Graeme

Ken Bennett of Bennett Engineering marketed Graeme Reels. Ken was a qualified tool maker and keen angler and was supervisor with Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation before starting his own business in Sydney, 1946. The reel Graeme Senior, an optional star drag was added in 1949, in 1952 the senior became the supreme. The Dolphin was first introduced in 1954 as a heavy duty light Graeme reel. In 1957, he made a Surf-Master look-alike which he branded the ‘Sports Master’ which was Sporting Goods Wholesalers Grimelys whose own house brand was Sports Master, immediately ordered 500. He successfully took out a patent in 1954 for the Graeme Supreme with an anti-backlash dial regulator. Bennett also made a small number of big game fishing reels some with optional level wind. In 1959 he produced a Florida Wonder Cast close-faced Reel. This reel was lighter but otherwise almost identical to the Shakespeare 1775. There wasn’t many produced.

A letter written by Ken Bennett in January 1982 to Mr John Daniels is as follows:

“Dear Sir,

I have read with interest your letter and in reply enclose some pamphlets which may interest you. I would appreciate the return of these pamphlets so that they may ne replaced into a much-valued scrapbook.

I, Ken Bennett, was the designer and manufacturer of these products.

The first reel produced was the Graeme Senior 200 yd. capacity No. 50 nylon free spool level wind n 1945.

Our next reels were the A models 200A and 300A with moving level wind carriage on casting out. Then came the improved A tuples with stationary level wind on casting out, Star Drag Anti-backlash free spool. At that time this was the only reel in the world that combined al of these features. It was and still would be the only reel manufactured in Australia with a level wind. Nobody has ever produced a level wind reel in this country.

Then Came the Dolphin 400A and 500A Star Drag models. Then the improved Dolphin 400S and 500S with a tongue on the handle instead of a star. In playing the fish you moved the winding handle backwards or forwards. This set the desired drag.

We also made the Florida push button bait caster. We made Takapart reels from aluminium tubing 350- and 450-line capacity with or without star drag.

We also made a small level wind reel called the Graeme Junior, 200 yards – 61 lbs.

Then we were the first to make the metal spinners illustrated.

We also made a sportsmate reel exclusively for Grimley Limited of Broadway, Sydney.

Manufacture ceased shortly after import restrictions were lifted in the 60’s. We could not compete with the prices of imported reels. Also, people preferred to buy imported goods and no longer wanted to purchase locally manufactured products.

As mentioned, enclosed are 8 assorted pamphlets. We still have the printing blocks if you require them.

Thank for your interest.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Bennett

BENNETT ENGINEERING PTY. LTD.”

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