The production development of the Alvey Reel
Charles Alvey used a treadle lathe to turn Silky Oak wood for the back and spool of the first 3″ and 4″ diameter reels. The back support, line guide and ratchet parts were hand filed from cast gunmetal. Picture
Ken Alvey formed a partnership with his father Charles. Increased demand led to the acquisition of a Capstan lathe which was powered by a kerosene engine. Full backs of Cast Gunmetal were now machined, as were brass spindles and nuts. Picture
Rose wood and Red Bean timbers were used to make the spools. A brass plate was screwed to the spools of the 5” side cast, and the 5”, 6” and 7” game fishing reels to increase line capacity. Bermabrite, an aluminum alloy was used for the 7” overhead game reels. Picture
Bakelite a thermosetting plastic was used to mould 3” and 4” diameter spools. Some 4” backs were also moulded. Picture
Charles Alvey & Son produced their first catalogue.
The outbreak of World War II prevented the production of fishing reels as the factory equipment was utilised in the war effort.
Material shortages following the war resulted in the use of the local timber. Camphor Laurel for the spools of the 3”,4” and 5”reels. Backs on the 5” were rolled Brass. Picture
Bakelite was used on spools up to 5” diameter. Increased demand for larger reels made it necessary to replace Camphor Laurel which had an inconsistent grain, with the finer grained Cedar. Initially Cedar was used only for the 6” to 7” spools. It soon replaced other timbers in all sizes of reels. Backs on reels of 5” and larger diameter were rolled Stainless Steel with a Gunmetal support. Picture
Marine grade Maple Bondwood was used for the larger boat reels up to 12” diameter spools. Picture
The gunmetal supports on the stainless steel back were replaced by Stainless Steel supports which were spot welded to the backs. Picture
With the acquisition of several 100 ton compression moulders,spools could be manufactured from Phenolic Resin and Fibreglass.
As a result of the damage caused by the Brisbane River flood wooden spools ceased to be manufactured. A new material mix of Polyester and Fiberglass replaced the use of cedar.
The factory was relocated to the present site at Carole Park.
With the introduction of Injection Moulding the spools were manufactured using Valox a polyester fibreglass mix.
New injection moulds allowed the production of 4” and 5” diameter Graphite backs with Easy Cast indexing mechanism.
Another injection mould was developed for Graphite backs to suit the 6” diameter spools.
A lever drag clutch set up was produced & made available as an alternative to the conventional star drag on a number of models.
As 75th anniversary model as 6 ½”diameter full graphite backed model was launched with special Pad Printing.
A fully vented blue water saltwater fly reel was added to the range in two models to replace the older metal back series.
Introduction of vented spools & back plates in the 6500 & 6000 models.
A fully vented 8” boat reel all injection moulded construction was added to the range of deep sea reels. A version as a mini winch was also developed.
Rapid Retrieve handle plate system introduced to 6500 & 6000 series surf reels.
Turbocast a new injection moulded index mechanism, was introduced on the 600 and 6000 graphite backed series.