Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've looked for information for a line of reels made in days of yore made by the Ocean City Mfg. Co, out of Philadelphia, PA. Not much information could be found by me online, and I found other queries looking for information about this now defunct company.

I own several Ocean City level wind reels, very similar to Penn reels. I got mine from my Grandfather, and both are in like new condition. One even has the dacron line he used on it, but the other has been fished with using a Bamboo heavy duty pier fishing rod belonging to my Grandfather and has more recent modern line on it.

I have the boxes for both reels, as that is how my Grandfather kept his fishing gear. Lures were in their boxes in tackle boxes, carefully dried and stored after each fishing trip. Likewise with his reels and rods, washed and dried and lubed and cleaned thoroughly. I have a collection of rods and reels and lures and tackle boxes that are in, more or less, the same condition they were in anywere from the 1930's to the 1960's when new. I've kept them up, as I do all of my fishing gear, although I'm not as fastidious with my gear as Grandpa was.

In the reel box is a receipt dated August 24, 1955 from Foster & Company, Wholesale Sporting Goods out of Fresno, California. It shows an order of fishing stuff being shipped to my Great-Grandfather in a town in California, back when both my mom's parents and grandparents were living and working in California during the boom days. My Grandfather worked for GM, and had a great job, but they all really missed living in East Texas.

But while in California my Grandfather and his father-in-law made the most of the coastal fishing they were near. I'm sure this reel saw a lot of use on the various piers that dot the California coast

On the box, it says "Topsail, All purpose large capacity level wind reel holding 200 yards of line, and that this reel features:
-removable Level Wind
-Two extra pawls
-multiple washer star drag
-anti-backlash control
-synchro-mesh gears
-self lubricating bearings
-on-off click
-chrome plated spool

As I said, I have a twin of this reel that I have used regularly for saltwater pier fishing and for freshwater cat fishing. It's basically an early design Penn reel, as least as how it operates, and some 60 years later, they're still going strong. The insides are still pristine and I have no doubt El Fisho Jr. will enjoy these reels for many years after I am gone. They might even make it several more generations.

More about Ocean City Reels later along with some pictures.


  1. I just purchased an Ocean city 922 at a local bait shop for $ 40it is in pristine condition . I needed a bait caster for
    surf shark fishing here in Florida. I tested the star drag and it was superb to reels costing much more. I spooled it with 10 ft 40 lb mono followed by 300 yards 50 lb braid of tuf line followed by 100lb leader an a circle hook which will give me plenty of line and drag to handle sharks up to 200 lbs or so.Many here have landed good size sharks by accident on 30lb braid with 30 - 40lb mono leader.

    Good Fishing


  2. cool guys. I also got mine from my grandfather. It was in pristine condition after I cleaned all the dust off it. I had no idea how old it was, because it was in such good shape. Im planning to do some shark fishing with it off the jetties in Surfside, so thanks for the tips on how to rig it out.
    Catch em BIG, fellas

  3. I did a lot of fishing at surfside in my younger days. It's a great reel for jetty or pier fishing, and it also does well on river catfish in Texas. Enjoy the gift from grandpa!