Bronson & True Temper Closed Face Spin-Casting Reels, UNI-SPINS” and Combos
On this page you will find the Bronson closed face spinning (or “spin-casting”) reels and the various “UNI-SPIN” and Combo models. This covers reels made from the mid 1950’s to the 1980’s. Also included are models that were originally produced and marketed by Bronson but were later sold through the True Temper Corp., who acquired the Bronson Reel Co. in the late 1960’s. Any closed-face “trade” reels produced by Bronson for other companies, including Sears, can be found at the bottom of this page.
“Classic” No.920 by Bronson
Introduced in the 1959 catalog and is last seen in our 1963 Bronson catalog. Reel shown in the first four photos has a green push button, with crank knobs to match, although catalog illustrations show them as white. Also has an unmarked foot. These were mid to high-grade models in Bronson’s lineup. The second example below does have the white grips and is of a little different design than the first.
“Comet” No.907 by Bronson
The “Comet” was a rather short-lived model introduced in the 1961 catalog and gone from catalogs after 1964. It was a mid to low-grade model in Bronson’s lineup. Listing is from our Bronson 1962 catalog.
“Commander” No.930 by Bronson
A red anodized push button closed faced Bronson version that ONLY appeared in the 1964 catalog. Needless to say, this is a tough one to find.
“ControLine” No.999 by Bronson (True Temper)
Introduced in 1971, the No.999 “ControLine” was probably the last “new” design produced in the Bronson factory under True Temper ownership. A true transitional model, as it appears to have both Bronson and Ocean City components. It boasted the unusual feature of being able to duplicate the previous cast (in distance, range and even depth), simply by flipping a “control” lever. These would only be available through 1973. A nice example can be seen below, courtesy of Tim Elswick. The original 1971 catalog listing is also shown.
“Model 880” by Bronson
The “Model 880” is a heavy duty reel designed for use in fresh or salt water. These were introduced in the 1966 Bronson catalog. The original box, shown below, was the last Bronson box used before the changeover to True Temper-marked boxes. These reels were last offered in True Temper’s 1970 catalog. A blue version of the Model 880 is now also known, thanks to collector Tim Elswick. It’s equipped with a dual grip. It can be seen below in the last four photos.
“Model No.884” by Bronson (True Temper)
The No.884 heavy-duty model was introduced in True Temper’s 1971 catalog. It would be one of the last “new” reels to be designed and produced in the Bronson factory. It was only available for the one year, which is why few show up today. The example shown below remains the only one we’ve seen. The original catalog listing is also shown.
“Model 885” by Bronson (True Temper)
One of the last reels designed and produced in the Bronson factory, while under True Temper ownership. The No.885 model was introduced in True Temper’s 1970 catalog. It would only be available through 1972. Shown below is the initial catalog listing from True Temper’s 1970 catalog. Thanks to collector Tim Elswick, we have the example seen below. The reel is marked “885A”. We have no idea what the “A” suffix might mean, if anything. Perhaps it denotes the different color variation from that seen in the catalog image.
“Dart” No.905 by Bronson
The “Dart” was a very popular model, first introduced in the 1960 catalog. It last shows up in the 1967 Bronson edition. These can be found in at least five anodized colors that we know of (black & gold, red, teal & green). The earlier black Bronson box and instructions are shown below. Ad is from our Bronson 1962 catalog. Photos are courtesy of Thomas Spitz. The red version can be seen in the last three photos (notice the different handle design).
“Hawk” No.903 by Bronson
The “Hawk” was Bronson’s lowest-priced economy model, first introduced in 1962. It would be undercut in price by the “Scout” a year later and would only sell for a few years. It would resurface around 1968, selling as a True-Temper/Bronson product (shown in the last two photos). It’s believed True Temper only offered them for the single year. As you can see, they came in at least three colors, with one having a double-knobbed crank handle. Both versions of the original Bronson box can also be seen below. The listing is from our 1962 Bronson catalog.
