Australian Antique Vintage Fishing Reel History Reference, Jenkin Bros Game Reel by Bernard (Bernie) Ladd, 25/3/2012.

Jenkin Brothers Engineers Melbourne, Victoria Australia.Three brothers, Graham [engineer], Bob [sheet metal technician] and Bruce [engineer] began their engineering factory in Bayswater Melbourne, in 1974. Over the years, the Jenkin bros achieved various awards for excellence in their engineering production.


They were also known as Big Game fisherman who were frequently using a Kenworth prime mover to tow their 36' Bertram boat and 4-wheel drive, to various fishing locations in NSW and Victoria.Their enthusiasm for Game fishing, led them to design, in 1981, a heavy duty Big Game ball bearing reel, consisting of aluminium alloy body and a twin disc clutch drag system.


When I interviewed Bob Jenkin in March this year, I noted him commenting: " you could drop it in a bucket of water and the drag system would still work perfectly with out sticking! " Bob and his brothers manufactured six Game reels in total. Production was discontinued, as it was deemed to be not cost effective.The limited manufacture of the reel, was followed by yet another project that Jenkin Bros embarked upon. In 1982, they designed a Big game Salt-water Fly reel, which is rumured to have taken a 400lb Dog ToothTuna! Production costs incurred in the manufacture of this reel were also deemed as not feasiible. Only five of these Salt-water Fly reels were manufactured at the Bayswater engineering plant.


Somtime during 1983, the design prototype of the Jenkin Bros Big Game Salt-water Fly reel was was taken up by another engineering company, which aimed to mass-produce it. The company tried to cut production costs by reducing the thickness of the alloy body and crank, the foot was also changed to Aluminium. Soon into production, it was realized they could not compete with the international market. Only 20 of these reels were manufactured. I have allowed my enthusiasm to propel me to seek further information about those involved in thisparticular project. At this stage, I have not been able to come across any one who knew any thing about this, other than Jenkin Bros themselves. So I am still pursuing this mystery.


Jenkin Bros engineering company was sold to the current owners in 2005. Graham, Bob and Bruce are now enjoying their retirement at their large picturesque property near the Victorian Dandenongs. Compiled by Bernard Ladd (Ladd 2012)

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JENKIN Big Game fishing reel made in Australia by Jenkin Bros

Jenkin Bros Engineers, Melb, Australia. Magnum H.D15 Twin Drag Game reel. -C1981 Machined,Aluminium alloy bar; Gold anodised Side diameter's 10cm; width 13cm; spool 8cm. Twin non stickdrag; free spool & drag lever.S/S one way crank ball bearings,optional check. knurled secondry drag set, s/s crank & saddle.

Courtesy Jenkin Bros Melb, Vic.

Graham Jenkin

Jenkin Bros, Melbourne, Australia. Magnum salt water Game Fly reel - C1982 Turned from Aluminium alloy stock bar, one way heavy duty crank direct drive, Delrin drag wheel, permanent check; s/s foot. A ential production run of 5 only. The quality,workmanship & time involved, rendered this reel as not cost effective for any further production. Courtesy Jenkin Brothers.

Engineer Graham Jenkin, presenting here 1 of 6 Big game reel'sDesigned & made by Jenkin Brothers Engineering -C 1981. Courtesy Jenkin Brothers.

Jenkin Brothers Game reel, R A page 16.

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