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GAME Fishing Reels Made in Australia. A comprehensive reference information guide, covering some of the rarest workshop game fishing reels produced in Australia. ReeLpedia® Presented to you by Bernard (Bernie) Ladd, 8/3/2016.

This segment covers an interesting era of fishing reels made at Government run and privately operated engineering workshops.  Engineers, Toolmakers and highly skilled Fitter & Turners, who in some circumstances were on emergency stand-by maintenance duties. Some of these skilled employees engaged during their spare time in hobby craft by producing their own much loved models of fishing reels. Crouch type reels, Blackfish reels, Fly reels, Game reels, Seamartin style reels and Fishing lures were often popular items created by these enthusiasts during the maintenance and production down-times. During those down-times a floor supervisor would approach an employee and say: “Work on your foreigner”. This was done to create an impression in the eyes of senior production managers that workers were busily engaged in company projects. Thus these workshop-made reels, or any other items made during these 'down-times' were known or referred to as “Foreigners”.

 It is also pertinent to state that especially during the war periods (i.e. WWI and WWII), due to war effort production, there were shortages of fishing items on the retail market. Hence these workshop practices were especially common during those turbulent times. Ladd B. 2007.

Below is our reference information about four extremely - rare uniquely crafted Australian made Workshop Game reels.

The J.W. Bourke designed & made Latrobe Valley 5'' size multiplying Game reel. Machined from solid aluminium alloy bar. Side plate diameter 5''; spool width 3'', overall bodywidth 4 1/2''. Multiple aviation grade ball bearing main shaft. Needle roller bearing multiplying crank spindle. Dual drag disc's - Lever cam drag system ; multiplyiing action ratio 2:1. Maker John Bourke, Lakes Entrance Vic -c.1973.  Extremely rare.

Courtesy Malcolm White

S E C Latrobe Valley vic, workshop 8'' size multiplying big game reel. Diameter, 7 3/4'', overall width 5 5/16'',drum (spool) width 4 5/8''; stainless steel cross bars; aluminium star drag wheel; stainless steel crank; ebonite handle knob; brass nickel plated acorn-domed side plate nuts; brass domed crank nut; aluminium harness lugs; machined aluminium-saddle, rod clamp screws stainless steel; sealed ball bearings spindle supported; crank bearing cover stainless steel; bronze type gearing; stainless steel drum arbor - aluminium drum sides screwed to stainless steel-arbor; multiplying action ratio 3 : 1. -c. 1940. Rare.

Latrobe Valley, Yallourn Vic, S E C workshop 5'' size multiplying game reel. Aluminium alloy, turned body; spool ; saddle & crank. Diameter 5''; width 5 7/16'' ; Spool 4 5/8'' ; fixed Anti reverse; Aviation grade ball bearings. S/S counter weight; unique rear back ventilated drum (spool) disc drag control; multiplying action ratio 2 : 1. -c. 1950.  Rare.

Courtesy L Fabris

Latrobe Valley, Yallourn, Vic, S E C workshop 5'' size mutiplying game reel. Aluminium alloy & stainless steel constuction.Diameter 4 3/4'', overall body width 4'', spool-drum width 2 3/4''; stainless steel free spool lever; knurled S/S cam optional check; Swirl linished finish to s/s sideplates & crank arm; aluminium alloy saddle; Gold finish type; star wheel drag - clutch configuration; ball bearings; composite handle- knob; multiplying action ratio 2:1; weight 4 lb 4 oz. -c.1960. Rare.

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