J. L. Sage Kentucky Fishing Reels

J. L. Sage Kentucky Fishing Reels

J. L. Sage - Frankfort, KY

J L Sage reels were sold between approximately 1883 and 1900. Sage was 78 when he died in 1900, which means he started making reels when he was 63. According to Dr. James L. Henshall, author of the "Book of the Black Bass", not only did Sage make casting reels, but he also made a click fly reel. Sage was not a jeweler or watchsmith like the majority of the early Kentucky reel makers. He was apprenticed as a gun maker and maker of fine mathematical instruments in the 1850's. He then went to work in the gas and water works business into the 1860's. J L Sage reels were made in Frankfort and then in Lexington about 1887. All of his reels found have the Frankfort, KY stamp, however. The majority of the Sage reels found today are a No. 3 size and appear similar to the B.C. Milam reels. One noticeable difference between them is that Sage used Buffalo horn for the crank knob and Milam used ivory. All Sage reels are collectable and scarcer than Milam reels. Sage is considered to be one of the Great Kentucky Reel Makers.



J.L. SAGE Photo


The J. L. SAGE Brass No. 2 Reel, Circa 1885


The J. L. SAGE German Silver No. 2 Reel, Circa 1885


The J. L. SAGE German Silver No. 3 Reel, Circa 1885


The J. L. SAGE German Silver No. 4 Reel, Circa 1885


The J. L. SAGE Brass No. 3 Reel, Circa 1885


The J. L. SAGE Brass No. 3 Narrow Spool Reel, Circa 1885


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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