It's true, I not only collect vintage fly rods but I am also now collecting vintage reels. If we can, let's keep that a secret between you and I please. Melissa doesn't need to know about another thing I am collecting. I've been keeping a list of reels I would like to add to my collection on my phone in the Notes. Getting old stinks and this helps aid in my recollection of what I would like.
Recently, I was able to score a Berkley 520 Deluxe Single Action reel. The Berkley 510 was on my list but this particular one caught my eye. This reel was made with parts from Japan but assembled in the United States. I was watching this item for a while on eBay. It first went on sale at 25% off. Within a week it was half off and I immediately hit the Buy It Now button. The reel appeared to have been never used or at the very least lightly used. It came with the original box and paperwork. For less than $18 I felt as though I could not pass it up.
Upon receiving it, it certainly lived up to my expectations. The box is beaten up, which I knew going into the purchase. The outside of the box contains a price tag that reads Gibson's $5.97. I, naturally, googled the name and learned that Gibson's was a department chain store company that seemed to be throughout the Midwest during the 60's, 70's and into the 80's. I believe this reel dates around the late 60's or early 70's. Disappointingly, I could not locate any year of manufacture or year of copyright on the box. Inside the box, I found four different pieces of paperwork. They are as follows: Reel Parts Catalog, Fishing Tips, a Berkley guarantee, and Tying Knots with Trilene. All of these are in really good condition without any torn or missing pages.
The reel looks like it just left the factory. The decal is bright and clean on the back of the reel proudly showing the Berkley name in the red heart and the model number, 520. A turn of the reel produced that fantastic click sound we all know and love. Well, some of us anyways. It has very little surface wear on it.
I am very pleased with this purchase which isn't what always happens. While I am a collector of sorts, I also believe in still using these items. I am hoping to pair this reel with one of my vintage 5wt rods such as a Cortland Pro Crest or Cortland FR-2000 that I use on a regular basis. I will, as always, be keeping my eye out for more deals like this one.