Well, considering this is Whiteadder's Virtual FLY Fishing Museum then this is a little weird, but it is a reel I have long admired and when a really fine example became available, I just had to include it here...
If you have read the Museum pages on Ken Morritt and the Intrepid brand you will know how important contribution was made in the development and distribution of fly reels, - after all, EVERYONE had a Rimfly, but Morritt's also made some other excellent products including this very elegant fixed spool reel with another Morritt patent for a slipping clutch mechanism. While it is a poor fir in a fly fishing setting, it is still I think one of the most elegant fixed spools ever made.
Aside from taking care of the fishing tackle that makes up WVFFM, I do occasionally go out and actually use rod and line myself, my usual haunt is a fishery belonging to my old friend Jim Gargaro, Bowden Springs in the hills above Linlithgow. I'm usually there any Sunday when I'm not working and part of the fun is a "Show & Tell" of any new items to have come into WVFFM. This week I'm going to open up our "Show & Tell" to a wider audience.
First up is a pair of fly boxes. Accessories like these are an important part of the heritage of fly fishing and although there is no Accessories section on the web site (as yet) these items do come into the collection. These two were listed separately on EBay about a week apart and are in such good condition, and so complementary that I decided to get them. The more keenly observant among you will have spotted the difference, but do you know what it means? The archer is a Trade Mark of William Bartleet, one of the many Redditch companies making needles, fish hooks and fishing equipment. Barleet later went into partnership with another important Redditch firm, Millward.
The other two items I wish to include are reels. First up is an exmple of a reel I have wanted to include for some time.
If you overlook the previous owner's initial crudely punched into the front and rear plates, it's a good example of a Percy Wadham "The Test" fly reel. If you have ever read our page on "The Quest for Adjustable Drag" you will know this has been on my Christmas list for some time. Well now we have one, and while the drag itself is unremarkable, the reel is a gem of ingenuity the most remarkable element of which is the combination of ballbearings and spool lock, the subject of Patent 4391/11, as shown on the reel. The Wadham/Scott drag patent were applied in the "Meteor" casting reel. Maybe one day, - Meteor reels retail at £700+...
The second reel also has some interesting features, some of which you may recognise.
J B Moscrop's Manchester Reel has held a fascination for me for a while, you can read more about it HERE. Examples of this little reel have been discussed on a number of Forums, but no-one has yet come up with a manufacturer or origin for them. Some have artisan marks, some have a heavily leaded finish, some are bright, all of them have the same ventilated cage arbor which gives them such a striking resemblance to the Moscrop.
It is a very finely made reel, with a lot of handsome decorative machining, including a grained finish to the top edge of the handle cup. There are some elements that suggest early Young's manufacture - pinned spindle, screws securing the Xylonite handle and reel foot, but then the presence or artisan marks might point to a Birmingham shop. Unless a clearly marked example, or a relevant catalogue turns up, it may be impossible completely to identify these reels. Still, I like it!
If you've had a look at the "About" page, you know what this is all for. Here you'll find progress reports on new items and other developments on the site.