World fa­mous reel maker Stan Bog­dan cast­ing into the sun­set

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

Iread last week that reel maker Stan Bog­dan is re­tir­ing and clos­ing his busi­ness in New Hamp­shire. While his name may not be well known to most peo­ple, in the world of At­lantic sal­mon fish­ing he is a gi­ant.

For those not fa­mil­iar with his work the Bog­dan sal­mon reel is con­sid­ered by many to be the Cadil­lac of fish­ing reels. His new reels sell for a im­pres­sive price of around $2,000. That is if you can find one to buy. The wait­ing list is over three years.

Now I’ve never seen a Bog­dan reel, let alone fished with one, and my name wasn’t on the wait­ing list. But I wish it was. Would you catch more sal­mon with a $2,000 reel com­pared to a $100 one? Not likely. But, if you ad­mire pre­ci­sion crafts­man­ship, and well made equip­ment, there is no deny­ing that Stan Bog­dan built great reels.

Ap­par­ently Stan Bog­dan is now 92 and his son, who took over the busi­ness sev­eral years ago, is in his 60s. With no one in­ter­ested in tak­ing over the reel mak­ing busi­ness they are com­plet­ing the last of their or­ders and clos­ing up shop. It has been quite a run.

Stan Bog­dan was a young ma­chin­ist when he made his first fish­ing reel back in 1940. Over the years his busi­ness grew and his reels were ea­gerly sought by en­ter­tain­ers and royalty. Base­ball great Ted Wil­liams fished with a Bog­dan reel, as did Bing Crosby. De­mand was al­ways high as only 100 reels were pro­duced by the shop ev­ery year. With a long wait­ing list it is no won­der that sec­ond hand Bog­dan reels are highly sought af­ter, and de­mand a high price. Higher, in fact, than a new one. When a new Bogs­dan sal­mon reel was sell­ing for $2,000 a used one de­manded $3,000 . A rare model could run up to $6,000.

Ap­par­ently ev­ery part of their reels, with the ex­cep­tion of the springs, was made in their small ma­chine shop. The main at­trac­tion of a Bog­dan reel, be­sides its good looks, is the smooth drag which al­lows a sal­mon to take line without any starts or stops that can cause a fish to break the leader. The Bog­dan drag sys­tem con­sists of two brake shoes which bear down on a disk. As the reel turns the shoes slow it down. The drag is ad­justable so you can set it for the size of the fish you are af­ter. At one time Stan Bog­dan sold 15 mod­els from small trout reels up to larger reels for sal­mon. While Stan Bog­dan may be re­tir­ing his reels will con­tinue to be fished on sal­mon rivers around the world for years to come. A fine trib­ute to a great crafts­man. Tight Lines. Tip of the week: Don’t for­get the free Nova Sco­tia Win­ter Sport­fish­ing week­end will be held on Satur­day, Feb 20 and Sun­day, Feb 21, this year. On this week­end res­i­dent and non-res­i­dent an­glers may fish in the ar­eas open for win­ter sport­fish­ing without a fish­ing li­cence. Bag lim­its and gear re­stric­tions still ap­ply.

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