Paul Witcher ‘1920’ Aerial 4″ centre pin reel.

In exceptional condition, this is Reel № 28, completed in 2002 for the late John Searl, renowned angler & artist.


Paul Witcher, who I first met in 1990 or 1991, is widely regarded as one of the finest artisan reel makers of all time. His 1920 Aerial was inspired by the Allcock Aerial of that era, which has long been seen as the wellspring from which all subsequent Aerial reels have come.

As you can clearly see from the accompanying pictures, Paul’s attention to detail and highly refined aesthetic sensibilities enable him to build small batches of sublime reels in the classic style.

Combining modern precision engineering with the subtle, artful application of patina to the reel’s spool and back plate results in a unique and extremely sought-after Aerial that is distinctly Witcher.

This exceptional example was made in 2002 for the late John Searl, a renowned angler and artist who shared Paul’s love for fishing their local river Avon and an appreciation of refined, elegant tackle.

These reels have not been made in large quantities and seldom come onto the market. This is the first of its kind that I am proud to offer. Highly collectible, beautiful in its own right and absolutely superb to use, as you would expect from a reel made on the 1920 Aerial format, this reel is worthy of your serious consideration.


4″ diameter, one and one sixteenth of an inch wide. Ventilated alloy spool -eight holes to the front flange, twelve to the rear. Brass spokes and line pins, reverse tapered faux ivory handles, bronze hub.

The reel weighs 7⅞ oz and the spool weighs 3⅝ oz.

The spool rotates exceptionally freely and is retained/released via a spoke mounted sprung shoe.

Brass caliper check operated via a brass button on the back plate. Hardened steel pawl and check wheel.

Tool steel spindle and brass foot. The back plate is stamped with the Witcher logo and stamped 28 within.

The reel comes in its hand stitched leather D case and its original certificate of authenticity, ownership and maintenance guide.