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Fly reels or Flugfiske
The first A.B.Urfabriken fly reels were
initially called Records and then later named as ABU reels after 1966.
Like all the other A.B.Ufabriken reels, most
originated from the Record name then progressed to the ABU name with further
identifying subtitles. Some were badge engineered from other manufacturers but
not in this case. All original design and engineering....what a shame to lose
the Cleopatra. With the fly reels, there were 3 types of Record produced
(Standard, Precision and Double) before the Delta series appeared in 1966
to 1979 and then finally the Diplomat series from 1977 to 1988. Others appeared
after this date but my expertise is sadly lacking here as I am primarily
interested in the Classic ABU reels.
was produced by ABU in the guise of both the ABU and Pebco (Model 5) branded
models. They were identical in performance and specifications, being
manufactured in Sweden from 1942 to 1965. Interestingly they were being sold new
at the end of their production run for less than when they were first released.
All had 100yard (90m) capacity backing line under the normal flyline. I cannot
find any specification as to weight line as we refer to today. One size fits all
obviously in the past. These reels came in 4 variations of colour over time,
starting with the the very rare Black, dark green frost, gray beige hammered
finish and finally the pretty turquoise hammer finished model. It was engineered
with a light and long lasting aluminium construction and the Record Fish logo
never appear on this Standard model.
(also marketed as a Pebco Model 6) was also co released in 1942 (but only ran
till 1955) to a different market segment. It cost 2.3 times as much as the
cheaper Standard model, however did boast some significantly better performance
features. This had a much lighter spinning spool and had chrome plated brass
construction, along with a centre-pin mounted adjustable braking system.
When the Precision ended its production
run, the Record Double
was released in 1956 until 1965. We saw it produce as a Double and a Record
Double over this time and featured both right and left hand retrieve along with
adjustable brake. A selectable clicker was available. I am still looking to
purchase these records.
series was introduced in 1966 and was produced until 1979. The innovative triangular
reels housing a conventional cylindrical spool were considered to be state of
the art due to the 3 point stripping system employed. There were two models
released, the Delta 3
and a more expensive
Delta 5 with adjustable brake. The Deltas both had left and right hand
silent retrieve, with ratchet operating on runs from the fish. They are AFTM
rated for #6, 7,8 wt lines. I am fortunate enough to have both of these in my
words of Len Borgstom....
I do not
know if i ever told you why the DELTA was made in that delta (triangular) shape?
If you are a fly fisherman, i am sure that you have experienced how the fly line
gets caught behind the reel when you shoot the line. By making the reel
triangular, this problem will be reduced. Ideally the reel should come as close
to the rod as possible.
Fond regards and Merry Christmas!
The Diplomat models quickly followed on from the
Delta series in 1977 but for a short time were co produced perhaps to wean
existing satisfied anglers off the older Deltas. Interestingly both models sols
at the same price at the end of their production run whereas as they had a 25 %
differential at the outset.
The Diplomats were initially produced as
the Diplomat 156
and the Diplomat
178 models from 1977 until 1988. Their unusual name carried the qudos of the
previously existing and very successful up-market range of fishing rods. They
had an open frame construction and due also to their aluminium construction were
very light. For the first time we see each model designated fro a specific line
weight. ie the Diplomat 156 was 5/6 wt while the Diplomat 178 was intended for
7/8 wt. Both could carry 50m of backing line. The spool and frame finish was
anodized with a dull black finish being introduced for the Diplomat 178.
I know nothing about later models. If you wish
to contribute then please feel free.
The biggest breaking
story that I have ever heard with respect to ABU's involvement with the design
and production of fly reels has to be the fantastic but never to see the light
of day, Cleopatra
reel, pictured below. I know of the existence of two models, one of which is in
Japan and one in Sweden. It was made as a prototype by a talented engineer at
Svangsta, probably in the 1970's as this was to be the reel to compete head to
head with finally lose the battle with the Delta series above which were finally
selected to go into production based on cost rather than performance. Was this
the first crack in ABU's armour, if a price point was chief determiner of
product line, rather than quality at any cost! Surely from the personal
experience of the two people I know, their comments on the large line capacity
and superb braking capability required for big game fish like Salmon, would have
had me lining up to buy one. Now with only 2 in existence and both in
collections, none of us will ever experience the potential of this apparently
superb reel. Look closely at these two pair of photos . They show the individual
differences (on both sides) of a reel that is not mass produced. Both however
sported a superb braking system. Some day I hope to find exactly and a detailed
analysis of why it never went into production.
If you have any others
listed above, (or indeed should the Cleopatra prototype ) that are
unneeded or doubles in your collection and are available for a reasonable
fee, I would be very pleased to hear from you. They would be given a good home
in my physical and virtual collection here.