J.A. Coxe/Bronson Freshwater Casting Reels by Bronson
J.A. Coxe/Bronson Freshwater Casting Reels by Bronson
J.A. Coxe/Bronson Freshwater Casting Reels by Bronson
Included on this page will be all of the freshwater J.A. Coxe casting reels produced by Bronson/Coxe, from their introduction in 1939 until the last model was produced in 1967. Prior to WWII, models were listed in the J.A. Coxe catalogs only. Post-war models were all found in either the Bronson/Coxe catalogs or later in the Bronson catalogs. All were produced under Bronson ownership and built in their Bronson, Mich. factory throughout the 28-year run. The Coxe No.25 would go on to be one of Bronson’s most successful models. Initially selling for $25.00 in 1939, it would last sell for a whopping $59.95 in 1967. Never a cheap reel. Trade versions are also included at the bottom of this page.
Wewant to thank Bill Sonnett for all his help and for supplying much of the information to create this J.A. Coxe page.
J.A. Coxe No.10, No.10-C and No.10-2 by Bronson
These level-winding, anti-backlash “take-apart” models were first introduced in 1939, along with the No.15 and the No.25. The first four photos shows the No.10 with the early cross-bolt design. It carries the “39” date code under the foot, for 1939. In 1940, the model was changed to the No.10-C, with the re-designed (and much easier) cross-bolt take-apart system. The No.10-C would be offered in catalogs only until 1951. First reel shown below is the 1939 No.10 and the second reel is a nice example of the re-designed No.10-C. The No.10 came with a cork arbor. The No.10-C would have a cork arbor through 1947. From 1948 to 1950, it would be equipped with a balsawood arbor. 1951, the last year it was produced, saw it equipped with the hollow aluminum spool and arbor.
The No.10-2, we believe, was sort of an interim model until Bronson could re-tool from war production. Because it never appeared in any catalog, we’re still trying to determine a production date(s). It is equipped with the early level-wind assembly (see “Design Changes” section below), so it could have been produced just after the war, much like the No.25-2. The foot is not code date stamped, but has the patent applied for stamping like most of the other post war models. It has a balsawood arbor. An example of the No.10-2 can be seen in the last two photos.
Ads are out of a Field and Stream magazine from April and June of 1939. The first catalog listing is from the 1941 J.A. Coxe catalog and the last few photos are from the 1947 J.A. Coxe/Bronson catalog. Ads and the No.10 pictures are courtesy of Bill Sonnett. The No.10-C pictures are courtesy of Wayne Benson
J.A. Coxe No.15 and No.15-C by Bronson
The No.15 was first introduced in 1939, along with the No.10 and the No.25. This level-winding, non-free spool “take-apart” reel is made of nickel silver throughout, with the exception of the chromium level-wind cover. All have A.B.L. switch on the face plate.
The early version cross-bolt design was a little difficult to take apart and it was said you needed three hands to do it. The next version, the No.15-C, would have the latter cross-bolt design, where you would just pull out the tail plate knob and unscrew it until it was loose and then pull it all apart. These could be found on the 1940 and later models.
The reel shown below is marked with the “39” date code on the bottom of the foot, as for 1939. We have seen both the “40” and “41” stampings, as well. Production of the No.15-C would not be resumed after WWII, making this a very desirable and tough model for collectors.
The listing is from the 1941 J.A. Coxe catalog.
J.A. Coxe No.25 by Bronson (Earliest Version)
The first version of the J.A. Coxe No.25 level-wind was introduced in 1939, first appearing in a Field & Stream magazine from April 1939 (shown below), along with the No.10 and No.15. Reel is nickel silver & black Bakelite side plates, with a new type of free spool for its time. It has the same early cross-bolt quick take apart design as the No.15. A very nice example of this first version is shown below. It would become one of the most successful reels ever produced by the Bronson Reel Co., selling for a staggering 28 years. The No.25 would be produced until early 1941, as the last photo shows a marked No.25 with “41” date code (for 1941) stamped under the foot. This means production might have overlapped with the No.25-C being built as early as mid-1940? One of the problems faced in determining production dates for the numerous No.25 varieties is the fact that, because so many of the parts are interchangeable , the factory often used what they had laying around (especially the feet, which are date & model stamped) at any given time. Therefore, there are endless exceptions to just about any of the No.25 models. There would be numerous design changes, sub-models and color varieties throughout the production run. We will attempt to show them all below.
