Deep Sea Fishing Reel signed Edward VanHoff and papent dated May 20, 1902. The reel is mounted on a rod that is signed " The H.R.H. custom built by Tycoon Tackle Inc. Miami U.S.A.
Length of rod: 6 Feet, 7 Inches
Note: Edward vom Hofe is known for his high quality fly, bait casting and salt water reels. The company was established in 1867. His first reel patent was Sept. 2, 1879 for a spring device to apply pressure to the spool like a drag. In January 23, 1883 he also got a patent for a click device with an arrow shaped pawl and two curved springs. The July 14, 1896 patent for an automatic drag is best known by fly reel collectors and is seen stamped on the oil caps on the Restigouche model. The best known patent that is marked on the reel bearing oil caps is the May 20, 1902 patent and is for the star drag. This patent date is seen on the Universal Star reels. Around 1940, the vom Hofe factory was moved from New York to Philadelphia. The company continued making reels up until World War II. Afterwards, the business was sold to Otto Zwarg. His reels are considered highly collectable and are sought after by collectors. Other vom Hofe's associated with reel making are his brother Julius and his father Fredrick.
Dating the year of manufacture of Edward vom Hofe reels isn't easy. All we know for sure is the oldest reels were not serialized and later ones were serialized. It has been speculated that the letter proceeding the three digit number signifies the year made. I personally have not seen any evidence to back up this postulation. Obviously patent dates give an indication of the first years made. This can be confusing since patent dates were used up until the 1920's when patent numbers were used. Some reels containing old patent dates can be seen in catalogs from a much later date.
All Edward vom Hofe reels are of interest to collectors. The most sought after of his reels are at two ends of the size spectrum. Collectors seek the smallest size fly reels and the largest size big game fishing reels. The intermediate size salt water reels are also collectable, but much more common.