Saturday, April 23, 2011

S & M Bobbin is the name I was looking for

I got an email from a friend letting me know that the bobbin I was questioning in a post earlier this month is an S&M Bobbin. Now that he mentioned it, I remember that there were letters engraved on one of  the bobbin ears.  The engraving actually isn't all that noticable, unless you get the ight just right (see below.)

The bobbin I showed in the earlier post (and shown below with the wood handle) is a recent "upgrade" of the original. The original was created by Walt Stockman and Charlie Malley who were owners of S&M Fly Shop in Connecticut.

The shop was sold to John Marona in the early 1990s and he closed the shop about 2005. Based on some forum posts from 2008, it seems that John then continued to sell old stock on ebay for a few more years after closing the shop.

I can't recall where I bought my "original"; perhaps from Ed Gallop at It cost about $5 around 2006 or 2007.

I think you either hate or love the old product, with its steel tube and big ears. I have read that this is the favored bobbin of A.K. Best. 

For me, I will only use the original design for my heavy thread (such as Danville 3/0) as I keep breaking finer thread. The pressure of the metal ears against the thread spool is hard to adjust, and most of the time they create too much pressure agains the thread spool.

The "upgrade" model costs about $16 and has a wood handle and ceramic inserts on both ends of the steel tube. If you are interested, I saw it on the Web site.  I find tubes with ceramic inserts difficult to thread.

I saw on the Website an even newer model! It said "new for 2009", and was built with a ceramic tube, and is priced at about $18. I don't have one of these, but would expect (for me) that the extra $2 is worth it for the full ceramic tube.  But I won't be buying it, as I have a lifetime supply of bobbins.  (On the other hand, I continued to buy feathers even after buying my first lifetime supply *LOL*)

It is my understanding that these upgraded models with their fancy wood handles are made by Wasatch. I read somewhere that Wasatch bought the rights to manufacture the bobbins.


Marc Veeneman said...

Now there's a guy on eBay selling the original again and claiming that they're again being manufactured in Connecticut.

VTJIM said...

The fellow took over the company and is producing the original design. With some variation, they sell for roughly $5.00. His website