Field and Stream - - GIANT - —Joe Cer­mele

I love gear with miles. I’ve put plenty of my own on tackle, but I’ve al­ways been charmed by gear—fly reels in par­tic­u­lar— that al­ready has a past, even if I may never know its whole story. At yard sales and flea mar­kets, I’m on a quest. I’m not in­ter­ested in dime-a-dozen Pflueger Medal­ists or reels so old that you’d just put them on a shelf. I want clas­sics and dis­con­tin­ued gems that were built to be fished hard and passed on. A scratched and dented Billy Pate I found in a cen­tral Penn­syl­va­nia junk shop is al­ways with me off­shore. I’ve got a Penn In­ter­na­tional that comes on ev­ery steel­head trip. A re­cently ac­quired Old Florida is one miss­ing part away from mak­ing it into my striper ro­ta­tion. I can get my hands on al­most any new fly reel, but it’s not the same as hold­ing one I res­ur­rected from a dusty box, know­ing that af­ter a lit­tle grease and pol­ish, I’ll be the one that adds the next chap­ter to its story.

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