Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Review of March 2007 Reel News

A Review of The Reel News, Vol. XVII, No. 2.

This is to make up for lost ground--a review of the latest issue of The Reel News, edited by Richard Lodge. For those who don't know, The Reel News is the bi-monthly publication of The Old Reel Collector's Association, and one the most worthwhile publications around. At 60 pages, this has to be the largest issue of The Reel News published to date.

Major feature articles include a detailed overview of The Vim Company entitled "Vim: America's First Discount Sporting Chain," by yours truly. This 8-page article covers, for the first time in print, the history of this large-volume discount sporting goods chain and includes 17 images. Jim Madden's always excellent "South Bend Bits" column details imports. This five page article covers a number of later South Bend reels including the ever popular Norseman (check eBay as they show up regularly) as well as a number of spinning reels including the Sea-Matic. Stu Lawson opines on "When Is A Reel Not A Reel," an entertaining three page article on cable and kite reels, as well as an addendum on the elusive Model 1500 Medalist with no left-hand guide. Bob Miller's welcome contribution to this issue is the Third Part in his series on Pflueger Spinning Reels; since we've had to wait three years since the last installment, he had an audience waiting with baited breath. We were not disappointed; This four-page article is generously illustrated and covers some of the more obscure Pflueger spinners, including the 600, 800, and 900 Series spinning reels. Ben Wright's contribution dealt with "Bache Brown, Part II" and coming on top of the recent Bob Halver-written Airex article in the December 2006 NFLCC Magazine (and Phil White's earlier work on Brown), means more of the story of Bache Brown has now been told. Jim Schottenham's always keen eye kept us updated on recent reel auctions, highlighted by a trio of Kentucky reels that did not get a bid at $12,500.

Shorter articles include a Roger Schulz review of Bob Miller's recent "History of the Pflueger Supreme, 1916-1982" (summary: "A key reference book for the experienced Pflueger collector), Col. Milton's Airex 324 exploded diagram, and a show report from Pigeon Forge.

Two very welcome contributions came from SpencerDe VIto, who wrote a nifty story entitled "An Old Lake Trout Reel (And How to Use It)," and an equally nice memoir of Schultz Sporting Goods entitled "Worms" by Ed Slane. Ed Slane is another in the long line of ORCA members recruited by the late Harvey Garrison, so it was a double pleasure to read this contribution.

The Reel News keeps getting better, and this is another in a line of top notch issues.

--Dr. Todd

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