James Heddon's Sons Fishing Reels and Boxes

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 scarce. In 1920, the Heddon 3-15, 3-24 an 3-30 models 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 (1921 - 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 original boxes for these reels can sometimes double their value.

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 HEDDON No. 3-35 Reel, circa 1923

The JACK WELCH Reels, circa 1932

The JACK WELCH Tournament Reel, circa 1932

The JACK WELCH Bait Casting Reel, circa 1932

WALTER WILLMAN Award Reel and PAL P-41 Patent Reels

HEDDON 3-35 Field & Stream Ads

HEDDON 3-35 Field & Stream Ads

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


Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

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