For a very fair price, we have the honour of offering for sale this magnificent Allcock’s ‘Mahseer’ Aerial reel which has some very significant and unusual features. Made for six years only, between 1923 and 1929, the 4½” wide drum ‘Lever Type’ model № 7990 was intended for the angler who didn’t trouble himself with tiddlers.
This was Allcock’s first Aerial with a lever operated auxiliary brake.
The braking mechanism on this example is different from the nine other examples whose innards I’ve been able to rummage around in or look at pictures of. Could it be a prototype? It doesn’t have the usual patent number stamp or ‘LEVER TYPE’ stamp on its backplate.
Great Uncle Gerald liked a spot of fishing. Here’s the fabulous Allcock model № 799LT ‘Mahseer’ Aerial attached to his greenheart Mahseer rod.
During the war he was a Guards Officer. Won an MC. Brave man. He and my great aunt settled near Brixham, Devon. Gerald grew bored. He invested in a trawler. The captain told him he needn’t trouble himself to go aboard, but Gerald was a man of action. He got in the way and bossed the captain about. This did not help and the fishing was not profitable. The trawler was sold. After a while, Gerald bought another one. He just couldn’t keep away. The captain of his new boat also grew tired of Gerald, who sold this trawler and took up other hobbies. I inherited his fishing tackle which, sadly, was free from rare Allcock Aerials.
In 1994, Homer Jennings and I were fishing as guests of Chan Bergen on his private stretch of Colorado’s South Platte River. During lunch Chan passed me a reel and asked: ‘What do you think of this Ed?’ It was THIS ‘Mahseer’ Aerial. My emotions were very muddled. I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw Chan into the river and run away with his reel. I wanted to tell Chan that it was a worthless piece of old tat that I’d give him $5 for just to get it out of his way. But I was very well brought up so I said: ‘That’s a superb and very rare Allcock’s ‘Mahseer’ Aerial Chan. Where on earth did you get it?
Chan: ‘From a Dime Store Ed. Do you know what a Dime Store is?’
Me: ‘Yes Chan, I do.’
Chan turned one hundred last October. Finally, he’s decided it’s time to part with his Aerial, which he bought for 10¢. Homer Jennings sent it to me on Chan’s behalf. It’s been away for ninety seven years. I am not selling it for a dime. Please visit my website for the full story.
Until next time
Edward Barder and Colin Whitehouse