Miami Captain George M. Stevens owned a radio repair shop and was the manager of the Chamber of Commerce Docks on Miami Beach. Stevens also captained the cruiser "Baby Skylark", running his own fishing charter business. Witnessing the success of the Fin-Nor reel's debut in 1935, Stevens designed his own reel and had it constructed at the Burley Machine Shop in Miami, Florida.
Stevens initially made his reel's frame from German silver and his side-plates out of Micarta, a material used for heat insulation. Stevens hoped to slow the heat build-up during the run of a great fish and prevent the angler's arm from burning when it contacted the side-plates.
A later version of the Stevens reel had its frame made of chrome plated brass with side-plates made from an early plastic-like material.
The Stevens reel was a massive 16/0 size measuring 7 3/4 inches in diameter and 5 1/2 inches across the inside spool. Like the Fin-Nor reel, the Stevens reel could hold 850 yards of 54 thread line and would accommodate a second handle on the rear side-plate to allow an angler to crank with both hands while in harness.
The Steven's reel was priced at $300.00 and was dubbed the "Poor Man's Fin-Nor" as the Fin-Nor cost $500.00. The reel was later offered in the 14/0 and 12/0 size. About 20 of these reels were produced, but the brake was its weakness and water had to be poured onto the reel to keep it from burning up when a heavy fish made its bid for freedom.
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