Bronson Trade Reel Models – Page 1 – A&I Broadway to Bronson GreyHound

Bronson Trade Reel Models – Page 1 – A&I Broadway to Bronson GreyHound


This page shows only the Bronson trade reels that were made for numerous retailers, wholesalers and jobbers across the country, from the mid 1920’s until the late 1960’s. These reels are marked with the retailer’s name or with a model name sold by them, rather than marked with the Bronson name. Some reels will have Bronson Reel Co. on their boxes, like the first reel (Allkast) pictured below, but that is the exception. Our goal on this page is to catalog as many Bronson trade reels as we can. There are many out there waiting to be discovered and documented on this site. Previously unknown examples seem to show up quite often, so if you have a reel that you suspect is Bronson-made and you don’t see it on the site, we’d like to see it. If we end up posting it here, we’ll gladly credit your name.   We have a separate page for Bronson reels made for and sold exclusively by Sears, Roebuck & Co. Use the link on the right-hand side. Please note that many reels sold by different companies carry the same engraved designs on the side plates. Starting in the 1930’s, Bronson salesman had a whole series of different engraved designs that companies could choose from. The Bronson factory simply had to add the company name and/or model to the reel. In many cases, we only have the model name of the reel and not the name of the retailer or wholesaler who sold them. If anyone has that kind information that we haven’t posted here, please let us know.

“Abbey & Imbrie ‘Broadway’ ” by Bronson

Produced by Bronson for and sold exclusively by Abbey & Imbrie Co. of New York, sometime in the late 1920’s to mid 1930’s. This “Broadway” model is the first we’ve seen and should be considered rather scarce. It was basically identical to Bronson’s regular “Biltwell” model from the same period. A nice example (with faceplate inadvertently inverted) is shown below, courtesy of Dee from eBay.    

“Abbey & Imbrie ‘Ace’ ” by Bronson

  Built for Abbey & Imbrie Co. of New York. Except for the branding, the “Ace” was identical to Bronson’s earliest No.100 “Modern” level-winding model from their regular line-up. From the late 1920’s to about 1930 or so. The well-used example shown below is the only one we’ve ever seen, so these are obviously quite scarce. Click on photos to see entire image.


“Abbey & Imbrie ‘Rex’ ” by Bronson

  Built by Bronson for Abbey & Imbrie Co., New York, likely in the early 1930’s. The “Rex” was virtually identical to the “Lion” model from Bronson’s regular reel lineup. Shown below is the only example we have ever seen, so these should be considered scarce.

“A.L.& W.” (Allcock, Laight & Westwood Ltd.) by Bronson

  This was produced by Bronson for and sold exclusively by Allcock, Laight & Westwood Ltd. of Toronto, from 1929 to mid 1930’s. It is identical to the “Biltwell” model from Bronson’s regular lineup. One of a number of trade reels that Bronson made for Canadian distributors. These should be considered scarce in this country, as it’s the first we’ve seen. Photos are courtesy of Paul Manuel.

“Allegheny” by Bronson

 Bronson made two different “Alleghany” model reels. The earliest was an economy level-winding reel, likely made in the mid 1930’s. We show it below with the original box, marked with the “Allegany” model name and also “Grant”, which we assume was the name of the retailer/wholesaler. Only one photo of the reel and no other information on this obscure model. The second model “Allegany” is another economy reel very similar to the first one. Built just before the war, it would have been sold through any number of retailers. The reel, with the scarce original green box, is shown below.

“Allkast” by Bronson

The “ALLKAST” was a post-war model that could have been sold by multiple retailers. It has the same engraved fishing scene as seen on the Gambles Stalwart No.366, as well as others. The original box, shown below with the correct paperwork, is one of the few “trade” boxes that carry the Bronson name. The last few pictures are of an ALLKAST that has the foot markings on top the of the foot instead of being on the bottom. We have never seen any other Bronson reel marked like this before. This would require a whole different die set up, something not usually done on a trade reel (which were generally produced as inexpensive as possible). Pictures are courtesy of Scott Truex.  

“Ashland” by Bronson

  Produced for an unknown retailer around 1930, the “Ashland” was nearly identical to Bronson’s “Peerless” model from the same period.  

