Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Collections - J.W. Young Fly Reels

As I was starting on this fiberglass fly rod bender a few years ago I also came to realize that I also had a serious affliction for click and pawl fly reels as well.   The first year or so that I was around the Fiberglass Flyrodders I bought up every vintage fly reel that afford from Hardy knockoffs to South Bend's to Pflueger's to many others which arrived in our mailbox.  Putting hands on so many different fly reels helped me decide what I liked and didn't like and instead of having dozens of fly reels from various makers I decided to narrow my collection to J.W. Young and Martin fly reels.

J.W. Young fly reels were made in England for decades and my collection has concentrated on the fly reels that they made in the late 1950's and early 1960's.  At last count I have a couple dozen of these reels in my large plastic reel container and I've been fortunate to come across a few boxed and minty fly reels which were made over sixty years ago.  

These fly reels bear names like Condex, Pridex, Beaudex, Landex, and the gem of my collection, the Valdex.  These are all click and pawl fly reels with some having an adjustable drag.  These sturdy fly reels have a lot of character and style.       

J.W. Young fly reels balance fiberglass fly rods perfectly and were offered in diameters from three inches to four inches and in narrow and wide models which means you can really geek out on what fly reel matches which fly rod best.  The 3 inch models are great for lightweight outfits.  The 3 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch fly reels were quite popular for most trout weight fly rods and the 3 3/4 and 4 inch reel models balance heavier weight single hand fly rods and two handers best.

These fly reels taught me that disc drags aren't always necessary and are usually overkill.  The classic mechanics of the click and pawl can slow a fish just fine and there are few things as thrilling as one of these fly reels singing under the pressure of a running fish as a glass rod bucks and bends.     

Obsessions and collections...they are just grand.  


cofisher said...

It's been a long time coming, but I'm glad you finally showed off some of your collection. I have many of the same reels made by Young but branded for Orvis. Great classic reels all. Thanks Cam!

Cameron Mortenson said...

Howard...sometimes things are moving along so quickly around here I forget to share some of my different collections. I also didn't want to run up the price of the few J.W. Young fly reels which surface online as well. HA...

Smuggler said...

Cameron, I too share your affliction towards JW Young clicker reels. IMO, there's nothing finer than pairing a nice Condex with a fine glass rod.

MattKane said...

how about the martins?

Cameron Mortenson said...

Smuggler...indeed and I completely agree. These are wonderful fly reels.

MattKane...you know, I should get my collection for a photo or two as well. I have a dozen or so around and they are excellent blue collar fly reels which can be found on ebay for giveaway prices.