Schrall Char-Lem Reels – Wayzata, MN

The Schrall Char-Lem reels were made in the 1950’s and included a unique drag design. Charles Leonard Schrall was born in New York, NY on October 10, 1909. He grew up on the James F. Bell (Founder of General Mills) estate as his father was superintendent of the Bell estate. Bell was an avid salmon fisherman and wasn’t happy with the drags then available. Charles used Bell’s concern as motivation to improve the reel’s drag system. Schrall designed an improved drag design and and it was eventually patented on July 10, 1956. He died on July 11, 1986 in Minnesota.

The first Schrall Char-Lem reels were modified Edward vom Hofe and Otto Zwarg salmon reels. The rear plate was replaced with a Bakelite plate with the drag system included. Schrall’s name was not added to the reel. He did engrave his serial number on the bottom of the foot though. Later, he made a limited production of aluminum reels with the name “CHAR-LEM” stamped on the bottom of the reel’s foot. “LEM” relates to his wife’s name Lempie. There were two sizes made and marked Model A or Model B. The Schrall patent reflects the CHAR-LEM reel drag design. Schrall is considered to be one of the early great reel makers in the USA.

The C.L. SCHRALL Modified OTTO ZWARG Salmon Reel


The C.L. SCHRALL July 10, 1956 Patent