Errol Bullen was one of Australia's pioneer big game fishermen and the designer of the "Errol Bullen Atalanta" big game fishing reel. Frederick Commonwealth Smith was born in 1901 and worked for 30 years as an engineer for the Goodyear Rubber & Tire Company. In 1930 Smith converted an upstairs room in his house into a makeshift machine shop and started building fishing reels. In 1933 Bullen was introduced to Smith and contracted him to build the big game reel of his design for fishing Australian waters. Bullen was well pleased with his reel and soon Smith was custom building big game reels for Bullen's angling friends and later for sale to the general public. The reels Smith produced were dubbed the "Errol Bullen Atalanta" reels.
Bullen had Smith build reels for Reg Fagin and Athel D'Ombrain, two of Australia's prominent big game anglers. Bullen was instrumental in coaxing world famous angler Zane Grey to come and fish Australian waters for marlin and shark. While in Australia, Grey fished with one of Bullen's "Atalanta" reels and stated that he was duly impressed. In his book, An American Angler in Australia, Grey wrote, "The reels made for Bullen were just about as good as any reel I own". Upon returning to America Grey asked Bullen to have a large "Atalanta" reel custom-made complete a with level-wind. Smith made Bullen's "Atalanta" reels from 1933 up until the advent of World War II.
Collectors agree that the Atalanta reels were the finest big game reels produced in Australia and by far the most collectible today.
Click Here to return to our - BIG GAME & SALT WATER REEL GALLERY