From Patrick Garner and Brian Taylor comes the definitive work on the life and career of W.H. Dingley.
Dingley’s genius dominated more than 50 years of tackle history, an unrivaled feat. Both fishermen and collectors avidly seek his reels today. This
From the late 19th century through three quarters of the 20th, Britain produced highly accomplished reel makers who, for more than a century, produced the finest fishing reels in the world. W.H. Dingley, who spent more than half of his life in the small country town of Alnwick, Northumberland in the northeast of England, is increasingly recognized as one of the most skilled of these exceptional craftsmen. Collectors know his works today by the now famous “D” that is often stamped inside his reels.
Although providing extensive biographical details—much of it in print for the first time—the book’s prime purpose is to illustrate Dingley reels. Numerous photographs are provided, as well as rarely seen cuts of period catalogs. Research for the book included interviewing ex-Hardy and ex-Dingley reel makers, handling original documents, corresponding with Dingley family members, and correcting rumors and previously published errors. Collectors from around the world sent the authors their prized examples of Dingley reels for analysis and photo-documentation.
More than 60 Dingley reels are illustrated—including a number both rare and spectacular. Photographs illustrate exterior features, as well as internal gearing. Subtle period differences are shown, and numerous variations illustrated.
Dingley continued to work steadily until his death in 1946 at the age of 85. By the time he died, he had worked largely without pause in the English reel trade for almost 71 years—33 of those years as a proprietor and entrepreneur. Looking back over the last 150 years of reel making, the authors conclude that few reel makers of any era rival Dingley in his production, creativity, and tenacious standards.