The first Australian threadline to break away from ALTEX-HARDEX mould was the SPIN-MASTER. While in body shape the SPINMASTER bears a strong resemblance to the TORPEDO reel made by H.Milward & Sons in the UK, the Australian reel has a quite different bail arm and clutch drag arrangement. Its designer, John Holroyd, successfully patented the reel in 1950 after lodging the patent application three years earlier. The patent claimed that the reel offered an improved line-laying capability through the use of a cam-controlled level wind mechanism. Holroyd’s business, Holroyd Motors in Northcote, Victoria, had been co-opted during the war for defence work, although not a fisherman, he was persuaded by a friend after the war to make a copy of an overseas threadline reel. After some experimentation he decided to develop a completely different reel with an improved level wind.
The first model was made in 1950 from diecast aluminium using dies made at Holroyd Motors. Production is estimated at 1000 to 1500 reels. An unusual feature was the removable stem which in the event of breakage – not uncommon with diecast threadlines – could be replaced. The stainless steel bail arm was fully automatic and very positive, bear gear-driven rather than spring-operated. A second model was introduced in 1957 using polyamide nylon for the construction of the gear housing, flier and cover. This proved to be somewhat of a disaster as if the reel got wet the nylon would swell, causing the bearings to jam on the shaft. Only 500-600 of this model were made. Holroyd was considering reverting to the original aluminium alloy construction when the government lifted import restrictions, making the SPINMASTER no longer economic. No markings appear on either of the models.