Seamartin, Australian Vintage Fishing Reel Reference & History by Bernard Ladd, 22/6/2009.

First production model.

SEAMARTIN Fishing Reel, First modle made by Cliff Martin.e

Brass oscillator guides

First production model SEAMARTIN -c.1960. Cedar body & spool-drum; brass oscillating action; 316 stainless steel hook, line retrieve (all models)

SEAMARTIN wood reel, Teflon block line guide. Rare version modle two.

Teflon guide block

All cedar spool

 Cedar SEAMARTIN model 2.

Teflon block line retrieve hook guide; crank arm nickel plated mild steel; T nut drag adjustment ; cast brass type, T saddle nickel plated. Courtesy Dave Bartee, USA.

SEAMARTIN was the unique invention of Cliff Martin from Lakes Entrance in Victoria.-c.1950s.


History: The design principle of the remarkable SEAMARTIN reel is between a side cast and a spinning reel. the spool is fixed forward as with a spinning reel, but the spool revolves to retrieve line like a side cast reel. The unique oscillating action of the line retrieve hook lays the line on the spool in a cross-weave pattern eliminating bite-in and coil throwing. It also allows the spool to be filled to capacity with out line slip off, ensuring trouble free casting.


In 1959 a devoted salt water fisherman and self-taught fitter and turner, Cliff Martin engaged his Solicitor in Scott Street Bairnsdale, Victoria, to prepare a Patent Specification Application for submission to Patent Attorneys EDWD, Waters & Sons, Melbourne, for patent approval. Around 1500 reels were manufactured over the next 10 years. According to Bob Dunn (AFR, 1994), the early prototypes were made from whatever scrap materials Cliff Martin could lay his hands on. The production model of the surf reel has a wooden body and spool (99.8% p > 0.001 of the wooden reels were made from Australian Red Cedar) with Bronze gears and bearings so massive that Martin offered a lifetime guarantee against malfunction. By 1970, despite a permanent backlog of three months’ orders and a production rate of about 3 or 4 reels a week, Martin was barely making wages and agreed to sell the patent rights to Wally Bambit of Oakleigh Agencies in Traralgon.The new owners re-designed the Seamartin, now called the MONARCH, to accommodate the requirements of mass production by producing a die-cast body with a plastic spool.

Specifications: Gears - machine cut,heavy duty, brass bevels of 29 and 15 teeth; Shafts- 5/16 '' S/S; Bearings Manganese Bronze; ratio 2 : 1; Line pick up S/S; Spool back cover S/S; Cast brass type, T saddle [foot] (early nickel plated) Crank arm mild steel nickel plated (model's 1&2 ) later versions 3&4 Stainless steel; Wooden body and spool; optional cedar wood centre (drum) with marine ply-wood on front and back faces (split cedar faces were also repaired by Cliff, with marine ply) Left Hand Wind by Order.

SEAMARTIN Wooden fishing reeel modle vesion three.

Cylindrical Teflon oscillating action

Model 3

SEAMARTIN model 3. Cylindrical Teflon oscillating action that became standard. Some T saddle's are nickel plated.

SEAMARTIN wood fishing reel version modle four

Marine ply backed Cedar spool

S/S crank arm

Model 4

The last version of the Cliff Martin Cedar SEAMARTIN surf reel. New handle-knob design (later used on SEAMARTIN Monarch); Stainless steel crank-handle; Marine ply backed Australian red Cedar drum (spool) Circa late 1960 to 1971

A mint example SEAMARTIN surf reel .

Seamartin exposed gear housing invented by Cliff Martin.

SEAMARTIN 1959 Patent Specification logement date, Click image to zoom.

Rare Seamartin fishing reel proto-type.

Courtesy Patrick Harrison Lakes Entrance,Vic.

Seamartin proto-type made by Cliff Martin, Lakes Entance, Victoria, Australia.

Above, two of several prototype reels made by Cliff Martin Circa 1950.

Cliff Martin Fishing with his unique Seamartin that was patented in 1959.

Cliff Martin with his famous Seamartin

Exposed SEAMARTIN gear housing.

eBay Factual statistic: A mint never fished seamartin wood reel, realised... $3,650.00.on 4/01/2010, a world record price, eBay seller id: reelman*

 Seamartin information, page 10, website reelman Australia.

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