New Zealand Fishing Reels

‘Sea Witch’ Reel

Article from New Zealand Outdoor magazine December 1956:

“Sea anglers will be interested to learn that something new in fishing reel design and versatility is being offered in the ‘Sea Witch’, a reel designed and made in Auckland expressly to N.Z. conditions.

Demonstration supplies were not available at the time of writing, but the distributors, Sportex Co. to anglers during late December. According to scriptive literature this reel works somewhat on the malloch or side-cast disadvantages of these reels. Made for extra-long casting distances, the spool is pivoted at right angles to the rod for casting, and then turned into cranking position for the recovering of the line. The large 5 ½ inch spool lessens line twist, but should occur it is simply a matter of snapping off the spool and reversing it. Ruggedly constructed of chrome-plated brass throughout, with the exception of the spool which is of salt-water resistant spun aluminium, this reel has generous bearing surfaces which should stand up to many years of constant wear. The easy adjusted and powerful drag clutch makes playing a fish easier, and gives maximum protection against tackle breakages when handling large fish. Line capacity is ample, the spool holding 250yards of 27lb. nylon. Price is £8/10/0, which is exceptionally good value for a reel containing so many outstanding features.”

To date, only one of these reels have surfaced.

Admiral Fishing Reels Florida 88

Admiral Fishing Reels were a division of Sportex co. (NZ) Ltd. Auckland New Zealand.

The model I have come across is a Florida 88. The description of the reel found in the instruction manual is as flows : “Your choice of an Admiral “Florida” reel is a wise one, which will give you years of fun and fine fishing. Show it to your friends too so they can be a “winner”.  With our exploded diagram and instructions and specifications , you will quickly become familiar with “the works” and we are certain your will murmur approvingly as you meet the many built-in quality features of your reel and the smooth way it operates. Time spent in servicing will repay you well – have done all that modern engineering can to make a precision, robust reel, equal to fighting fish, and at a startling value that is priced for “the man in the street”.

Florida Game Fishing Reels

These appear to be a New Zealand copy of the Australian L.T Willis Neptuna Reel. Because of the name Florida, they were possibly made by the Admiral Reel Company, Auckland. They came in two sizes 9.0 and a 10.0.

Atlas Mermaid Fishing Reel –

Information is scarce on these reels. Appear to be made by Atlas, Auckland New Zealand. They are a geared multiplying reel made from a composite fibrous material with brass fittings.