Jack Welch reels were first made when he was hired by James Heddon’s Sons in 1920 to develop a line of quality fishing reels to compete with the Meek reels. His contribution to the Heddon line of bait casting reels was the introduction of the level-wind models. He received 9 reel patents while at Heddon. 8 of the patents were for the 3-25, 3-35, 4-15 and 4-18 reel designs. The other patent was for an integral reel rod handle design. The great windshield wiper design reels were sold in 1922 as a No. 4-15 and in 1923 and 1924 as a No. 4-18. The last of the high quality reels made by Heddon were the No. 3-35 (1921 – 1926) and the No. 3-25 (1926 – 1931). Jack Welch left the Heddon company in 1931. He then made some marked “Hand Made” with his own name marked on them. He made both a casting reel with a level wind mechanism and a tournament reel without the level wind. Jack Welch reels are considered to be some of the great early reels made in the USA.
The JACK WELCH Reels, circa 1932
The Tournament Reel, circa 1932
The Bait Casting Reel, circa 1932
The JACK WELCH Patents
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: