Great Lakes Whirlaway
I probably get one email per week
about the Great Lakes Whirlaway combination rod and reel. At one time
they must have been a great seller. I was fishing my way through college
when the ad below ran in Outdoor Life (April 1953), but I don't remember
being at all interested in owning one.
I am not sure
of the dates of production, but believe it to be throughout the middle
1950's. Note that the ad says that "Its New!", and that was
This combination rod and reel was produced by Great Lakes Products,
8655 Military Ave., Detroit 4, Michigan.
Apparently the strange bulb appearance, and the fact that the reel is
housed on the end of the handle make these items attractive to yard
sale addicts, collectors, and/or speculators. These combo's are still fairly common and there
seems to be at least one each
month up on eBay for sale. They usually sell in the $40-75 range,
depending upon condition. Lawson's Price Guide to Old Fishing Reels lists
them from $35 (Good) to $95 (Ex in box).
Update: In late 2005, several Whirlaways in both the older and
the newer models have appeared on eBay in New in Box condition. These
combo's in NIB condition have been going over $300 in these sales.