Probably one of the rarest of all casting reels, this tournament style little alloy reel by Farlow is a work of art.
Only 2” diameter with a brass faceplate, a few variants exist for the collector to chase in terms of size and fittings.
The unique feature is the open end casing with a Patent fan regulator or vane air brake in the recess.
According to the company you can cast a 1/4 oz weight 40 yards and with practice a ½ oz weight up to 60 yards.
Because the spool causes no initial friction when casting a longer distance can be obtained against other traditional multipliers using older style tension brakes.
The Billiken was designed to be fitted on short rods utilising an overhead casting technique. This method was gaining popularity in the post-1900 period.
The Field magazine in 1921 praised its design stating “Messrs Farlow’s delightful little Billiken reel, which we often use, casts a very light bait beautifully and is a most ingenious multiplier.”
This reel also comes with its maker’s original wood fitted box and shows the company name plate to underside of lid.
It is always better to have an original box, like Dink and Corgi cars. They are worth more boxed to any collector. this one is available here.