The Illingworth No.1 casting reel of 1905 

A revolution for the coarse angler.

Patented in 1905 under number 9388, it’s the iconic threadline reel for any specialist collector.

With the exception of the Malloch side casting reels which were really for spinning, the Illingworth No.1 changed light line fishing forever. Alfred Holden Illingworth, an ex-Naval officer, designed a series of 6 reels, the No.1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 with a modified No.2 to boot.

The No 1 reels have a few variations including a two or 3 wire loop line pick up; dark lead or light grey finish; various shaped and coloured cases including tan leather, red and blue triangles rexine, blue rectangle; and so collectors can have a bit of fun chasing down the alternatives. 

The maker’s outer card box is the rarest of all accessories for the No1. Many years ago I owned one and illustrated it in my book “Understanding Threadlines”, but not many if any other boxes have surfaced over the 25 years since publication.

This example here is the complete outfit, the reel stamped “The Illingworth Casting Reel Patent 9388-1905, No.282, Oil Me Please”. It comes with the original folding screwdriver/ disgorger, an Alpha nickel plated oiler and 2 card spools of Illingworth silk line, all in maker’s fine original tan block leather case with red baize lining.

Values have been all over the place from as little as £500 to over £2000, so middle for diddle is a four figure sum.

At the time of writing, this one is in stock, here.