Reel Maker Jack Charlton Passes Away

Reel maker Jack Charlton passed away an unexpected illness on June 9, 2011.  His friend Jake Jordan wrote this about Charlton, whose Mako reels were prized by saltwater anglers:

“Jack Charlton was born on September 16, 1946 in Montebello, Ca. After a childhood in Tucson, Jack moved to Los Angeles and began working in a machine shop at the age of seventeen. His next employer specialized in machined aerospace products. In this job he demonstrated a real flare for precision machining and intricate design, these talents later manifesting themselves in the production of fly fishing reels. Jack met Judy Keen at the Scottish restaurant in Simi Valley (McDonald’s). This led to sailing in the Channel Islands and 39 years of marriage. A purchase of a getaway in British Columbia eventually initiated a move to the Pacific Northwest.

Jack liked to say because of peace breaking out, and because of a challenge, he designed and produced the first Charlton Flyreel in 1993. The first showing was in Livingston Montana, displaying Signature series 8400 and 8500 reels. In 1996 at the Fly Fishing Dealer Show in Denver Jack’s Charlton 8550 received best in the show for his revolutionary configurable reel. In 1999 Charlton Reels joined Streamworks, later being acquired by 3M. Jack continued to work for 3M until 2003. In 2005 he started Mako Reels, which has continued to set the standard for the fly fishing industry.”

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