C.H. Wisner reels were made by the Flint Reel Company in Flint, MI. Charles H. Wisner received patents for his reel on Jun. 27, 1899 and on Dec. 12, 1899. He called his reel “The Michigan Reel.” The advertisements for the Michigan reel state it can be supplied in sterling or German silver. The reel incorporated his patented unique design features. The reel was put into free-spool by a sliding feature on the handle. The click was engaged by rotating a knurled knob located on the top face of the reel. Wisner also made a reel that more closely resembled a traditional casting reel. It did not incorporate the free-spool mechanism, but did have the rotating click. Wisner was also interested in other fishing related items. He received a patent for his collapsing Celluloid Minnow trap on February 15, 1898. The Flint Reel Co. was listed in the 1904 Bradstreet’s Book of Commercial Ratings as involved in the fishing tackle business.
An interesting side note about Mr. Wisner is that he was also a Circuit Judge of Genesee County, MI. He was also the son of a former Michigan Governor. He died at the age of 65 in the year 1915. C.H. Wisner reels are considered scarce and one of the great early reels in the USA.
C.H. WISNER Reel Variations
The C.H. WISNER Reel
The C.H. WISNER Narrow Spool Reel
The C.H. WISNER Reel Patents
The FLINT REEL CO. 1899 “Recreation” Magazine Ads
The FLINT REEL CO. 1899 Catalog Listing
The FLINT REEL CO. Minnow Trap Ad
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: