My Best Kentucky Reel A Biography of the Most Famous Fishing Reel in American History


6″ x 9″ Softcover * Black-and-White Images * 134 Total Pages

After 20+ years of research, Dr. Todd E.A. Larson has ascertained the identity of the Jefferson-Cleveland reel. Detailing the history of the reel back to its first owner Dr. Preston Scott to Joseph Jefferson to Grover Cleveland, it includes an angling history of these men as well as the reel’s maker, Benjamin F. Meek, and the man many thought had crafted it, Benjamin C. Milam. It also includes numerous period articles about the reel and its owners. It’s the definitive history of the most famous fishing reel in American history!

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When Joseph Jefferson, the most famous actor in America, passed away on April 23, 1905, he bequeathed his “favorite Kentucky reel” to his friend and fishing companion Grover Cleveland, twice president of the United States. When news of his gift reached the press, it became front page news. Over a thousand newspaper articles extolling the friendship between the two and the quality of Kentucky reels were published in America and Canada, as well as a pair of famous poems. But for years, the reel itself — who made it and what model it was — remained a mystery.

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 1 in