“Bascaster” by Bronson

  One of the older Bronson trade reels, the “Bascaster” was a take-apart design produced prior to 1930. They were sold exclusively through Shapleigh’s Hardware of St. Louis. The reel is virtually the same as the regular No.3000 “Master” model from Bronson. These have large thumb screws on the faceplate and crank handle to easily take the reel apart. Also pictured is an ad for the Diamond King “Bass Caster” (note the difference in spelling). “Diamond” was a trademarked brand name owned by Shapleigh’s. Pictures are courtesy of Jim Garrett and Skip Brooks.

“Belmont” by Bronson

  Sears brand name reel. See the “Bronson Reels Made For Sears” link at the top-right of the page.

“Blackhawk” by Bronson

  Sears brand name reel. See the “Bronson Reels Made For Sears” link at the top-right of the page.

“Black Jack” No.5400 by Bronson

  One of the economy level-winding models, but with the engraved geometric design end plates. “Black Jack” is stamped on the inside rim of the head plate. These could have been sold by any number of retailers. The last photo shows the scarce original box. Photos courtesy of Mark Williams.

“Brooklure” No.5, No.10 and No.100 by Bronson.

  Bronson supplied at least 15 different models for Spiegel catalog stores, in the years before and after WWII. These can be hard to document, as Spiegel was notorious for changing model numbers in midstream, so that identical reels can be found with different numbers. The No.5, the No.10 and the No.100, for example, are thought to be the identical reel, with the same engraved fishing scene and the same components. However, we’re still looking for photos for the No.5 and No.10. These were earlier jeweled level-winds, likely all from the late 30’s to early 40’s. A nice example of the No.100, with original box and papers, can be seen below. Photos are courtesy of Daryl Rodenberger.    

“Brooklure” No.15 and No.35 by Bronson

The No.15 is shown in the first photo. These were nice jeweled level-wind models with the anti-backlash control on the face plate. They were made prior to WWII and this example has “38” date code under the foot, for 1938. The next two photos show the No.35, which was the post-war version of the No.15, with the Lashless-style A.B.L. on the tail plate and chromed oil caps.

“Brooklure” No.16 by Bronson

The No.16 was supplied to Spiegel as a jeweled economy level-wind with a stamped foot and plain side plates. An example is shown below, with the original box and paperwork, courtesy of Dan Pope.

“Brooklure” No.20 by Bronson

  This pre-war model for Spiegel had a different engraved “fishing scene” design than the others. This same engraving is seen on some trade reels supplied to other companies. This model is a very tough find.

“Brooklure” No.25, No.48 and No.250 by Bronson

Here’s another group of Brooklure models that are identical in design. It’s believed that they just represent different years of production, with Spiegel changing the model numbers on the fly. They all have the Art Deco “Leaf” design, the adjustable drag on the face plate and the A.B.L. bar. Shown below are all three for comparison. A very nice example of the No.25, along with it’s original yellow box, is shown separately in photos #3-#7. Individual photos of the No.48 and No.250 follow.

“Brooklure” No.36 by Bronson

Another post-war variety that had the same engraved “fishing scene” as the No.100, but with a chromed oil cap and Lashless-style A.B.L.on the tail plate. Sports some nice amber colored grips not often seen on Bronson reels. Newly discovered in 2018. Reel and photos courtesy of Glenn Smith.

“Brooklure” No.51 by Bronson

The post-war No.51 was a level-winding model with the A.B.L. on the tail plate and a plastic head plate spacer. The No.51 was unusual in that Spiegel offered to personally engrave the reel, at no extra cost.

“Brooklure” No.350 by Bronson

This was a lower priced post-war level-wind with the A.B.L. on the tail plate. It had plain side plates. A nice example is shown below.

“Brooklure Chief” by Bronson

  This model for Spiegel is one of the hardest to find. It was an economy model level-wind (with A-B-L) and likely produced just before the war. Very similar to the Bronson “Comet”. Pictures are courtesy of Jonathan Kring.

“Brooklure” (Narrow Spool Version) by Bronson

  This is the “narrow spool” version of the No.20 “Brooklure” for Spiegel, although it is not marked with a model number. We have only seen one of these pre-war models, so they should be considered somewhat scarce.

