The E. Holzmann reels were made by him in Brooklyn, NY in the early 1900’s. Ernest was born in New York City on January 17, 1859 to his two German parents. The 1880’s and 1890’s New York City Directories show his occupation as an Electrician and Instrument Maker. In the 1905 Brooklyn, NY Census, his occupation is still listed as an “Electrician.” It wasn’t until 1910 when his occupation was listed as “Fishing Reel Manufacturer” in the NY US Census. The 1915 New York City Census also shows his occupation as “Manufacturer of Reels.” Ernest died on December 8, 1919 in Brooklyn, NY.
Ernest was an avid surf fisherman. He received his first reel patent on March 4, 1890 and assigned half to August H. Dirkes. It included quick-apart features and a drag design. One listing of his accomplishments in surf casting can be found in the July 1893 edition of “The American Angler” magazine and reported by A.H. Dirkes. Using an “improved reel, a 8 foot, 8 inch rod and a 2 1/2 ounce sinker” he made 10 casts measuring from 240 to 272 feet. The “improved reel” was probably a version of his 1890 patent reel. A.H. Dirkes is later shown in a 1909 ad as being the selling agent for the Holzmann reel which was marked “The Wolf.”
Ernest received his second patent on October 9, 1900. It included a free-spool and a automatic drag designs. His third reel patent was granted on October 31, 1905 and improved upon his previous patent design. His fourth reel patent granted on April 16, 1907 provided further improvements to the drag design.
Since Holzmann was an avid surf caster, improvements in casting reels was not his only area of interest. He received a patent on March 26, 1907 for a surf rod design. The features of the design were a long tapered butt section to add to the rod’s elasticity and adjustable line guides. His second casting rod related patent was granted on October 15, 1907. It was for line guides that were adjustable and had features to prevent the line from tangling on the guide during a cast.
There are at least four basic Holzmann reel designs that have been found. The first resembles Holzmann’s first patent in 1890. The second resembles the design shown in the 1900 patent and marked “Surf King.” The third version resembles that shown in the 1905 patent with a free-spool lever. These models are larger reels used for surf casting. The fourth version is similar to the 1905 patent, but a smaller reel and intended for tournament or bait casting rather than surf casting. There have also been found variations of the four basic models. This includes jeweled bearings, mother of pearl end plates, Julius vom Hofe star drag, tournament reel modifications and unmarked reels. One interesting thing to note is that Holzmann’s 1900 patent “Surf King” reels have a Mother of Pearl patent date and name medallions. The name medallion has Holzmann’s name misspelled and missing is the last “N” in his name. Holzmann is considered one of the great New York reel makers.
The E HOLZMANN Reels with Mother of Pearl End Plates
E HOLZMANN Reel Variations
E HOLZMANN Reel Variations
E HOLZMANN 1911 Thos. Conroy Catalog Reel Ads
The E HOLZMANN Tournament Casting Reel
The E. HOLZMANN “The Wolf” Reel and Ad
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: