Until the 1800’s the reel was used primarily as a storage device for excess line.
This prototype Steel Head reel is one of 4 known with this unique rim brake system.
Angling historians have long been frustrated in trying to trace the history of the fishing reel.
it is not fully understood and as soon as a rule is applied, it is sure to be over-ruled with an exception.
To help us understand this topic, I will try to summarize here, as simply as possible what i have observed on my own reels over 40 years, discussed with knowledgable collectors and read in books produced by the top writers of collecting ABU reels.
The two writers I would recommend to you are Daniel Skupien (1) and Simon Shimomura (2)and I would whole-heartedly commend you buy their beautiful, most informative books.
I have all 3 in my armoury of useful reading material about ABU.There are several different date codes for this reel.The first is HB and if you look at the chart below you will find the H falls under the 3 and the B falls under the 9 meaning this reel started production in 1939.Although multiplying reels were probably invented in Great Britain, the reels of George Snyder, of Paris, Kentucky, have become the most famous 19th century multipliers.Snyder’s reels were developed in the 1820s, and became the basis of the “Kentucky Reels”, made by such artisans as Meek, Milam, Sage, Hardman and Gayle. Including Mitchell 204S, 206S, 300, 300 small spool pre-wound, 306 308, 308S, 386, 403, 406, 3310, 4410 Large, 4420, 486, 4420, 710, 900, 906, large skirted spool. This reel was built between 19 when the telephone latch (registered design 734897) was changed again in 1949.