 “Brooklure Precision Bilt” by Bronson

  These were made by Bronson for Spiegel before WWII.  These were made of nickel silver throughout and were very high quality. These had no model numbers, but the correct box (shown below) has a CG631 model number on the front label. Many have the feet stamped with Bronson’s two-digit date code (“41”, for example, means “1941”). The “Precision Bilt” reels can be a tough find for the collector. Polished reel in the last pictures are courtesy of Len Sawisch. See below for several more Bronson-made Brooklure models. Dr.Todd Larson has written a fantastic lengthly article on the Spiegel’s Catalog Store and the Brooklure reel history (“ORCA Reel News May, 2009”). Dr. Todd also has a wonderful website on old reels,

“Brooklure Precision Bilt” (Engraved Version) by Bronson

  This is the “engraved” version of the “Precision Bilt” model supplied to Spiegel. Similar to Bronson’s No.3650 “Commander”, having the Art Deco “leaf” design & “wave” design on the crank handle, but without the A-B-L switch. The reel carries no model number, but does have the “38” date code stamped on the foot (for 1938). Reel has the new wide head plate to accommodate the new wider and stronger LW drive gear. These model reels should be considered scarce.

“Buddy” No.3801 (A.L.& W.) by Bronson

  This is another rather scarce Bronson-made Canadian trade reel built exclusively for Allcock, Laight & Westwood Ltd. of Toronto. It is identical to the “Altoona” model from Bronson’s regular reel lineup, right down to the “Made In U.S.A.” stamping under the foot. These would have been offered by A.L.& W. during the 1930’s are rarely seen in this country. Shown below with the equally-scarce original box, courtesy of ORCA member Paul Manuel.

“Cascade” by Bronson

  This jeweled level-wind was made prior to WWII. It has the Art Deco “wave” design seen on many of the trade models. Could have been sold by multiple retailers or wholesalers across the country.

“Casta” by Bronson

  This was another economy trade reel similar to the Bronson’s “Comet” model. Could have been sold by any number of outlets throughout the country. These were likely produced in the mid to late 1930’s.

“Caster” by Bronson

  The “Caster” was built for and sold exclusively by the long-time Horrocks-Ibbotson Co. of Utica, N.Y. These were produced after the war, with the Lashless-style anti-backlash control on the tail plate. The first photo shows the original box and paperwork.

“Cedar Lake” No.V481 by Bronson

  These jeweled level-winding models were sold by Western Auto Supply, likely just before the war. The side plates have the “swimming fish” pattern seen on other Bronson trade reels. The original box, shown below, is a tough find. The “Cedar Lake” is not a common reel, either.

“Chieftain” No.450 by Bronson

  The “Chieftain” is thought to have been supplied to the Horrocks-Ibbotson Co. in the mid 1950’s. H-I also sold a pre-war Chieftain model made of Bakelite and possibly produced by Bronson, as well.

“Clipper” by Bronson

  This reel, sold by N. Shure Co. of Chicago in the mid-1930’s, has always been a mystery. The only known listing is from an N. Shure catalog, which is shown below. The odd thing about the listing is that the image shown is clearly an Altoona model and it even states the mfg. number No.4200 (which was the Altoona’s model number). Doubtful it was marked as a “Clipper”, as one has never been seen and even the Altoona was an unmarked reel. But, on a catalog page where every other Bronson reel is referred to by the correct model name, it’s a mystery why they felt the need to rename this one. How Shure could sell it for 73 cents is yet another mystery. Click on first image to see the ENTIRE page. These are not to be confused with the “Montague Clipper” models.

“Coast To Coast” No.200 by Bronson

  Built by Bronson for Coast To Coast Hardware Stores, sometime just before or just after WWII. This level-wind has the stamped foot, Lashless-style A.B.L. switch and a nice engraved head plate, with plastic spacer. Tough reel for the collector.

“Control Bilt” by Bronson

  This post-war trade reel has the Lashless-style spool tension knob on the tail plate and two lines of knurling around the rim of the head plate. Dan Popp was nice enough to let us have his pics off of Ebay.

