alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Need Help---Possibly the Penn (Loch Ness Monster) 20/0
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: Need Help---Possibly the Penn (Loch Ness Monster) 20/0  (Read 20268 times)
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Penn Chronology
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« on: May 13, 2017, 10:18:42 PM »

OK guys, got a real head scratcher here. I am going to do a series of pictures here of a reel that was found hanging on the ceiling of a tackle shop in Florida. The new owner has tried to buy this rig for some time now and finally did the deal, so, no need to ask if it for sale. I already asked, it is not.

Starting with a parts break down. We are lucky enough to see the reel in its broken down state and restored state. The rod tip, which I will picture at the end of this picture run I believe is a Tycoon tip with Montague guides that may have been added when the rod was rebuilt.

Here we go::




There is some hint of Penn Parts here. The trim rings and side plates look like Penn except for the fact that the side plates are 9 inches in diameter. The spool is obviously not Penn and it is also massive at 6 1/2 inches wide. I see some early Penn parts in the mix and also see some custom made stuff.


The inners of the head plate look like prototype to me. Might even be a machined from a big block of Bakelite, rather than molded. Opiinions?Huh?---------------Tom Greene corrected me. The side plates were made out of Hard Rubber. They are machined.


Now here is a Twilight Zone Penn reel. No doubt in the size zone of 20/0, even with a built in Assist Handle and a pipe mounted into the stand for the rod tip to mount.


View from the side of this monster displays a very well made One Off (maybe).. Anyone seen anything like it?


Not too sure about the frame strength here with single cross bars.


Now we are getting very interesting. The rod tip is solid Hickory and shaped like a Royal Hickory Tycoon rod blank; but, the guides are Montague guides. At the base of the tip you can see where the tip would be mounted in the pipe portion of the stand.


This is true big game style from the 1930's


This is the inscription on the rod tip. Very hard to read. I made a negative out of it and was able to get some of the meaning.


What I believe it says is "Built by (Then the builders name) then ending with the location of the rod tip builder, Linden, New Jersey"

Well that is it. I am throwing this out there for opinions or anything we can come with about this super find IMHO. I am going to try to get the owner to join our site also. I believe he lives in San Diego, Ca.

Thank you all in advance for anything we come up with about this very interesting find.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 06:27:10 AM by Penn Chronology » Logged
Tightlines666
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 10:33:46 PM »

Very interesting reel there Mike.  It sure appears to be a custom built reel.  Considering the cost of reels this size, it is not surprising to me that, occasionally there might be some entrepreneurs designing and building reels.  The spool appears to have been designed for linen line, the top handle, and other design features may provide some clues as to the possible vintage.

Thanks for sharing!

John
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 10:49:42 PM »

There is some provenance here. This reel hung from the ceiling of a tackle shop in Florida for 20 Years+. The shop owner said it had been brought into his shop over 20 years ago by an elderly lady . She said it was her husbands reel. Her husband had passed away and she wanted to sell his stuff . Her husband was a former Penn employee. Here lies a bit of Plot Thickening...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 10:51:04 PM by Penn Chronology » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 11:04:20 PM »

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Very interesting reel there Mike.  It sure appears to be a custom built reel.  Considering the cost of reels this size, it is not surprising to me that, occasionally there might be some entrepreneurs designing and building reels.  The spool appears to have been designed for linen line, the top handle, and other design features may provide some clues as to the possible vintage.

Cannot say for sure; but, the reel sort of tells me it is a pre-war design. This could be a Penn factory prototype or not. The workmanship looks kind of too good for a do it yourself type job. I see weak links in the actual structure of the reel, especially for a reel that is so massive. The cross bars seem inadequate and the spool seems delicate. The gearing is Penn, the drags looks like old asbestos or maybe even heavy leather so that part of the reel is strong enough; but, that is definitely Penn Parts. The Assist Handle does not look strong enough to be an assist handle unless it was only used for lifting the rod from the gunwales to the fighting chair. I also do not like the short bit of rod ferrule, that does not seem strong enough. Don't know how the rod butt works into all this. I guess it was not with the rig.

