Redifor reels were made by The Redifor Rod & Reel Co. in Warren, OH. The company was started about 1904 and made reels up until about 1921. George W. Upton was the design lead and Treasurer of the company. In 1908, Benjamin F. Flegel joined the company and was the company Secretary. The first reel made by the company was the Model A. It had a free-spool mechanism that was actuated by a button on the side of the reel. The first advertised reel was the Model B. It is shown in in 1905 ads and in the 1907 Abercrombie & Fitch catalog as a 3X multiplier. The free-spool mechanism for this model was actuated by sliding a lever on the reel’s face plate rim. Upton received a patent for the Model B design on May 8, 1906. The Model C was similar to the Model B, but had a different free-spool mechanism. The reel had a free-spool sliding actuator on the top of the aft pillar. It was actuated by the caster’s thumb by pushing it to the left before the cast. The most popular reel was the Model D. The Model D shows 4 patent numbers stamped on the back of the reel. These were by Samuel Bean (467,849 in 1892), George Upton (820,326 in 1906), E.L. Gilmore (871,167 in 1907) and Benjamin Flegel (881,850 in 1908). Apparently, Upton and Flegel acquired the patent rights from Bean and Gilmore for their Model D reel.
The company listed 5 Redifor reels in the 1909 edition of The Angler’s Guide. Shown are the Special Tournament, the Darling-Flegel Double Tournament, the Model D, the Model F Redifor-Flegel self-thumbing and the Model X. With the exception of the Redifor-Flegel, all of them were aluminum alloy with nickel silver hardware. The Model X looks similar to the Model B except it has cutouts in the revolving crank disk and does not have the rim controlled free-spool mechanism. The Model B and C reels were made of thin aluminum parts and proved to be fragile. The 1909 ad emphasized that their new Model X had strong pillars.
Flegel received a patent in 1915 for a level winding device that could be attached to a reel. He had applied for the patent back in 1909 and was making them before the patent was granted. Flegel’s Redifor-Spooler has “PAT.APPL’D FOR” stamped on it. This device is usually found attached to a Redifor Model F that was also offered back in 1909.
Redifor introduced its Beetzsel level-wind reel in 1915. It was marked Warren, OH until about 1921 when it was changed to Washington, DC. It was during this time that the Beetzsel was probably being made by Shakespeare and subsequently marked with their name. Similarly, the Redifor-Flegel self-thumbing reel was being made by Pflueger. It would eventually become the Pflueger Redifor. The first Pflueger Redifor was advertised about 1916. Redifor Rod & Reel Co. is considered to be one of the great early reel makers in the USA.
The REDIFOR Darling-Flegel Double Tournament Model, circa 1909
REDIFOR Model D Aluminum Reel Variations, circa 1909
The REDIFOR Model B, circa 1905
The REDIFOR Model C, circa 1905
The REDIFOR Model X, circa 1909
The REDIFOR Model C and X Comparisons
The REDIFOR Model D Tournament Model
The REDIFOR Model D Tournament Model
The REDIFOR-FLEGEL Model F with a FLEGEL SPOOLER
The REDIFOR Brass Reel w/Aluminum Spool
The REDIFOR BEETZSEL, Box and Leather Case – Warren, OH Markings, Circa 1919
The REDIFOR BEETZSEL – Washington, DC Marking, Circa 1921
The REDIFOR Bass Bait, Circa 1921
The REDIFOR Fishing Line Spool
The REDIFOR Patented Rod Handle
1905 Newspaper Ad for The REDIFOR Model B
The Model B in 1907 Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog
The Model B in 1908 Thomas Chubb Catalog
1909 Ad for REDIFOR Model F and D
1909 Ad for REDIFOR Reels
The REDIFOR Spooler in the 1910 Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog
REDIFOR Reel in 1911 Thomas J. Conroy Catalog
1912 Ad for REDIFOR Model D Reel
1919 and 1921 Ads for REDIFOR BEETZSEL Reels
REDIFOR Catalog Pages
Patents Marked on the REDIFOR Model D, The REDIFOR Flegel Spooler Patent and The REDIFOR Beetzsel Patent
REDIFOR ROD & REEL CO. 1905 Letter
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