James Heddon's Sons and Jack Welch Fishing Reels
James Heddon's Sons - Dowagiac, MI
James Heddon's Sons hired William Carter and Jack Welch to develop a line of quality
fishing reels to compete with the Meek reels. In 1917, they introduced their
first Carter-built reels. They were the No's 30, 35, 40 and 45. They were
available for only a couple of years. The No. 30 was the most costly and is very
rare. In 1920, the Heddon 3-15, 3-24 an 3-30 were introduced.
The top of the line variations of the 3-24 and 3-30 were the full jeweled tournament
(FJT) models with sapphire jeweled bearings.
Jack Welch's contribution to the Heddon line of bait casting reels was the
introduction of level-wind models. He received patents for the designs used
on the 3-25, 3-35, 4-15 and 4-18 reels.
The great windshield wiper design reels were sold in 1922 as a
No. 4-15 and in 1923 and 1924 as a No. 4-18. The last of the high quality reels
made by Heddon were the No. 3-35 (1922 - 1926) and the No. 3-25 (1926 - 1931).
After Jack Welch left the company in 1931, he hand made some reels with his own
name marked on them. All of these reels are considered highly collectable.
One of the most popular reels sold by Heddon was the Heddon "PAL" P-41. This
reel was designed by Walter Willman. Walter Willman was a famous tournament
caster and had many awards in competition. He received three patents for his reel and
assigned them to Heddon. His patents were granted in January 1, 1946, in November
28, 1950 and in December 18, 1951. This was a lightweight reel and it had a screw-off
ring on the head plate to allow easy access for lubricating it.
The HEDDON No. 35 Reel, circa 1918
The HEDDON No. 3-24 FJ Reel, circa 1920
The HEDDON No. 3-24 FJ Reel made for Schmelzers, circa 1920
The HEDDON No. 3-30 FJT Reel, circa 1920
The HEDDON No. 4-18 Reel, circa 1923
The Heddon No. 4-15 Reel, circa 1922
The JACK WELCH Reels, circa 1932
The JACK WELCH Bait Casting Reel, circa 1932
For any questions about antique fishing reels,
lures or tackle, please feel free to Email or Call me.
I always like to talk about old tackle.
Copyright © 1997 - 2016 Ronald W. Gast. All rights reserved.
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