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Some of these articles were included in "Roots o'Reels," a series about mechanical inventions that were adapted for use in fishing reels.

The Smithsonian Institution's Fishing Reel Patent Models
Originally published in Antique Angler, November/December, 1984, pp. 1-4

It's not a large collection, but the Smithsonian owns the models for some important early reel patents.


"Windshield-Wiper" Level Winds
Originally published in The Reel News, Vol. XIII, No. 1, January, 2003, pp. 4-7

There have been many designs for the unusual level wind line guides that swing like windshield wipers at the front of casting reels.


Adjustable Brakes
Originally published in The Reel News, Vol. XIV, No. 4, July, 2004, pg. 15

An adjustable brake for a fishing reel was first patented in 1864, and reels have been fitted with them ever since.


The Magnetic Brake
Originally published in The Reel News, Vol. XIII, No. 5, September, 2003, pg. 15

Anglers have been blessed with magnetic brakes in their reels since the late 1940s.


Julius vom Hofe 'n' Drag
Originally published in Fishing Collectibles Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall, 1990, pp. 11-12

An Abbey & Imbrie reel, made by Julius vom Hofe and inscribed with a 1909 date, was equipped with a "star" drag years before star drags appeared on the famous B/Ocean reels.


A Brief History of Level-Wind Reels
Originally published in N.F.L.C.C. Magazine, Vol. 3, no. 2, January, 1994, and Vol. 4, no. 1, June, 1994

The two-part article describes the early evolution of different styles of mechanical level-wind mechanisms.


Roots o'Reels XIV. Spiral-Cam Level Winds
Originally published in The Reel News, Vol. XX, no. 1, January, 2010, pp. 7-10

Spiral level winds are efficient mechanisms for winding line from side-to-side.


Roots o'Reels XVIII. Centrifugal Antibacklash Brakes
Originally published in The Reel News, Vol. XXV, no. 1, January, 2015, pp. 23-25

Centrifugal brakes have been used increasingly for decades to prevent backlash during casting.


Roots o'Reels XVI. Veeder Reader Reels
Originally published in The Reel News, Vol. XXIII, no. 4, July, 2013, pp. 4-6

Line counters made by Veeder Manufacturing Co. were built onto some unusual reels, which could also have been made by Veeder.


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All articles copyright © by Steven K. Vernon. All rights reserved. Redistribution or republication of text and/or illustrations in any form without permission is prohibited.