2 St Johns


Active Member
I've little to no experience with old St Johns but love the way they look. Here's a trout size and a whopper of a salmon size. Any info about them would be cool. Here are the specs...

The larger reel...
4" x 1-3/4" frame OD
3-3/8" x 1-1/2" spool OD
The number "3" is stamped on the inside plate, the underside of the spool and on the side of the reel foot. The opposite side of the reel foot says "Made in England".
There is some minor damage to the outside of the frame (see the photo) but I don't see any cracks.

The smaller reel...
3-1/2" x 1-5/16 frame OD
3" x 3/4" spool OD
Number "6" stamped in the same three locations. The opposite side of the foot is blank.



Active Member
Yes, arrived today. Pretty old reels. Based on searches for Foster Bros Ashbourne reels they could be Dingleys. I'm hoping someone with more expertise tells me more.


Active Member
Yes, definitely not made by Hardy. What I've found online about Foster Bros is they contracted with a different English reel makes over the years to make the reels they retailed with their name imprinted on the reels, Dingley and Young were included (or maybe the only ones). I guess it was common for other English reel makers to copy the Hardy St John reel so the basic design won't tell you who actually made it. Some but not all of the Dingleys had the letter "D" stamped inside the reel, but some were unmarked and others had the simple number stamped like these which might suggest they are Dingleys, but I don't have the expertise to know. Hopefully there are tale-tell signs that would tip off a true vintage reel expert who made these reels. In the end, it is just a fun exercise in curiosity and doesn't change the way the reels function.

The smaller one will be fun to fish on bamboo since it doesn't have a line guard and with the drag loosened it has a light/medium click both directions and would be very fishable left hand wind (!). The larger one is beautiful with the brass line guard but it is a hefty son of a gun. No doubt about its design for salmon fishing. If I keep it I'll have to try catching a coho or chum on it, it certainly has the drag and line capacity to do that. But I'd probably loose a lot of fish trying to learn winding with my right hand. LOL.

Latest posts