Otto Zwarg Fishing Reels

Otto Zwarg Fishing Reels

Otto Zwarg - St. Petersburg, FL

World War II brought about the end to a lot of the great fishing tackle companies including Edward vom Hofe. Otto Zwarg was the head reel maker at the vom Hofe company. After it went out of business, he acquired the rights to the designs. He set up production for one year in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He then moved the business to St. Petersburg, FL in 1947. The reels were made up until 1960, which was 3 years after Otto Zwarg's death. The reels came in three basic models - Model 300 Saguenay Single Action Fly/Salmon Reel, Model 400 Laurentian 2:1 Multiplying Fly/Salmon Reel and the Model 600 Maximo Salt Water Reel. The Maximo was named after Maximo Point in St. Petersburg, FL. This was a famed fishing spot since the first local settler Antinio Maximo established a "fish ranch" on the point in 1843. The Saguenay was named in honor of the celebrated salmon river in Quebec, Canada. The Laurentian was named for the lake in Ontario, Canada. All the reels came in sizes 1/0 through 6/0. The Maximo also came in 9/0 and 12/0.

Dating the year of manufacture of Zwarg reels is easy. The first year of production was 1946 and the serial number begins with the Prefix letter A. The first reels made in St. Petersburg was 1948 and the serial number prefix is C. This sequence continues up until the last year of production in 1960 and have the prefix letter O. All Zwarg reels are collectable and the ones marked Brooklyn are the most scarce.

The OTTO ZWARG Reels and Catalog

OTTO ZWARG Fly Reels and Salmon Reels

OTTO ZWARG Model 300 and 400 Reels

The Model 600 Maximo Reel - St. Petersburg, FL, circa 1950

The Model 600 Maximo Reel - St. Petersburg, FL, circa 1950

The Model 400 Laurentian Multiplying Reel - Brooklyn, NY, circa 1946

The 1-0 Model 400 Laurentian Multiplying Reel - St. Petersburg, FL, circa 1946

OTTO ZWARG 1949 Reel Price List

OTTO ZWARG Catalog Page

OTTO ZWARG 1948 Linen Line Price List

OTTO ZWARG Reels in the 1954 William Mills & Son Catalog

OTTO ZWARG Reels in the 1958 Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog

To see the the Otto Zwarg Catalog with price lists, click on the link below.

Link to OTTO ZWARG Catalog

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: or Call or Text me at: 407-496-7940


Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

Member and Co-Founder of Florida Antique Tackle Collectors, Inc. (FATC), Charter Member of Old Reel Collectors Club (ORCA), Member of National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC)

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