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.
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.