George Garey, originally from Vermont, was the Chief Engineer at the Anglo-Chilean Nitrate Company in Tocopilla Chile. Garey was in charge of the mechanical department at Maria Elena where he oversaw the construction of most of the mining equipment including the large cranes used at the nitrate mine. It was in the machine shop at Maria Elena that Garey built his big game reels which he specifically designed to fish for the large swordfish and marlin that he and his English companion, W. E. S. Tuker, discovered migrating off the coast of Tocopilla, Chile.
Garey built his reel in several different sizes and they were designed to be fished underneath the rod. Garey's reels utilized a star style drag system with some reels having the star drag on the handle side of the reel while other reels had their star drag on the side opposite the handle. Many of Garey's larger reels had an auxiliary hand style brake in the shape of a wishbone protruding off the front of the reel. To engage this drag the angler had to squeeze the tip of the wishbone towards the rod which in turn pivoted the other end, which was outfitted with asbestos, onto the spool adding additional drag when needed. Although Garey made the reels he did not mark them with his name, instead many examples have been found with only the owner's initials engraved on the reel's side-plates.
While stationed in Chile, Garey hosted many famous anglers aboard his boat the "Quinchilhuie" including the Michale and Helen Lerner and S. Kip and Chissie Farrington. In 1936, Garey landed a world record 842-pound swordfish off Tocopilla Chile with one of his reels. In all, Garey caught eleven swordfish while living in Chile before retiring to California, three of these swordfish weighing in at over 800 pounds each.
Garey also landed a 482-pound striped marlin, the largest ever taken off the coast of Chile.
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