Guide to Pflueger Medalist Reels

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by jwg, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. I have a few of these reels from the 50's and still use them on my classic glass rods and the only boo rod that I own. These reels have been bullet proof with regular cleaning and lubrication. Not flashy by today's standards but a design that is time tested. They have accounted for many fish over the years and nothing is as exciting as the clicker screaming when a big one makes a run!!
    Derek Young likes this.
  2. One of my favorite reels. Love the looks, the sheer ruggedness and that laid-black click. I regularly use a 1492, 1494 and 1495-1/2 from the late 1930s. Below is the 1492 on a 3wt bamboo rod that won the battle with a 21-incher.


    Happy Holidays everybody,
    formerguide likes this.
  3. I have many. The one that gets used most is my 1496 1/2 that I fish on my 11 1/2' two hander. It's a great reel. I just purchased some glass blanks. They'll end up with medalists on them.

    I'd love to have a click style with a round line guard. Although I enjoy the feel of my medalists they don't have an awesome sound like a Hardy or Young reel. The medalists have more of a grinding sound.

    Go Sox,
  4. My dad gave me a Medaist with my first fly rod in 1966. I've still got both, though I changed from fiberglass to graphite in the '90's. I used that same 1494 until about 5 years ago and finally broke down to get a nice, (lighter) large arbor reel. I have nothing but good things to say about the Medalist, (pre Shakespear that is). Many great memories and some damn nice fish on that reel.
    One of my buddies still uses his for Steelheading and loves it.
  5. I too am a Medalist devotee, I've used them since the 60's. I have a "94", two "95 1/2" , "96 1/2" and two "98". The "98's" are on my spey rods and have taken all the abuse I have given. Of course, I'm kind of thrifty, so expensive reels never held my attention for long. I used a Scaracione (spelling), the other day and I love the sound, but I love the money more.
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  6. Oh boy, I remember my first chum was on one of these. I was on a trip to a family function and was checking out some water. Saw some movement in the water, ran to the trunk and rigged up a rod and reel. Boy was it a knuckle buster, I have been hooked ever since. I think I still have the marks, what a blast.
  7. I've actually been divesting myself of Hardy's and replacing them with Medalists for a while now. They are much more economical and I just like they way the look/sound especially the small vintage models. I've got 2x 1492, 2x 1492 1/2, 2x 1494, 1495 and 1498. I probably spent less than the price of a Bougle on all 8 reels combined...

    A step up from he medalist if you can find one is the Valentine single action reel. Looks like a super well made medalist.
  8. I like my Medalists just fine, but I'll make a sacrifice and trade you a U.S. made 1495½ for one of those nasty Hardy's you're getting rid of. :)

  9. Sounds good to me. I'll trade you a very rare 3 3/4" English made Bougle Mk VI for your 1495 1/2 and $500.
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  10. Alas, reality sets in and it would appear the steelhead I catch must continue to suffer the humble fate of being landed on a classic Pflueger.
  11. These are the timex reels of fishing. They take a lickin' and keep on clickin'. I am not certain that you can actually wear one out with normal wear. I bought my first fly reel from Ben Paris in downtown Seattle and it was a Medalist. I gave it to a co worker that wanted to try fly fishing. Wonder if he still has it. If he does, I bet it is still fish worthy. The brake system on those things was an awesome thing to behold.
  12. Dorylf, at least your Pflueger doesn't sound like the starter going out in a 1963 Rambler when the steelhead makes a run... that hideous Hardly sound would scare the hell out of most fish :D:D

    (I'll see if I can get anyone to rise to that ploy... OBVIOUS TROLL)
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  13. Love themGot lots for switch and spey rods.Not so good for singles though,a bit heavt.I like the 14961/2.t isa almosr identical to the 1498
    but "squater".
    Thet aseem toi be a copy of the Perfect and they won`t ket you down./drags are for panty wastes,right?
    One more thing,the really old ones with the ring won`t disemble without removing the rivets and this destroys their value.So keep those on the shelf and go fot thr Akrons.They are everywhere.$20-30.
    Size them up a bit andthe trout shop in /sacramento is run by a guy who know ALL about them./You can hot rod them if you want...
  14. It is hard for me to visualize this GAT. The starter never went out on my 1963 Rambler so I have nothing to compare with the music my Zenith makes when a big buck makes a run with the bunny fly.
    Come to think of it, I have never had a big buck make a run with the bunny fly either.
  15. When I first began to build rods the most readily available reels were from Pflueger. I have caught many ocean species that quickly overpowered the drag and broke off. I’m not sure, but I think that the idea of modifying the bigger reels by cutting away enough of the body to allow for thumb pressure on the spool came out of Florida.
    Below is one of my modified 1498 reels. The reel has caught many bonefish and baby Tarpon and I still pack it long as a backup reel on trips to the Bahamas and Mexico. Please note the Bahamas dime counter weight.

    Jeff Dodd likes this.

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