Fin-Nor reels were first made by Fredrick Martin Grieten. He was the owner and chief machinist at Finely Norwood Machine Shop in Miami, FL in the 1930’s. Hence the name “Fin-Nor.” He specialized in boat and engine repair. His relationship with the fishing captains in the Miami area made him aware of the problems they were having in landing big fish. Grieten came up with his own reel design and received a patent on October 19, 1937. In this year the company name was changed to Fin-Nor. Grieten received his second patent on April 11, 1939 for improvements to his first patent. The Fin-Nor company was sold to Southern Tackle in 1957.
Starting with the Southern Tackle company, Fin-Nor reels were no longer limited to big game reels. Their designer and machinist, Gar Wood, Jr., came up with designs for spinning reels and lower cost salt water fishing reels. Wood’s best know designs were those called “Wedding Cake” fly reels because of their layered appearance. These reels were sold up through the 1960’s. The early Fin-Nor reels are considered to be some of the great reels made in the USA.
The FIN-NOR 12/0 Big Game Reel
The FIN-NOR No. 1 “Wedding Cake” Fly Reel
FIN-NOR Size 4.5 Islamorada Tarpon Tournament Presentation Reel
FIN-NOR Fly Reels in 1970 William Mills & Son Catalog
The F.M. Grieten’s October 19, 1937 Reel Patent
The F.M. Grieten’s April 11, 1939 Reel Patent
The FIN-NOR 1956 Salt Water Sportsman Magazine Ad
The FIN-NOR Fly Reels in the 1981 ORVIS Catalog
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: