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A Brief History of Baitcasting Bass Fishing & the Kentucky Reel

Appearance Date: 10/29/2022

The Kentucky Reel is truly one of the great contributions of the Blue Grass state to the wider world. The first widely popular multiplying fishing reels were hand made in Kentucky in the nineteenth century and their popularity changed fishing forever by ushering in the modern age of baitcasting. For the first time, the authors offer a concise and easy to read history of not only the origins and development of the Kentucky Reel but also the early history of baitcasting and bass fishing in Kentucky. Lavishly illustrated and featuring examples of some of the rarest Kentucky Reels, this book is a welcome introduction to an important yet overlooked piece of angling and Kentucky history.

About the Author

William Hinkebein’s interest in antique tackle began in 1990 when he discovered an old tackle box (1940s) in a barn on his farm in Kentucky. He quickly found out about the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club and the Old Reel Collector’s Association and began searching for Kentucky Reels in earnest. He appreciates all that they represent: the history of the then American frontier, the settlement of Kentucky, and the craftsmanship, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, fishing, conservation, sportsmanship, and camaraderie. Hinkebein appreciates all who share interest in antique tackle and loves all the people he has met in the pursuit of such. He is passionate about the pursuit of that next Kentucky Reel Discovery.

Art B. Lander, Jr. (pictured) has been writing about the outdoors in Kentucky since the 1970s. He grew up in St. Matthews and graduated from Western Kentucky University. A life-long angler, gardener, hunter, and nature enthusiast, Lander worked as a freelance magazine journalist, then was the staff outdoor writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper for 23 years. In 1991, he received the Best Outdoors Page Award, by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Lander has written or contributed to seven books about Kentucky. Most recently, he authored A Fishing Guide to Kentucky’s Major Lakes. He serves as outdoors editor of Kentucky Forward and is a contributor to the Northern Kentucky Tribune.