Pflueger Medalist; What to look for...

chrome/22

For him there whould always be the riddle of steel
#1
Noticed the bigger size of this retro fly reel is getting popular on some of the spey & switch rods, even on some single handed steelhead 6-8 weights they are being used. Looking at them on eBay the prices are all over the map, what are the valuable ones a gear-head like me should keep an eye out for ?


c/22
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#2
Noticed the bigger size of this retro fly reel is getting popular on some of the spey & switch rods, even on some single handed steelhead 6-8 weights they are being used. Looking at them on eBay the prices are all over the map, what are the valuable ones a gear-head like me should keep an eye out for ?


c/22
If it were me, I'd look for one of the early ones with a metal latch plate as opposed to plastic, a round line guard, sculpted pillars and as much of the original finish left on it as possible.
These early ones were really well engineered with tighter tolerances than the newer models and they purr because of it.
Plus, they're just a nice looking and functional reel from the days when quality mattered more to people.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#4
If I was looking to add one to my collection, I'd be looking for the oldest one in the best condition I could find. If I wanted to fish one, I'd just buy the first one I found at a decent price.

Sg
 

Jack Devlin

Active Member
#6
Noticed the bigger size of this retro fly reel is getting popular on some of the spey & switch rods, even on some single handed steelhead 6-8 weights they are being used. Looking at them on eBay the prices are all over the map, what are the valuable ones a gear-head like me should keep an eye out for ?


c/22
The large Medalist is the 1498. I use one on a spey rod. I use a 1495 1/2 on a #7 switch rod. Try and find the oldest ones with metal parts. There was an individual making aftermarket metal parts for the Medalists (One P Foot) but no longer. Parts are now just about impossible to find. Good luck.
 
#9
Chrome/22: Maybe you have seen this already. Good history of the Medalist. Check this link. "Pflueger Medalist Reels - A History - Fly Angler's OnLine Volumn 7 week 41 Also, Doug Rose has some good articles on the Medalist on his blog. Called the "Medalist Files". jackd
Thanks for the link Jack, I've been using Medalists since I was a kid. I have an old reel that was my Dad's and I always wondered how old it is, the best I can tell it is an early 60's 1498. I use it on my 14'er and it works well.
 
#10
If the printing above the reel foot says 1498 Patented.it is probably around 1952+.1498 Made in Akron O it is 1959+.1498 DA are the last ones made in the USA.If it says CJ it was made in Japan.You can get Onepfoot products now at dan@onepfoot.com.They don't make Medalists anymore and the prices are going up.
 
#11
If I was looking to add one to my collection, I'd be looking for the oldest one in the best condition I could find. If I wanted to fish one, I'd just buy the first one I found at a decent price.

Sg
I agree with one caveat, I would stay away from the CJ's and AK's, I had a 1492 break on me.
 

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
#12
I have two 1495's that were given to me as a tip from a client, both in excellent mechanical condition, but not cosmetically. One is on my Eagle Claw glass rod, the other I haven't found a use for just yet, waiting for the first bamboo rod I suppose.
 

Preston

Active Member
#13
Older Medalists have considerable collector value. I acquired a 1494 a few years ago which was apparently a pre-1937 model. 1937 was the year when the adjustable drag was introduced; pre-1937 models of the 1494 and larger models had only a spring-and-pawl check mechanism (the 1492 always had, and still does, a spring-and-pawl check). The things to look for on older Medalists are: the aluminum spool-latch button, the round, "Diamolite" line guard, the amber-colored handle and the sculpted pillars.

A while back I came across what was apparently a very early adjustable-drag model. Although it featured an adjustable drag, it seemed to be an example of using up the existing stock of reel castings. The reel body lacks the lug to house the drag-control button of later models and the location of the rivets to attach the various bits and pieces of the adjustable-drag mechanism are crowded and obviously not part of the original design.

Just a few days ago, I bought another click-and-pawl 1494 on E-Bay and am looking forward to its arrival. It doesn't appear to be quite as nice, finish-wise, as the one I have, but I fully intend to load it up and use it.
 

fishwater

Human Being...a work in progress
#14
These are part of our history in the Pacific Northwest. I've used and admired them since the 1950s. The 1495 1/2 model was the standard on fly rods used in Northern California's Eel River when I arrived in the 1970's; everybody who didn't have the bucks for a Hardy was catching their chinook and steelhead with Medalists. Today I use a circa 1959 model 1498 for my winter fishing with 8wt rods. I enjoy the look on the faces of the recently-converted fly fishers I meet afield as they hold their fancy, new high-tech (high price) wonders.

The bigger Medalists hold a bunch of line/backing, have trustworthy drag mechanisms and will take a beating. Just try dropping your micro-tolerance machined reel on the rocks a time or two, and see if you can get it working again.

Look for a USA-made reel with all its parts, and in good working condition - who cares if it has all its finish. I kinda like the honest wear on my Medalist. You can easily replace most parts that are in need by also purchasing a beater/parts reel via ebay. Look for damaged reels and you can find a bargain. After taking it apart and lubricating internal bits, add the counterweight to your spool(s) and you are ready for anything. The One Pfoot company is back up and running (under new ownership), offering replacement parts such as counterbalances, drag plates, screws and the like. Sometimes you can find the One Pfoot stuff on Ebay too.

These reels have a long history of use in saltwater too; back in the day they were among the first reels used by flyfishers stalking stripers, snook and even tarpon! For my money, there's no better heavyweight steelhead reel considering the cost/benefit ratio. For under $100 you can have a counterbalanced-spool workhorse. Weighs more than the high-end stuff, but I am never bothered as I throw my big intruders.