Report: Stan Bogdan to Retire from Reel Making

February 10, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

Bogdan200.jpgDon Maclean reports in the Cape Breton Post that Stan Bogdan, now 92, and his son Stephen, in his sixties, have decided to close up shop.
“Stan Bogdan was a young machinist when he made his first fishing reel back in 1940. Over the years his business grew and his reels were eagerly sought by entertainers and royalty. Baseball great Ted Williams fished with a Bogdan reel, as did Bing Crosby. Demand was always high as only 100 reels were produced by the shop every year.”
Of course, Bodgan fly reels, which now sell for thousands of dollars, were favored not just by celebrities but by angling greats like Lee Wulff, who was a man who believed that no matter how valuable the gear, it was meant to be fished.
Monte Burke wrote a detailed profile of the father and son fly reel makers in the April 2009 edition of Forbes magazine. “Armed with a 130-year-old Flather lathe and a 50-year-old Van Norman milling machine, the pair churn out only 100 reels a year and have a three-year backlog. They hold no patents, take no deposits from customers (‘That way they can’t bug me, and I have control,’ says Stanley), store no files, designs or accounts on a computer (they don’t own one) and do no advertising.”