“Keystone Star” No.88 Model X12 by Bronson
Made sometime in the 1960’s, but a catalog listing or ad for these “Keystone” reels has never been found, leading some to believe these are Trade reels produced by Bronson for and distributed by Keystone Corp. of Chicago (who distributed a whole line of American and Japanese-made reels during the 60’s). One of only a couple Bronson-made models with the star drag. These are a tough find, especially in the original box (shown below).
“Keystone Wasp” Model X12W by Bronson
This “Keystone” model is the same as the reel above, except without the star drag. Same raised foot. These are also scarce, especially with the scarce box, shown below. Also believed to be a Trade reel produced for distribution through Keystone Corp. of Chicago.
“Mariner” No.908 by Bronson (Uncatalogued)
This unique, uncatalogued model from Bronson, discovered in early 2017, remains a total mystery. The reel shown below is the only known example. It is identical in every respect to the “Spartan” model, right down to the same model number. Because it was found in Canada, the possibility exists that it was given a different model name to be sold on the Canadian market. Another guess is that it was an early prototype produced around 1964 that was re-named the “Spartan” for general production, however unlikely. Until another surfaces to hopefully provide us with more information, it remains shrouded in mystery.
“Mate” No.900 by Bronson
Ad is from a July, 1957 magazine, proclaiming the “Mate” model as “brand new”. We suspect it was a very short-lived model, as it doesn’t show up in any of our catalogs. A photo showing the box style can be seen in the last photo.
“Mustang” No.803 by Bronson
The “Mustang” was a later economy model that first shows up in the 1966 Bronson catalog and would last be offered in the 1972 True Temper catalog. The original boxes for these, shown below, can be a tough find. The last photo shows the box used under True Temper ownership. A slightly different design is seen in photos #5 and #6, courtesy of Tim Elswick.
“Pilot” No.925 by Bronson
The “Pilot” was first introduced around 1957. The early original black Bronson box is shown below. Ad is from a 1962 Bronson catalog
“Regent” No.990 by Bronson
The “Regent” was Bronson’s top-of-the-line for closed faced spinning reels, first appearing in the catalog of 1961. It was a heavy duty reel, made for either fresh or salt water and was of the highest quality (selling for $39.95 in 1967). They can be found in both two-toned bronze or grey. Shown below is the original late 1960’s box, with the see-thru vinyl case. These would sell in True Temper catalogs through 1972.
“Savage” No.910 by Bronson
We believe this was introduced in the 1959 Bronson catalog. It is last seen in our 1963 catalog. The gold version, circa 1960-1963, is shown with the early original black Bronson box and its listing in the 1962 catalog. Also shown below is a recently found example in a champagne color with black grips. The last three photos show the earliest version in silver, with what is the only “intro” box we’ve ever seen. It also has the scarce 1959 box instructions/catalog and Bronson screwdriver wrench.
“Scout” No.902 by Bronson
This lowest-priced economy “Scout” model was introduced by Bronson in 1963 and would be last sold in a green & black version by True Temper, simply called the “No.902”, in 1972. It has the same raised foot that can be seen on both “Keystone” models. The original latest-style Bronson box is shown below.
“Spartan” No.908 by Bronson
First appears in Bronson’s 1964 catalog and is last offered in the 1967 edition. From the late-style Bronson box, we know the reel below was produced in the late 1960’s. A very tough reel to find, especially boxed. Pictures are courtesy of Matthew Woodhall.
“Spin-King” No.700 by Bronson
These were available from Bronson from about 1956. Designed for fresh or salt water and for spinning or casting rods, these were good quality reels. Shown below is the scarce original black Bronson box and instructions. A photo of the listing from our 1958 Bronson catalog is forthcoming. They are a tough find for collectors. The last photo shows a 1956 magazine ad, the earliest we have documented for this model. Reel photos are courtesy of Joesph Hickerson.
