On this page we will focus on the open face spinning reels produced and/or sold by the Bronson Reel Co., from the early 1950’s until the late 1960’s. We’ve divided this page into three sections: (A) Bronson-built models, (B) Models built for Bronson by other reel manufacturers and (C) Trade reels built by Bronson for other retailers or wholesalers.
(A) Bronson-Built Spinning Reels. These Were Produced By The Bronson Reel Co.
“Bronco” No.300 by Bronson
Reel is similar to the Bronson Flipper No.100, but has the automatic bail instead of the manual pick up. These were introduced in the mid 1950’s but only had a short run. Similar to the “Flipper” below, with left or right-hand retrieve. Tough reel to find.
“Bronson No.77” by Bronson
This short-lived economy reel from Bronson was only offered in the 1966 Bronson catalog (shown below) and the 1965 & 1966 Bronson/ActionRod “Full Line” catalogs. These are extremely hard to find.
“Buddy” No.800 by Bronson
The “Buddy” first shows up in our 1958 Bronson flyer. It makes its last appearance, totally redesigned, in the 1967 Bronson catalog. Not a bad looking reel at all and very lightweight. Notice the spool is made out of reddish brown marbled Bakelite. These would originally come in the black Bronson boxes, shown below. A black version with red drag and grasp is also known and can be seen in the last two photos. It’s not known when these were available.
“Flipper” No.100 by Bronson
This was advertised as the “new” Bronson “Flipper” No.100 in a 1955 Fisherman catalog, but could have actually been introduced a few years before that. Reel is made mostly of black Bakelite. The reel has the manual line pickup. To change from right to left hand retrieve, simply unscrew the rod foot and turn for whatever direction to want.
“4-Way” No.200 by Bronson
One of Bronson’s first spinning reels, introduced in 1956 and selling through 1958. This reel came with a separate manual pick-up attachment for those who did not like the new auto-bail. The original black Bronson box is shown below.
“Jet” No.500 by Bronson
The Jet No.500 came out new in 1955 and would sell through 1963. It is similar to the Spinit No.400, but does not have the drag at the crank handle. The black and white ad is from our 1955 Fisherman catalog and the other ad is from our 1962 Bronson catalog, showing a “red” example, which can also be seen below. These were popular reels. The original box is also shown. A rare “green” version has been found and can be seen below, courtesy of Daryl Rodenberger. We do not know when this version built.
“Spinit” No.400 by Bronson
The “Spinit” was first introduced in the 1954 Bronson catalog seen below, even gracing the front cover. The Spinit was one of the earlier open face spinning reels that Bronson produced. The reel is similar to the Jet No.500, but has a drag at the crank handle. A nice example with its original box can be seen in the last two photos.
Spare Spools by Bronson
Bronson offered replacement spools for virtually all of their open-face spinning reels. A nice boxed selection can be seen below.
(B) Spinning Reels Made By Other Manufacturers & Sold By Bronson. “No.210” Sold by Bronson
The No.200 – No.250 series of spinning reels where all made in Japan. They were of very good quality, built by Daiwa. They are seen in our 1967 Bronson catalog, listed as “new” items. We think they only sold for one or two years and are a tough find.
“No.215” Sold by Bronson
An example of the No.215 can be seen below.
“No.220” Sold by Bronson
“No.225RL” Sold by Bronson
“No.230” and “No.230H” (High-Speed) Sold by Bronson
An example of the No.230H can be seen below.
“No.240” and “No.240H” (High-Speed) Sold by Bronson
“No.250” Sold by Bronson
A boxed example can be seen below, along with the original catalog pages.
“No.264 Black Hawk” Sold by Bronson
This reel was made for Bronson by the Shakespeare Company. It’s the same as a Shakespeare’s No.2064 model. The ad below is from a 1965 Bronson dealer sheet, likely about the time they were first produced. They were last seen in Bronson’s 1967 catalog. Seen below is the last box style used by Bronson in the late 1960’s. These do not appear very often and should be considered scarce. Pictures and info are courtesy of Arley Philips.
“No.290 Sea Wolf” Sold by Bronson
This is a very large reel, intended for salt water use. We believe these were also produced for Bronson by the Shakespeare Company. They were introduced in 1965 or 1966 and are seen offered in Bronson’s 1967 catalog for a whopping $49.95! Tough reel.
(C) TRADE Reels Built By Bronson And Sold Through Other Retailers Or Wholesalers
True Temper “Dynamic” No.185 by Bronson
One of the few trade reels produced by Bronson that doesn’t have an exact equivalent model in their regular line-up. Built for True Temper sometime in the 1950’s, the No.185 “Dynamic” was very similar to Bronson’s No.800 “Buddy” model. Not exact, but it is unquestionably produced by Bronson. The example shown below comes with the rare original box.
“Shurshot” No.904 by Bronson
These reels, made for and sold exclusively by Horrocks-Ibbotson Co., were identical to the No.100 “Flipper” from Bronson’s regular line-up. We only have the original catalog listing from H-I’s 1957 catalog, shown below.
“Sport King” Model 201 by Bronson
Made exclusively for Montgomery Ward & Co. during the 1950’s (and possibly later), the Model 201 “Sport King” was identical to Bronson’s No.500 “Jet” from their regular lineup. The only difference was the markings. Shown below is the somewhat scarce example, along with the original catalog listing from Wards’ 1956 catalog.