Sunday, May 6, 2007

May 2007 The Reel News Vol. XVII, No. 3 Review

The latest copy of The Reel News, the excellent publication of ORCA, is hot off the press! Edited ably by Richard Lodge, this edition is 40 pages long and, as always, contains a wealth of information that make it such an important venue for both reel and tackle collecting in general.

The articles include "Celebrating the Anniversary Reel: The George Worthington Company, Hardware Jobbers of Cleveland" by yours truly, which details the background and history to this important trade house that sold tackle under the Anniversary, Clear Cut, and Worthington names. Don Champion contribued a neat article on a rare Montague free spool reel entitled "A Pleasant Surprise in the 'Reel World'." Alan Baracco penned another nice selection on Langley Reels, this time on "Langley Lite-Sized Freshwater Spinning Reels." I have owned versions of all three of the Langley lite-sized pictured (dating from 1954-1962) and learned a lot about their development. I had not realized there were so many different models of the Spin-Flo, Spin Deluxe and #777.

Erstwhile Reel News editor Phil White makes a welcome return with an article on a most amazing catch, a 360 pound White Sturgeon captured with a Mitchell 302 reel. The photo of this behemoth next to the lucky fisherman was used by Garcia in their advertising, and is reproduced in the article. As Phil notes, the 302 was obviously built for big fish! Stu Lawson's always entertaining column gives a historical retrospective of The Reel News from its humble four-page beginnings to its expansion under Phil White's stewardship to its growth under Richard Lodge to the 40-page beauty it remains today. Jim Madden's always anticipated column on South Bend looks at "My Little Sixty: The South Bend Tournament Reel." I think many people did not know South Bend made narrow-spool tournament casters, so this should be something of a revelation.

Jim Schottenham's "Auction Report," always a popular feature, covers the best and brightest on eBay over the past two months. I was somewhat saddened to hear a Ward's Hawthorne Kentucky-style reel which I somehow missed sold at $275 on a buy-it-now, which is an absolute steal. I have been looking for one of these for some time, but they always go well above my price range! Ben Wright, author of the seminal work on spinning reels, answers (in part) the question "Which Newer Spinning Reels Will be Collectible?" I think I may go out and purchase an Abu Garcia Model C33, per Ben's suggestion. If you had followed Ben's advice seven years ago on spinning reels, you'd be living in a mansion on a hill now (apologies to those who live in mansions on hills already).

Last but certainly not least, Robert Miller's Pflueger Pfacts column entitled "The 2-Named Reel and the Impossible Dream: A Closer Look at the Pflueger Skilkast" details the history and development of this popular baitcaster. I had not realized this reel was referred to as the "Ampro" as well as the Skilkast. To round it off, Ed Slane's "Shirts Work" is a piece of good advice on using t-shirts to advertise your hobby, Col. Milton Lorens' "Reel Fix" details the Dyna Fish 100A and 100B, and Richard Lodge's editor's page reminds ORCAns to give a hearty thanks to Don Champion for taking over ORCA's voluminous (and ever growing) library from the late Harvey Garrison.

Seems like a lot of information in forty pages? You ain't kidding! No other publication puts as much original and useful info in as concise and useful format as The Reel News.

As an aside, I sometimes marvel at why more of my NFLCC friends are not members of ORCA. So much that is printed in this journal is of broad utility and will make you a better collector of whatever it is you desire, and I can confidently declare the majority of it simply cannot be found anywhere else. For the price of membership, you get in one year's time over 240 pages of information from just the magazine alone! This does not count access to the ORCA Library, web site, shows, etc. If you're a lure collector and you're not reading The Reel News, you are missing out on tons of information of great utility. If you're a reel collector and you haven't joined, you're just plain nuts.

--Dr. Todd

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