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Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps?


Pflueger Medalist Reels - A History



By Richard Komar
(Originally published on Tim Mullican's Fly Reels Online)


1929-1936

The 1931 catalog listed the "MEDALIST." The reel appears to be the one C.T. Pflueger applied for a patent on Oct. 27, 1928 and was granted on Sept. 9, 1930 as Patent Number D81995.

1930s-40s era Pflueger Medalists

    - "Trademark, Pflueger Medalist, Made in USA" on spool latch cover

    - Model #, "Patented" stamped on the reel body below the foot
    - Bronze spindle
    - Round metal Diamolite line guard
    - 6 rivets around spool latch cover
    - Amber colored plastic handle
    - Aluminum spool latch cover
    - Knurled metal drag knob
    - Sculpted cross pillars, riveted to body

In 1931, the models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard: 1492, 1494, and 1496
    Right Hand Wind/ No Line Guard: 1392, 1394, and 1396
    Left Hand Wind/Round Line Guard: 1592, 1594, and 1596

1937

The 1396, 1592 and 1596 were dropped. The reels included the change to a spool arbor, which could be weighted. That was patent number 2,018,468, granted Oct. 22, 1935.

The models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard: 1492, 1494, and 1496
    Right Hand Wind/No Guard: 1392, 1394
    Left Hand Wind/Round Line Guard: 1594

1938

This year, the Medalist underwent a few more changes. The main one was the adjustable drag under Patent number 2,059,763. The dual click patent was awarded patent number 2,059,765.

The models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind /Round Line Guard/Adjustable Drag: 1494, 1495, and 1496
    Right Hand Wind/No Guard/No Drag: 1392, 1394
    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/No Drag: 1492
    Left Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/No Drag: 1594

1939

The Medalist line gained a wide frame model, the 1495 . The models were 1" wide versus the standard 13/16" wide models.

The models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , 1496
    Right Hand Wind/No Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1392, 1394
    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492
    Left Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1594

1940 - 1949

The 1496 1/2 and 1494 1/2 were offered. The 1496 was dropped.

The models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , 1496, and 1496 1/2
    Right Hand Wind/No Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1392, 1394
    Right Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492
    Left Hand Wind/Round Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1594

1952

1950s era Pflueger Medalists
    - "Trademark, Pflueger Medalist, Made in USA" on spool latch cover
    - Model #, "Patented" stamped on the reel body below the foot*
    - Steel spindle
    - Rectangular metal Diamolite line guard
    - 6 rivets around spool latch cover
    - Ivory colored plastic handle
    - Ivory plastic spool latch cover
    - Ivory plastic drag knob
    - Straight cross pillars, screwed to frame, except 1492

*1959, "Made in Akron O USA" was stamped on the reel body below the foot.

The reel foot is now tapered rather than having straight sides.

The models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , 1496, and 1496 1/2
    Right Hand Wind/No Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1392, 1394
    Right Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492
    Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1594

1958

The 1498 is added. The 1496 ., 1496, 1392 and 1394 are discontinued.

The models were as follows:

    Right Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , 1498
    Right Hand Wind/Square Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492
    Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1594
    Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1595

1959

The 1594 and 1595 were discontinued with the availability of a left-hand conversion ratchet, part number 3933. This was supposed to fit any Medalists except for the 1492, which was a click drag.

The reel body now has the stamp, "Made in Akron O USA," versus just "Patented."

The models were as follows:

    Right or Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , 1498
    Right Hand Wind/Square Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492

1961-62

1960s era (pre-1966) Pflueger Medalists

    - "Pflueger Medalist, Made in USA" on spool latch cover (no trademark stamp)*
    - Model #, "Made in Akron O USA" stamped on the reel body below the foot
    - Rectangular metal Diamolite line guard
    - 3 rivets around spool latch cover
    - Ivory colored plastic handle
    - Ivory colored plastic spool latch cover
    - Ivory colored plastic drag knob
    - Straight cross pillars, screwed to frame, except 1492

* 1964

    The models were as follows:

    Right or Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , 1498
    Right Hand/Square Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492

1963

Another change in the ratchet occurred; it was made so it could be flipped over and used for right or left hand wind.

The models were as follows:

    Right or Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1495, 1495 , and 1498
    Right Hand/Square Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492

1966

The Enterprise Manufacturing Company officially changed its name to Pflueger. Shakespeare Tackle Company acquired Pflueger and manufactured the reels in Akron, Ohio, from 1966-69. The letters DA were added after the model numbers.

1970

Pflueger made the Madison Model 4/5, 6/7, 8, and 9 fly reel under the Orvis label. Medalists were now made in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

1972

The Pflueger name, model# DA, Made in USA was now on the frame. The 1" wide 1494 joins the line up.

The models were as follows:

    Right or Left Hand Wind/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1494 , 1495, 1495 , and 1498
    Right Hand/Square Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492

1973-74

The 1" wide model 1492 joins the line up.

The models were as follows:

    Right or Left Hand/Rectangular Line Guard/Adjustable Drag/Dual Click: 1494, 1494 , 1495, 1495 , and 1498
    Right Hand/Square Line Guard/No Drag/Dual Click: 1492, 1492 1/2

1979

Production moved overseas to China, Japan and Hong Kong, Shakespeare Medalists had the reel foot assembly crimped and the contours of the foot were coarser and less refined. The letters CJ (Japan) and AK (Hong Kong, China) appeared after the model numbers. The reel foot had the words Japan, China or Hong Kong inscribed in it. The words "Pflueger Medalist" and/or "Shakespeare" appeared on the spool latch cover.

1990s

W. S. Franke Custom Fishing Rods, North Conway, NH, introduced the 1-Pfoot reel foot replacement for older Medalist reel feet with screws which allowed for use on more modern rods. Uses 4 screws for attachment. Reels with riveted feet could accept the 1-Pfoot if the rivets lined up with the holes on the 1-Pfoot and the rivets were removed to accept the screws. After the 1-Pfoot was discontinued, Shakespeare introduced a Chinese reel foot replacement. Current models include the 1492, 1492 1/2, 1494, 1494 1/2, 1495, 1495 1/2 and the 1498, but also include the 1500's with "Rim-Control."

References:

    1) Various internet bulletin postings
    2) Shakespeare Company Website
    3) Antique Fly Reels by DB Homel
    4) Classic and Antique Fly-Fishing Tackle - A Guide for Collectors & Anglers by AJ Campbell
    5) Orvis vintage catalogs
    6) John Minnerath Pflueger data spreadsheet
    ~ Richard Komar

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