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
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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
||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
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