Super fly guys make the British dream reel

The Fly Reel Company's Tim Brown (left) and Shaun Benzon hope to export to the United States next year. (S)
The Fly Reel Company's Tim Brown (left) and Shaun Benzon hope to export to the United States next year. (S)

A student from Harrogate has turned his hobby into a business with the launch of the only fishing reel designed and made in Britain.

The Fly Reel Company unites the engineering skills of PhD student and keen fisherman Shaun Benzon with the business acumen of Tim Brown, who owns The Brown Trout, a fishing tackle shop on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate where Shaun used to work.

Lancaster University student Shaun said: “Everyone we spoke to in the shop said they would love to be able to buy British, but instead the reels were being manufactured in China.”

The highly-researched reel was a year in development at Shaun’s university, where he was helped by an academic and an engineering department technician. The prototype was then manufactured by Claro Precision Engineering in Knaresborough.

Every part of it is made in Britain, including the reel pouch, which is hand-stitched by Rose Haynes, the Harrogate widow of a Second World War RAF fighter pilot.

Shaun added: “The feedback has been fantastic and it’s great to be able to bring back British manufacturing to the fly reel.”

The Reel Britannia fly reel will be on sale from July.