Francis Philbrook was a gunsmith from Bangor Maine who invented a raised pillar fly reel whose rights he sold to the famous rod maker Hiram Leonard around 1877. Although Philbrook sold the rights to his raised pillar beauty, he managed to secure an agreement with Leonard to manufacture all future reels of this design made for, and sold under the Leonard name.
Later in 1877, Philbrook took on a junior partner, Edward Payne, and the two talented machinists went on to produce some of the most beautiful reels ever made. Their orange and black marbleized side-plate raised pillar fly reels are perhaps the most sought after fly reel today.
Philbrook & Payne also made a reel with black hard rubber side-plates and a bi-metal raised pillar reel that are also highly collectible today.
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