Shipley & Son Reels – Philadelphia, PA

Shipley & Son Reels were made in the 1870’s to the 1890’s under the name A.B. Shipley & Son. Augustus’s son, Malcolm, was also part of the business. The reels listed in his 1885 catalog ranged from simple click reels to quality ball handle style reels. Also shown in the catalog are the Hendrick’s reels with double arrow head style levers. Augustus’s son, Malcolm, was also a part of the business. In 1885, Malcolm A. Shipley received a patent for a Fly-Book with ivory celluloid leaves. Malcolm also wrote a book that he sold entitled “Artificial Flies and How To Make Them.” After Augustus’s retirement in 1895, the business was operated by his son and the business name was changed to “Malcolm A. Shipley.” Malcolm’s 1896 catalog shows a large variety of fishing reels including German silver S-handle style reels. He later received a patent on May 13, 1902 for a fishing reel handle drag. Shipley & Son reels are considered to be one of the great early reel makers in the USA. A.B. Shipley died in 1897.

A.B. SHIPLEY & SON Salmon Size Fly Reel

The A.B SHIPLEY & SON Multiplying Fly Reel, circa 1880

The A.B SHIPLEY & SON Ball Handle Brass Reel, circa 1880

A.B. SHIPLEY & SON 1874 and 1876 “Forest & Stream” Magazine Ads

A.B. SHIPLEY & SON 1881 and 1883 Invoices


A.B. SHIPLEY & SON July, 1882 “Forest & Stream” Magazine Ad


A.B. SHIPLEY & SON January, 1889 “Wildwood” Magazine Ad

MALCOLM A. SHIPLEY Ad in 1903 “Forest & Stream” Magazine

The M.A. SHIPLEY May 13, 1902 Reel Patent

1885 and 1896 SHIPLEY Catalog Covers

To see a copy of the 1896 A.B. SHIPLEY & SON Catalog, click on the link below.