63: Very Rare Francis A. Loomis Automatic Trout Reel
Widely accepted as the first commercially successful automatic fly reel, this invention of Francis A. Loomis of Onondaga, NY was granted patent number 235157 on December 7th, 1880 with an additional Canadian patent dated January 8th, 1881. This extraordinary condition first version reel pre-dates the subsequent patent amendment granted on July 5th, 1881 (RE9785), with one half assigned to J.S. Plumb from Syracuse, NY, who with Loomis formed the Loomis & Plumb Company. With 3 3/8" diameter hard rubber plates that show no defects, and a 1 1/8" wide spool, this is an exceptional reel with equally exceptional mechanics, having a good strong internal spring. This exact reel was originally sold at the April 15th, 2000 Lang's auction as part of the impressive Hoagy Carmichael side-mount reel collection, and now, as described then, is perhaps the most important of all automatic fly reels produced in the United States.