Charles F. Orvis started his tackle manufacturing business in 1857 in Manchester Vermont building ash and lancewood fishing rods. In 1874 Orvis designed and built what is considered by many to be the first modern fly reel. The first Orvis reels had a ventilated spool and were made of nickel plated brass, later Orvis offered a solid nickel silver version of this reel. Orvis's reels were made in two sizes, a trout size, and a bass size which was the same diameter as the trout size reel only a bit wider. The design and construction of this reel changed slightly over the next few years but the reel's look stayed essentially the same.
Over the years Orvis sold many reels made by themselves as well as reels made by other makers. Orvis is still in business today and still selling reels under their name.
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