Enjoy linked from here, possibly one of the more complete collections of A.B.Urfabriken fishing equipment in Australia, and hopefully in time, one of the premier collections in the world.
All are unique or special to my collection in some way, but the long enduring Ambassadeur ABU tennant of Precision has applied now for over 60 years.
The reels comprise both outsourced items, prototypes as well as normal "in-house" factory produced items from the early 1940's to the classic 1980's period when ABU went offshore to Asian creation for varying amounts of production.
This was the case for all lure production and incidentally also was the time when many considered these lures not worthy of collection. I can vouch for the fact that they fished just as well and in some cases , great innovations were made but still the the mystique of Swedish craftsmen making the items on the banks of the Morrum River at Svangsta was lost.
Examples of the of the post 80's Swedish production targeted at Japanese buyers were the Morrum casting and Suvaren spinning series of reels well as some beautifully finished and responsive carbon/graphite rods.
It has been a labor of love to accumulate this collection over 45+ years, starting very modestly with just lures, eventually leading to my very definitive and wide ranging room full of ABU items grouped and classified and shared via my website. ABU themselves started their Museum in the late 70's at Svangsta Sweden, with Henning Karlsson's tireless efforts to merge machinery, rods, reels and lures into a living history in the first old ABU factory building. I wish I had this amount of space , instead of my single spare room in my house. My collection here shows my passion for, and dedication to displaying and documenting for future generations in a more domestic space.
I have now placed clickable thumbnails of my 50 + favorite Ambassadeur casting reels or groups of reels throughout this page.
Here you will see boxed reels, numerous commemoratives, prototypes and bare reels from the Record and ABU as well as later ABU Garcia marques.
Maybe when time permits, I may be able to place a smaller selection of my favorite Spinning and other style reels from the Record, ABU and ABU Garcia eras.
I am most frequently e-mailed about ABU reel values. I am a collector and so do not set myself up as an expert in valuations. This is not so important to me as I never sell reels. I guess it is important if I have a double to trade/swap in order to effect a fair deal for both parties. I can certainly advise what I have paid and what I seen reels change hands for in the past. Prices vary over time, which i have found generally to be increasing over the last decade, though I am reliably informed that prices were higher 2 decades ago. Obviously we must compare apples with apples, and items need to be similarly matched , whether bare reels in good/excellent condition or Mint in a box with all accessories.
Some collectors will look only at pristine MIB items, like these above, whereas my view is that some items are only ever seen in lesser condition or one may not be able to afford to collect items which command the highest prices. I personally will always see value in collecting an item in what ever condition if it is rare and generally unavailable. Who would not want an an extremely rare ABU tournament cater combo rod and reel, quite possibly used by a world champion, as i believe only 40 of these were ever created by the ABU factory specifically for Swedish Tournament casters like Ake Dahlberg? One day, I may find one and add it to my collection.
As to a more exact valuation of this collection, I need to create some perspective here. Obviously Post Offices around the world are very happy with my large sums expended on 2500 items and perhaps 700 discrete parcels traversing the world over the years. Generally items such as they have to be scoured from overseas, and Australia whilst an early adopter of selling ABU from the 40's, still is at the end of the world!
In the case of very complete collections, the whole can be seen as being worth more than the sum of its parts, without even taking into account postage costs, because of the discipline involved in sourcing, amassing, collating and displaying (physically in cabinets and virtually on the website) Some items could be conservatively valued at 4 figures. My most expensive purchase was A$1800 for a Mint In Box, very complete original 1963 Ambassadeur 5000 Delux, my rarest boxed Record 2000 with Yellow spacers was heavily subsidized and still others like the ABU/Garcia Admirals were a miracle to acquire and no idea of value is set. Some items were gifted to me by friends like Lennart Borgstrom and Uffe Edefur, both who havr helped immeasurably with my collecting, as well as family members of deceased serious collectors who were very greatful to see their treasured ABU items go to a good home and be shared on this website. At the other end of the scale many lures may be just A$5.00, although one cost over $300 . Some are prototypes and being quite unique really are without value. ABU collecting has something for everyone! Choose your area of interest, match it with your budget and you're away!
Please write if help needed.
