One of my favorite days is when the new issue of The Reel News arrives. This issue was especially anticipated as it featured the first of a number of historically important columns written by my friend and noted Mitchell reel expert Wallace Carney.
Wallace's column--entitled "Mitchell Mania"--features a great overview of the origins of Mitchell's first reel that should help us finally put the facts together. For a company that has such a long history and devoted following, its astounding how much misinformation is out there. Wallace's columns will help set the record straight.
This issue was loaded with great research. We get the return of Steve Vernon, who's article "Where's Waltco: It Spawned Kitco's Kitsch" is a great history of this Chicago company's connection to a company I wrote about last issue--Kitco, sellers of the awful Arnold Palmer spinning reels.
My own contribution this issue was a short piece on the history of Steinman's Hardware Co. and their Steiny's Best fishing reels. SInce Steinman's was the oldest existing hardware store in America (having served Washington at Valley Forge), it was a fun article to write.
Michael Hackney gives us what I hope is the first of many articles on fishing reel design when he covered the Roach patent swiveling reel. Michael's column is called "Reelflections" and is highly anticipated.
Bob Miller's "Pflueger Pfacts" column begins a seven decade romp through Pflueger history with the Roaring 1920s. I'm always amazed at how Bob can continue to make his column, which is well over a decade old, fresh and interesting.
Ben Wright's "Spinning Lines" gives us more ultra lights from Italy. Its another great article from the spinning reel maven.
Stu Lawson continues his survey of Pflueger fly reels with the Progress, an often overlooked fly reel in the Pflueger archives.
Jim Schottenham's great "Auction Report" is welcomed back with open arms and, as always, covers the many reels I would buy if I had any extra money lying around.
FInally, Mike Cacioppo (the most patient human being on earth, as I've been delayed four months in publishing his awesome book on Penn--FYI it will be out in the beginning of the New Year) gives us a look at early Penn reels. Incredible, incredible stuff.
So let's recap for a moment. Steve Vernon, a great, great reel historian and author of the seminal work on fishing reels. Wallace Carney, the foremost Mitchell reel expert and world class researcher. Michael Hackney, reelmaker extraordinaire and outstanding researcher. Bob Miller, the acknowledged expert on all things Pflueger. Ben Wright, who's forgotten more about spinning reels than most people will know in their lifetime. Jim Schottenham, who's knowledge of what's valuable is unsurpassed, and who is a world-class scholar and writer. Stu Lawson, who's encyclopedic knowledge of reels is surreal and who helped untold collectors with his Lawson's Guides. Mike Cacioppo, the finest Penn scholar I've ever come across.
READ THAT LIST AGAIN. SERIOUSLY. These men have authored a MINIMUM of 20 books on tackle collecting.
Now tell me if you know of any other organization anywhere that brings this much firepower to the table? IN ONE ISSUE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I've already worn down this issue to a nub reading and re-reading it!!!
I felt very much like a Sluggo this issue. I better step up my game if I'm going to be in the same pages as these august lights!
If you are not an ORCA member--and at this point I'm just going to roll my eyes if you aren't--you can join us by Clicking Here. The Reel News is lovingly edited by Richard K. Lodge.
-- Dr. Todd