One of the most unusual brass reels for any collector is the Fishing Gazette Winch. It was designed by R B Marston, the editor of the Fishing Gazette magazine (est. 1877), an angler and serial tackle inventor.
Marston was skilled in both game and coarse angling, inventing a Patent fly in 1899 with a celluloid body; the Fishing Gazette pike float or bung, often seen with Allcock’s labels around the belly; this brass winch; and finally, the Marston Crossle reel (1907) of which many forms exist. These are sought after by wood and centre pin collectors worldwide.
But few of the Eared reels are seen, like this Fishing Gazette Winch. This one stands 5” tall, has a 4” rotating plate face and fully ventilated, smooth check clicker with an optional ratchet button to the backplate.
Additional ventilations have been added during its life to reduce weight, help dry the line, or both.
The unusual features are the drop side plates and single pillar. This form allows the reel to be fitted tight to the rod handle so the line cannot trap or foul.
It works too. An impressive lump of a reel, this large size is very rare. I have seen only a handful over 30 years from sizes 2-1/2” up, nice to collect the little and large sizes for the shelf.
Values vary depending on condition but £600-800 would be about right at time of writing.