This is the first fly reel that Lefty Kreh ever bought, purchased in 1947. Lefty improved the line drag by cutting a thumb insert in this Pflueger Medalist reel. From the collection of AMFF courtesy of Lefty Kreh.
Here are 29 simple tips to help you cast more accurately, farther, and with better results once your fly hits the water. A collection of MidCurrent's obvious and not-so-obvious bits of casting advice that have stood the tests of time and weather.
Birmingham Fly Reel, Maker Unknown. Accession No. 1986.028.261. Diameter 2 1/2 inches, pillar length 1 inch, weight 6 ounces. This attractive reel, featuring bas relief angling scenes on the plates, was commercially produced in at least two sizes, both as a crank handle reel and as a revolving plate reel. It appears to be a Victorian era British product. The design was reproduced in Germany during the 1970s and it is now difficult to differentiate the original reels from the…
William Billinghurst Reel. Accession No. 1985.29.1. Diameter 3 inches, depth 3/4 inches, weight 3 1/4 ounces. William Billinghurst (1807-1880) was a well known gunsmith whose patent for a side-mount reel built of wire and castings is now considered to be the first American fly reel. The unique appearance of these reels has prompted some to refer to them as birdcage reels.
Gurgler fly Invented by the late Jack Gartside, this surface fly can be used to catch just about every variety of saltwater fish there is—and likely any freshwater fish as well. This example was tied by Gartside himself, and is one of more than one hundred flies Gartside bequeathed to the Museum.
Side-mount Fly Reel, Maker Unknown. Accession No. 1973.070.007. Diameter 3 3/4 inches, depth 1/2 inch, weight 8 1/8 ounces. The popularity of the Billinghurst reel resulted in the manufacture of other side-mount styles. This 3 ¾” cast brass side-mount was rugged and functional, and is the product of an as yet unidentified maker believed to have made reels in Northern New York during Billinghurst’s time.
Edward Ringwood Hewitt (1866-1957) is one of the great figures of 20th century angling. He wrote voluminously on trout and salmon fishing, was an early exponent of dry fly fishing for salmon, and was also one of the first to help promote catch-and-release fishing. It is currently believed that Hewitt built 22 fly reels; at present, only seven Hewitt reels are known to exist, including this one once owned by Maxine Atherton, wife of artist and author John Atherton.
Fin-Nor’s Wedding Cake reel, designed by Gar Wood, was one of the first fly reels specifically created to handle the rigors of catching large saltwater fish. It was also one of the earliest to feature truly effective drag and excellent corrosion resistance.
One of the many drawings and paintings Frank W. Benson created in the Tihonet Club logbook. The Tihonet Club, based in Wareham, Massachusetts, donated its annual logbooks to the Museum in 2006. From the collection of the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
Bogdan reel 2001.042.019 3 3/4" by 1 1/4" by 2 3/8" wt 13oz. Aluminum frame, champagne colored. Adjustable drag. Model No. 2 salmon reel. c. 1980. Stanley Bogdan, born on December 16, 1918, was renowned for his intricate, custom-built salmon, saltwater, and trout reels. According to biographer Graydon Hilyard, he created a handmade brake design so complex, it would never require patent protection.