C. Farlow & Co is one of the earliest UK fishing tackle manufacturers. Charles began it in 1840. His first reels were all brass with ivory crank knobs. Later, the reels were engraved in script with “C. Farlow, Maker, 221 Strand, London.” They were marked this way until 1851. In 1852 the company moved to a new address at 191 Strand, London. The company name was later changed to C. Farlow & Co. LTD in 1894. The early Farlow salmon reels have a fish logo stamped on the bottom of the foot. Later, the logo was changed to an image of a salmon hanging by a carrying strap.
Farlow made a wide range of reels from the early brass reels to the more common fly, salmon, spinning and wooden reels. They also made a Big Game reel and Tournament casting reels.
One of the most interesting and novel designs was the “Billiken” Tournament casting reel. It contained a “fan regulator” to keep the reel spool from over-running the line. The fan provide air resistance as the speed of the spool increased. The reel also incorporated a free-spool feature. The design was patented in 1910 and 1913 and and was made from 1911 through 1940. It came in two sizes – 2 1/4″ and 3 1/8″ diameter. C. Farlow & Co is considered to be one of the great UK reel makers.
The FARLOW Salmon Reel, Circa 1850
The FARLOW 4 Inch & 3 1/2 Inch Salmon Reels, Circa 1850
The FARLOW Salmon Reel, Circa 1890
The FARLOW Billiken Reel
Early Model FARLOW “BILLIKEN” Reel, Circa 1920
Late Model FARLOW “BILLIKEN” Reel, Circa 1930
The FARLOW “BILLIKEN” Reel Variations
C. FARLOW & CO. Catalog Pages
The C. FARLOW & Co. 1895 Ad
The C. FARLOW & Co. 91st Edition Catalog Letter
To see Charles Farlow’s 1910 Patent for the Billiken Reel, click on the link below.
To see Charles Farlow’s 1913 Patent for the Billiken Reel, click on the link below.
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: