Reel Books

Reel Books

The book page includes a list of books about reels and related matter.  If there is a reel section in the book that is devoted to reels, or if there is a reference to reels throughout, the title has been included here. An ongoing attempt will be made to add a sentence or two about how reels are included in each book.

FRR Books pic

Barracco, Allen and Sorrells, Colby. Langley Field Tested Tackle (2014)

Bingham, Ted. The Celebrated Reels of Edward vom Hofe. Brightwaters, N.Y.: Fishing Stuff, (2007). A definitive history of the reels made by one of the most important and most innovative makers in the U.S.

Bourdon, Jim. South Bend – Their Artificial Baits and Reels, (1985) South Bend catalog information about reels from 1912 to 1952 is compressed into thirteen pages of charts and footnotes. Years of sale of particular models are listed as well. The charts do not cover uncataloged reels nor all the variations that went uncataloged. It is an excellent recource for the years a model was offered. It covers fly, automatic, and saltwater reels as well as baitcast.

Brown, Jim.  A Treasury of Reels. Manchester, Vt.: American Museum of Fly Fishing, (1990). A catalog of the museum’s reel collection, the book contains an excellent, extensive history of the fly reel.

Cacioppo, Michael.  The Chronological History of Penn Reels, 1932-1957 (Blue);  (2014). Takes you through the history of Penn year by year, from its founding in 1932 through its 25th anniversary year of 1957.  Founded by Otto Henze in the teeth of the great depression, Henze revolutionized the field of saltwater angling, making the sport affordable for the working man by creating brilliantly simple and rugged fishing reels that would stand up to generations of use.

Cacioppo, Michael. The Penn Reel Collector’s Companion and Price Guide, 1932-1957 (Green);  (2014).  The Price Guide includes individual listing of every model Penn offered year-by-year from 1932 through 1957, with prices included for every known reel.  Considered by many to be “The Blue Book” for Penn reel collectors — this book brings together a veritable treasure of Penn reel information that did not fit the parameters of the first book.

Cacioppo, Michael.  A Documentary History of Penn Reels, 1932-1957 (Yellow);  (2017).  Contains rare documents and photographs pertaining to Penn history during its first 25 years. It is divided into three sections: Section One, which covers original documents and letters to and from Penn and photos from Penn’s first ledger book; Section Two, which contains a complete set of Penn catalogs from this period; and Section Three, a photographic essay of Penn during this era.

Campbell, A. J. Classic and Antique Fly-Fishing Tackle. New York: Nick Lyons Books, (1997). You don’t have to flip many pages in this 344 page book to find information on fly reels. They’re all there covered throughout.

Carbaugh, Gary; Spurr, Dick, Colorado Reels and Old Fishing Tackle, (1994) This includes unusual sidecasters as well as some spinning reels.

Caiati, Carl. Collectible Fishing Reels, (2003) Huge pictures of some rare reels are found in the 159 pages of this work. There is a  guide with 2003 prices included as well.

Calabi, Silvio. The Collector’s Guide to Antique Fishing Tackle, (2011)

Drewett, John. Hardy Brothers: the Masters, the Men and Their Reels

Douglas, Robert and Lauve, Larry. A conversation with Oscar Kovalovsky. (2012) Whitefish Press

Fisherman’s Handbook,  published by Fisherman Magazine, contains a reel chapter with an index of company names, products and addresses.(1955)

Homel, Dan. Collector’s Guide to Old Fishing Reels, (1991)

Irwin, R. Stephen, M.D. Sporting Collectibles.  Wayne, N.J.: Stoeger Publ. Co., (1997). Includes a large section on fishing tackle and ephemera.

Jellison, Harold and Jells, Howard. Antique Fly Reels, (1996)

Jellison, Harold and Homel, Daniel. Antique and Collectible Fishing, (1998)

Kelly, Mary Kefover, U.S. Fishing Rod Patents and Other Tackle, (1990) The is information for reel collectors as well.