This collection would encompass 2500 + items , grouped broadly into 10 or so major categories, ranging from bulky or long items to minute spare parts. In sheer numerical terms, there are:
1500 + ABU Lures ( MinB, MonC, prototypes, used and my own unique 24 kt gilded collection of metal lures)
360 + ABU reels (of all nine types) 150+ Ambassaeurs, 60+ Spinning, 30+ Records, Abumatic 30+, 500 Series 10, Fly 10, IGFA 7, Pimpel 5, Mooching 2, 10 other Swedish reels from Companies put to the sword by ABU, as well as the classic Ambassadeur copy reel from Japan.
100 + Catalogs (N&N 1948 to 2013) All , English Tight Lines (missing 1956, 57, 61) and 9 foreign language Catalogs (still missing a sample of French, Spanish, Czech, Russian and Polish)
100 + Miscellaneous Items (jewelery, pins, awards, cloth badges,, Trophies, crockery, clothing, Record and ABU scales, Record whetstone
100 + Rods (steel,
split-cane, solid-fibre glass, hollow glass, carbon fibre ) Missing
is any Boron rod. Possibly 50 + rod bags and even a plastic rod
15 + dedicated ABU books
10+ ABU posters
All 9 assorted gaffs and 3 landing nets
Many, perhaps 1000 + spare
parts numbered from # 100 to # 12 000 and happy to offer
those in need of a rare spare!
A Mudmap of my ABU room
Everything is contained in just a 12 sq metre room , utilizing more than 30 sq metres of wall area , or rather should I say about 27 cubic metres. As more items are acquired and need to be accomodated, the layout is adapted to suit. The ceiling is utilized for rods and a suspended fishing net is used to hold empty reel boxes. The topmost section of all 4 walls is used as a frieze to display front covers of all my ABU Napp och Nytt catalogs from 1952 up to current 2010 issue with room for the upcoming decade. After 2020, I'm in trouble! The English Tight Lines catalogs are stored in a conventional easy to access book shelf as they are constantly used to source answers to questions fielded by e-mail queries from around the world. Starting from the mirrored cupboard (which sport large posters), as one enters the room, we see the spinning reel collection atop the workbench and spare parts drawers. On the other side of the doorway, we see the 6 shelf acrylic trapezoidal CDL cupboard. Immediately left, we see the fly reel collection and carded flys in an acrylic case. Moving further left, we see a low 2 pac painted cupboard with 3 large drawers holding boxed individual lures, boxed Must Set multiple lure boxes and with the lowest holding a variety of accessories such as spare spools, badges and doubles to my collection. Above this we have the ABU travelling salesman's Pimpel Case and the acrylic case containing Record reels and the 500 series reels. Next left is a large timber cabinet which houses on lower level, the Tight Lines catalogs, ABU books and schematic collection; the second level the Abumatic reels and topmost level, the IGFA Game reels. Atop this I have 7 different combos set up, ranging from Record Pimple, Record Steel cost and casting reel, Record Ambassadeur 5000 and baitcasting rod, Abumatic and speedlock rod, Sueica rod and 501, Cardinal 3 and spinning rod and lastly the Delta 5 Fly reel and matching rod. The arguably most beautiful reel, the $3000 + Ambassadeur 5500 CDL BASS is beyond my means. Like wise magnificent Simon Shimomura replicas commanding huge sums in the 4 figure range have not been collected, except for one, a magnificent MIB gun metal grey and gold 6500C model gifted to me by Gary Oswald. I decided to go original rather than a re-construction for my biggest acquisition.
With such a diverse collection, costing over A$50 000 in the last decade, it could be worth twice this amount given the time to collect and cost to display, not to mention inflation and difficulty of finding and replacing such items or the desire to own, by a well-heeled corporate or private identity with a similar ABU passion. Providence or evidence of significant prior ownership, affects the worth of an item such as my two pocket knives owned by owners Gote Borgstom and his son Lennart Borgstrom. Similarly prototype items with the same ownership are beyond value. However , this is only academic as I intend to hold this growing collection for posterity and have no intention of selling. Hopefully when I fall off the perch (in a long time) , my youngest son Declan and my first grandchild Jackson will continue with this collection. If this was to ever change due to illness, hard times , notification will be here rather than well known auction sites.
ABU collecting is the most wonderful of hobbies, but be warned, balance, tolerance and patience are needed in full measure, in order for it to avoid it becoming an obsession to the point of it becoming larger than life itself! When fishing is forgotten or avoided, in preference to organizing one's collection, this must be taken as an indicator of a collecting addiction and a collector needing help.
I will happily assist anyone who feels the need to get back to their fishing and in the process divest themselves of their ABU! ;<)