Thursday, May 3, 2012

The J.W. Young Collection Grows

As my fascination with fiberglass fly rods grew a few years ago, I also started collecting vintage fly reels as well, with the focus on J.W. Young fly reels.  These English made reels became quite an obsession for me and over the past six years I've collected several dozen of these fly reels with my favorite examples being in very good to mint condition and housed in their original boxes.  An added bonus with several of these reels has been fly reel paperwork and a very cherished gift from a friend several years ago was a J.W. Young catalog from 1959 which is an excellent reference on these fly reels.

Last week one of the members of the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum offered up a boxed 3 1/4 inch Pridex Lightweight which I was lacking in my own collection and I just had to purchase it.  Once it arrived it was time to take it completely apart and give it a warm water and vinegar bath.  An old toothbrush and Q-Tips were perfect for cleaning out the decades old oil, grease, and grime that can accumulate in a fly reel that is over sixty years old.

Once everything was washed, scrubbed, and allowed to dry, then it was time to reassemble, lube, and wipe down with a silicone cloth.  This cleaning method can lead to some amazing before and after results and I've seen many vintage fly reels brought back to life with a simple and through cleaning. 

This method, and other informative suggestions, came directly from Ron McAlpin of the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum and some years back he posted a fly reel cleaning primer which is a most excellent reference for fly reel cleaning and restoration.    


Howard Levett said...

I've always enjoyed your love affair with Youngs. Glad you added to the family.

Pam said...

Very nice. Good advice for reel care too!

Andrea said...

Hi Cameron
I have buy "s" glass by Shane
and balanced it with a Sealey reel
( version /young white handle)

It was near mint but with
Ron treatment give a especially
The best Andrea

Cameron Mortenson said...'s been a wonderful affair. I really dig these fly reels.

Pam...follow those directions and you'll never screw up your fly reel.

Andrea...I really like how those Sealey reels look with the white accents. Please send or post a photo soon. I'd like to check that out.