“Crest” by Bronson

  There is an early and late version of the “Crest” trade reel. The earliest was a take-apart model very similar to the regular Bronson No.700 “Peerless”, but entirely plated. These were sold in the late 1920’s through the Thomas E. Wilson Co. of Chicago, the forerunner to today’s Wilson Sporting Goods. A second version, sold through Wilson Sporting Goods around 1940, was a jeweled level-wind with the A-B-L bar and drag  adjustment on the face plate. Pictures are courtesy of Skip Brooks, Jim Garrett and Jonathan Kring.

“Crestmont – Crown Quality” by Bronson

  Another in the “Crown” series built by Bronson exclusively for Edward K. Tryon Sporting Goods of Philadelphia, who owned the trademarked “Crown” brand name of tackle. With the exception of the model name & stamping, these were identical to Bronson’s No.1800 “Lion” model from their regular lineup. Produced in the mid to late 1920’s.

“Crown – New Era” by Bronson

  This was another of the take-apart versions of the No.100 Modern, like the Crest shown above and also sold during the mid to late 1920’s. These were sold by Edward K. Tryon Sporting Goods of Philadelphia, at the time one of the oldest sporting goods companies in America. The ad below is from a 1928 Edw. K. Tryon catalog. “Crown” was a trademarked brand name owned by Tryon. These should be considered scarce. Ad picture is courtesy of Jim Garrett and Skip Brooks.

“Daisy” No.9200 by Bronson

  This is another example of a level-winding reel that could have been sold through multiple retailers. It has the same fishing scene as the Allkast and the Bronson-made Gamble’s Stalwart No.366. It has jeweled end caps and an adjustable brake on the face plate. Offered in the late 1930’s, early 40’s. The correctly marked box is shown below. Pictures are courtesy of Daryl Rodenberger.

“Defiance” – See “Star Reel Co.” by Bronson

“Dependon” by Bronson

  Another model (see the “Imperial” listing) built for Canada Needle & Fishing Tackle Co. LTD. of Toronto. This example, nearly identical to Bronson’s regular “Lashless” model, was built after WWII. These are a tough find, especially in this country. ORCA member Paul Manuel was lucky to find this and supply us with photos of both the reel and scarce original box. Click on the photos to see the full image.

“Eppinger, Lou J.” Model 750 “Notangle” by Bronson

  This pre-war (1940-1941) level-wind was built for Lou J. Eppinger Co. of Detroit , Mich. The Model 750 was short-lived model from Eppinger’s “Notangle” series of reels and should be considered scarce. It was equipped with an unusual A.B.L. assembly (see below), jeweled oil caps and the two-piece crank nut seen on many of Bronson’s higher-grade models. A very nice example can be seen below, courtesy of Scott Truex.

“Fairmade” by Bronson

  The “Fairmade” was another model supplied to Edward K. Tryon Sporting Goods of Philadelphia in the mid to late 1920’s. These models were identical to the regular Bronson No.100 “Modern” reels. These were offered in Tryon’s 1925 catalog, shown below.  Ad pictures are courtesy of Skip Brooks and Jim Garrett.

“Game Getter” No.V-7325 by Bronson

  These were supplied to and sold exclusively by Western Auto Supply. They were post-war models, with the Lashless-style A-B-L control on the tail plate. The correct box for this reel is shown below.

 “Gold Bond” by Bronson

  A recently discovered pre-war economy model, with engraved “wave” design side plates, much like the later Commander models. Comes with a riveted frame and a stamped foot. “Gold Bond” is stamped inside the face plate, above the spool. These could have been sold through any number of retailers. Photos are courtesy of Larry Stivers.

“Gold Seal” by Bronson

Virtually the same as the “Gold Bond” above, but with an A-B-L switch on the face plate.

“Great Lakes” by Bronson

  This “Great Lakes” model is an early trade reel similar to the Bronson Lion No.1900 (not to be confused by the Great Lakes reel maker of Lexington, MI). These jeweled models, produced in the early 1930’s, could have been sold through any number of retailers. Perhaps even Sears. Reel is pictured in Karl White’s book of reels Vol. 2, page 151. Pictures are courtesy of Karl and Beverly White.

“Great Lakes” No.312.9200 by Bronson.

  These were made for Sears by Bronson. See the “Bronson Reels Made For Sears” Link Above.

“Greyhound” by Bronson

This jeweled level-winding reel was sold through a currently unknown retailer. This is the only example of this pre-war model we have ever seen. Only markings are the engraved Greyhound on the face.