The Richard Carter 4″ Dragonfly centrepin reel. Made in 2009/2010.

Richard only made five of these special 4" Dragonflies & this is the first of three to have been released.


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 designed with 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, the first one of three to have been released, 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.

Uniquely, this one has been hand engraved by Richard Carter with his signature inside the back plate.

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). As Stacey’s hand written note pasted in the box base rightly points out, this reel represents Richard’s 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.