The Rainbow Reel
The Rainbow fly reel was the Meisselbach Bros. answer to the successful Hardy
Uniqua. The Rainbow came out in 1916, and was available until World War II. It
was an extremely popular reel due to it's very competitive cost ($5.00),
and typical Meisselbach quality. An extensive collection could be made from
Rainbow reels. When they first came out they had the Hardy style
"telephone" latch, but this was gone by 1918. Rainbows came in a
painted and a blued finish, with fixed click and click button, with at least 4
different boxes, and three different foot styles. They also were manufactured
and stamped for Abbey & Imbrie, and Wm. Mills (stamped "Cresco").
All pictures are thumbnails - click to see full size photos.
||A pair of early Rainbows. The small #627 has the quick
latch, but the #631 has a spool retaining screw. Note the milled
aluminum foot on the small reel. The quick latch was only produced from
1916-18. This trout picture box was probably used from 1916-1919
||These are the two sizes in the second box. The box is
maroon and the label started yellow. The one on the right has faded. These reels were
both made in Ohio around 1922. The #631 has a milled aluminum foot. The
#627 has a stamped nickel plated foot.
||These three are in the black picture box, and date from
about 1924-1930. I believe the blue label to be the earliest. The center
reel has a milled foot. The use of this foot and the stamped one makes
no sense for both appear in Rainbows from 1916-1924.
||These are 1930s boxes. Note the foot on the #627. This is
the more common stamped foot.
|Rainbow reels seem to
be fairly easy to find in the box. This is a pretty nice group