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Reel Identification

One of the easiest ways to identify some of those unmarked or "generic" named reels is by the construction of the reel foot, or plate. These reel foot on these reels is usually stamped from sheet brass, and has a readily identifiable pattern. Some are shown below:

This nice looking little hard rubber plated fly reel is a Pflueger. Note the rounded ends on the foot, and the ridged center part of the plate. Remember the nice rounded ends of the foot. The only markings on this reel is "60" the yardage designation.
I've seen this one called a Vom Hofe, but it's not. Note the four bent down rounded ears that connect to the pillars. This foot definitely identifies it as a Montague. This is a nice hard rubber and nickel fly reel, with protected rims.
Note the four rivet ends showing on this foot. The rivets are "U" shape and hold this foot on to the pillars. That identifies this reel as a Hendryx. They are usually marked on the underside of the foot with the name and some early patent dates. 
Note that this reel is the same as the one above, except for the foot. This is a later version of the Hendryx made by Winchester, or Horrocks-Ibbotson after they bought the Fishing Tackle Division of Winchester in 1932. The yardage mark was underlined by both companies. 
Note the very distinctive hole. This familiar mark identifies this small multiplier as produced by Julius vom Hofe. This ID mark is seen on almost all the Julius vom Hofe reels, whether fly, casting, or salt water. 
This nice "S" handle reel is readily identified by the two end plates and the foot all being stamped out of one piece of metal. Of course the "Dec 16 84" patent stamp also helps. It was made by John Kopf. This reel also has a stop latch and revolving click button on the rubber headplate. 

Notes

Reel Feet

Most of the reels shown here were manufactured by major reel makers, but were marketed by large tackle dealers or wholesale houses as their own reels. Many were stamped with generic names.

Numbers:

The numbers on the reel foot usually indicated the size - either the number of yards of a specified line the reel would hold, or in the case of the vom Hofe, the size of the reel (shown is a No. 5) .

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