Cliff Martin. Les Collins has stated that he made only five L C Special Seamartins individually stamped, and that he will not produce any more.
Les Collins 2012, with his first prototype
L C No.1 Australian red cedar Surf Reel.
All 15 L R C reels are stamped with the unique production number.
L C No. 2
Silky oak prototype
Les Collins Silky oak prototype stamped L C No.2.
Courtesy Brian Ashly.
L R C No 3
Les Collins Red cedar
prototype stamped LRC No. 3
Click image above for Specfications on the New L C Special Seamartin.
L R C No. 11
Specifications LRC No.11 model. Manganese bronze bearings; triple clutch drag disc's; T nut drag control adjustment; solid Taun wood drum front dia 105 mm, back dia 112 mm, drum width 55 mm; Taun wood body length 100 mm, width 85 mm; S/S line weave guide; rolled 316 s/s back plate. Weight of reel 716 grms. Mechanical parts recycled seamartin.
Collins New design T saddle (foot) later modles.
SEAMARTIN style surf fishing reel made by Les Collins, in action!
Dave Bartee, an experienced fisherman based in Florida USA, a member of ARCA, recently fished the Les Collins # 7 surf casting reel. In his recent correspondance with ARCA, Dave reported that after several fishing expeditions the reel works flawlessly; casting is long and high above the surf; the retrieving of the line is even and swift; and the drag is smooth.
A Bullred caught with a Collins reel. Fisherman Dave Bartee.
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