The following blurb comes from the July 1946 edition of Popular Mechanics magazine and features a unique reel. I have searched the patent database but could not find a connection to a fishing reel patent from that era, so either I haven't looked closely enough or it wasn't patented. It's a fascinating reel--anyone seen one before?
Noiseless Fishing Reel Powered by Rubber
Noiseless automatic fishing reels employ a block or band of rubber to retrieve the line. As the line is payed out, the rubber is slightly twisted. When the reel brake is released, the rubber untwists, reeling in the line without jerking. The new type reel is said to eliminate cleaning and repair problems encountered with the conventional reel.
A nifty invention but doesn't look very practical. Anyone have one?
-- Dr. Todd
UPDATE: Tom Penniston writes to say he thinks this is a dead ringer for the Virginia Reel made in Madison, Wisconsin. Neat! Anyone have a photo?
UPDATE 2: Check in tomorrow for pics of this reel, courtesy Larry Moellman!