Lawson, George. Lawson’s Price Guide to Old Fishing Reels, (2001) This book is still considered the standard of what a reel is worth. Over 11,000 reels are listed with prices and particular features.

Lewis, Russell E. , Luckey, Carl F. Identification and Value Guide/Old Fishing Lures and Tackle. , Krause Publications a subsidiary of F+W Publishing, 8th Edition, (2010).

Lewis, Russell E. , Modern Fishing Lures, series of 5 volumes (2002-2007) covers hundreds of reels and reel history,  published by Collector Books.

Lodge, Richard Skeletons (raised pillar fly reels), 2007

Madden, Jim. South Bend Fishing Reels, (2002) This book covers cataloged and uncataloged reels and variations of models. Front plate, rear  plate, and foot markings are documented in charts. It includes a 2002 price guide.

Miller, Robert. The History of Pflueger Summit and Akron Reels, (2009)

Miller, Robert. The History of the Pflueger Supreme, (2006)

Medts, Luc de, Les Moulinets Mitchell, (1999) Very comprehensive study of Mitchell reel – but written in French.

Munger, Albert. Those Old Fishing Reels, (1982)

Munger, Albert. Fishing and Collecting Old Reels & Tackle & History with Albert J. Munger (1980)

Osten, Earl. Tournament Fly & Bait-Casting, (1946)

Orrelle, John. Fly Reels of the Past. Portland, Ore.: Frank Amato Publications, (1987). Another fine history of the fly reel.

Pfeiffer, C. Boyd. Our Fishing Heritage: Tackle & Equipment. Minnetonka, Minn.: North American Fishing Club, (1999).

Roberts, Bill and Pavey, Rob. Heddon Legacy, (2002)

Roberts, Dennis. Mitchell Collector’s Reference Guide, (2000)

Ruby, Wayne. The Pflueger Heritage Lures and Reels, (2007)

Shimommura, Simon The Ambassadeur and I, (2000)

Skupien, Dan. Vintage Fishing Reels of Sweden, (2002)

Steward, Douglas, A History of the Shakespeare Company, 1896-1952.

Thommen, George. Spinning Reels & Tackle, (1949)

Turner, Graham. Fishing Tackle/A Collector’s Guide. London: Ward Lock Ltd., (1989). The definitive book on British tackle and manufacturers, with an emphasis on reels.

Vernon, Steven K. Antique Fishing Reels. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, (1985). Evolution of various reel features through descriptions of U. S. reel patents to 1920. Useful for identifying and dating older reels.

Vernon, Steven K. Antique Fishing Reels 2nd Edition, Havertown, Pa. : Stue Publishing (2018). The revised edition of his 1985 classic with more than twice as many U.S. reel patents as the first edition.

Vernon, Steven K., and Stewart, Frank M., III. Fishing Reel Makers of Kentucky. Plano, Tex.: Thomas B. Reel Co., (1992). A history of the Kentucky reel industry from 1810 to 1940. The hand-made Kentucky casting reels are considered among the finest ever built and represent the “cream” of the collector’s “crop.” They owe much of their original popularity to Henshall.

Waller, Phil. Fishing Reels: Blue Ribbon Edition, Volume II, Collecting For All, (2002)

White, Karl T. Fishing Tackle Antiques and Collectables. Luther, Okla.: (1990).

White, Phil. Meisselbach and Meisselbach-Catucci Fishing Reels. Grand Junction, Colo.: Centennial Publications, (1995). A definitive history of the Meisselbach companies and their reels. Although the subject may sound a little specialized, virtually all collectors will encounter some of the reels from these prolific companies sooner or later. The book is thorough, carefully researched, and well-written.

White, Phil, Winchester Fishing Tackle, A collectors Guide, (1997) Winchester is covered in full.

Wright, Ben. The Wright Price Guide for the Reel Man. LeRoy, N. Y.: Third Edition, (2002). The spinning-reel collector’s “Bible,” with manufacturers’ histories and a value guide.

White, Karl T. Fishing Tackle Antiques and Collectables. Luther, Okla.: 1990.