Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy your visit, and perhaps learn a few things about these wonderful and sometimes odd looking reels. I decided to try my hand at providing a site dedicated to these early fishing reels, with an emphasis on the history of these early US side-mount reel makers.
You'll find links to different reels with information on the makers at the top of this page.
Check back often, as I'll be adding more photos and more information!
Morgan James Fly Reel
Though it is more than likely the side-mount reel was invented as far back as the 12th century, as shown in a painting by Ma Yuan , the first 19th century reel noted for it’s unusual way of mounting on a rod comes from across the Atlantic, in the form of the “Archimedian” reel, patented by Frederick Skinner in the UK, circa 1848. It would be a few years later that Morgan James, noted gunsmith from New York State, produced a simple looking side-mount reel that may or may not have been influenced by Skinners reel. Very few of these James reels are known and in private collections. Other upstate gunsmiths would follow in James’ footsteps, creating what are now very collectable examples of early side-mounted reels.
The Reels Of William Billinghurst
For more information on William Billinghurst, click the link at the top of this page
Only Known Example of a Boxed Billinghurst
Rare First version Fixed Handle
Rare fixed handle, first use of the circular spool markings
Rare fixed handle foot view
Small single patent (1859) brass filding handle
Scarce large size, brass with folding handle
Dual patent nickel plated small size
Large size dual patent, nickel plate
Bottom view of a first version
Bottom view of a 2nd version
Unmarked Billinghurst Reel
Unmarked Billinghurst back
Please plan on stopping by often, as I add more pages and more photos of early reels in the coming days and weeks.
Hope you enjoyed the visit!
I'm always interested in adding reels to my collection. If you have a reel you'd like to discuss, trade or sell please feel free to e-mail me at Jim@sidemountreels.com