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  • 1955 Thumb Protector Reel

    Now this is not one of my fatherís reels. I found this picture on the web. However, this is exactly what they looked like. Pfluger rocket company, at least that is always what my father always called them, made this reel. I believe it was called a Penn Peerless...anyhow. The leather protectors on my father reels were forever wearing out. So, when they did he just got some shoe leather and fixed them right up! It seems that he used shoe leather for more than just fixing his reel protectors. He told me that he often used shoe leather in conjunction with the suspension system on cars. According to my father originally he added the leather to make the car ride smoother. However, in his case since he really did officially build cars so that they could haul more cases of illegal liquor for Big Al Capone, I can only assume the leather was added so that they could haul ďmore better,Ē and faster! At that point comfort wasnít the main objective!

    After they reel manufactures starting making reels without leather protectors. We had to start using these types. And believe me they did not last long!

    Back in the old days all of my father reels came equipped with a tooled leather square tab attached. When flipped up it covered the spool of the reel. This addition was supposed to keep a fisherman from burning up his thumb while trying to control a runaway fish. During this time era line and terminal gear never matched the fish. It was always over kill, because drag system werenít exactly used as intended. Another good reason was most fishermen didnít know what or how they were supposed to be used in the first place. In fact I remember when most reels had absolutely no drag system at all. So therefore when a large fish took hold of your hook in yester-years there was a sequence of events that quickly had to be put in place. The absolute first thing was the fact that you had to know the precise time to start this sequence. Let say back in 1955 you had a large fish on your reel, which didnít have a drag system. Believe me this was a normal thing especially back in those days. The first thing the fisherman would do is to open the bail switch/level, which a fishermen knew for sure if they didnít take this step their large running fish would break the line. After this and if the line didnít make the biggest Eagleís nest ever the fisherman was then suppose to flip up the leather square. At this time he was to take his thumb apply just enough pressure to semi control his hooked fish, prevent a back lash of great proportions, and have fun at the same time. As you can see fishing was a real task back in the old days!
    Thanks for reading! Captain Judy