“Viking” No.906 by Bronson
The “Viking” first shows up in our 1964 catalog. It would go on to sell through True Temper’s 1970 catalog. They were a fairly lower-grade reel in the regular line-up.
“Wildcat” No.804 by Bronson
The “Wildcat” was introduced in 1965 and would last be seen in True Temper’s 1970 catalog. Shown below is the scarce late model Bronson Bronze box and instructions. This model was also used a lot for combination sets. A very large reel, with a plastic body. A tough reel to find boxed. The last photo shows a complete package for the “Wildcat”, as sold through True Temper. This example is the last to be marked with both the Bronson and True Temper names (circa 1970).
Combination Models With “Built-In” Reels by Bronson Reel Co.
Below you will find information on the combination rods with “built-in” reels produced by Bronson from 1962 to 1968.
The “60 Series” (No.62, 63 and 63LH) by Bronson
These combination rods with the “built-in” reels were first introduced in the 1962 Bronson catalog, shown below. They were simply called the “Bronson 60 Series” and included three models, the No.62 , No.63 and the No.63LH (left-hand retrieve). The rods themselves were likely produced by ActionRod or Montague, both of whom were acquired by True Temper Corp. A vinyl carrying case, the No.125, was available separately. These would prove to be some of the most successful combo rods ever created and would sell well into the early 1980’s, long after True Temper had absorbed the Bronson Reel Co. In 1962, the No.62 would sell for $24.95 and the No.63 and 63LH for $32.95. These would be designated the “Professional” series in 1967 and would eventually evolve into True Temper’s “UNI-SPIN” models in 1969. Below are photos of the earliest No.63, with the scarce original box. Reel and box photos are courtesy of Charly Small.
“No.59” Combination by Bronson
This was the economy version of the early combo models produced by Bronson and was first offered in the 1963 catalog (for $12.95). These would sell through 1968 and for the last two years were also available in a carded “Visu-Pak”. Pictures are courtesy of Dick Braun.
“No.66” and “No.66-7” Combination Outfits by Bronson
Also introduced in 1963 as a complete outfit for either fresh or salt water, the No.66 came with a 6-1/2 ft. rod, a No.127 carrying case and line. These sold for a whopping $65.00 in 1963. The No.66-7 was the same setup, but with a 7 ft. rod (for $67.50). The No.66 would be designated as the “Professional Series” by 1967. The No.66-7 would only sell for a few years, gone from catalogs by 1967. Photos are forthcoming.
No.63-02 and No.63L-02 “Professional Series” by Bronson
These were also introduced in Bronson’s 1963 catalog as the No.63 “Professional Series”. It came in three different anodized colors (red, bronze and black) with a black wrinkle finish metal frame. The rod was 6-1/2 feet. They would be renumbered the No.63-02 in 1966 and sell through 1968. They could be purchased with the vinyl case (for $49.95) or in a carded “visu-pak” without the case (for $44.95). Starting in 1969 they would be offered through True Temper catalogs and would be designated the “Professional UNI-SPIN” (see below).
In 1966, the No.63-02 “Professional” was also available in a “pack” rod version called the “Porto Case No.107”, seen below in the last photo. It came with a three-piece rod sections and a special padded carrying case, selling for $49.95. This was last seen in Bronson’s 1967 catalog.
The No.63L-02 was the same combo, but with left-hand retrieve.
No.66-05 and No.66L-05 “Professional Series” by Bronson
This super heavy-duty combo was introduced sometime in the mid 1960’s. The No.66-05 “Professional Series” would be Bronson’s highest-grade combo rod through 1968. For fresh or salt water use, it came with a heavier 6 ft., 9 in. rod. Like the No.63 “Professional” above, it would sell through 1968 and be a True Temper “UNI-SPIN” by 1969. They sold in the 1967 catalog for a whopping $65.00, which included the line and vinyl case.
The No.66L-05 was the same, but with left-handed retrieve.
