The Coxon roller back Aerial reel

Probably one of the most sought after Aerials for the collector.

The roller backs built 1905-1928 went through a range of minor changes but all retained the 4 brass rollers inserted into a wooden or alloy backplate.

The model shown here has the Allcock’s code of 4108A-T3.

This is a 4 ½” diameter model, with ebonite drum front plate stamped “Patent.”

It has the twin original turned horn handles, 6 spoke drum with tension regulator.

This is a wide drum model measuring 1 ½” across drum flanges.

The mahogany backplate is fine, but lookout for cracks and previous repairs, this example has neither being all original.

The 4 recessed brass rollers have all the original screws.

The brass star back is correct and the foot blade is not filled. The internal copper calliper check works well, the reel runs silky smooth, straight and well.

The roller Coxon Aerial was designed to be used with heavier lines, mainly for salmon fishing. The issue was if the centre spindle screw was not adjusted correctly or the ebonite drum warped slightly the inner plate ran on the brass bearings slowing it down and often making a grating sound.

It almost defied the quote “would spin with just a breath of wind”.

Could this be the reason for the death of the reel in 1928? Who knows.

Examples can be found with alloy backplates, alloy drums, German silver rims or not as the model dictates.

But as with all Coxon Aerials, the wood and ebonite are in my opinion the best and most pleasing to display.

Note to collectors; always remove the drum, because as with this one, unless you do the rollers are not visible externally and it could be confused with a standard yet still rare Coxon at less value.

I recall many years ago I was at Jamie Maxtone-Graham’s house, (rest his soul) a man with whom I got on well.

I would do some of his tackle work in the Midlands area, being of the 3 St Johns mentioned in his booksJ

He offered me a wooden back Coxon Aerial with the drum seized on for the princely sum of £26.

That’s an indication of how long ago it was. Turning the drum gave a familiar grating sound so I promptly bought it.

That same morning his phone rang with many other collectors trying the same, but it was mine.

So after some jiggly-pokery and release oil, off popped the ebonite drum and a roller back Coxon joined my other Aerials in the collection.

I justify my purchase by thinking Jamie probably only gave £5 for it anyway but we’ll never know.

Values have been a seesaw on these reels, anywhere from many hundreds of pounds to almost £10,000 for a mint out the box example, but currently £3-5k will be about right.

This beauty is currently in stock here.