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Pfleuger fishing reel model number 1885

Date: 1935
Overall: 105 x 85 mm, 357.72 g
Medium: Metal, nylon
Credit Line: ANMM Collection, gift from Donohoe family
Object Name: Fishing reel
Object No: 00044781

User Terms

    HistoryErnest P Pfleuger began manufacturing fishing hooks in 1881 in the United States as the Enterprise Manufacturing Company. His son Ernest A Pfleuger expanded into fishing tackle and gear operating as the EA Pfleuger Company in Akron Ohio. In 1916 the first Pfleuger baitcast reel was manufactured. By the 1930s in Australia, a wide variety of Pfleuger reels were appearing in the catalogues of Mick Simmons, Hartleys and other retailers, suggesting that Australian anglers were looking for different technology to the customary Nottingham and side cast reels.

    In 1900 an angler at Tuggerah in New South Wales used Nottingham reels to surf from the the beach. By 1907 surf casting was well established and the Rod Fisher's Society held an annual casting day. Salt water or surf fishing required a reel that could cast line well beyond the length of the rod. Salt water or surf fishing required a reel that could cast line well beyond the length of the rod. In the US state of Kentucky the multiplying free spool reel was developed to enable live bait to be cast dorectly from the spool of the reel well beyond the length of the rod. The British developed their own styles of casting reels in the 1870s - the Nottingham style reel with a central pin which enabled long casts and allowed the angler to check the free running spool when fighting a fish. It was popular in Australia about 1900 as there were few inexpensive reels available for saltwater use at this time. Early examples were made of wood and were prone to warping and swelling when wet. A brass nut on the axle acted as a brake and transvese bars and lineguards prevented the line casting off. The Nottingham and multiplyer reels required considerable skill to load , release and cast and were difficult for novices to use. Two British designs sought to recify this problem. The Malloch or sidecast reel allowed the line to uncoil freely from the face of the drum but it twisted the line. its simplicity made it popular in the twentieth century. The Illingworth or threadline reel involved casting from a fixed spool through a roller pickup with the retrieved line reloaded onto the spool therefore avoiding line twist. It was more expensive and was not popularised in Australia until the mid to late 1940s. There were few locally made surf reels in Australia until the 1940s so Australian anglers were reliant on imports from Britain or the USA. This Pfleuger Interocean reel is an example of a US surf casting reel sold in Australia to meet the increasing popularity of this style of angling at a time when there were few locally produced brands. Pfleuger reels were advertised through the retail catalogues of sporting outlets such as Mick Simmons and Hartleys.

    This fishing reel is one of several used by recreational angler Dr Cedric Victor Bowker (1876-1946). Bowker was a a lifesaver at Maroubra Beach, Sydney and undertook regular fishing trips to Red Rock on the north coast of New South Wales and at Lake Conjola.

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