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2000-2009 Phil White

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 1953.

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.  




If I had one of these that was in EX condition, I believe it would hang on to it a while. It will be collectible. However, if you are as old as I am... you'd better sell now, or your kids will sell it in the estate sale. 


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