John Herro of Temple Bar London 1730-1760

To see and handle a brass reel of this age is a rare event.

John Herro, tackle maker of 48 Bell Yard, Temple Bar, was in business at this address from 1730 into the 1760s. The reel, a 3” brass multiplier is well made with an engraved face plate, fish logo and cornet implying a Royal connection.

Bell Yard was an important seat of tackle making and selling in the 1700-1800 period although certainly rods and hooks could be bought from a shop as far back as the early 1600’s so it’s not new even by those standards.

Famous names such as Onesimus Ustonson, Bowness & Bowness, Chevalier, J Kitchingham and other even lesser known names all sold from Bell Yard. Considering the locality and nearby Crooked Lane, the Strand and Oxford Street, and with London being smaller in size and population density than today, it must have been the world epicentre of tackle sellers.

What struck me as odd about the reel is the 5 pin foot fixing.

I have it in my mind this kinda disappeared c.1860/60 which means it remains unchanged for nearly 100 years.

When you compare today’s tackle longevity, perhaps a seasons at best, it’s remarkable how slow the progression of invention was at this point.

Newspapers including the London Evening News, The Fishing Gazette and other magazines turbo charged the development in fishing tackle. New tactics and tackle ideas could be discussed and shared, no different from today really except there was no Wi-Fi in Bell Yard!

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