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



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 hammertone' First production Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950s.

     This  production omega version is extremely 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 versitile 316 grade Stainless Steel; anti-reverse check lever plain base.


Die cast body;  brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; steel tapered bail line roller guide; nickel plated steel rotor,skirtedbakelite s/drum; bakelite handle knob; bakelite drag knob; anti-reverse check lever knurled base Weight 302g. 


Alpha omega specifications .


Alpha omega embossed side.



Alpha omega exposed gearing.

Alpha omega exposed rotor.

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


Die cast body;  brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; S/S bail arm; S/S rotor, skirted 

bakelite spool-drum;

bakelite handle knob; bakelite drag knob; 

anti-reverse check lever.Weight 302g.





Alpha omega reel box.

Alpha omega embossed side.

Alpha omega crank  side.

Alpha omega internal and specification view.

ALPHA OMEGA Silver hammertone paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950s.  


Die-cast body; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; plated steel tapered bail line roller guide; S/S rotor,

skirted bakelite spool;

bakelite handle knob;

anti-reverse lever.

Weight 304g.



Alpha omega embossed side.

Alpha omega crank  side.



Alpha omega exposed rotor & clutch view.

 ALPHA OMEGA Blue hammertone paint finish Threadline Casting Fishing reel -c. 1950s. 


Bronze type gearing;

plated steel tapered

bail line roller guide;

S/S  rotor, skirted bakelite spool;

bakelite handle knob;

anti-reverse lever.

Weight 304g.







Alpha omega crank  side.

Alpha omega embossed side.

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


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.


Alpha omega embossed side.


Alpha omega crank  side.



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


 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. 


Alpha Cresta reel 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.


Cast aluminium alloy T-foot saddle and drag knob. Other specs, are same as Alpha Cresta 400 model.

  Weight 286g. 





Alpha cresta internal and specification view.

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


Die-cast alloy body;

Teflon rotor; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; ratio 3 :1;

optional check-anti reverse lever; S/S bail arm, auto pick up. Weight 322g.


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


Die-cast alloy body;

Teflon rotor; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; ratio 3 :1;

optional check-anti reverse lever; S/S bail arm, auto pick up. Weight 322g.

Alpha 404 reel & box.

1-Alpha 404 model
1-Alpha 404 model

Alpha 404 & 408 specification, slide show view.

Alpha 404 specification guide
Alpha 404 specification guide

Alpha 404 specification, user guide leaflet slide show view.

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


Die-cast alloy body & 

rotor; brass main gear; bronze pinion gear; ratio 3 :1;

optional check-anti reverse lever; S/S bail arm, auto pick up. Weight 378g.


Alpha 408 reel & box.

Alpha omega exposed rotor & specification view.

Alpha 408 specification, user guide leaflet slide show view.

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


Zamac No.2 alloy die-cast body, rotor & 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.

Alpha 414 internal specification 


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


Zamac No.2  alloy

die-cast  body, rotor & spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear; ratio 2.5:1; die cast crank;

bail arm S/S, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 590g.

ALPHA 416 Ambidextrous Threadline Casting Fishing reel Grey type paint finish -c1963.


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

bail arm S/S, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 414g.

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


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

bail arm S/S, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 400g.

Alpha Flexon 3368A reel & box.

5-Flexon lightweight spec guide
5-Flexon lightweight spec guide

7- Flexon lightweight box
7- Flexon lightweight box

Flexon spec user guide leaflet
& original box slide show view.

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


Zamac No.2 alloy die-cast body,rotor & spool-drum; die-cast alloy main gear, brass pinion gear; ratio3:1; die cast crank; bail arm S/S, auto pick up; bakelite handle knob. Weight 590g.


Alpha Flexson 3346 reel & box.

7- Flexon spec guide
7- Flexon spec guide

4- Flexon box
4- Flexon box

Flexon spec user guide leaflet
& original box slide show view.

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


 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 similaraties 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 anegdotal evidence suggests so. B. Ladd, 2009.

Apoid adverisement.

Apoid threadline reel with

original box. Extremely rare.

Alcock & Pierce APOID inscription view.

Apoid internal and specification view.


   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.



  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 &  Gold.

Auto-Flite first model nut crank.

Auto-Flite Fixed Spool-drum.

Auto-Flite later model crank nut.

Described in January1960 Anglers' Digest & shooters' monthly add Multi-clutch model, the reel with 'Automatic Transmission'

Auto Flite  

Dving Gannet logo.

1-Auto- Flite Box.JPG
1-Auto- Flite Box.JPG

3-Auto- Flite Box.JPG
3-Auto- Flite Box.JPG

4- Auto- Flite Box.JPG
4- Auto- Flite Box.JPG

1-Auto- Flite Box.JPG
1-Auto- Flite Box.JPG


Auto-Flite Box same all models.

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

 Standard first Auto-Flite.

Standard first Auto-Flite.

