Bronson Salt Water Reels

Bronson Salt Water Reels

On this page we will list the known salt water reels produced by the Bronson Reel Co. from 1933 up until WWII, and then selling briefly from the mid-1950’s until their last appearance in the 1960 catalog. This does not include any of the Bronson/Coxe reels, which can be found on a separate page of this website. By 1934, Bronson’s free spool salt water models would be using Coxe’s patented “Auto-Mesh” feature and a few years later many of the models would feature the Coxe Star Drag mechanism. Most of these reels can be found with the model name and size stamped under the foot, but no model number. Several of the models produced just before WWII are quite scarce. The patent for the “sailing ship” logo was granted to Bronson on May 9, 1933. We’re still looking for actual examples to photograph, so this page remains a work in progress.

“Buccaneer” No.700, No.700B, No.700A & No.700BW by Bronson

The 250 yd. version of the No.700 “Buccaneer” free spool was one of the original line of salt water reels first introduced by Bronson in 1933. The last two photos are of the original listings from the 1933 and 1941 Bronson catalogs. In 1938, they would renumber the 250 yd. model the No.700B. That same year, the “Buccaneer” would now be available in both a 150 yd. size (designated the No.700 A) and a 300 yd. size (designated the No.700BW). The “Buccaneer” would last be seen in Bronson’s 1941 catalog. The pirate ship logo was a paint stamp on the tail plate on some of these earlier models and can be hard to find intact. The original box can be seen in the first photo. The last three reel photos are courtesy of Bill Lake.

“Corsair” No.720, No.720-B, No.720A & No.720BW by Bronson

The “Corsair” free spool reel made its first appearance in Bronson’s 1935 catalog, of which there is a photo below. It was listed as the No.720 and came in two sizes, 250 yd. and 300 yd. By 1939, the “Corsair” was available in three sizes and had been renumbered. There was a 150 yd. size designated the No.720A, the 250 yd. size was now numbered the No.720B and the 300 yd. size was now the No.720BW. They would make their last appearance in the 1941 catalog, also shown below. The first reel pictured below is the last 150 yd. version, built only in 1941, with maroon side plates and the torpedo crank knob. The earlier version shown next, a 250 yd. example pictured with the original box, has the wooden grip of the pre-1941 models.

“Falcon” No.800A, No.800B & No.800BW by Bronson

The “Falcon” free spool first shows up Bronson’s 1939 catalog. Like most all of the Bronson salt water reels from that later period, it was offered in three sizes and model numbers. The 150 yd. size was No.800A, the 250 yd. was No.800B and the 300 yd. No.800BW. These were only available until 1941, a very short run. They should be considered somewhat scarce, so much so that we don’t have a photo of one yet. The three photos below show the 1939, 1940 and 1941 catalog listings.

“Jolly Roger” No.1200, No.1200B & No.1200A by Bronson

One of the four original salt water reels introduced by Bronson in 1933. The 250 yd. No.1200 “Jolly Roger” was their economy, non-free spool model. It also came without a star drag and with plain black or maroon Bakelite side plates. It was available in the 250 yd. size only through 1938. Beginning in 1939, the “Jolly Roger” would be renumbered and a 150 yd. size added to the lineup. The 250 yd. size was re-designated the No.1200B and the 150 yd. the No.1200A. Like all the other salt water models, it would last be seen in the 1941 catalog. Shown below is a beautiful example with the original box. The last two photos are of the 1933 and 1939 Bronson catalog listings.

“Pirate” No.750A, No.750B & No.750BW by Bronson

This was another economy model from Bronson, with the free spool function, but without a star drag. These were also short-lived reels, produced only from 1939 to 1941. They are tough to find and at this time we can only supply photos of the three catalog listings, shown below. They would also come in three sizes, the No.750A 150 yd. version, the No.750B 250 yd. size and the No.750BW 300 yd. model.

“Privateer” No.300A, No.300B & No.300BW by Bronson

These were also short-lived models, first introduced in 1939 and offered in three sizes. They were the No.300A (150 yd.), the No.300B (250 yd.) and the No.300BW (300 yd.). In 1940, the 150 yd. size was discontinued and the two remaining sizes would only sell through 1941. These should be considered somewhat scarce, as we have yet to see one. The three original catalog listings, from 1939-1941, are shown below.

“Raider” No.200B, No.200BW & No.200D by Bronson

This is another late-entry economy free spool model. Like the reels above, the “Raider” was only offered from 1939 to 1941. Two sizes were available, the No.200B 250 yd. size and the No.200BW 300 yd. size. The first two years saw the “Raider” without a star drag, but in 1941 it was added to the 250 yd. size only. They called this model the No.200D. All these are tough to find and the 1939-1940 example below, with the rare box, is the only one we’ve seen. Click on the photo to see the entire image. Photos of the three 1939-1941 catalog listings are also shown below.

“Sea Rover” No.900, No.900A, No.900B & No.900BW by Bronson

The No.900 was one of the four original reels introduced by Bronson in 1933, offered in the 250 yd. size only. In 1934, a 300 yd. size would be added. These were higher-grade free spool reels, identical to the “Viking” model, but without a star drag. In 1939, the “Sea Rover” was slightly redesigned with a torpedo grip, replacing the wooden grip used through 1938. It was also renumbered and a 150 yd. size added. The 150 yd. size would retain the old wooden grip, however. The 150 yd. was designated the No.900A , the 250 yd. size the No.900B and the 300 yd. the No.900BW. These were abruptly discontinued after the 1940 season. A pre-1939 example can be seen in the first three photos, with the original box. The reel in the next three photos is a later model with the torpedo grip. The catalog photos are from 1933, 1934 and 1939. A pre-1939 “black” version is also shown below.

