In response to our request for any unusual reels in the hands of our readers Mike O’Brien sent in this oddity which we are researching.
The reel is clearly by Eaton & Deller, 6/7 Crooked Lane, London, which dates it after 1857 and probably pre-1900, so it’s in there somewhere. The odd thing is the winding plate is all but missing, or is it?
The central hub plate has a stubby handle bar with original handle knob. There appear to be some file marks and possibly brazing on the handle support. Initially I thought someone has reduced the full size face plate, perhaps as a result of damage or to lighten it. However, the maker’s engraving, which I believe is original, is obvious on the front of the reel under the plate, so it looks correct, but I don’t know why.
Mike tells us the reel is 4.5″ diameter and weighs 1lb 11oz despite all the holes.
The holes appear rough shaped, the engraving a bit skew unlike most of the E&D work, which is faultless, so I don’t know.
Could it be an attempt at an antifoul reel?
We’re on the case and will report back when the tackle squirrels dig out what I hope will be similar examples to help unravel this one.