J.A. Coxe No.25-C by Bronson (Pre-war Version)
The “new” J.A. Coxe No.25-C was introduced sometime in mid-1940. We are not exactly sure of the earliest production, but it is included in the Aug.1,1940 price list (seen below). Same nickel silver frame with the black Bakelite side plates, cork arbor, same early cross-bolt take-down (with the ratchet cross-bolt knob and locking lever design next to it), but with a new re-designed level-wind assembly (refer to the section below which shows the early and late designed parts & assemblies). In the 1941 catalog (shown below), the No.25-C is offered in six different packages and variations, as follows:
#25-C – The standard free spool, aluminum spool and solid cork arbor.
#25-A – Same as #25-C, but WITHOUT the free spool.
#25-B – Same as #25-C, but with nickel silver spool and split cork arbor.
#25-D – Same as #25-B, but WITHOUT the free spool and split cork arbor.
#25-E – Same as #25-C, but with extra aluminum spool and cork arbor.
#25-F – Same as #25-B, but with extra aluminum spool and solid cork arbor.
The 1941 J.A. Coxe catalog listing is also shown below.
J.A. Coxe No.25-N by Bronson
The No.25-N was identical to the No.25-C above, but with the narrow spool. These would become quite popular with tournament casters and would be sold through 1950. Before WWII, these would be offered in catalogs in three different packages and configurations, as follows:
#25-N – Same as the #25-C except narrow spool. Solid cork arbor and aluminum spool.
#25-NA – Same as #25-N except NON-free spool.
#25-NB – Same as #25-N except with nickel silver spool.
The post-war production of the No.25-N would not resume until 1949. Versions from 1949-1950 would have the same design changes as the post-war #25-C and with balsawood arbors. These are very desirable and can be a tough find for collectors.
An early No.25-N is shown below, courtesy of Wayne Benson.
J.A. Coxe No.25-N-2 by Bronson
According to J.A. Coxe historian Bill Sonnett, the No.25-N-2 models were the last of the German silver narrow spools and were replaced in 1951. The only stamped example that we have seen so far is shown below, courtesy of Wayne Benson. These should be considered rather scarce.
J.A. Coxe No.25-2 by Bronson (1st Interim Version)
In the weeks and months after WWII, reel manufacturers scrambled to re-tool from war production and get back as quickly as possible to the business of producing reels again. We believe the J. A. Coxe No.25-2 was an interim variation of the No.25-C that would be supplied to retailers until re-tooling was complete. Most of the No.25-2 models were marked with the “46” date code stamping under the foot (for 1946). The “C” after the No.25 was drilled out and a “2” added next to it (shown in one photo below), so old parts from before the war were being used up. These were equipped with the new cross-bolt take down running through the side plates, the newer level-wind assembly and the spool had a re-designed pinion gear that had four fingers to grab it. The frame remained nickel silver. The arbor was now made of balsawood.
It’s not known how long the No.25-2 was available. They were never listed in catalogs. It is known that a lot of them were produced, as they show up quite regularly today.
Although built with black Bakelite side plates, there is at least one red example known and it is shown below, courtesy of George Krienke.
J.A. Coxe No.25-3 by Bronson (2nd Interim Version)
Virtually the same as the No.25-2 above, but with a re-designed free spool “band-type” spring pawl (seen in the last photo below). We believe these were produced sometime in the late 1940’s, perhaps early 50’s. No way to know for sure, as these were never listed in catalogs, either. Reel photos are courtesy of Wayne Benson.
J.A. Coxe No.25-C by Bronson (1947-1950 Version)
The post-war No.25-C is listed in the 1947-1950 catalogs. It included all the new design changes found on the No.25-3 above. The 1947 model came with a solid cork arbor, but starting in 1948 it would be equipped with one of balsawood. Catalog listings are from the 1947 and 1948 Bronson/Coxe catalogs. Reel photos are forthcoming.
