Farlow’s finger brake spinning fly reel

It’s long been believed that finger braking on a reel is more accurate than a mechanical automated or pre-set device.

Of all the Patents registered and sealed by Farlow the majority of them relate to reels and braking devices.

Rare models such as the Billiken multiplier with its external fan brake, the Mystic, the Regal fly reel with the floating felt pads check and others with over run and friction devices all point to that same end.

I cannot locate a Patent for this reel but it follows the same path they have been charting since 1897 with their famous Patent Lever.

This combined fly and spinning reel is 4” diameter and has an unusual feature in that the backplate is abnormally wide.

Running on a pair of front and rear ball bearings the drum spins well and can be slowed with the variable ratchet check lever on the backplate from free to tight.

However, the clever part is hidden inside.

Swinging the front bearing cover to one side and removing the spindle screw reveals a world of felt.

The entire recessed backplate sits on a spring and three felt pad rods protruded into the casing against the back of the spool flange. So in effect the backplate is free to move within the frame.

This ingenious simple idea means the angler can apply finger pressure to the back plate to increase drag. Additionally there is no spinning drum or exposed rim to get finger burn as the plate is stationary.

A great idea, a rare reel and one which could easily would go unnoticed unless you look a little deeper, or read this blog!

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