Do you shop on eBay for fly fishing gear? What about Craigslist? Me personally, I hit them both. The problem is that sometimes, especially with eBay, you get something that isn't quite what you were hoping for. Recently, I began dabbling in the vintage click and pawl arena. My first reel was a Cortland clicker and I loved it. The sound that a clicker makes as a fish takes line can make my heart skip a beat. Now that I am a (vintage) glass hound, I have started to try and acquire some click and pawl reels to go with my vintage glass rods. This means that I spend a good deal of time, and sometimes money, on items on eBay or Craigslist. A lot like fiberglass fly rods did, click and pawl reels seem to be making a comeback. There is a lot of talk about them on several fan pages I follow on Facebook and recently they got their own fan page there as well. In fact I believe the hashtag #clickordie is now in use. Some have even suggested that this be the year of the click and pawl.
I recently discovered a Bronson Royal 360 that was in a lot of fishing reels on eBay. This reel was recommended by a friend and the listing was shared on a few fan pages on Facebook. I was particularly interested in this reel since I also own the Bronson Royalist 370. I like the lime green color of this reel a lot. So, I examined the photos of the reel, and it seemed to be in great condition for its age (these reels were manufactured from the 50s until 1970 I believe). I asked the seller to please send me some more photos. I specifically asked for photos of the inside and the back of the reel. What I got was a few photos of the back of the reel and some taken from the top of the reel on its side in an effort to show the "inside" of it. Despite not really getting what I asked for, I bid on the reel. Shame on me. I gambled and lost. Why did I lose... you ask? Well, I got the reel the other day in the mail. It really is beautiful on the outside and has maintained its lime green color through the ages. However, this vintage click and pawl no longer clicks. I have tried everything to no avail. An examination of the metal teeth revealed that they are worn down. I think in order for this guy to click again he will need another spool. I have already begun searching eBay in an effort to find that spare spool. I know its going to take some time and I am OK with that. Much like the vintage fiberglass fly rods, I enjoy the hunt. Next time though, I will ask for more detailed photos from the seller... lesson learned. Moral of the story is... make sure you ask questions and if you don't get the answer you want, either ask again or don't buy it.