Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carroll on the Pflueger Supreme (1919)

Starting this week and continuing for the next several months, I’m going to feature the fishing tackle writing of one of my all-time favorite writers, Dixie Carroll (Carroll Blaine Cook). These famed pieces of tackle were featured in his great book Fishing Tackle and Kits. They are fascinating write-ups of the tackle from a contemporary perspective. Below is Dixie’s pre-amble followed by the first installment on the Douglass Patent Pflueger Supreme.


During the past few years as editor of the National Sportsman Magazine, fishing editor of the old Chicago Herald, the Chicago Daily News, and author of a series of articles on fishing, hunting and the outdoors for over fifty of the leading daily newspapers of the country I have had thousands of requests from sportsmen asking for my opinion on this or that in the tackle line, or what I thought of this particular piece of kit, or would you carry this line of food in your dufile bag on a two-weeks' canoe trip. Although having fished from the bent-pin stage up to now and toted a rifle or shotgun from as far back as I can remember, there were many lines of goods that I had not used, therefore was not familiar with them and could not give an honest opinion on their value in the woods or along the waters.

To be both square with my readers and fair to the maker of a particular piece of kit about which query had been made and with which I had no experience or knowledge as to its material, workmanship or adaptability for the outer's use, I instituted in the National Sportsman a Tryout and Testing Department, giving the maker of any piece of outdoors outfit the privilege of submitting his goods, same to be put through whatever paces I wished to give it during the work-out, my report to be published, and from which I could base a definite and worth-while reply to a reader.

During the past year and a half I have tried out and tested 364 pieces of kit; of these I have favorably passed on and reported 168 as being in my judgment high class in material and first class in workmanship, and worthy of a place in any sportsman's outfit. On others I have reported either conditions that could be corrected, or that certain stuff was not of a grade or value enough to receive a favorable report.

Following is a selection of reports that have been made on goods that have been submitted by the maker, without any strings tied to them, and upon which I have passed as being right and of value to a sportsman who prides himself on having a kit that he can show to a pal and feel that it will stand the gaff in camp, on the trail or waters. These goods were all given a thorough workout under far more rigid conditions than they could ever receive with ordinary usage, some of the tests extending over a period of six months to a year before being completed, and it is a pleasure to me to place my unqualified endorsement upon them. The trying out of these different pieces of kit, under varying conditions, has been one of the most interesting and instructive things that I have ever handled, and if the outer derives any value from the many hours devoted to the work I will feel that the effort has been rightly placed and that the work has accomplished even more than the good that was originally intended.


The Douglass Patent Pflueger Supreme Casting Reel

Pflueger-Supreme Casting Reel. — Made by the Enterprise Mfg. Co., Akron, Ohio. For a reel that minimizes backlashes to zero and makes a clever caster out of an amateur in a day's casting, the Pflueger-Supreme reel which is combination levelwinder, anti-backlash, freespooler, certainly is a tool that takes all the work out of casting and adds pleasure to the sport. No more cussin' from tangled lines nor tired fingers from guiding the line evenly on the spool. The level-winding part of the reel remains stationary when casting, thus avoiding the frictional wear on the line and on the level winding part of the reel. As you start reeling in, the line is picked up by the carrier and laid on the spool as evenly as the thread on a new spool. The level winder is encased, which makes it dirt, sand and water proof and the carrier only works while the line is being reeled in. The gears which are generated spiral toothed are always in mesh which makes it impossible to strip them, the clutch taking hold automatically when the line is reeled in. The automatic thumbers set on the inside of the end plate make the reel anti-backlash; as the tension of the bait diminishes, these thumbers slow down the spool and as the bait drops on the water the spool stops. A mighty handy part of the reel is the adjusting screw with a dial regulator on the end plate by which the tension of the thumbers can be regulated to the weight of the lure. A complete twist of this dial and the reel is a free-spool, level-winder for the fellow who wishes to thumb the reel without the help of the automatic thumbers. The reel is finished in the dull satin silver which throws no flashing signals to the waiting fish. It is built right and of fine material and will last a fisherman a lifetime. For night-fishing, when the big ones are out, it is a wonder worker. The Pflueger-Supreme reel carries the usual guarantee of the Enterprise Mfg. Co. as to quality and service.

-- Dr. Todd

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