The Redifor Rod & Reel Co. was started about 1904. 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
free-spool mechanism for this model was actuated by sliding a lever on the reel's face
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 reel models
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 the reels 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 reel 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. The reel would
eventually become the Pflueger Redifor. The first Pflueger Redifor was advertised about 1916.
1909 Ad for REDIFOR Reels
The REDIFOR Darling-Flegel Double Tournament Reel, circa 1909
The REDIFOR Model D Aluminum and German Silver Reel, circa 1909