Harradine shark fishing reels

Robert Harradine of Sir Thomas Mitchell Road, Bondi, New South Wales, was an engineer who specialised in turning. He applied for a patent in Australia and the United States for a fishing reel in 1920 and was granted in September 1921. In the patent application he describes ‘A more specific improvement by way of an additional brake whereby regulation of resistance to the run out of the line may be easily and quickly effected without disturbing the then adjustment of the friction clutch so that the playing of a fish is facilitated. My invention consists in a fishing reel having a brake ring rotated with the winding drum, by means of a ratchet wheel and pawl when the drum is rotating in a direction to pay out the line but free to remain stationary when the drum is rotated to wind up the line, and cooperating with said brake ring, a brake actuated by a lever pivoted in the cheek plate which carries the spindle on which the drum revolves.’ Early in 1922, he started trading as ‘Harradine and Wood’. This partnership was dissolved and all the machinery and tools were sold by auction in February 1925. On the early single action reels, the foot was at a slight angle. In the patent drawings, the milled head tension screw has been moved closer to the top of the reel for easier access. Aubery Sara’s description of the reel he used, which he designed, is almost identical to the description given in the Cairns Post February 1922:

The reel has a barrel capable of holding 500 to 600 yards of cutty-hunk, and is about seven inches in outside diameter. Fitted with releases, side-screws to apply pressure, and two handles, it resembles the Vom Hope reel, but is a superior article of exquisite workmanship, its cost alone is about £15, and it is worth the money. Those who know nothing of big-game fishing will be likely to say “that is a heap of money to pay for a fishing reel” but reels somewhat similar in appearance cost £20 in America.

This article appeared in the Evening News on the 6th of December 1923:

Shark Fisherman Give Their View

Sir- We Bondi fishermen whose names appear below feel that we must ridicule the remarks of the Bondi Vigilantes about shark fishing. They seem the have very little to talk about if they object to shark fishing. Let us first remind these people of the Coo-gee disaster. When the first man was taken a reward was offered for all sharks taken at Coogee. Why cannot they leave the fisherman at Bondi alone if we are clearing the beach of sharks? We do it solely for sport and if we are doing good, why worry us?


Bondi Shark Fishermen December 1923

Another Bondi Shark Fishermen P.E Cornish mentions in the Outdoor and Fishing June 1953 edition: During 1927-28, many Sunday paper issues had articles on the Bondi Shark fishermen and these may still be read in the newspaper files. Newspaper men often came to the beach and took flashlight photos of the fishing. Mr. Lance Walsh was one of the outstanding fisherman in those days, and he at one time received a letter from America. The letter stated that the writer had read newspaper articles on the shark fishing and were amazed that such a fish could be hooked, played and landed on open beaches. The American said that one day he intended to visit Australia and have a go at the sharks. The letter was signed “Zane Grey”. It was just a latter from a fisherman and we took little notice of it. (Zane Grey later on came and fished Australian waters).

He moved to the N.S.W south coast and he built Clermont Guest House at lakes entrance Shell Harbour. The description of the Guest House, appeared in the Illawarra Mercury Wollongong on December 27th, 1929.  “The big advancement that is taking place in this centre in regard to entering for tourists, was illustrated by the opening on Saturday night of “Clermont House” at Lake Illawarra South. This magnificent Guest House, which has been opened by My Harradine, contains a very spacious dining room, lounge rooms, and billiard room, with a beautiful full-sized table. IN addition, there are so far over forty bedrooms opened and in use. The lighting system us connection with the premises, the electric light being supplied by a power plant connected with the dwelling. The electrical installations were carried out by Mr Longstaff.”