PÈRE FRANÇAIS DU MOULINET
A TAMBOUR FIXE (1/3)
the attractiveness produced by the old angling implements and whatever
the reasons to collect them and so to preserve them are, what is
undeniable is that they have all played a great part in the angling
history through their conception, ingenuity, aesthetics and
If most of
us take an interest in the reel range described by Jean Huillet in his
book “Les Leurres Légers”, and more particularly in the first
French fixed spool reels which have been patented (in 1935 let’s quote
chronologically Vamp de Causse, Capta de Dubos, Luxor 1er modèle, etc.)
yet we must keep in mind the precursor of the French fixed spool reel :
Viscount Henry de France and its ingenious invention that is le Moulinet
Rustique also called ‘the Green peas tin”.
Viscount Henry de France died in
1947. he was 75 and lived in his forefathers’ house the old castle of
Arry, in Somme.
The angling newspapers of that
time render him a national homage : “in this man of a so great
culture, with such a marvellous simplicity coming from the highest
traditions the angling world loses someone passionated, pure, an apostle,
a pioneer. France loses one of its great brains in the same time as one
of its noblest sons, in all meanings of this great and beautiful word.”
Angling was not the only passion
of the Viscount. His workings on dowsing and on water-diviner art show
it. He was besides the president of several international congresses on this matter.
Following an invitation to test the famous tip reel on the
Viscount ponds, Tony Burnand has written an article in ABDE (Au Bord De
l’Eau) magazine. He wrote these few words : “Henry de France isn’t
only an inventor, not only a dowser, he is a well read man, he is the
scholar that countries had wanted before the war to lead entrancing
conferences and studies.”
Arry, the castle.
He was irrefutably an inventor.
The creation of this reel with end unwind and the ingenious system which
recovers the lure thanks to this rod which is an integral part of the
fishing rod are good proves.
But who better than him could talk about it ? here is an extract of a letter Henry de France wrote a few months before he died.
“I have recently had the idea of looking for the
origins of the reel with fixed spool. The ancestor of all those existing
now is the Malloch one (which name comes from a fishing maker in Perth).
I had learnt it in a fishing trip in Scotland in 1903. When I had come
back I had the idea of arranging it my way, without gimlet. I have
resulted to this rod reel. I mostly used it for pike and white fishing
because I have no trouts home.
Ce moulinet était de prix élevé et l'on devait constamment
retourner le tambour pour éviter le vrillage de la ligne.
I presented this reel to the Casting Club show. By consulting the
year books I can read that 1910 I carried the first prizes off for the
distance castings with 40 gr. and 48m550 with 15 gr. what is a record
for that time. 1913 I wan a prize for a 43m500 casting with 7gr50. We indisputably
are in the limits of light casting. 1910 I take a detail
prize too (for 20, 25 and 30m. with 15gr.).
La pêche sportive "
1914 war burst. We didn’t hear of reel with fixed
spool for several years. Except if I make a mistake this reel seems to
come back from England around 1932 following Illingworth workings (which
were mostly contemporary to mine) but which were carried on and
manufactured contrary to mine). I was very disadvantaged on that point.
The tip reel even provided with an appropriate rod was very cheaper than
an equipment with a crank reel. Then it is no surprise that it was the
only one to be chosen. It’s nearly the same as for books. A popular
brochure has less success than an expensive big book that permits
booksellers to allow important discounts.
I know that the unusual aspect of the tip was
reproached to my system. But experience shows that one isn’t long in
being good at using this system as well and as quickly as a crank one
especially when one has taken care in trying to handle this tip, at
first with no line.”