Otto Zwarg Reels – St. Petersburg, FL

Otto Zwarg reels were made after he acquired the rights to the designs of the Edward vom Hofe reels in 1946 after Ocean City Mfg. Co. stopped making them. World War II brought about the end to a lot of the great fishing tackle companies including Edward vom Hofe. Otto Zwarg was the head reel maker at the vom Hofe company. He set up production for one year in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He then moved the business to St. Petersburg, FL in 1947. The reels were made up until 1960, which was 3 years after Otto Zwarg’s death. The reels came in three basic models – Model 300 Saguenay Single Action Fly/Salmon Reel, Model 400 Laurentian 2:1 Multiplying Fly/Salmon Reel and the Model 600 Maximo Salt Water Reel. The Maximo was named after Maximo Point in St. Petersburg, FL. This was a famed fishing spot since the first local settler Antinio Maximo established a “fish ranch” on the point in 1843. The Saguenay was named in honor of the celebrated salmon river in Quebec, Canada. The Laurentian was named for the lake in Ontario, Canada. All the reels came in sizes 1/0 through 6/0. The Maximo also came in 9/0 and 12/0.

Dating the year of manufacture of Zwarg reels is easy. The first year of production was 1946 and the serial number begins with the Prefix letter A. The first reels made in St. Petersburg was 1948 and the serial number prefix is C. This sequence continues up until the last year of production in 1960 and have the prefix letter O. All Zwarg reels are collectable and the ones marked Brooklyn are the most scarce. Otto Zwarg reels are considered one of the great early reels made in the USA.


otto zwarg reels

The OTTO ZWARG Fly Reels and Salmon Reels

The OTTO ZWARG Model 300 and 400 Reels

The Model 600 Maximo Reel – St. Petersburg, FL, circa 1950

The Model 600 Maximo Reel – St. Petersburg, FL, circa 1950

The Model 400 Laurentian Multiplying Reel – Brooklyn, NY, circa 1946

The 1-0 Model 400 Laurentian Multiplying Reel – St. Petersburg, FL, circa 1946


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The OTTO ZWARG 9/0 Reel Description

OTTO ZWARG Catalog Inserts

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The OTTO ZWARG Catalog Price List


To see the 1947 Otto Zwarg Catalog, Click on the link below.


Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link:

https://luresnreels.com