Woolworths Winfield and great value tackle

Whilst the Winfield brand of tackle doesn’t really come into the highly collectable tackle category, its worthy of a mention.

Woolworths commenced trading in 1878 in Utica, New York trading as Woolworths Great Five Cent Store.Frank Winfield Woolworth added his middle name as an internal branding exercise.

The fishing tackle they sold in the 1960s and 70s I remember well as a lad, and they provided economy tackle at great value prices.

The majority of the tackle was low-end but they had some of their reels designed by the South Bend tackle Co. USA. Many of their tackle items were copied from other makers and manufactured in Japan.

Hooks from Mustad in value packs and many accessories re banded to offer great value was the trading ethos.

I recall my local store also stocking Gilfin reels and rods as well as the Winfield counterparts.

Woolies had a service centre for fishing tackle in Evesham, Worcestershire indicating a link to the great Redditch tackle making machine.

Looking at the image here the Winfied trout fly reel looks all the word like the Pflueger model, but made in Japan.

The spinning reel was a later addition to the range, being made in Hong Kong.

The Japanese made plastic plugs to replicate Abu, Creek Chub, South Bend and Heddon models whilst the metal Winfield, Toby style lure is a dead ringer for the real deal.

In truth there was nothing wrong with the tackle – if you compare it to similar retail value items from say Intrepid, it was on a par.

Sadly the Woolworths branding image – cheap as well as great value – didn’t lend itself to an image of quality in the tackle world.

All of the items here still work and work well.

So, are they collectable, yes but not overly valuable.

I suggest most people collect these as a reminder of their lost youth, flared trousers and ties as wide as a kipper!

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