Ron Dorman introduced the Woodside in 1950 under R.V. Dorman and Co., manufacturing engineers of Mentone, Victoria and was produced from 1950 to 1951 with 200 reels being manufactured. R.V. Dorman also made Super Duper Lures for J.M. Gillies Pty. Ltd. Melbourne. The Woodside was produced to show that Australian reel makers could design or produce reels of considerably originality. Like many others, Ron took up surf fishing after the war. The Woodside was named after his favourite fishing spot, Woodside, a small town at the western end of the Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland, Victoria. He found that the few imported multiplying reels available at the time suffered from two main faults. The spools were heavy and prone to overrun and the ‘birds nest’ often caused line to get caught between the spool and the end plates. Dorman set out to design a reel which eliminated both of these faults.
The Woodside, featured a spool made of light aluminium alloy which lipped over the single side plate, making it impossible for line to get caught behind the spool. It also included a clutch drag operated from a knurled thumb wheel on the endplate, as well as a free spool lever. The spool ran on two ball bearings mounted on a stationary spindle. Spool overrun was controlled by adjusting the viscosity of the oil in the ball bearings which was applied through the end of the main spindle. The reel had a unique side- mounted reel seat. The side mounting was designed for the adjustable winch clamps commonly used on homemade rangoon cane rods. The reels appeal to anglers was limited as it could not be easily used with factory-made rods with pre-fitted winch fittings.
An advertisement in the Australian Shooters and Anglers News magazine, March 1950 states:
‘This is a novelty, Australian design and Australian make, with bearings on one side only. The makers, R.V. Dorman and Co., claim that their design of bearings make for easy long casting without back lash. It is a free spool reel with line capacity of 250 yards of 9 therad cutty-Hunk, and is on the market in Melbourne at £7/19/-. Production has only just started, but the makers expect to be supplying all states within a month.’