James Heddon's Sons Fishing Reels and Boxes

James Heddon's Sons and Jack Welch Fishing Reels

James Heddon's Sons - Dowagiac, MI

James Heddon's Sons hired William Carter and Jack Welch to develop a line of quality fishing reels to compete with the Meek reels. In 1917, they introduced their first Carter-built reels. They were the No.'s 30, 35, 40 and 45. They were available for only a couple of years. The No. 30 was the most costly and is scarce. In 1920, the Heddon 3-15, 3-24 an 3-30 models were introduced. The top of the line variations of the 3-24 and 3-30 were the full jeweled tournament (FJT) models with sapphire jeweled bearings. On November 11, 1919, Carter received a reel patent that incorporated an improved click design that was used on his July 5, 1904 patent design while at B.F. Meek & Sons.

Jack Welch's contribution to the Heddon line of bait casting reels was the introduction of the level-wind models. He received 9 reel patents while at Heddon. 8 of the patents were for the 3-25, 3-35, 4-15 and 4-18 reel designs. The other patent was for an integral reel rod handle design. The great windshield wiper design reels were sold in 1922 as a No. 4-15 and in 1923 and 1924 as a No. 4-18. The last of the high quality reels made by Heddon were the No. 3-35 (1921 - 1926) and the No. 3-25 (1926 - 1931). After Jack Welch left the company in 1931, he hand made some reels with his own name marked on them. All of these reels are considered highly collectable.

One of the most popular reels sold by Heddon was the Heddon "PAL" P-41. This reel was designed by Walter Willman in St. Petersburg, FL. Walter Willman was a famous tournament caster and had many awards in competition. He received three patents for his reel and assigned them to Heddon. His patents were granted in January 1, 1946, in November 28, 1950 and in December 18, 1951. This was a lightweight reel and it had a screw-off ring on the head plate to allow easy access for lubricating it.

The original boxes for these reels can sometimes double their value.


The HEDDON No. 35 Reel, circa 1918


The HEDDON No. 3-24 FJ Reel, circa 1920


The HEDDON No. 3-24 FJ Reel made for Schmelzers, circa 1920


The HEDDON No. 3-30 FJT Reel, circa 1920


The HEDDON No. 4-18 Reel, circa 1923


The HEDDON No. 4-15 Reel, circa 1922


The HEDDON No. 3-35 Reel, circa 1923


The JACK WELCH Reels, circa 1932


The JACK WELCH Tournament Reel, circa 1932


The JACK WELCH Bait Casting Reel, circa 1932


WALTER WILLMAN Award Reel and PAL P-41 Patent Reels

WALTER WILLMAN Award Reel and PAL P-41 Patent Reels


Heddon 1917 Ads for Carter-Built Reels

Heddon 1917 Ads for Carter-Built Reels


HEDDON 3-35 Field & Stream Ads

HEDDON 3-35 Field & Stream Ads


JACK WELCH Reel Patents

JACK WELCH Reel Patents


WALTER WILLMAN Reel Patents

WALTER WILLMAN Reel Patents



For any questions about vintage antique fishing reels, lures or tackle, please feel free to Email or Call me. I always like to talk about old tackle.

Remember, I'm always buying old vintage fishing lures and reels!

Email me at: ron@luresnreels.com or Call or Text me at: 407-496-7940

Thanks!

Ron Gast

Orlando, FL



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