“Sea Rover – SQUIDDER” No.900AW by Bronson

This very scarce version of the “Sea Rover”, called the No.900AW “Squidder”, was only offered in 1939 and 1940. It was a 200 yd. reel that was identical to the regular model shown above, but with a smaller spool diameter and no torpedo grip. We have never seen an actual example. The 1939 and 1940 listings, shown below, is the best we can do for now.

“Sea Wolf” No.400, No.400A, No.400B, & No.400BW by Bronson

The No.400 “Sea Wolf”, introduced in 1934, would be Bronson’s highest-grade salt water reel outside of the Coxe series of reels. These German silver models were equipped with green transparent side plates, swirled plastic or wood handle grips, free spool function, star drag and a take-apart feature that allows the head plate to be removed without tools (even though the catalog mistakenly says “tail” plate). The first three photos show an example of this earliest version. These first-year take apart models should be considered scarce. But starting just the next year, in 1935, the take-apart feature was gone. The No.400 was originally offered in the 250 yd. and 300 yd. sizes. Around 1938, the “B” was added to the 250 yd. version. The next four photos show an example of this variety, along with the scarce original box.
Starting in 1939, as with many of the models, the “Sea Wolf” was renumbered and a 150 yd. size was added to the lineup. The 150 yd. size would be designated the No.400A, the 250 yd. had already been changed to the No.400B and the 300 yd. was now No.400BW. At that time the grips, with the exception of the 150 yd. size, were changed from the swirled plastic to the torpedo style and the side plates were now maroon color. An example of that No.400B, with original box, can be seen in the next four photos. A nice example of the 1939-1940 150 yd. size, with original box, can be seen in the final four reel photos, courtesy of Bud Chaddocks. The final three photos show the original listings from the 1934, 1935 and 1939 catalogs. The “Sea Wolf” was discontinued after the 1940 season.

“Sea Wolf – SQUIDDER” No.400AW by Bronson

Another very scarce version of the “Sea Wolf”, the No.400AW “Squidder”, was only offered in 1939 and 1940. It was a 200 yd. reel that was identical to the regular model, but with a smaller diameter spool and the older style wood grip. Having never seen an actual example, we can only offer a photo of both original catalog listings at this time.

“Torrent” No.250 by Bronson

After more than 16 years since the Bronson Reel Co. last offered salt water reels other than the Coxe series, three Bronson models were introduced in the mid 1950’s. First was the “Torrent”, a 250 yd. free spool model with the star drag. They were equipped with black Bakelite side plates and a white torpedo handle grip. A very nice example is shown below, with the original box. These would make their final appearance in Bronson’s 1960 catalog. The last photo is from the 1959 catalog.

“Tracer” No.150 by Bronson

The 150 yd. No.150 “Tracer” was the second model from the group that Bronson introduced in the mid 1950’s. It too came with black Bakelite side plates, star drag, free spool function and torpedo grip. Right now, the beautiful swirled Bakelite example shown below is somewhat of a mystery. We have yet to determine when it was made, but it was likely prior to 1959. The original box for the “Tracer” can be seen below, along with a photo from Bronson’s 1959 catalog. The last three photos show the regular “black” Tracer seen in the catalog listing, courtesy of Wayne Benson. These would only sell through 1960.

“Traveler” No.210 by Bronson

This 200 yd. No.210 “Traveler” was the third and last model that Bronson introduced in the mid 1950’s. These also came with black Bakelite side plates, free spool, star drag, torpedo grip and a lightweight anodized spool. Shown below is the original 1959 catalog listing for the “Traveler”. The last catalog photo from 1960 shows this group of three , the last time salt water reels would ever be offered by the Bronson Reel Co. The first two photos show a spectacular NEW example, with the original box. Click on photos to see full image.

“Viking” No.600, No.600A, No.600B & No.600BW by Bronson

The No.900 “Viking” was the last of the four original salt water reels introduced by Bronson in 1933, offered in the 250 yd. size. In 1934, the 300 yd. size would be added to the lineup. It was Bronson’s second-highest grade reel, with both the free spool & star drag functions and a torpedo grip. In 1939, as with most of the earlier models, the “Viking” was renumbered and a 150 yd. size was added, but without the torpedo grip. The 150 yd. size would be designated the No.600A, the 250 yd. size the No.600B and the 300 yd. size the No.600BW. Shown below is a nice example of the No.600, with the early original box. The three original catalog listings are from 1933, 1934 and 1940. The last three photos show an early 300 yd. size, courtesy of Wayne Benson. The “Viking” was discontinued after the 1940 season.

“Viking – SQUIDDER” No.600AW by Bronson

The “Squidder” version of the “Viking” was only available in 1939 and 1940. It was a 200 yd. model that was almost identical to the regular “Viking”, but with a smaller diameter spool and the older style wooden grip. These are quite scarce and we only have photos of the original 1939 and 1940 catalog listings.