Elmer J. Sellers of Kutztown, PA, applied for his reel patent on April 26th, 1933, and was granted a patent (#1,947,141) on Feb. 13th, 1934. Very similar in appearance to William Billinghurst's 1859 reel, the Sellers fly casting "Bas-Kit" reel was advertised as a "modernistic" fly reel for Trout, Bass, or ordinary fishing (I'm not at all sure what he thought of Trout and Bass that was out of the ordinary!). Another claim "borrowed" from Billinghurst, Seller's touted the quick drying and winding properties that result from his open baskit idea, built of 20 semi-circular bars, that gained 10 inches of line with each revolution when half filled with line. Constructed of two stamped halves resting on a spool shaft and held by an adjustable spool tension nut, this reel featured an agate line guide and top side click switch. The version seen to the right is a folding tulip wood handle model, held upright by a threaded cup. Fixed handle versions are known to exist as well. Sellers claimed in his brochure that this reel was offered in Chromium plate, mirror polished brass or burn proof lacquered gun metal. Most reels found today are of the chromium plate finish and well worn, and I am aware of just a few all brass reels, and have finally found a "burn proof lacquered gun metal" finish that I've added to my collection this year. For a complete history on Elmer J. Sellers, his reel and his other inventions, check out Steven K. Vernon's great article that outlines much of his life as one of Kutztown's most prominent citizens.
A scarce reel, and perhaps the last of the "birdcage" reels produced and advertised in the US.
Sellers Nickel Plated, Folding Handle Reel
Box and bag
The whole package, reel, box, paperwork and a copy of the patent
Sellers Reel Patent Drawing
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