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fishinthedacks

Old Fly Reels

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My wifes grandmother knows I like to fish so she brought me a bunch of old fly reels, and a very old fly rod. I've never fly fished before. The reels are in great shape but definately pre 1980's. Haven't looked them up yet to get exact age. Newest one seems to have an auto retrieve on it. My question is do these old reels have any purpose? Anything I should look at to see if they are usable etc? I don't know how to fly fish so I couldn't tell you the first thing about them so any info would be of great help. I see a lot of guys having good success with fly fishing around me so I wouldn't mind at least learning but want to know if I should just toss these and get a new set up or what. The line looks really thick and heavy seems to be in good shape but is it like regular fishing line and should it be changed even though it looks brand new?

 

What I have:

 

The newest looking one is Herter's Inc model 703A (Green) made in Japan.

 

Bristol No.65 from the horton mfg company Bristol CT all black with a tan handle

 

have a few more but these are the nicest ones i can make out. A lot of the literature in the bag she gave me is from the 30's even had a metal thing of survival waterproof matches for the teens. Some pretty cool stuff. A lot of spinners and old lures id date back to the 20's or so without knowing for sure but i have a lot of 40's spoons etc that look a lot different than these.

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If you really want to fly fish I would look to sell everything thats not bamboo and use the profit to buy new stuff. The new stuff is so far ahead of what it was even twenty years ago its unreal. Only thing id hold on too is if you have any bamboo rods.

 

Automatic reels really dont even exist anymore. Theres no way to palm the cage and slow a fish.

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Do your homework before you sell anything.  Some of it may be rather valuable and/or certainly still useful.  As far as utility goes, a fly reel does not have to be sophisticated or expensive to be functional.  Mostly, it's purpose is to store line.  Whereas it's nice to have a smooth, modern drag, it isn't critical for "average" sportfish and just about any reel will serve you fine for most occassions.

 

Fly line IS thicker and heavier than "regular" line because it is what actually carries the fly to its destination.  Being really light, the fly is mostly along for the ride.

 

My other suggestion:  Read up and learn about flyfishing before you make any decisions.  I can answer many questions if you want to PM me.

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Do your homework before you sell anything.  Some of it may be rather valuable and/or certainly still useful.  As far as utility goes, a fly reel does not have to be sophisticated or expensive to be functional.  Mostly, it's purpose is to store line.  Whereas it's nice to have a smooth, modern drag, it isn't critical for "average" sportfish and just about any reel will serve you fine for most occassions.

 

Fly line IS thicker and heavier than "regular" line because it is what actually carries the fly to its destination.  Being really light, the fly is mostly along for the ride.

 

My other suggestion:  Read up and learn about flyfishing before you make any decisions.  I can answer many questions if you want to PM me.

 

 

Thanks a lot. Did some research there's definately some money here. Not big money but money none the least couple hundred worth and thats without looking up any of the old lures etc. Also did get a bamboo rod not in great shape though. I am flirting with the idea of learning theres a lot of prime fly fishing areas around here. I have a friend whos step mom runs a fly fishing shop local to me. She's been telling me to come in and talk to the experts since my early 20s swears I'll be hooked if I give it a try. I've read things here and there then the good ole fashion bass lure bug bites me and I go back and never pick the stuff up. Maybe I'll give it a shot this year though and if I do thanks again for the offer of being able to bug you about any questions I have. It's good to know theres some people I can fall back on, may help with the frustration of the initial learning curve.

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I would keep the reels as the majority of freshwater species unless you get into big carp, pike or muskie you won't even be using the reel much if at all.  It is merely a counterbalance and a line storage device.  the problem with older rods, in my opinion, is they are generally slower action which makes casting bigger, heavier more wind resistant flies a bit more difficult.  Not saying it can't be done, but it is easier wit ha faster action rod.

 

Do yourself a favor though, if you really want to get into it go ahead and get yourself a fly casting lesson from your local shop and it will dramatically shorten your learning curve and probably get you a discount on some gear, at least the shop i used to give lessons at did.

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I got a kick out of your "really old pre 80's" My underwear is pre '80's. Now, there is no way I would sell anything you have without getting an honest  appraisal. It might cost a few bucks but, it sounds like you have quite a lot of equipment there and just one lure or reel could put a kid through college. Don't count out the old bamboo rod either. Good luck.  

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