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Fin Nor Fly Reels

I It's been a while since I seen or fished with a Fin Nor fly reel. I remember them from the 1980s in Islamorada, Florida, where I hung out a lot before having kids.

The Fin Nor company is still around and making fishing rods, reels and other gear,  but Fin Nor Fly Reels are no longer produced and are now collectors items, although I'm sure a few people still fish them! From my research, it appears they stopped making fly reels in the 1990s.

They made several models. These included:

The FIN-ITE fly reel, a fairly recent model designed for trout and also used for salmon. Made of machined aluminum and direct drive with a counterbalanced and ventilated spool. It takes 100 yards of backing and a #7 fly lines and weighs only 6 ounces. The one I saw had a black anodized surface.

FIN-NOR #2, an Anti-Reverse Fly Reel (were they all AR? I think they also made a direct drive model), made in left hand and right hand retrieve, and designed for a #7 to #9 fly line and 250 yards of backing. This was a popular bonefish reel, and I almost bought one! Wish I had.

Fin-Nor Ahab and Fin Nor #3 were just some of the other models made.

Fin Nor was started by Mr. Finley and Mr. Norwood who first produced a big game reel in their Miami machine shop in 1933. It was a monster 35 pounder and was responsible for a number of big catches.

In fact, Fin Nor reels hold over 380 International Fish and Game Association records, including the largest black marlin ever, a 1,560 pounder caught during the filming of Hemingway's Old Man and The Sea in Cabo Blanco, Peru in 1953  by Alfred Glassell Jr.

Click Here to check out some Fin Nor records, including all-tackle swordfish, blue marlin, black marlin, and more. these include records from the 1950s to the 2000s - very impressive.

Fin-nor supposedly pioneered using lightweight Aluminum and Anodizing to protect the reels from the salt. I remember their Number 2 and Number 3 fly reel models fondly. They can still be found on eBay and other sites sometimes, and are actively pursued by collectors.

A quick look on eBay shows a good dozen models available right now, most with pictures but not much in the way of descriptions.