Unknown fishing reels?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by reelworks, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. reelworks

    reelworks New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    NJ
    I happened upon two reels this week, one reads Thunder Bay LD30, and is about the size of a Daiwa Sealine 30H but with graphite sides and lever drag, it resembles an Okuma Catalina but is made from a solid billet, uses all US threaded stainless hardware, (a magnet wouldn't stick to any part in the reel), and uses 2 1/2" diameter 7 disc drag. It's a lever drag reel, not a casting reel and has two harness tabs on top. The ratio is 4.3:1
    I at first bought it thinking it would be handy to have, not thinking it was anything worth much, but after opening this up and seeing the size of the internals, my opinion of it changed. The drag looks like it would stop a truck, the drag washer look a lot like the carbontex drags and are huge in size. The drag assembly is also built into an assembly retained by a circlip making assembly a breeze. If it's China built, its one of the best I've seen yet.

    I've got one that reads Thunder Bay LD30, and another with no name, which is larger, just slightly smaller than a Penn 9/0 senator, that has only an LD80 badge on the left side. This reel has a much longer handle with two more handle positions, with the longest position making the handle long enough for Rock Cod use.
    This reel reads 4.8:1 on the side.

    I realize these are a bit large for catfishing, (the 30 size one would work for big blues), but I'm curious as to where they came from. Having at first just blown them off as cheap China import reels, I hadn't given them a second thought, but after taking a closer look, they look to be pretty decent. Far heavier than anything I've seen from the likes of Okuma, Tica, or any other offbrand reel. In hand, the 80 is about double the size of the 30. I doun't doubt their imports of some kind but by who and from where? Most odd brand reels usually turn out to be made by one of the larger brands, but I really don't see any particular similarities between these and any other known reel.

    Has anyone else here seen or have any info on these? I found these in NJ, I am wondering if maybe they were more a regional sold reel?
    A web search turned up nothing.
    Here's a few pics, (the pics are large so I just posted them to the web, I wasn't sure how to downsize them?)

    LD30
    http://i44.tinypic.com/29zar4.jpg
    http://i44.tinypic.com/25rdqxc.jpg

    LD80
    http://i40.tinypic.com/90oxnb.jpg
    http://i39.tinypic.com/2re4k0i.jpg
     
  2. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    Welcome to BOC Joe.. I'll check into them for ya,and see what I can come up with..
     

  3. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.
    A-BOS Limited is the company that supplies these reels, I don't know where they are actually made.
     
  4. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    from what I can find out ,they might be made by okuma ,just as you thought it looked like them.:wink:
     
  5. reelworks

    reelworks New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    NJ
    I was thinking Okuma till I opened them up. Plus all the USS threading.
    I did find the A BOS link and emailed them, but was told they build that reel, wouldn't say were and told me that none were ever sold. Only a few saleman's samples ever were produced. They didn't claim the LD80, that's apparently not theirs. My take is that someone was trying to sell reels under that brand an supposedly commisioned an offshore company to make some reels. My guess is that when that company didn't find a market for them, they must of found another buyer.
    I went over the Okuma line and all the schematics and none use internals that even resemble these. The side cover and LD30 logo style looks familiar but I can't place it. The design is closest to a Shimano TLD inside but with some signs of copying Penn and older Fin Nor.
    I would figure that there would be certain smaller items which would point to Okuma, but none do, things like handle nuts, screws, levers, etc. The handle knob resembles several from Okuma but the these are tapered not strait. I also considered Tica but couldn't find a match that way either.
    My best guess would be that they're some sort of Shimano TLD clones or in which someone custom made an aluminum body to use someone else's internal parts. Compared to most other Asian made reels, particually Okuma and Tica, these are both far better built all around. Of course, Okuma and Tica are huge companies, we here in the US see only a fraction of their products. The same goes for many other brands.
    There are probably a thousand or more companies in China making reels, many will make to order as few as 50 reels. Most all are exact copies of someone elses reel, I can't count how many Abu and Penn clones I've seen.
    With no real patent laws, they even copy each other, so for instance, if Penn has one company making a reel, the company down the road gets hold of one and begins making that same reel and selling it independent of the original.
    Most are in the Ningbo province of China, thus so many reels with that name on them.
    (Penn, prior to the sale to K2, was having reels made by a company called Ningbo Lucky, which trades as Fuddy International. The were making the Roddy reels, Master reels, Penn Captiva, and probably some other items.
    Since K2 owned their own manufacturer there, I suppose that the Penn reels are no being made there. The Ningbo reels you see on eBay are from the Fuddy Int. source. For the price, they're not bad reels but there's no parts system for repairs. Other than maybe a distributor stripping reels for parts, which isn't likely on a $12 reel, their throw away reels.

    I have yet to see one though with standard threading.

    The Roddy 175 and Ningbo branded versions of those reels as well as the Penn Captiva reels and their clones aren't that bad, their not on par with the US made reels but are decent reels. There is no difference in the Ningbo reels vs. those sold with the Roddy or Penn names on them. Often a case of Ningbo reels will show up with the odd Penn branded reel, or one with a combination of both brand decalling.

    These Thunderbay reels could very well be from this type of source but I just haven't found a match yet. Most of the Chinese companies have online catalogs up.

    http://www.ningbo-lucky.com/lucky/ProductDetail.asp?ProductNO=190&catid=13&subid=

    http://www.haibaofishing.com/star3.htm

    Many of the companies there make good solid products, while just as many make junk and have no quality control. I've heard stories about bait and switch scams, stolen money, and outright theft. There's also a very good chance that these reels were made as sales samples to take orders on, whether being legit or not?