Kelly of Dublin Irish brass spike winch & rod

It’s been one of these weeks when you never know what comes through the post.

My Pick of the Week is a Kelly of Dublin brass spike winch and matching named Kelly wood handle fishing rod. I never had the opportunity to own a named matched pair when collecting.

Kelly, based in Sackville Street Dublin is one of Ireland’s oldest and most revered tackle makers.

Spike winches generally preceded collar or clamp fitting winches, but not always.

The Milward’s of Redditch catalogue of c.1850 has 2 pages of these clamps but no spike reels. The second page also shows reels with perforated foot blades to take leather pads and so the development continued.

Having said that, I’ve seen simple spike winches advertised as late as c1900, including in the USA catalogues so it’s all a bit foggy.

A named reel you can attribute to a maker does help dating.

The reel, 2” diameter x 1-5/8” wide, faceplate stamped “Kelly Dublin” around the perimeter, crank handle with original turned white knob, raised check housing provides smooth positive check clicker. It has the original bridge and square section spike with the original knurled screw.

The reel turns smoothly and has never been polished or altered.

It comes with its matching original Kelly of Dublin ash wood rod with drop rings. How this pair remained together for over 150 years is a miracle.

The Kelly Dublin maker’s name is impressed into the wood handle below the spike reel fitting.

The rod has only two of the original three sections but a competent rod maker or handyman could fabricate a tip from a donor greenheart or lancewood section.

The original brass spike fitting collar is on the shaped handle, slotted for the reel bridge on one side, round hole opposite to take the threaded section.

Such a rare pair for any museum or collector c.1840 or earlier. Click here for our listing.

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