Kentucky, Fly, Collectible & Big Game Fishing Reels 

 Lighthouse Point, Florida

Tom Greene

 Phone: (954) 415-2670



Tom Greene's personal collection 2014

Page 5

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 Sequential Reel Index   |  Alphabetical Reel Index


NOTICE: If you wish to purchase from this list, click here for instructions

Note: these reels are, for the most part, in 'as found' condition.  Some have been cleaned by previous owners.  The photos speak for themselves. 

Click on any photo to enlarge

Reel #       Description  

Wm. H. Talbot Reel Co., Nevada, Mo.,  GS & Alum. 'Ben Hur' Fly Reel, size 101, dia. 2 1/2", 1" wide spool. S curved handle, Pat. 1901, scarce


Wm. H. Talbot, 'Ben Hur' fly reel Wm. H. Talbot Reel Co. GS & Alum. Ben Hur Fly Reel

The earliest Wm. H. Talbot reels were made in Nevada, MO from about 1895 to 1913.  In 1913 the company name Wm. H. Talbot Reel Co. was changed to Talbot Reel & Mfg. Co. and was moved to Kansas City, MO.  The most desirable Talbot reel for collectors is the 'Ben Hur' fly reel. It came in two sizes and all are considered very scarce. (R. Gast)


Meek & Milam, Frankfort, Ky., No. 4, marked 'E. E. McKay / 1866'


Meek & Milam, No. 4, brass reel Meek & Milam, No. 4 

B. C. Milam, Frankfort, Ky., No. 1, sn. 5170


B.C. Milam, No. 1, brass reel B. C. Milam, No. 1,

Thos. J. Conroy, Maker, NY, #60 on foot


Thos. J. Conroy #60 reel

B. F. Meek & Sons, Louisville, Ky., No. 44, fly reel, second or third version, sn. 3736


B. F. Meek & Sons, No. 44, reel B. F. Meek & Sons, No. 44,

Built entirely of German silver, the renowned raised-rim No. 44 was the company's only single action fly reel which was introduced in late 1899 and continued in limited production until 1916, when the company was sold to Horton Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island. Described in "Classic & Antique Fly Fishing Tackle," by A.J. Campbell, page 185, "The Meek No. 44 was one of the most appealing fly reels ever built... it has sold for higher prices than either the Talbot Ben Hur or the Gayle Aluminum Trout Reel and remains one of the most coveted reels of the classic era."


James Heddon's Sons, No. 35,  # 1 on foot


James Heddon's Sons, No. 35, reel James Heddon's Sons, No. 35

Heddon, No. 30, Made by Jas. Heddon's Sons, # 1 on foot


Carter-Heddon, No. 30 reel Carter-Heddon, No. 30

Heddon hired William Carter and Jack Welch to develop a line of reels to compete with the Meek reels. In 1917, they introduced their first Carter-built reels. They were the No's 30, 35, 40 and 45. They were available for only a couple of years. The No. 30 was the most costly and is very rare. (R. Gast)


Thos. Chubb, Henshall-Van Antwerp, sn. 483




C. H. Wisner, sn. 228, Michigan Reel, narrow free spool, jeweled bearings



C. H. Wisner reel   C. H. Wisner

Unknown maker, unmarked, multiplier, early with no GS on rims,  two clicks on the face are made of ebonite, not GS,  #4 on cross member



Wm. Mills & Sons, raised pillar, multiplying reel, with free spool lever on face plate, Pat. '85, very rare


Wm. Mills and Sons reel with free spool lever Wm. Mills & Sons, raised pillar reel,

Winchester, sn. 4161, with rare counter balance on handle, the 'Holy Grail' of Winchester casting reels, very rare feature


Winchester reel with counter balanced handle Winchester, sn. 4161, with rare counter balance on handle

From 1920 through 1930 Winchester was one of the major manufacturers and retailers of fishing tackle in the USA . Winchester got into the reel business when it purchased the Andrew B. Hendryx Co. continuing to produce the lower quality reels of Hendryx, while adding some of their own designs.  Most of the other Winchester fishing tackle items sold in the Winchester stores were produced under contract by various makers.


J.F. & B.F. Meek, Frankfort, Ky., numbered screws, no sn, no model #, Size '4',  marked 'W.F.H.', end plate in two pieces, and soldered, GS


J. F. & B.F. Meek, numbered screws, size 4, end plate in two pieces J.F. & B.F. Meek, numbered screws

E. E. Eaton, Chicago, 'Kentucky',  # 3, c.1870 (Emma Eaton, Sporting Goods), GS, rare narrow spool configuration


E. E. Eaton, Chicago, GS reel, No.3 E. E. Eaton, Chicago, 'Kentucky',  # 3

J. F & B. F. Meek, Frankfort, Ky., No. 4, number 2 on foot


J. F. and B. F. Meek, No. 4 reel J. F & B. F. Meek, No. 4

Meek & Milam, Frankfort, Ky., No. 1, numbered screws, two dots on foot, GS


Meek & Milam, No. 1, numbered screws, reel Meek & Milam, No. 1, numbered screws

Meek & Milam, Frankfort, Ky., No. 1, numbered screws, two dots on foot, GS



E. Holtzmann, N.Y., Pat. April 16, 1907, rare trout size, ultra light, Knurled face plate, free spool shift lever


E. Holtzmann, Black Bass ultra light reel

E. Holtzmann reel featuring free spool with clutch and automatic drag. Holtzmann was based out of New York and made a limited number of special order reels to exact specifications. His reels have often been compared to Swiss watches in their degree of quality and precise craftsmanship. Circa 1920.


James Heddon's Sons, No. 4-18, 'windshield wiper', rubber ball spacer,  Pat. date on foot


Heddon No. 4-18 reel, windshield wiper

J. F. & B. F. Meek, Frankfort, Ky., size '0' (zero), wide spool, long foot, 1830-40 time frame, 1 o'clock handle, ultra rare size


J. F. & B. F. Meek, No. 0, brass reel, ultra rare

Snyder, Geo. W., Paris, Ky., un-cleaned except where the name is located...earliest and extremely rare


George W. Snyder, Paris, Ky. reel Geo. W. Snyder, Paris, Ky

George Snyder was a 19th-century reel maker from Paris, Kentucky. He is credited for inventing the very first American-made fishing reel in 1820. Snyder's reel was designed for fly fishing, and named the Kentucky Reel. Without patent or trademark protection, the Kentucky reel was quickly copied by many others, including Meek, Milam, Sage, Hardman and Gayle. These artisans were trained in jewelry fabrication and were experienced in cutting gears, constructing small parts, and doing precision work. (Wikipedia)

George Snyder, a silversmith and watchmaker, is recognized as the originator of the first Kentucky reel and has been called "the father of reelmaking in America." He was arguable the first maker of the multiplying reel in the United States.  George moved from Pennsylvania to Paris, Kentucky, in the early 1800's and became president of an angling club in 1810. He created his reels for friends and fellow anglers around 1815. Some were made of brass, but all were of the finest craftsmanship. His reels are considered historically the Holy Grail of fishing collectibles. To date the are five marked Snyder reels and a few unmarked ones that are similar in design. (Ray Carver)


Photography and website by Dr. Michael Echols

Last update: 02/11/2020 02:39:48 PM

Tom Greene's personal antique reel collection 2019


 Sequential Reel Index   |  Alphabetical Reel Index


Reels for sale, click here for purchase instructions



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If you have antique reels, Kentucky reels, big game rods and reels, or early fly reels you wish to sell:

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Last updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 02:39 PM


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