Geo. G. W. Gayle & Son Kentucky Fishing Reels

Geo W Gayle reels


Geo. W. Gayle Reels

Geo. W. Gayle & Son - Frankfort, KY

Geo. W. Gayle reels were made from about 1883 to his death in 1896. He was a silversmith and watchmaker by trade. Son Clarence made them after his death. The 1850 Frankfort, KY US Census shows George worked for Benjamin F. Meek as an apprentice. George later went into partnership with his son, Clarence, in 1883 and that is when they made their first reels. These first reels were solid brass. George and Clarence went to work for one of the major reel manufacturers in Brooklyn, NY in 1886 and 1887. When they returned to Frankfort in 1887, the first reels they made for sale were German silver with hard rubber end plates. The use of hard rubber for reel end plates was learned from George's and Clarence's reel making experience in Brooklyn, NY.

Geo. W. Gayle, the reel maker, was the impetus behind he and his son to start making reels. Clarence Gayle eventually became the main person involved in making the Gayle reels found today. His reels can be found made of solid German silver and of aluminum alloy. The "Standard" Gayle reel has a flanged head plate that looks like a man's top hat. The "Frankfort Reel" style Gayle reels are the most ornate and heavily knurled reels. They are of the highest quality. The reels can be found marked G.W. Gayle as well as Geo. W. Gayle. In the late 1890's, Gayle also made a reels for the famous tackle business "The Wilkinson Co." of Chicago called the "Clark Model." George died in 1896 and Clarence took over the business.

Later Gayle History - Clarence continued to make reels after his father's death up until the 1940’s. Clarence started marking his reels “HAND MADE” in about 1930. The last reels were marked “HAND MADE” and the maker’s name “CGayle” in script. Clarence did make some reels using B.C. Milam & Sons parts he had acquired when that company dissolved in 1928. Typically, these reels have Milam marked head plates with Gayle handles and Gayle style knurling. Clarence died in 1948.



Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE Reels


Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE "Standard" Style Reels


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GEO.W. GAYLE & SON NO. 1 Reel, circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE NO. 3 German Silver and Hard Rubber Reel, circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE NO. 3 German Silver and Hard Rubber Reel, circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The G.W. GAYLE & SON NO. 3 German Silver Jeweled Reel, circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE NO. 3 "Frankfort Reel" Handle Variations, circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GEO.W. GAYLE & SON NO. 4 "Frankfort Reel", circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The G.W. GAYLE & SON Fly Reel, circa 1935


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GEO.W. GAYLE & SON 2:1 Multiplying Aluminum Fly Reel, circa 1930


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE "INTRINSIC" Kentucky Reel, circa 1915


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE "INTRINSIC" Standard Reel, circa 1915


Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE "INTRINSIC" Reel Variations


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GEO.W. GAYLE & SON No. 4 "Standard" Reel, circa 1915


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GEO.W. GAYLE & SON No. 5 "Standard" Reel, circa 1915


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE No. 6 Reel, circa 1915


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE "Intrinsic" Salmon Reel


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE No. 3 "Standard" Reel Marking, Bearing Cap and Handle Variations, circa 1910


Variations in the "STANDARD" Gayle Reel

Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

Variations in the "STANDARD" Gayle Reel


Geo W Gayle reels

Marked "Made for VL&A, Chicago, by Geo. Gayle & Son, Frankfort, KY", circa 1900


Geo W Gayle reels

1900 Ad for THE GAYLE VL&A Pattern Reel


Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels Geo W Gayle reels

The GAYLE "INTRINSIC" Tarpon Reel


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WILLIAM MILLS 1909 Catalog Image of The GAYLE "INTRINSIC" Tarpon Reel


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Ad in December, 1888 "Wildwood Magazine" for Gayle Reels


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GEO. W. GAYLE & SON 1896 Ad


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GEO. W. GAYLE & SON Clark Model Reel 1896 Wilkinson Catalog


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GEO. W. GAYLE & SON ad in 1897 "The Amateur Sportsman"


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GEO. W. GAYLE & SON ads in 1901 "Outdoor Life" Magazine


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GEO. W. GAYLE & SON Reels in "1904 VL&A Catalog"


The 1935 GAYLE Reel Catalog

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The 1935 GAYLE Reel Catalog


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The GAYLE Reel Showing Surface Copper Oxide Patina From the Nickel Silver


To see the January 2017 ORCA Newsletter article by Ron Gast about Clarence Gayle, click on the link below.

Link to ORCA Newsletter Article about Clarence Gayle

To see articles about Geo. W. Gayle & Son in the April, 1946 "The Kentucky Sportsman" and the May, 1946 "Kentucky Happy Hunting Ground" magazines, click on the links below.

Link to 1946 Kentucky Sportsman Article

Link to 1946 Kentucky Happy Hunting Grounds Article

To see magazine articles written about the history of the Kentucky Reel, click on the links below.

Outing Magazine, "Evolution of the Kentucky Reel", by Dr. James A. Henshall, Dec. 1900

Forrest and Stream Magazine, "History of the Kentucky Reel", Interview with J. L. Sage, Jan. 1915

Forrest and Stream Magazine, "More About The Kentucky Reel", Dr. James A. Henshall, Feb. 1915

Field & Stream, "The Kentucky Reel", by Robert Lincoln Page, March, 1930

Field & Stream, "My Old Kentucky Reel", by A.J. McClane, January, 1953



For any questions about vintage antique fishing reels, lures or tackle, please feel free to Email or Call me. I always like to talk about old tackle.

Remember, I'm always buying old vintage fishing lures and reels!

Email me at: ron@luresnreels.com or Call or Text me at: 407-496-7940

Thanks!

Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

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