Second model Auto-Flite.

Second model Auto-Flite.

Auto-Flite Specification; internal parts, user guide leaflet.

Auto-Flite patent 

Auto-Flite closed face threadline reel advertisements.

Capstan 77 Whirlaway Threadline Casting Reel by Frank Pataky Capstan Plastic Mouldings N.S.W. -c1950.

Capstan 77 threadline reel

with early box -c.1950

 Capstan 77 threadline reel 

Hi-speed model with later box.

History: Frank Pataky founded the Capstan Plastic Mouldings, 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, moulded within

the Bakelite back. Capstan Plastic Mouldings 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 Mouldings again expanded the their reel production with introduction of theCapstan 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. (facory specifications) 

Capstan 77 internal  view

and spool-drum options.




Early Capstan threadline casting  reel box -

slide show view.

Describe your image here


Capstan 77 threadline casting reel box -

slide show view.


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.


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 threadline

reel advertisement.

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

 Herbert  (Bud) Bain pictured at

 his Melbourne office 1940s.

  H .R. Bain engineering Factory

  Melbourne 1940s.

Eildon advertisement.


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). 

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

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.1940s

3Bain Eildon Box
3Bain Eildon Box

1- Bain Eildon Box
1- Bain Eildon Box


Bain Eildon threadline spinning reel box -

slide show view.

Eildon vintage Antique Spinning reel.

 Eildon Aluminium & bakelite

     spool-drum options.

 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 Eildon with original box. Wider (13/16 inches) rotor model; mechanical specfications similar to other Eildon reels. 

  Id U plate stamped serial No. 173. -c. late 1940s.

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

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 hammertone paint finish. It was produced in small numbers, before Bain decided to sell his business to Halcyon Products, a Sydney manufacturing engineering company, well known for its production of the Surfmaster and Castmaster fishing reels. 
Florida casting reel & box.

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



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).



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.

Florida - Assembly and Parts Diagram
Florida - Assembly and Parts Diagram

Florida MICRO-DRAG advertisement
Florida MICRO-DRAG advertisement

Florida advertisement.
Mick Simmons guide 1959-60, Stating Florida  reel made in Australia.(Bennett engineering)


Florida  casting reel box-

 slide show view.

H 1

Halco vintage old fishing reel

                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.


H 2

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

H 3

H 3

H 4

H 4

H 5

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

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. 



Folding Aluminium alloy crank; Stainless Steel main drive gear; Bronze type pinion & idler gears; Diecast metal body & rotor with black paint finish; Plastic spool drum & drag knob; Auto pick-up, Stainless steel bail arm, spool drum release pin; anti-reverse/check; Ratio 4:1; weight of reel 322 grams. Hume reel with original box is extremely rare. Ladd. B.

Hume reel crank side plate view 

showing Hume Australia fish

side plate decal.

Hume threadline casting  fishing reel. 

Hume threadline casting reel Rotor internal view.

Hume threadline casting 

reel Internal view.




Hume threadline casting 

reel box - Slide showv iew.

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

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

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 ‘Ellingworth No. 3 Copy’. Bob Dunn (AFR book page 75), correctly states that Ellingworth is a copy of the English manufactured Ellingworth, which was patented in 1913.


To date, we have not been able to fully uncover the perplexing historical circumstances surrounding the making of the ‘Ellingworth 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 ‘Ellingworth 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.

English made Illingworth

patented in 1913. Alfred

Ellingworth invented the

first threadline reel in 1905.

Illingworth copy exposed rotor view.

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

Lawrence specificaion view.

 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 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 reasearch 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.



Cast aluminium alloy body; rotor; spool-drum, finished in hammertone 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. Individully numbered inside gear housing edge. Exibit displayed, stamped with the unique No.24.

Lawrence exposed rotor view.

Lawrence exposed housing view.

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

Plum threadline reel

with original box.

 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.



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 specification view.

Plum branding stamp view.

Plum housing cover view.

Plum exposed rotor view.


Plum threadline spinning

reel box - slide show view.

Reflex 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.


Reflex housing cover view.

Reflex crank handle view.

Reflex drum face view.

Reflex exposed rotor view.

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

Made in Melbourne, Victoria. Maker un-known. 


Aluminium alloy body, black paint finish; chromed brass foot & saddle; auto bail line pick-up, with seperate 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.

Rodkraft exposed rotor view.


Rodkraft threadline casting

reel box - slide show view.

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



 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.


SPINALL De Luxe: 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 De Luxe embossed on removable aluminium alloy side plate cover. Weight: 288 grams -c 1958.

Spinall burgundy Right hand wind specfication view.

Spinall embossed

logo view.

Spinall exposed gear housing view.

Spinall maker Manfred

(Fred) Schmul, engineer.

Melb, Vic.

First factory 1945 andlater factory 1962.

Spinall exposed rotor view.

Spinall right hand wind

with original box.