No.62-01 “Professional Series” by Bronson
Introduced in the mid 1960’s, the No.62-01 was now Bronson’s “economy” Professional model (at a not-so-cheap $39.95 in 1967). The rod was a 6 ft., 2-piece model. Also included was the line and carrying case. Available in right-hand retrieve only. These would also sell through 1968, but would be discontinued during the changeover to True Temper before 1969. Photos are forthcoming.
Combination Models With “Built-In” Reels by True Temper Corp.
Below you will find information on the combination rods with ‘built-in” reels produced by True Temper from 1969 to about 1982. Because the last mention of the “Bronson” name is seen in the 1969 True Temper catalog, subsequent examples were technically not Bronson models, but were just Bronson “designs”. We won’t make an attempt to describe and photograph all the ENDLESS models, varieties and sub-varieties of the “UNI-SPIN” and “Professional” combos produced by True Temper over those 13 years. Rather, we will list the relevant catalog numbers from our True Temper catalogs (which only cover up through 1975), along with a very brief description and the years they were offered.
No.63 and No.66 “Professional UNI-SPIN” by True Temper
The same as the Bronson-built models, except re-branded “True Temper”.
No.63L and No.63R “UNI-SPIN” by True Temper
Available in gold, red and black, the No.63L (left-hand retrieve) and No.63R (right-hand retrieve) were basically re-branded versions of Bronson’s standard No.63. Shown below are several examples, including two versions of the Bronson and True Temper “Professional” fiberglass rods provided in the set. The last three photos show the No.63R.
No.633 “Professional UNI-SPIN” by True Temper
These combined the “Professional 63” with a 6 ft. “solid” glass rod and originally came in a deluxe poly bag. Reel and rod are both marked “633”. The reel is a right-hand retrieve model. These are scarce, only showing up in True Temper’s 1970 catalog.
>h2>No.633L “Professional UNI-SPIN” by True Temper
Same as the No.633 above, but a left-hand retrieve model. Reel is marked “633L”.
Misc. “Professional” and “UNI-SPIN” Models & Packages by True Temper
No.63-BT – “Professional UNI-SPIN 63” – Full outfit w/case, line, reel & “Holloglass” single tip section (1969-73)
No.63-BTP- Same as above, but with polyethylene bag (1969-73)
No.63-BT3 – Same as the No.63-BT, but with three different action tip sections (1969-73)
No.66-BT – “Professional UNI-SPIN 66” – Same full outfit as the No.63-BT (1969-72)
No.66-BT3 – Same as above, but with the three tip sections (1969-72)
No.66-BTE – Same as above, but with heavy duty 8-1/2 t., 2-piece salt water rod w/elongated handle (1969-72)
No.107-BT – “Professional Traveller” – Full outfit w/4-piece pack rod of 23″ sections (1969-73)
No.107-L – Same as above, with deluxe case (1974-1975, possibly later)
No.D-63-BT – Standard No.63-BT in a carded “Visu-Pak” or “Shadow Box” – Rod/reel combo only (1969-73)
No.D-63-BT3 – Rod/reel combo only, with three tips, in “Shadow Box” (1970 only)
No.D-66-BT – Rod/reel combo only, in “Shadow Box” (1970 only)
No.D-633 – Same as No.633, but on a carded “Visu-Pak” (1970-73)
No.632 – “Professional UNI-SPIN 63” – With short 3-1/2 ft. solid glass rod (1971-72)
No.66-BTM – Same as the No.66-BT, but with redesigned gear support (1973 only)
No.66-BT3M – Same as the No.66-BT3, but with redesigned gear support (1973 only)
*NOTE* – All of the above were sold in both left and right-hand retrieve. The left-hand retrieve had an “L” after the model number.
