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Old 12-02-2014, 09:36 AM
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Default Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

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Edit: updated with better pics.

I bought a Abercrombie & Fitch fly reel at a neighbor's estate auction this weekend. The only identifying marks are "Abercrombie & Fitch, co.; New York" on the back of the reel, and the number "2061" etched under the seat. There are no markings or initials inside the reel or on the spool.

Some digging on the internet shows that Abercrombie & Fitch imported a bunch of Hardy Brothers' Uniqua reels and sold them at retail back in the '30s. However, all the examples I could find on the internet are clearly marked with the Hardy Brothers' name. I know there are some experts on Hardy Reels around here, so I was hoping for a bit more information. Is this in fact a Hardy Uniqua? Or a knock-off that Abercrombie & Fitch had made elsewhere? How old is it? Also, what fly line should I put on it? Value wise, it's looking like it's worth ~$150 at auction and ~$300 retail if it's authentic. I paid $40, which I'm fine with even if it turns out to not have any collectable value. $40 for a perfectly working fly reel is a great deal anyway.

The reel has a great look, and works perfectly. I'm going to try to match it up with an appropriate rod and give it a spin. Any suggestions for rods?

Last edited by diamond rush; 12-02-2014 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

Going to need better images to make a call on this. It certainly "looks" like a Uniqua at first glance.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

That sure is an interesting piece, thanks for posting the photos. I agree, in order to get better feedback, you will need much better pictures. I believe there were a few different reel makers that produced reels with A&F stamps on them. Maybe Hardy made, maybe not. The latch on that is not like one I've seen on a Uniqua.

Try getting some better photos and include ones of the reel foot, and the inside of the reel. Specifically of the check mechanism. You mentioned in your comments that you couldn't see any markings on the inside. What I have read is that while many Hardy's were stamped, some were not.

Cool reel, especially for the price paid. If it were me, I'd figure out what that is and when it was made before lining that up with anything and fishing with it.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

Either way it looks like a great find, but as the others have said we need better photos, maybe a friend can help out.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

Thanks, guys. I'll track down my fiance's digital camera after work. Check back later for better pictures.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

I'm not discounting the team of flyfishers we have here at NAFF - so don't jump on me! But the guys over at the Classic Fly Rod Forum are well tuned with these old reels too and might be worth a look. You might even find some info there on a search.

Nice find.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

Looking at the spool 'latch' I'd say 9 out of 10 its a 're-branded' Hardy.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chi flyfisher View Post
the guys over at the Classic Fly Rod Forum are well tuned with these old reels too and might be worth a look.
Good suggestion, once you get some better pics go there or the Fiberglass Fly Rod Forum.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chi flyfisher View Post
I'm not discounting the team of flyfishers we have here at NAFF - so don't jump on me! But the guys over at the Classic Fly Rod Forum are well tuned with these old reels too and might be worth a look. You might even find some info there on a search.

Nice find.
Good idea they do have a couple interesting threads where I found some info. Including this post

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Maybe I should register over there and ask the guy who's got 3 of them, huh?
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Abercrombie & Fitch reel - Uniqua?

From the looks of it, I think you found your reel. Looks to be a Meek production made for A & F.
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Last edited by jaybo41; 12-02-2014 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Removed B.F. the manufacturer name
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