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Tuesday, 30 September 2008 20:16

The Bamboo Ratchet Brake Reel

THE BAMBOO RATCHET BRAKE REEL

Hand crafted angling gifts from Anglers Gifts

Hi my name is Steve Sheppard, an individual artist/craftsman. I have a keen interest in anglings rich history. The innovation and creativity that went into tackle development all those centuries ago that has evolved into the kit we know and take for granted today.

Around 1750/1770 in England, records began of the Nottingham centre pin reel, one of the first reels to be mass-produced. They were eventually made in large quantities and shipped all over the world. Nottingham’s turn up in auctions and fairs today.

The Bamboo Ratchet Brake Reel superbly hand crafted by Steve SheppardThe Nottingham was a free running reel at that time but individual craftsmen seeing an opportunity as angling slowly evolved into a sport particularly with the upper classes began to look at more sophisticated designs. Materials were limited, machine screws and high tensile springs were yet to be invented however journeymen and skilled craftsmen plied their trades up and down the country. Materials were sourced from basket weavers, leather workers, wheelwrights and cabinetmakers, so specialist items so were available in small quantities.

The Royal Navy was sailing and opening trade routes all over the free world, so more exotic timbers including mahogany, rosewood and bamboo would have been about in small quantities and the craftsmen were quick to utilise whatever they could. It is well documented that individual reels were produced using exotic timbers and innovative ideas but they were individual, not mass-produced and because of that their details are sparse and as they have been discarded or lost with the passing of centuries we can now only imagine their intricacies. These reels would have been multi purpose for coarse and game as the concept of individual reels for specific purposes had not at that time become the fashion.

I have created a reel reflecting that long past era, a reel that uses no springs or screws, using traditional craftsman practices and is a celebration of the reel makers art, a tribute to those long past craftsman. The ratchet brake works by means of a reed of spliced bamboo using a peg and lever system. This idea was used in ancient lace machinery that was popular in Nottingham around the time.

I realise there are thousands of reels on the market, so why would anyone wish to own one of mine? The reels I produce are unique, no two are exactly the same, the disciplines used turning the drums and back plates are different each time to bring out the best in grain and figuring and dependent on the timber used, a little heart and soul goes into each one.

I have a Website at www.anglersgifts.co.uk. Please check it out and read the independent testimonials at the link on the bottom of my home page. If what I have presented interests you, please don’t hesitate to contact me by e-mail or phone number that are found on the Website for a no obligation discussion on your requirements. I am sure you have questions and I cannot explain everything in this brief summary. Thanks for your time; I look forward to hearing from you.

Steve Sheppard: steve@anglersgifts.co.uk

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Published in Various
Saturday, 27 September 2008 13:00

Piscatorial Companion

A PISCATORIAL COMPANION - By Steve Sheppard

Source: Steve Sheppard at Anglers Gifts

Now you may think from my title a friend to go fishing with well you are wrong. This is a story going back to a time when men were men, adventure, danger, excitement, was the watch word of the day for the young aristocratic gentleman bent on experiencing all life has to offer. There were many wild untamed parts in the British Isles in those days none more so than the remote lochs and little known streams of Bonnie Scotland.

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