No.D-53-L – “New” “UNI-SPIN” lightweight combo (1973 only)
No.63LC – “UNI-SPIN 63” Full outfit, with improved gear support and anti-reverse, left-hand crank (1974-75, maybe longer)
No.63RC – Same as above, but with popular right-hand crank (1974-75, maybe longer)
No.63LP and No.63RP – Same as both above, but with heavy poly bag only (1974-75, maybe longer)
No.63L3C – Same as No.63LC, but with three different action tip sections (1974-75, maybe longer)
No.63R3C – Same as No.63RC, but with three different tips (1974-75, maybe longer)
No.D63L – Same “UNI-SPIN 63” combo on “skin-packed” cardboard, left-hand crank (1974-75, possibly later)
No.D63R – Same as above, with right-hand crank (1974-75, possibly later)
No.D633L – “UNI-SPIN 633” in vacuum-packed cardboard, left-hand crank (1974-75 and later)
No.D633R – Same as above, with right-hand crank (1974-75 and later)
This is a good place to stop because, as one can see, True Temper had no problem changing model numbers every single year. We’re just grateful we don’t have any catalogs after 1975. As was stated before, True Temper would go on to sell some form of the “UNI-SPIN” into the 1980’s.
“Combination” Rods & Reels by Bronson
The following are “Combination” rod & reel sets or kits available from Bronson from 1962 to 1967. These do not include the “UNI-SPIN” models. As of now, we only have original catalog photos, as few of these combos have survived.
No.21 Combination by Bronson (1962)
No.23 Combination by Bronson (1962)
No.25 Combination by Bronson (1962)
No.27 Combination by Bronson (1962)
No.29 Combination by Bronson (1962)
No.40 Combination by Bronson (1963)
No.41 Carded “Visu-Pak” Combination by Bronson (1963)
No.85, No.45, No.50 Combinations, No.40HF & No.104 HF “Huck Finn” Combos (1964-1966) & No.44HF and No.43HF “Huck Finn” Combos (1966) by Bronson
No.85, No.45, No.50 Carded “Visu-Pak” Combinations, No.40HF & No.104HF “Huck Finn” “Sleeve-Pak” Combos by Bronson (1964-1966)
No.106 “Porto-Case” Combination by Bronson (1965-1967)
No.85, No.50, No.45 “Visu-Pak” Combinations, No.40HF and No.104HF “Huck Finn” “Sleeve-Pak” Combos by Bronson (1967)
No.72, No.74, No.76 and No.78 Spinning “Visu-Pak” Combinations by Bronson (1967)
Bronson-Made Spinning or Spin-Casting TRADE Reels For Other Companies
“Automatic Super 88” by Bronson
This is a recently discovered trade reel, courtesy of Tim Elswick. It is virtually identical to Bronson’s “Keystone Star 88” model, but is simply stamped “Automatic Super 88” (which we can also see stamped on the Keystone model). Not known who the reel was produced for, but a good guess suggests it was made for distribution through Keystone Corp. of Chicago, who distributed a wide variety of American and Japanese-made tackle under their own name during the 60’s. The possibility exists that this could also be an early prototype. It’s clearly the only example we’ve seen so far, regardless.
“Dual-Matic 98” by Bronson
Little is known about the “Dual-Matic 98”, other than it was likely a Trade reel that, at least for now, remains an unknown retailer/distributor. It remains one of the very few Bronson models equipped with a star drag. The only two photos we’ve been able acquire, shown with a couple of the Keystone models, are seen below.
“J.C. Higgins” No.312.39461 by Bronson For Sears, Roebuck & Co.
“J.C. Higgins” No.312.39470 by Bronson For Sears, Roebuck & Co.
These were produced for Sears and are the equivalent of Bronson’s “Dart” model. A boxed example, shown below, has finally been found. Because it’s the only example we’ve seen, these should be considered rather scarce.
“J.C. Higgins” No.312.39490 by Bronson For Sears, Roebuck & Co.
“J.C. Higgins” No.312.39550 by Bronson For Sears, Roebuck & Co.