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In general, only the highest quality reels (for example, a few made with nickel silver) or reels in mint condition command prices in the higher end of that range.

Most are more valuable for fishing than as collectibles.

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Sometimes, a mint reel with its box and papers may attract higher prices.

The major tackle companies frequently made certain models for two decades or more.

Return to Table of Contents » The Shakespeare Company records consist of a history of the company, financial records, legal records, advertising and marketing records, catalogues and price lists, equipment specifications, Sport Fishing Institute materials, correspondence, and photographs.

The photographs in the collection include images of fishing, fishing and golf equipment, and advertisements.

Many level wind reels from that period bear no brand names or are marked with names unfamiliar to most fishermen and collectors. Y., made a lot of tackle for a long time, most of it in the low- to mid-priced range. The company was established by Shakespeare to supply reels to the trade. Langley Streamlite, Lurecast, Lakecast Langley Corp., San Diego, Cal., began making reels after World War II.

Some of these reels are trade reels made by the major companies like Bronson, Shakespeare, or South Bend, but are marked with the brands of the retailers that ordered them. Higgins Higgins reels were sold by Sears, and they were made by various companies over the years. Although a few of their very early automatic fly reels are sought by collectors, their baitcasters have little value. Their reels were characterized by their light weight and featured perforated "anti-inertia" spools. Ocean City Ocean City specialized in making salt-water reels in Philadelphia, Pa., from 1923 to 1968.The older models usually were made with nickel-plated brass, but after World War II, aluminum quickly became more widely used.Pflueger and Shakespeare reels are generally more popular with collectors than the other mass-produced reels, but most of their products remain in the category discussed here.Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan." The discovery of the level-wind fishing reel, which allowed line to be rewound without the use of the thumb, was patented by William Shakespeare Jr. Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State 1896 and led to the formation of the William Shakespeare Company in 1906, later changed to the Shakespeare Company in 1915. Return to Table of Contents » November 2011 Collection is open for research. Therefore, only a small fraction of these reels have significant collector value.