The Roddy Dominator Big Game reel

Harvey “Roddy” Rodstein was about 12 years old when he built his first Calcutta fibreglass rods.

This event changed his life and started him on the long path of fishing tackle manufacturing and design.

Generally rod wrapping, building and development, he brushed shoulders with most of the world influential makers and designers at some point. Opening 2 retail stores in Los Angeles he secured a contract with Sears & Roebuck to wrap their own brand rods.

At their peak, Roddy listed 275 different rod patterns, and they could manufacture over 300,000 rods a year!

Through the 1960s and 70s Roddy forged links with Japan, mainly rod tubes and parts, and this is where the Roddy Dominator was born.

Looking at first glance like a Penn International, the Dominator was the flagship of the company’s big game reels.

Late in life Roddy and his partners bought Penn and then sold to K2 who also owned Shakespeare.

This Japanese built high quality 6/0 reel is built from a one-piece alloy frame, light gold anodised finish and oversize handle, lever drag ratchet controls, it’s got the lot.

Sadly it never reached the sales level of the Penn International reels – despite Roddy hosting big game competitions in the coastal water of the USA, it never quite made it.

Roddy also produced a copy if you like of the Hardy green Princess fly reel, which today is becoming collectable in its own right.

Roddy are associated in the UK with the budget end of the spinning reel market but the Dominator reel is outstanding in both quality and performance and deserves higher recognition.

The reels were supplied in custom fitted wood boxes holding the reel, spanner, grease etc. and are a great piece of angling furniture for any collector’s shelf.

Surprisingly, despite their relative rarity in the UK marketplace they don’t command huge money.

Still in the £150-250 bracket they are the same price as a used Penn International.

That said, they are a statement piece in the tackle room or cabinet and are a super reel to fish. This one is available here.

For further Roddy information and product details see

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