The late Stacey Weeks, aka Spats, for many years the famous cobbler in Oxford’s covered market, was a very keen angler and tackle connoisseur. After Richard Carter had retired from reel making, Stacey persuaded him to make a special 4″ version of the Dragonfly. The originals, which were conceived with input from Chris Yates, were 4¼” diameter and Richard made 43 of them. The don’t turn up at all often, but read on . . .
This 4″ diameter reel is fifteen sixteenths of an inch wide between spool flanges It has special sealed German-made bearings that enable the spool to run indistinguishably from a bush and pin reel. The back plate was machined with an integral boss for the foot to screw on to. Earlier Carters lacked this feature. It was given a very light patina externally (and rather more internally) and I can’t think of a more attractive and aesthetically satisfying unventilated reel.
The smaller components are mostly brass, with very nice handles and steel check work.
We like to be original, but I asked our Colin to machine a brass coin to fit perfectly into the slot in the spool’s retaining knob. This was Paul Witcher’s idea. Thank you Paul.
The reel weighs 8⅛ oz (234 g) and the spool weighs 4⅞ oz (139 g)
Richard Carter was undoubtedly one of the very best reel makers of all time (the others being Chris Lythe and JW Young for Allcock et al) and this reel represents his finest work. I’d say this is the most functional and lovely rotating drum bearing reel of all. It’s in absolutely exceptional condition and it’s incredibly rare. It’s got it all really -utility, collectability and a very fair price.