Museum Piece: A Fine Piece of Wedding Cake


Fin-Nor’s “Wedding Cake” reel, designed by Gar Wood, was one of the first fly reels specifically
created to handle the rigors of catching large saltwater fish.
Photo by Sara Wilcox

The American Museum of Fly Fishing is located right next to the Orvis Flagship store in Manchester, Vermont. The folks from the museum will be sharing many of the cool items from their collection in an ongoing series called “Museum Pieces.” You can take a little virtual walk through part of the museum below. Here’s some information about the fly in the photo above.

Gar Wood, Jr. was a boat racer and a tackle designer, and he first came up with the idea for a direct-drive reel in a cage-frame construction in the early 1950s. Fin-Nor picked up the patent and produced “Wedding Cake” reels starting in 1955. These early models are highly collectible, fetching prices in the thousands of dollars. The No. 3, shown here, was called the “Tarpon.”


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3 thoughts on “Museum Piece: A Fine Piece of Wedding Cake”

  1. I have a “Wedding Cake” Fin Nor No. 3 reel Designed by Gar Wood Jr. Pat. Pending Number 892. It is used and unfortunately the box and bag are gone. It was used for Tarpon in Everglades in the 50’s. Might it be a museum piece or know people looking for this particular reel?

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