top of page

BUTLER Multiplying Revolving Drum Spinning Reel. Factual reference information. ReeLpedia®

This Butler depicted below is in genuine original condition and as such, an extremely rare example Bernie Ladd 28/3/2022.

1-Butler vintage fishing reel
2-Butler vintage fishing reel
3-Butler vintage fishing reel internal mechanism
4-Butler vintage fishing reel bakelite spool
5-Butler vintage fishing reel advertisement

Butler Metal and Bakelite Multiplying Sidecast Spinning Reel -c. 1950. Registered design holder H. J. Butler, Box Hill Vic. Cast aluminium, backplate diameter 2 7/8’’; Bakelite Drum (spool) width 1 3/4’’; Stainless steel (316) Spring loaded Pin-Lock turntable pivot - Stainless steel (316) saddle and support bracket; aluminium crank; bakelite handle knobs; removable cast aluminium gear housing cover; gear ratio 2 1/4: 1; optional check. Weight 244 gr. Butler Spinning reel cast in relief on the back plate, Angler Reg'd Des. 26841 moulded in drum (spool) face. Extremely rare.

Woodside Surf Casting Fishing Reel, History and Technical Reference Information.

Designed by engineer Ron Dorman, an avid fisherman from Mentone Vic. by Bernie Ladd 20/4/2014.

Ron Dorman maker of Woodside fishing reel

Ron Dorman, Engineer and Company Founder. 21.5.1918 - 31.3.2006.

Ronald Vincent Dorman, the son of a Victorian Railways station assistant and the eldest of three brothers and one sister, was born in Newstead Victoria. The family eventually moved to Melbourne where Ron attended Cheltenham State Primary School. His secondary education was at Caulfield Technical College from where he graduated dux of his final year with a certificate and scholarship to attend the Melbourne Technical College (MTC). In 1939 he graduated with a Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and was accepted to the Institution of Engineers Australia.


During his MTC years, he worked part-time for Elcon Fans. His first significant early engineering work was with Bearing Service Co. In 1940 he used the term draughtsman rather than engineer - a reserved occupation, to enlist in the AIF. This was quickly exposed and he was refused entry, but shortly answered an RAAF advertisement for engineers, becoming a Commissioned Pilot Officer Engineer in 1941. After having served in Australia and 18 months in the South West Pacific war zone, he was demobbed in 1946 as a Squadron Leader. Dorman returned to Melbourne and joined HV McKay Massey Harris Ltd. as an engineer designing farming equipment. In 1948, he formed a partnership called ARC (Athol Ron & Cec) with his youngest brother Athol and pre-war friend Cec Palmer. Together they built a small jobbing machining facility in Mentone Victoria and began machining plummer bearing blocks for Bearing Service Company. This was supplemented with ARC’s products, such as a multiplying surf fishing reel with the brand name Woodside Surf Reel RV Dorman & Co. Melbourne.


In 1958, the partnership became a registered company and the volume of product output increased. By then it was clear the company would need room for expansion and land was duly purchased at 78 White Street, Mordialloc, and a basic factory and offices were built. In 1972 Ron retired as Managing Director of DORMAN, but retained Chairmanship. Dorman moved with his young family to Prosephine Queensland and continued to act as a consultant for DORMAN Pty. Ltd. DORMAN was eventually sold on 1 April 1981 to Inductotherm Australia Pty. Ltd.

Concurrent with this activity Ron Dorman set up a new enterprise, Shute Harbour Industries (SHI) Pty. Ltd. A subsidiary company, Cannonvale Marine Centre (CMC) at Airlie Beach Queensland, was opened in 1973. The business activity was boat and outboard motor sales. As part of this business, Ron also operated an 11.3-meter aluminium cruiser for a game fishing charter. To do that Ron had to gain another qualification, Grade IV Coastal Ship's Masters Ticket. Ron and his son Peter managed the CMC. In 1988, yet another new product appeared, the DORMAN Marine Fuel Filter. The CMC was sold in 1993, but the jobbing shop/fuel filter manufacturing facility remained in business until 2005 when Ron Dormans advancing years brought about the closure of  SHI.

1-Woodside vintage metal fishing reel

Specifications: Woodside surf casting revolving drum multiplying fishing reel, designed by Ron Dorman.

Cast aluminium alloy gear housing side T saddle, finished in flat black; high tensile aluminium alloy anodised drum width 1  1/16'', diameter 3 3/8'' (vernier measured); phosphor-bronze main gear; Hoffman ball bearings; nickel-plated brass knurled clutch drag adjustment with anti-reverse; knock-on free spool drum, lever nickel plated brass; oiling cap nickel plated brass; gear ratio 2 : 1; single erinoid handle-knob, nickel plated brass crank.  WOODSIDE RV DORMAN & Co. MELBOURNE SURF REEL on the circular aluminium plate. - C.1950.

1-Woodside vintage metal fishing reel
1-Woodside vintage metal fishing reel made in Australia
1-Woodside vintage surf fishing reel

Woodside reel internal image.

Woodside surf casting reel -C 1950. Very rare.

2-Woodside surf casting vintage fishing reel user guide

Woodside surf reel, specification user guide pamphlet.

ReeLpedia ®  >< )))) * >  Page 43.

WOODSIDE vintage fishing reel information at: ReeLpedia® R A page 43. Copyright © 2009-2024, Bernard Ladd,  All Rights Reserved

bottom of page