Classic Reels


Geriatric Skagit Swinger
Connecticut Reels

It’s been a while since I’ve posted in here which means it is time to get busy.

When it comes to vintage ‘Good ol’ Made In USA’ reels in my collection, there is one geographical area that keeps presenting itself; Connecticut.

Connecticut is not the most prolific of reel producing states, but it is notable by the longevity and popularity of certain reels produced there. The list of manufacturers almost reads like a who’s who:

Bethel Machine
Connecticut Reel Company
Halkovach Mfg. Co.
Hatch, Anson B.
Horton Mfg. Co. (Bristol)
Liberty Bell
Star Reel Works
Sterling Mfg. Co.
Union Hardware Co.
Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

I don’t have reels from all these makers and probably never will. In fact I have a very modest group of CT reels. There are however, a few of those makers up there that I definitely plan on tracking down.

The few that I have so far, and I’d love to see some of yours!

The 1769 Union Fly Reel – Torrington CT.
Three inches in diameter.

A 3-3/8” L. W. Holmes “Perfect” style reel – Oronoque CT.

From the Horton Mfg. Co. the Bristol 65 came in a few different versions – Bristol CT

nice set of reels, excellent condition too! Keep on the good work of collecting (and posting them here). i just got my last SSS, the baby 6/7. so that collection is finalyzed now. will post some new pictures when the light is good again, rainy here now...
Sweet Perfect! I have one, 3 3/8" post '53. Just bought a spare spool yesterday. Hitting the lakes with a dry line & chironomids and a type 3 sink with leeches...gotta hear the "Hardy song!!" On bamboo makes it just a little better still! (I'll have to start posting pics...)---Steve :thumb:
I used to fish some bamboo rods, but stopped as I was always afraid to break them. I should pick up another one for small streams. I love the feel of bamboo, although they are sometimes a bit heavy in comparison to the newer rods.

I also like the simple reels. Not much need for more than that when fishing small streams anyway.

I cannot wait for summer, so I can get hit the little streams and rivers! Will be heading to Montana in about 2 1/2 weeks!!!! YEAH!


Geriatric Skagit Swinger
I came across another Connecticut reel. A 3-1/2" Stuart featuring dual handles. I like dual handles and for the life of me can't figure out why more fly reels don't have them. Any centerpin reel worth its salt has 'em - so why not fly reels?


Greg Armstrong

WW; This one's not from Connecticut, but rather closer to home here in Auburn, WA.

View attachment 41755 View attachment 41756 View attachment 41757

It's marked R.H. Parks Mfg. Co. Auburn, Wash.

I haven't found out much about this maker, but have heard a rumor that there are others like it "out there". This one is 3-1/4" diameter and also has two handles but is a "silent" check. It has a very effective drag and the tolerances are very close.

Anyone else here know anything about R.H. Parks?


Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
Great looking Parks reel Greg.
I'm aware of thier existance. Unfortunately I can't help with further information on Parks reels but Orcaonline should be your ticket for that.

Hi all,
new member from Ireland look forward to forum thanks

what do you think of this reel which I think is a classic from hardy the sovereign 11/12 No 273 never used it yet



Geriatric Skagit Swinger
Hi Faughan, and welcome to the forum!
What you have there is a modern classic I'm sure...and when we are in the ground it will be a vintage classic!
Have fun with it and be sure to show us a picture of the salmon it brings in.

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