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2000-2009 Phil White

The Expert Reel

The Expert reel was the second reel produced by A. F. Meisselbach & Bro. It was a vertically aligned reel that the Meisselbach's envisioned as a fly reel, trolling reel, or casting reel. This reel was made using the spool of the Amateur, with a tube frame around it. The Expert was manufactured in four sizes. Two of which were considered fly/casting reels (covered on this page), and two of which shown under Trolling reels.

The two smaller Experts vary only in the diameter of the spool. The smallest Expert is 2 1/4" in diameter, and the larger is 3 inches. However, there are four variations to each size, so to complete a set of Expert fly reels you would need to find eight models. But then you could try for both nickel and bronze finishes...

expert14.jpg (25633 bytes) The first version of the Expert (1888-1895) had a click on the headplate, as shown in these examples. Note also that these reels had a bullet shaped knob. This version of the Expert is scarce in both sizes.
expert15.jpg (19669 bytes) The Pin Drag version of the Expert also came out in 1888 and lasted until 1895. It was not a very good system, as the pin through the upright arm created a drag by scraping on the spool. This was not too good an idea. These reels are scarce. The small one is rare.
expert16.jpg (18146 bytes) In 1895 the click was moved to the rear side of the reel. However the gear and spring are uncovered. Note the change in the shape of the knob also. This version lasted until 1905.
expert17.jpg (20737 bytes) In 1906 the click was was covered, and the knob had another new shape. The larger reel has an hourglass shaped knob. These reels were available in a bronze finish as well as the nickel plated one shown in these photos. This reel was produced until 1919.
expert18.jpg (7482 bytes) This Expert No. 33 is the largest of all Expert Reels and probably the rarest. This example is the only known one in the box. It has only been found in the 1918 and 1919 Meisselbach Catalogs. 

There are actually a few other variations - one where the back upright and click spring cover are stamped out of one piece. There are also versions stamped Hermos and Ocean City. Both these later reels were manufactured by Ocean City Reel Co. after the Meisselbach brothers retired and the company was moved to Elyria Ohio.

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I would like to buy Expert reels in Boxes, or empty boxes marked Expert. Email Phil White


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