All opinions about this rig have value here. No observation is insignificant. I welcome all comments about this rig.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 11:27:26 PM »

Eccentric spring looks hand made, and its intetesring that there are 3 seperate attachment points (maybe intentional to adjust the tension?).  Dog spring is interesting as well.  The bearings look pretty heavy, but appear to be non-adjystable.  I agree, the spool and the rod ferrule both look a little weak for a reel of this caliber.  Are the posts steel or bronze?  They appear to have shoulders, and the reel base itself appears to be a relatively strong design.  Maybe a bit reminiscent of a Pflueger?
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 01:28:01 AM »

The drag and head plate bearing is accessible from the outside.  During what period was that a thing?

No rod braces.  Front and rear rod braces could have helped overcome some serious problems with the ferrule.  Every other reel maker was using them.  A hickory rod could have been made in one piece (butt handle and tip all one piece of wood).  But, that funky ferrule on the real stand would mean the reel could never come off the rod without removing the guides or removing the reel stand.  The handle is probably missing because it broke off.

The side plates could have been turned.  Most of the non-Penn parts could have been made in many machine shops.... except the rings; they would be really difficult if you were not set up for it. 

It makes no sense that a present or former Penn employee would make something like this.  They would know better.  Perhaps the guy made it before he went to work for Penn.  It would be a good thing to take along with you to a job interview.

-steve
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 04:38:07 AM »

Mike, I think I see lathe marks on the inside of the head plate, but the outside looks like it was molded. Are you sure it is Bakelite and not hard rubber? The hot needle trick (on the inside) should work to determine the material. It's got to be either HR or Bakelite, not old enough for mud. Unless they were also experimenting with a new material....

Can you PM or email me the color photo of the inscription on the rod? I want to play with it a little, and I can't download it from here. I think I can almost read what you posted.



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Sid Lehr
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2017, 05:20:21 AM »

Wow Mike, I can't stop looking at this one.
Bakelite or not, that is one cool reel. To me it appears to be combined with a few other manufactures. Obviously not their parts, but their design style.
It might not be for sale, but there is always the possibility of an offer he can't refuse...I'm not in that category  Smiley.

Now, have I seen it all?...probably not.

Gorgeous reel Mike, thank you for posting it here.

Sal
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 05:54:36 AM »



Wow, what an amazing piece of history..

Jan
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 08:23:45 AM »

Quote
Wow Mike, I can't stop looking at this one.
Bakelite or not, that is one cool reel. To me it appears to be combined with a few other manufactures. Obviously not their parts, but their design style.
It might not be for sale, but there is always the possibility of an offer he can't refuse...I'm not in that category  Smiley.

Now, have I seen it all?...probably not.

Gorgeous reel Mike, thank you for posting it here.

Yup, this one is strange. Being that the story about this reel is at this time slim, the combined thinking is that is was a Penn prototype that went with the employee / designer / engineer or aka someone when he retired. It is a vintage piece and the employee passed away over 25 years ago, so the entire real history of this piece could be lost to the ages. There are a few more avenues to follow up on, so maybe more real info will come out of the closet. Until then, it is fun to speculate, as most historians do.    Grin

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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 09:28:20 AM »

Very Cool Find Mike!
I seriously doubt I will ever see another one.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 12:03:26 PM »

Great post Mike - thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 08:42:21 PM »

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Very Cool Find Mike!
I seriously doubt I will ever see another one.
I knew you would like it Daron. I suspect you are correct about seeing another one. This is probably a One Off Prototype.

Quote
Great post Mike - thanks for sharing!
My pleasure. Hope to find a member that has an inclination of its origins.
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 07:26:19 AM »

   I just love these one off/prototype finds...great post Mike! Cool
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 07:48:12 AM »

I don't know if this can be of any help dating, but note that "if" this had been a Penn Senator it would have been of the first-generation configuration with the gear box at the 5 o'clock position. That would date it late 30's early 40's. Since it isn't a Penn Senator I don't know if this is of any significance or not. I wonder if this was a prototype made at the Penn plant during the war when the plant was converted over to wartime production, and thus materials were scarce and new parts were not made...? Makes for a nice story, true or not Smiley


Sid
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Sid Lehr
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