Stuart and Allwood from Sydney, New South Wales were successful in patenting a reel in 1931. Between then and 1987, when they stopped producing reels , over a million Steelite’s were made , many of them exported to the U.K , New Zealand and Canada. They had a large range of models including light game, side-cast, fly and Nottingham reels. An article in the Brisbane Courier 3rd of March 1933, it describes Steelite sidecast reels.

“The new Bakelite casting reels now being introduced here will certainly claim the attention of many keen anglers and fishing enthusiasts. As casting reels are a most important accessory. As casting reels are a most important and have a curious fascination for anglers who are very particular in regard to them, anything new is of great interest. These new reels come from New South Wales and are the first of their kind ever offered here in Queensland. They have copied our models, and their object without a doubt is to compete against the Queensland reels. The principle feature with all Queensland reels is their durability and if this quality becomes evident on the Bakelite reels they will probably be popular with the anglers. It is strange but true, that our syle states, and that most reels used in other states are seldom seen here. The new reels are made by stamping-out process, which is so efficient that the makers state they could produce within a week, enough to supply all of Queensland. However, they are not really made from Bakelite, but from a compound substance named casein, produced from milk and pressed into Bakelite form. It is in their favour that they will not swell or buckle when in use and being nicely finished and polished in brown and black look a perfect article. For the angles choice they are presented in four different models, the small plain and the large plain, also a small and large type with the drag or applied pressure gauge. All are equipped with a ratchet. To cast with they will compare with most reels. The movement for casting is done by pressing down the line guide, which is simple and effective. The one vital fault with them lies in the frail spring with which the guide operates in the movement of the drum for casting, but this could be overcome by having a stronger one inserted in its place. The small reels should be most suitable for estuary fishing, as they appear ideal for light lines, while the larger types should be very favourable for bay and surf fishing as they are capable of holding all gauges in gut lines.”

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