3 1/4" Dingley


Active Member
Back again with my latest acquisition; a 3 1/4" Dingley; the experts on Classic Bamboo Forum seem to agree it is a Dingley from the late 'teens or early 'twenties, even though it lacks the telltale 'D' stamp (the only markings are a numeral '1' stamped on the side of the foot and the back of the spool. The reel is in excellent condition, tight, with much of the original finish intact.

In an interesting note, one responder posted a link to an old thread with what he thought was a "twin" to my reel. Upon close examination of the photos I noticed that a spot of corrosion on the inside of the frame was in and identical location to the one in my hand. There were also two small areas of denting in identical locations on the back of the reel. It was, in fact, the same reel.

If any of you old reel fanciers out there can offer any more information on the Dingley reels I'd sincerely appreciate it.



Active Member
I often wonder about taking the plunge and buying a cool classic like that reel but I usually talk myself out of it for budget reasons and if that doesn't work then the RHW only bit kills it for me, someone who has reeled with my left hand only for the last 32 years. Is your Dingley RHW only or will it work either direction?


Active Member
As with many older British reels, the spring-and-pawl check mechanism functions primarily to prevent over-run when stripping line. On reels with a caliper spring, like this one, there is no bias and should work equally well in either direction. I started fishing before the popularity of LHW spinning reels began to burgeon after WWII when almost all baitcasting and fly reels were RHW so winding right-handed has always been my preference.

Greg Armstrong

That reel was an early one in Dingley's career.
According to the book "D" is For Dingley", that "Straight" latch style was the first design by him prior to the "Horseshoe" latch and later the "Telephone" style latch.
Those in turn were followed in later years by a couple of latch styles designed with latch "plates" held on by screws.

I'd recommend a copy of this book, if you can locate one.
Incredible reels made by him are shown, and it's full of wonderful and historical photographs and rare research material on the man.

I have fun fishing some old Dingleys - they're old, but fabulous reels.

Latest posts