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Memorabilia of lazy days by the rivers of England and Scotland is flowing the way of new wealth in the shape of recently leisured plutocrats, often American and Japanese, buying into the exclusive by-ways of aristocratic life.

Focusing on fly-fishing – the best-bred method of enticing fish from the water – capital backed interest has brought a string of successive records in specialist salerooms throughout the late ’80s and ’90s, and this solid silver reel right and this hollow spinning bait above right became the two most expensive trappings in their respective categories when they surfaced, from separate sources, at a sale held by Angling Auctions in Chiswick town hall on October 2.

There was nothing unusual about the mechanism of the reel – a checkless three-pillared drum wheel standard on mid-19th century models – but it was exceptional in terms of quality, style and pedigree. The chamfered manner of the retaining nuts on the backplate would have pointed to a Scottish workshop even had the signature of Glasgow silversmith David Munro not been engraved to the central spindle boss. The lack of an assaymark, the idiosyncrasy of the engraving and the fact that no other reel appears to have been made by Munro, would suggest that the smith had made this model for himself.

Exacerbating the rarity of this reel is the fact that none of the five other solid silver reels in circulation bear a maker’s name. Consigned by a Scottish collector, this reel was returned north of the border with a bid of £18,500 (plus 10 per cent premium) – a record UK price comparable to the $32,000 paid for a c.1830 Schneider reel at Lang’s of Boston in 1998.

The 19th century metal spinning lure did not bear the mark of a manufacturer, only a patent number 20248 which was subsequently declared untraceable by the Patents Office, but auctioneer Neil Freeman said that the amber and black eyes, claw mounts and rear hooks were all features of lures produced by Allcock’s of Redditch. The lure was fitted with six vanes – an unprecedented number – each of which could be adjusted to varying lengths to alter the spinning action of the bait. However, as Mr Freeman pointed out, “it would need a fisherman with a degree in civil engineering to work out the precise combination appropriate to the river conditions”.

Like the silver reel, this lure could still be used on the water, although the bathos of snagging such a unique and valuable object under a rotten tree stump or submerged boulder would be too much to bear; indeed the bid of £2200 taken by a Gregory lure at Bonhams last year was considered to be a high price at the time, but this undocumented model managed to attract a record sum of £5000 (plus premium) from a lure collector.