Len Kirton, a flitter and turner from Clayfield, Brisbane. He was a competition angler and in 1938, he won practically every light gear competition conducted by the A.F.A that season in a bid to become the state champion. Len later moved to Southport where he made his reels in a small factory at the back of his house. He first patented a side-cast reel in 1938 called the ‘Decca’, only a few of these were produced. They came in two sizes, 4’’ and 4 ½’’ manufactured out of stainless steel with bakelite spools. The spools on the later reels were made out of Silky-oak. He didn’t go into producing reels in large quantities until after his second successful patent in 1957, this was a totally redesigned reel. They were then distributed through Hoffnunges Brisbane. He applied for and was granted six successful patents over the course of thirty years. Len also made a patent application (9751) in October 1927 for a detachable butt for a fishing rod.
How the Kirton Reel Operates
To Cast: Lift the guide lock to limit, turn into casting position, after casting return to fishing position and press guide lock into slot in bracket, Feature of this lock – NO SPRING- NOW WEAR. Lock is designed with Nylon Neutraliser & Spinning Roller.
Reel fitter with Nylon Neutraliser: Lift line on to neutraliser attached to guide and either fish with line straight from Drum or take and hold in fingers of right hand. Guide is short so fingers can be used as with “open side cast” with guide cut off. To neutralise line, make full turn of line around roller so on winding drum It revolves in opposite direction- that is anti-clockwise this will push twist to end of casting length and line end free. Take turn around rolled rewind on drum. Heavy line: Turn line around twice. If line has been reversed put through twice, Will not burn or fray line.
Brake: The brake is designed to operate full turn on and off and can be lightly or solidly adjusted to strength of line in use. Right hand thread. Adjust from front of reel beneath brake pad.
To Detach Drum: With coin or such, remove left hand screw from end of brake spindle at back of reel, unscrew knurled nut, press drum clear.
To Detach Baffle: Lift end of circlip with a slim coin, or such, and lift out carefully as it is of Spring Stainless Steel. Baffle will now come clear. Clean with Damprac of such. No oil or grease especially on spindle and nylon brush. Take care to clean before relacing. If fitted with bronze brush, use Marine Grease.
Brake: Consists of stainless disc and fibre pad and will run with-out attention. To inspect: Unscrew and lift off front plate.
To Assemble: Replace baffle which is mobile to suit Angler’s desire ion runs in groved turnover of back plate. Take circlip in both hands and placed rounded portion towards base of Reel & close ends inside of Baffle. Press into place. Replace drum pressing brake spindle through “D” in back nut. Replace knurled nut and left hand screw.
When fishing one becomes tired from weight of reel in down position, turn rod over to rings “UP” position and it will be found that it is balanced and very easy to operate reel- after a “relax” again fish rings down. Stainless steel is strong and tough, always use good tools to dismantle. Always use good swivels when fishing whatever reel is used. Always keep your gear in tip-top condition – it pays in fishing thrills and catches.