Shakespeare. All of the fly reels were made from cast aluminum. If you had the means, you could buy a
bamboo rod and a reel imported from England.
A major factor that contributed to the slow development of fishing tackle was a lack of public demand and
interest in sportfishing. It was not until a decade later that sportfishing gained any significant popularity. Outdoor TV shows, fishing clubs, fishing tournaments and organizations like Bass Pro, Trout Unlimited and
others all gave sportfishing a boost in status that it enjoys today.
Sometimes during the late 1950’s is when I first learned about spin fishing. The spin outfit consisted of a
tubular glass rod and the legendary Mitchell 300 reel, imported from France. Right from the beginning when
the spinning outfits hit the market, sportswriters everywhere lauded the spinning system with adulations that
were beyond reason. Maybe it was something new to write about. Maybe there was a little truth in their high
praise. The claims were that with a spinout outfit, one could cast further than with a bait casting outfit, there
were no backlashes and one could cast much smaller lures which fish preferred. Some of the arguments were
valid, but not for the reasons the writers were purporting. In the beginning, probably more fish were caught
with the spinning outfits simply because the lures presented were something the fish had never seen before,
like the tiny plugs and inl ine spinners. What the sportswriters failed to mention were the many flaws. They
either choose to ignore or were completely ignorant of the problems associated with the spin systems. The
biggest problem with a spinning reel was the line would get caught between the spool and frame and wind
itself around the shaft. There were other problems as well; line would slip off the spool causing nightmare
tangles. If the reel had a bail, some did not, the bail springs would either bend or break. The gear tolerances
were not all that close. Regardless of the problems, the spinning system caught on and has become a major
part of our fishing legacy.
It should be noted that about the same time, signif icant advances were made with casting reels. Free spooling, anti-reverse handles, disk and washer type drags had replaced the leather patches and your thumb.
More next bulletin.
Good luck and keep the lines tight.