Spinall specification; internal

parts, user guide leaflet.


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 box - slide show view.

 De Luxe Spinall Right Hand Wind Threadline Casting fishing reel.

Spinall De Luxe R/H wind

Exposed gear housing, spindle & spec view.

Teflon main drive gear

shaft view.

Spinall De Luxe

embossed logo  view.

Drag knob front view.

 De Luxe Spinall Left Hand Wind Threadline Casting Fishing reel.

Spinall De Luxe L/H wind model.

Exposed Spinall rotor, gear housing  view.

Spinall De Luxe Box.

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

Spin-Master Mk.1.

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


John Holroyd, successfully patented the SPIN-MASTER Mk. 1 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 Mk.11 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 if the reel got wet, the nylon would swell, causing bearings to jam on the shaft.


Only  500 to 600 of this 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)

Spin-Master Mk.11.

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.


Spin-master Mk.1 parts;

guide booklet Slide show.

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.


Spin-master Mk.11 parts;

guide booklet Slide show.

First model Spin-Master

 Mk.1 specification view.

Spin-master Mk.1 front and back view.

Spin-Master exposed

rotor & clutch view.


Spin-Master Mk.1 patent

 slide show view.

Spin-Master new design

 crank & specification view.

Spin-Master new 

design crank  view.

Spin-Master exposed rotor

& clutch view.


Spin-Master Mk.1 box

slide show view.

Spin-master Mk.1 add

Australian Outdoors 1955.

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 has line entanglement issues, that were experienced with Holroyd’s initial Mark II grey polyamide design. 


It’s 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 (p. 79). The 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.

Spin-Master grey Mk.11


Spin-Master black Mk.11


Spin-Master grey Mk.11crank handle & side views.

Spin-Master grey Mk.11. rotor &

clutch vew.

Spin-Master grey Mk.11

embossement view.

Spin-Master black Mk.11 crank handle & rotor views.

Spin-Master black Mk.11

embossement view.


Spin-Master Mk.11 box -slide show view.

Spin master Mk.11 exposed gear housing.

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

First Spin-Master Mk. 11

advertisement. Australian

Outdoors, September, 1957.


Spin-Master Mk. 11 

adds Slide show view.

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

1- Robert 'Bob' Conaghan image

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 utilization 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
1- Surfmaster Eildon First version
4-Surfmaster Eildon first production
1-Surfmaster Eildon first production
3- Surfmaster Eildon first version

Above 6 images depicting the rare early production Surfmaster Eildon model.

1- Surfmaster Eildon exposed gear housin
Surfmaster Spec intro

New Type Surfmaster Eildon Reel.

In the process of utilising the remainder of acquired “Eildon” parts from Bain & Co, Halcyon made significant production design changes to the Mk. 1 and Mk. 2  Surfmaster Eildon models. The Back-plate was now fitted with a fine knurled anti-reverse ratchet button; a Graduated Star Drag Plate was now introduced, made of Aluminium alloy anodised dark blue with a plastic star drag knob fitted on top. The early model plastic spool (Drum) is replaced with a Grey Enamel Paint Finish Aluminium Alloy metal spool. There is also a slight modification to the alloy-die cast gear housing face, with a slightly different Back-plate screw fixture. All  other internal and external parts remained typical of the early production Surfmaster Eildon model. The new type Surfmaster Eildon Mk 1 and Mk 2 fishing reels were produced in 2 colours: Silver-Grey Hammertone; and Green Hammertone backed enamel finish. The left-hand and right-hand model options with different handle knob configurations are described clearly and depicted in the images below. It is  pertinent to comment that the Mk 2 ‘New Type Surfmaster Eildon’ model is extremely rare!

1- Surfmaster Eildon displayed in origin

Surfmaster Eildon Mk.1 presented here in the original box.

Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 L H wind model finished in Silver Hammer tone Baked enamel paint, depicted in 6 images below.

2-Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 L H wind model.
5-Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 L H wind model_
3-Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 L H wind model_
4-Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 L H wind model_
6- Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 L H wind model

Below 6 images depicting Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 R H wind model Silver Hammer tone baked enamel finish.

2-Surfmaster Eildon Mk 2 R H wind model
4-Surfmaster Eildon Mk 2 R H wind model
6- Surfmaster Eildon Mk 2 R H wind model
3-Surfmaster Eildon Mk 2 R H wind model
1-Surfmaster Eildon Mk 2 R H wind model
5-Surfmaster Eildon Mk 2 R H wind model
2-Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 Box.
3- Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 Box.
1-Surfmaster Eildon Mk.2 Box.

Surfmaster Eildon Mk.1 and Mk. 2  Box's came in the same design format with the particular model type marked in ink. The box above is marked Mk.2 R H.

5-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu
1-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu
6- Surfmaster Eildon specification Broch
7-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu
2-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu
8-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu
4-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu
3-Surfmaster Eildon specification Brochu