fly reel

i found a old fly reel at my dads brand new still in box j.c. higgins made for sears does anyone know how old this is and is it worth anything.

JC Higgins reel
I’ve got an older edition of “Lawson’s price guide to old fishing reels”. Its the 1997 edition, but will put you in the ballpark.

What’s the model number on the box or reel? It probably starts with something like 311 or 319 and maybe followed by a . and as many as four or five more numbers after the decimal point.

model no.
model 535.31240 this is what is on the reel on the box it just has vertical automatic fly reel no.3124 box and reel model no. match.

auto Higgins fly reel
There is one worn one listed in Lawson’s price guide in 7/8 condition (out of 10 - which is best) and the value is listed as $6. I’m sure that your example is worth far more because its new with the box (box more rare & valuable than the reel). Its from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. Most people who collect Sears reels collect the later models with the “Ted Williams” autograph. Anything endorsed by the great ballplayer and with his signature is collectable. If you sold this reel with its box at a sporting collectibles auction, I’d expect it to bring $40-$60, maybe more if the right Sears collector bid.

BTW, don’t ever take apart one of these when it is under tension. The spring is very powerful and when it comes uncoiled suddenly, can be dangerous. I did it when I was a kid and half the reel flew off into space - probably causing some UFO sightings.

J.C. Higgans…
Now there is a brand name from my youth!

My Dad was an avowed Sears & Roebuck shopper. To him all good things came from S&R. My bike, my baseball mitt, my baseball bat and baseball all were “J.C. Higgans” brand. I didn’t know that fishing gear was so branded. Next time I am up at his house I will have to check his automatic fly reel - bet it is a JCH as well.


thanks for the info, i might take care of the box and just go ahead and use the reel.