Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review: ORCA Reel News May & July

Today we get a double dose of reviews of ORCA's outstanding Reel News.

The first issue is the May 2008 (Vol. XVIII, No. 3) number. There are many really fine articles in this particular issue, which is led off by the always anticipated writings of Steven K. Vernon, who in his "A Ball Handle Proposal" seeks to make some serious research headway on these ever-popular Victorian reels. Tim Bahr offers up Part 2 of his continuing series on Indiana-style reels with "The AA Reel," or the Double A as it was called. This is a very informative series and I hope Tim continues to contribute regularly. My own contribution was a detailed history of a little known Chicago trade house. "Bicycles, Bullseyes and Baitcasters: The John Wilkinson Co. of Chicago" covers the interesting history of this forgotten titan of fishing tackle. Additionally, my review of Ted Bingham's excellent Vom Hofe book was reprinted from the blog. Terry McBurney makes a neat follow-up to his earlier work on Ranger Reel Company with "A Little Known Company: Pioneer Bait & Tackle." It covers the last years of the Ranger reel guys as they transitioned and were eventually put out of business by a tragic fire. The President Jim Schottenham offers up the always-interesting "Auction Report," and Bob Miller gives us the "1969: A Supreme Year" in his anticipated "Pflueger Pfacts" column. Ben Wright penned "The Elusive 1st Version Zebco Cardinal 4" for his spinning reel column, and Stu Lawson offered up "Another Ugly Reel Throwing Contest," a tribute to one of the more anticipated events of the ORCA Nationals. Finally, Col. Milton gives us "The Reel Fix" on how to clean an automatic reel. Sound advice for anyone who's ever cracked one of these babies open and ended up with a pile of coiled metal.

The newest issue is the July 2008 (Vol. XVIII, No. 4) issue. Excellent news begins this issue from El Presidente: my old friend Bob Miller has been made the latest Honorary Member of ORCA! Congratulations to Bob, who has just finished an outstanding manuscript on the History of the Pflueger Akron & Summit reels. He is truly one of the great gentlemen and knowledgeable collectors around. Much of this issue was designed to specifically make me jealous, as I was unable to attend the ORCA nationals in Colorado. Stu Lawson gave a wonderful description of Colorado angling in "ORCA's 2008 Fishing Contest" which, being held on Colorado rivers, made me green with envy. Espen Sjaastad penned one of my all-time favorite pieces on Shakespeare (the Bard) and fishing entitled "Perchance to Fish"--a true classic. Articles like these are what make ORCA so special. A photo essay of Nationals entitled "Rocky Mountain High with ORCA" made me especially sad I could not attend. My personal contribution to this issue, in addition to the tear stains on the cover, was "Von Lengerke & Antoine Trade Reels" which is a detailed look at the reels of VL&A, and the first of a three-part series on VL&A, VL&D, and A&F. Jim Wiegner gives us "A Place in the Park: Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club" which details this very important organization in the history of casting. With the 2008 ACA National Championships about to be held in early August--the 100th anniversary tournament--this was welcome reading. Newly anointed grand pubah Bob Miller gives us "Major Dilemma? Par for the Course" on the overlooked saltwater reel the Pflueger Par. El Presidente Jim Schottenham offers up his always anticipated auction report--which only goes to show to me how many reels are sold I covet but can't afford. Sigh. Tim Bahr gives us Part III on Indiana Reels, on the "The B&H Reel." It seems Indiana reel makers likes to use initials...Finally, Col. Milton gives us a "The Reel Fix: Those Wonderdful Penn Reels."

All in all, these issues should illustrate to you why ORCA is one of the premier organizations of its kind in the nation. If you are already an ORCA member, well, the cut of your jib tells us you are a scholar and a gentleman/lady. If you're not an ORCA member, you can be a Smart Stanley and join by clicking here. That's all I can say. The Reel News is ably edited by Richard K. Lodge.

-- Dr. Todd

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