J.A. Coxe “Coronet” No.25-C by Bronson
The “Coronet” No.25-C automatic free spool model was introduced in 1951. It now had an all-aluminum body, hollow aluminum spool/arbor and with the same redesigned level-wind and cross-bolt take apart features as the earlier No.25-C models. These would last be offered in Bronson’s 1967 catalog. “Coronet 25” and “J.A. Coxe” are embossed on either the face or tail plates. Although catalogs only show a black version, we know that at least a blue example was produced. It can be seen below, courtesy of ORCA member George Krienke. Both early and late examples are shown with their original box and leather case. The sixth photo shows the initial listing from the 1951 Bronson/Coxe catalog.
For whatever reason(s), the Bronson Reel Co. also marketed a “Coronet” No.25-C with the Bronson name on the face or tail plate. Identical in every respect, it also came in the black Bronson box (See the regular “Bronson Production Reels” section of this website).
J.A. Coxe “Coronet” No.25-N by Bronson
The “Coronet” No.25-N, also introduced in 1951, was the narrow spool version of the regular model “Coronet” No.25-C. The initial model produced in 1951 came with a balsawood arbor, an example of which can be seen below. Subsequent models were equipped with the hollow metal spool/arbor. Both the original 1951 and 1952 Bronson/Coxe catalog listings are offered below, showing the two varieties of the “Coronet” No.25-N. The narrow spool “Coronet” is last seen in Bronson’s 1960 catalog.
J.A. Coxe No.25 by Bronson (A Real Model, Freak or Prototype?)
It’s doubtful this is a legitimate No.25 model, as it appears to be a narrow spool No.94-C with a No.25 foot. If nothing else, it illustrates just how interchangeable many of the parts were for different Coxe models and how confusing it can get to try to identify many of them. Because the possibility exists that this could be some kind of prototype, it was decided to include this in the website. Photo is courtesy of Marcia Icove.
Illustrated Design Changes on the Early & Late J.A. Coxe Models.
Below are some of the design changes for the early and late style No.25 and No.25-C models.
Break Down of the J.A. Coxe No.25-2
Here are the inner workings of the No.25-2 reel. Photo # 5 shows the break down. Photo # 6 shows the free spool design in the head plate. When you crank forward those dogs kick out and grab the inside of the hollowed out drive gear and that puts all the gears in motion. Photo # 8 shows the extra pawl housing screw. Photo # 9 shows the spool pinion gear and where it grabs the spool. Photo # 10 shows the inside of the tail plate clicker assembly. The next photo shows the gears in mesh. The following photo shows the dogs in free spool and the last photo shows the dogs kicked out to grab the drive gear by the cam.
J.A. Coxe Invader No.26 by Bronson
Here is the Bronson-made J.A. Coxe version of the Invader 26, a very highly sought-after reel. Bronson made three versions of these, a “Bronson-marked” version, this “J.A. Coxe-marked” version and a third Trade version made for Montgomery Ward & Co. (the Hawthorne No.60-6316, which can be found in our “Bronson Trade Reel” section of this website). They were all basically identical, with the exception of the color change for the Hawthorne. They all have a full free-spool function, level-wind, tail plate-mounted anti-backlash control switch, star drag, lightweight plastic spool and counterbalanced handle. All the bells and whistles.
Although the “Bronson” version was first seen in the 1964 catalog, the “Coxe” version wasn’t advertised until the following year. Starting in 1967, these were offered with a vinyl or leatherette case (see last photo). The No.26 “Invader” was last seen in True Temper’s 1971 catalog. A Coxe-marked Invader with the original box is shown below. Reel photos are courtesy of Rick Heitman.
J.A. Coxe No.30-C by Bronson
The No.30-C, another lightweight anodized aluminum model, was first introduced in 1949. These had maroon anodized side plates, cross-bolt construction, aluminum spool, improved level-wind, anti-backlash control switch and dual handle grips. These would sell through the 1957 season. From 1949-1950, the No.30-C had the balsawood arbor. Starting in 1951, it would come equipped with the hollow aluminum spool/arbor. A nice example, with its original box and paperwork, is shown below. The last photo is taken from the 1951 Bronson/Coxe catalog.
*Note, the identical model was also marketed as the No.30 “Crusader”, under the Bronson name only. It can be seen in the regular “Bronson Named Reels” section of this website.
