Reuben Heaton Fishing Scene reels 1890-1910

One of the most attractive vintage brass fishing reels is this model with the embossed fishing scene side plate. Made by Reuben Heaton of Birmingham, England they date from c 1890 to 1910. The reels came in assorted finishes including brass, bronze and silvered.

The side plates or medals could at the point of manufacture be fitted to either plain, multiplier or plate wind winches so that indicates the embossed scene started out more as a separate medallion rather than cast as part of the reel.

If you’re really lucky you may find the initials RH embossed at the lower bank portion by the creel. I had a few over the years but not many.

The reels would come with and without a check clicker, assorted handle materials to make a few variants to collect.

The plate wind and multiplier versions are super rare and a good find for any collector.

There were some later replicas appearing at various antique fairs some 20-30 years ago. These can be easily spotted as they are a thin bent plate brass, the angling detail is fuzzy, they are often bent and come with a handle pin but no handle knob, so if it don’t feel right, it probably isn’t.