It’s All About the Skirts

1975 Daiwa 2500C ad. The first skirted-spool spinning reel.

1975 Daiwa 2500C ad. The first skirted-spool spinning reel.

Although by 1975 the miniskirt had been replaced by the ever-famous polyester bell-bottoms, Japanese tackle manufacturer Daiwa was ready to introduce its new skirt concept to the masses. Not as sexy as the miniskirt to some, the avid angler saw the skirted spool as a thing of beauty – and a solution to the never-ending problem of line slipping behind the spool.

The Daiwa 2500C is the reel that put the company on the map in the U.S. and maybe the world. Despite the fact that many anglers were still swearing by and using the Zebco Cardinal and Garcia Mitchel series reels, the skirted spool was such a game changer that even the most dedicated Swedish and French supporters started to look towards Japan for the solution to their problems. By the early 80s, Daiwa would have a hearty market share while ABU and Mitchell were retooling to make their own versions of new skirted-spool reel.

But Daiwa’s innovation with the 2500C didn’t stop at the skirted pool.  It was also the first reel to offer a manual bail. From reading the ad, they thought it would allow the angler to achieve a better hook-up ratio. What it did in the end for many anglers was help alleviate the nasty wind knots that happen when the bail closes and creates a loop on the spool. The reel also offered both right- and left-hand retrieve, a high gear ration and a new Teflon drag system.  It wasn’t just a one-hit wonder.

Why no one had thought of these concepts before 1975 is one of those things that makes you wonder.   I wish I was there when the designer had his “ah-hah” moment(s) that lead to its design. I wonder if he (or she) knew the effect it would have on the design of spinning reels?

  • Andy Williamson

    Mepps manufactured the world’s first skirted spool spinning reel, the Super Meca. It was introduced to American fishermen in the early 60s, but European fishermen had it in the 50’s. I bought mine in 1973, and lost it in Lake Mitchell, SD in the mid 80s. They are on ebay.