J.A. Coxe No.60 and No.60-C by Bronson
The No.60-C was an all-metal economy version of the new line of Coxe reels. Originally thought to have been first offered in the 1947 catalog, it can be seen in a recently discovered January,1946 Bronson mailer, which lists the reels to be available when post-war production resumed. This might suggest that it was actually designed and produced before the war broke out? This needs to be researched further. Although examples can be found marked both “No.60” and “No.60-C” under the foot (see below), we know of no difference between the two at this time. A No.60 (without the “C”) has never been listed in catalogs. Both are nickel plated brass and have the same “Cross-Bolt” construction and adjustable clicker & drag. From 1947-1950, it would have the solid cork arbor. Beginning in 1951, it would be re-designed with the hollow metal spool/arbor. The No.60-C would be discontinued in 1955 or 1956. The photos below show the two different foot markings, the original listing from the 1947 Bronson/Coxe catalog and a nice boxed example.
J.A. Coxe “Do-All” No.65-C by Bronson (Coxe Chrome Plated Version)
The No.65-C was a 150 yd. fresh or salt water reel, that sold from 1949 to 1959. These were heavily built, chrome plated level-wind reels, with star drag and adjustable brake. It was a semi-“take-apart” model, with three “coin-slotted” screws on the face plate. These are also known examples marked as simply the “No.65” and sold in the black Bronson boxes (see the regular “Bronson Named Reels” section of this website). Both the No.65 and No.65-C (C for “Coxe” version?) are identical. Shown below is a very nice example, as well as the original 1949 and 1959 catalog listings. Pictures are courtesy of Wayne Benson.
J.A. Coxe “Do-All” No.65-C by Bronson (Coxe Aluminum Version)
These are identical to the No.65-C above, except they are built from solid aluminum. We’re not sure exactly what year(s) they were offered, as they never appeared in any Bronson or Bronson/Coxe catalog. These are much harder to find than the chrome-plated version. A beautiful, unused example can be seen below, with the original box and instructions. Photos courtesy of Mark Williams.
J.A. Coxe No.94-C by Bronson
Introduced in 1949, the No.94-C was the narrow spool version of the No.95-C economy model listed below. These were only available in catalogs through 1951 (although some believe they were produced until 1954), so they can be a tough find for collectors. These models had black anodized aluminum side plates from 1949 to 1950, then changed to blue in 1951. They were equipped with a balsawood arbor. A beautiful blue example, with its original box, is shown below. Listing is from the 1951 Bronson/Coxe catalog.
J.A. Coxe No.95-C by Bronson
The all-aluminum economy No.95-C was introduced in the 1948 catalog and would sell through 1955 or 1956. These level-winding models came equipped with ant-backlash switch, lightweight aluminum spool with a snap-on plastic arbor and dual plastic grips. The earliest examples from 1948-1950 had the black anodized side plates. Beginning in 1951, the side plates were changed to blue. Below you will see a very rare gold version, the only example we have ever seen. All three color varieties below are shown with their original boxes. The last photo is the 1951 Bronson/Coxe catalog listing.
J.A. Coxe/Bronson Freshwater Casting *TRADE* Reels by Bronson
Below you will find listings for J.A.Coxe/Bronson TRADE reels produced while under Bronson Reel Co. ownership.
“Silver King” No.820 by Bronson/J.A. Coxe
These were built for and sold exclusively by Horrocks-Ibbotson Co. of Utica, N.Y. They were identical to the Bronson/Coxe No.65-C “Do-All”. Built and supplied to H-I during the mid to late 1950’s. A nice example is shown below, with the original box. This represents the only example we’ve seen, so they should be considered rather scarce. Click on each photo to see the entire image.
“Sport King” Model 65 by Bronson/J.A. Coxe
Identical to the reel above (the “Do-All”), but made exclusively for Montgomery Ward & Co. The listing below for the Sport King Model 65 is from the 1956 Montgomery Ward catalog. Reel photos are courtesy of Scott Truex.
“Sweetwater” No.140 by Bronson/J.A.Coxe
These were produced by Bronson-Coxe for the True Temper Corp. from 1956 to 1957. They should be considered scarce. They are very similar to the Coxe No.30-C, except for color and branding, with the same cross-bolt take apart feature. I nice example is shown below, with the original box, courtesy of Dave Sherman.