Ustonson Reel

There has recently been much discussion on the Ustonson reel featured in Graham Turners book Fishing Tackle The Ultimate Collectors Guide. Graham Turners view was expressed in Classic Angling. In the next issue they published an article by Micheal Brabin expressing his views and this was followed by Roger Still two months later.

My own opinion Ustonson did not make fishing reels, something I will be expanding on in the near future.

Follow the links to read the three articles.

Ustonson article

Ustonson article


Ustonson article

Ustonson article

Usonson article

Ustonson article

Ustonson article

Ustonson reel

Ustonson reel

Ustonson reel

Ustonson reel

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7 Responses to Ustonson Reel

  1. Paul Adams says:

    Hi Steff
    I look forward to hearing your thoughts as always, So if Ustonson never made reels as you say, was him getting the honour below just for wood turning? I`ve included the link where I found it at the bottom… Cheers Paul

    Past Masters of the Worshipful Company of Turners, 1593 to date
    Elected Annually on Ascension Day. Prior to the grant of the Royal Charter in 1604, the Company was governed by two Wardens: 1593 – 1603 James Dagger, Thomas Gurnell and Robert Ratcliff.

    1783 – Onesimus Ustonson
    1818 – John Ustonson

  2. Stefan Duma says:

    I believe it was, he also made darts, pipes and target boards.

  3. Paul Adams says:

    Thanks Steff, a font of knowledge as always, could I send you a PM and send a few photos of a couple of reels, I would appreciate your critique & expertise on them. my email you have on the submit form.
    Thanks Paul

  4. Stefan Duma says:

    Yes send them over and Iwill try and help.


  5. Dr. Todd Larson says:

    Thanks for doing the review in Classic Angling. I’ve been prompted to review the book myself here in America but to be honest, I didn’t have any idea where to begin. So the behemoth went on the shelf with a big “thud” and now it just stares at me. It was an admirable thing to undertake such a daunting task and I tip my cap to you, as I happened to agree with almost all of what you wrote.

    — Dr. Todd

  6. Though I haven’t read Graham’s new book, as a scientist and a reel collector I am very skeptical of the Ustonson multiplying reel with a manual line leveler from 1760. Has there been scientific authentication of the reel? My skepticism comes from the reel being too far out of its technological time line – with no apparently no attempts by other reel makers of the period to note or copy this highly advanced example. Something very atypical of markets of the period that sought to copy royal commissioned products such as this. Has there been any metallurgical analysis with comparison to reels from Uston shop of the same period (copper tin ratio and ore origins) to confirm similar brass suppliers, a micro-analysis and comparison of tooling marks, (hand driven laths make distinctive marks compared constant rotational speed power equipment) to other Ustonson and or a documented listing of this particular reel on a Royal inventory – which could support Grahams expert opinion? Without scientific support information, I certainly find this reel a little “too good to be authentic.”

  7. Karl White says:

    1-2-13 – Just caught your article on the Ustonson reel. Have some pictures I would like to share, re: first line guide and first reel. Some eMail address suggestions would be helpful. Thanks so much. Karl T. White, History of Fishing Museum,

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