Well here's it is, the end of May and I've turned over a new page in the calendar and still not got much new stuff written. However we still have new stuff coming in and I held this page over for a day in order to be able to show you:
This is a really clean example of Heaton's 1888 patent spindleless reel, often confused with the Jardine reel of the same period, though this one clearly carried the patent number 18817. you can see the absence of a centre spindle in the third photo.
At the beginning of the month I had hinted at some new ideas about old friends in the collection. Unfortunately it didn't quite work the way I wanted it to, so I'm afraid the new articles I had planned are going to have to wait a wee while.
Having said that, WVFFM has not been entirely idle, and there are a number of additions to the reel collection currently in process. One that is here and has been conserved is this lovely example of a post 1891 Messelbach Expert:
There are a few more items in process which I'll be telling you about as they arrive, so lots to look forward to in May!
Over the years I have always avoided posting anything on 1st April. No matter how important or sincere an item might be, there's always the chance someone is going to think it's an April Fool or some other sort of wind up, so here is the "wind up" for March!
The Scottish Fly Fishing Show at Stirling Court Hotel was a great success from WVFFM's point of view. Not only did we attract the interest of the show visitors, but enjoyed long chats with the other exhibitors who came to look at the rods and reels we had on display. The "hardware" did exactly what it was meant to do and taking along a computer to be able to show people what the site is all about worked really well too.
As a result of the work needed for the show, the acquisition rate has dropped but there is news of some old friends that I'm saving for a little later in the Month.
Happy Easter to all our visitors!
Had a great first day with many visitors taking an interest in the rods on display. The plan was to offer a glimpse of rod development from about 1850 to 1970 on both side of the Atlantic. A timeline of British-made reels also added to the interest.
There's another day tomorrow and lots more to see. Fly tying and casting demonstrations all day, some 20 or so stalls offering fly tying materials, bespoke rods and wonderful accessories, as well as Paul Morgan from Coch-y-Bonddu books. Tickets £10 at the door at The Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling University.
Just a week today and Whiteadder's Virtual Fly Fishing Museum will burst out into the real world at Fly Fest 2018, Scotland's very own Fly Fishing Show. The show is taking place at the Stirling Court Hotel in the grounds of Stirling University, near Bridge of Allan and will be open from !0:00 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday 10th and from 10:00 am to $:00 pm on Sunday 11th. Tickets may be purchased at the door, £10 per day or £18 for a weekend ticket.
As well as WVFFM there will be casting and fly tying demonstrations, and more than 40 trade exhibitors.
You can find out more at the Scottish Fly Fishing Show website HERE
We'll be showing about 20 rods and ten reels from the collection, with a few other interesting items. It would be great to see you there!!
Moscrop's "Manchester" Reel
If you have read the "Quest for Adjustable Drag" you will know I have a soft spot for The Manchester Reel as designed by John B Moscrop. These reels were so far ahead of their time and demonstrably the first "modern" fly reel to come to market. Find out more about this remarkable object here.
I also noticed an anomaly in the navigation route for British Reels, - a whole page charting a Timeline for the patterns of British made reels was being missed, so there's now a revised link to the pages. Hope you enjoy the changes.
A Date for Your Diary
For one weekend in March, Whiteadder's Virtual Fly Fishing Museum is going to go REAL!
Fly Fest, the Scottish Fly Fair is being held on the weekend of 10th-11th March 2018 at the Stirling Court Hotel, Bridge of Allan, and WVFFM will be there. We hope to be showing about 20 rods and ten reels from the collection, plus a few other interesting "Bits and Bobs". Details of the event can be found here.
And...this is what WVFFM got for Christmas, a nice 4" Young's Pattern 1 with an unusual spool catch, marked for William Robertson of Glasgow. Thank you Jim!!
So my desk has been a mess these last couple of weeks, so much so that I'm late with this monthly bulletin. However I hope it's worth the wait because one of this month's acquisitions is something I've been hoping to obtain for some time...
This fine-looking and massively built four inch reel is one of P D Malloch's patented "Sun and Planet" reels. A problem from which almost all reels suffer is what happens when a fish runs, rapidly pulling line from the reel? Usually the spool or winding plate revolves at a rate of knots creating all sorts of dangers;, tangles, broken line or bruised fingers. Malloch's ingenious solution was to "decouple" the winding plate from the spool and have the reel action driven by a system of gears.
Inside the winding plate we see two important differences from the conventional plate-wind reel. The handle shaft ends in a small cog (the "planet"), - it is this that engages the larger cog attached to the drum spindle, seen on the inside of the reel (the "sun"). As the winding plate is turned the cogs engage and the drum turns. If a fish takes line, then rather than the entire winding plate turning, just the handle spins on its axis. Malloch patented his reel in about 1880 but strangely the reel did not become as popular as it might have at the time. Having said that, the "Sun and Planet" mechanism is still a key part of many "non-reversing" fly reels.
The research into the three rods mentioned in "Just Like Buses..." is still ongoing, but one of the things I have come across is this:
From a most unlikely source comes an insight not only into a documented pre-1850 fishing rod (Turner died in 1851), but also into the way fishing tackle was used in a wider sense. Note the sliding band reel seat on the rod, but also that Turner was still using a clamp winch, and that the brass clamp has carefully been overwound with string to prevent damage to the rod...
You know what it's like...you wait for ages for a significant and interesting mid-nineteenth century rod to come along, and then three turn up together!
This month's new arrivals include a fascinating group of rods.
The first is by a London maker, Ebenezer Creed. Greenheart with tips in both lancewood and split cane.
The second rod is of a similar pattern, so likely another London maker, though unmarked. This rod has a hollow butt containing two tips, one of lancewood, the other split cane.
The third and final rod is perhaps the most interesting. It bears a number of similarities to rods made by James Ogden and may be the most significant of the three. all three rods will be included in the Early British Rods section as soon as they can properly be catalogued. Watch for more information about these three in the future.
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.