Brookside Rod Co.
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Dabrowski reel brochure
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Rodmakers Findings TM

Contact Information:

Gary P. Dabrowski
The Brookside Rod Co.
37 Brook Street
Naugatuck, CT, 06770-3101
(203) 729-1503

gdabrowski @ yahoo. com

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The limited edition Dabrowski fly reel

Gary Dabrowski has been building bamboo fly rods since 1991.  Beginning in 2004, he has begun offering the angling community a limited edition hand crafted game fish reel.  This fly reel is styled and engineered after the manner of the Walker and Vom Hofe reels now long out of production.  It is constructed using materials and methods typically used during the period when the originals were built and are no longer seen in the other best quality reels built today.  Not another “bar stock” or CNC reel, it is a unique piece of functional art.    A Dabrowski reel is the culmination of weeks of effort.   Each is carefully hand made on equipment, tools and fixtures built in his own shop.   This Artisan built fine tackle is available in several sizes.


The Dabrowski Model 2 reel is currently available in three sizes. The smaller Light Line series is 2 1/2 inches diameter over the rings and is built with a traditional sprocket and pawl “click” drag to manage line and prevent over spooling. The Baby Trout series is 2 3/4 inches diameter with the same sprocket and pawl drag. The 3 1/4 inch Trout series may may be specified with a five position adjustable drag or the “click” drag.   Major drag components are manufactured from stainless steel and lubricated with waterproof silicon grease and therefore does not require any user maintenance.  The spool runs in sintered bronze bearings that have been impregnated with oil.  When ordering you must specify either right or left hand retrieve.  Spools are not removable-replaceable.


Dabrowski reels have black acetal side plates. Unlike the hard rubber used in the originals, modern acetal composite is stronger, will not discolor, crack or craze and is completely resistant to degradation from ultraviolet exposure and moisture. Both the rings that encircle the side plates and the spool plates are made from 18% nickel silver. They are precision drawn or formed, machined to size and highly polished.   Depending on the model, cross bars may be nickel silver or aluminum.  The handle, foot and back plate bearing cover are of aircraft aluminum.  All aluminum parts are anodized for protection and have a light matt finish.  The remainder of the reel is made from tool steel, stainless steel, aluminum and bronze.  The serial number and model number of each reel is engraved on the foot, the makers’ logo is engraved on the back plate bearing cover or a plaque applied to the back plate depending on the model.  A leather drawstring bag is provided to protect the reel when not in use.


A tippet retainer may be found located under the handle counterweight.  Simply make a turn or two around the retainer to keep the end of the tippet handy when you store your reel.  Fly hook keepers are located on the rear surface of the foot. 

Reel Specifications


Reel Diameter





of Spool

Available drag type


Capacity yds-wht

Click pawl


Light Line

2 ½ in.

4.2 oz

0 to 3

.75 in.



to 10#20

Baby Trout, narrow

2 ¾  in.

4.8 oz


.75 in.




Baby Trout

2 ¾  in.

5 oz


.81 in.




Trout, narrow

3 ¼  in.

5 oz


0.75 in.





3 ¼  in.

5.1 oz


0.81 in.




Large Trout

3 ¼  in.

5.5 oz


0.96 in.




Light Steelhead

3 ¼  in.

6.5 oz


1.15 in.





A limited number of reels are built each year.   The 2 ½ inch light line reel(midge)is $699.00. Adjustable drag Model 2 reels are $749.00. The larger click pawl Model 2 reels are $699.00.  The small trout models are available with either a classic styled double tapered handle or a serpentine handle, all other models are built with a serpentine handle only at this time. Custom features are available at extra cost such as:

  • Special material side plates such as polymer impregnated rare hardwoods

  • White acetal or deer horn handle knobs or hardwood matching above

  • Naval bronze foot

  • stainless steel (static) front pillar for silk line users

  • Ball bearing roller front pillar. Ideal for silk line users

The process of obtaining a reel is simple. Call or email to let me know your wishes and this will book your order. You will need to specify Description, Reel Diameter, Drag type and any options you may wish. As each reel is the product of exacting hand labor, forecasting precise delivery dates is difficult. Therefore I will endeavor to keep you apprised of progress as your reel is being built. When complete, I will send an invoice for payment. Once paid, I will ship your reel. Shipping costs are extra.   Fly reels are warranted for as long as I am building reels.  


Gary Dabrowski

The Brookside Rod Co.

Custom built fly reels and bamboo fly rods

(203) 729-1503       gdabrowski @ yahoo . com


Due to the desire to constantly improve this tackle; prices and specifications are subject to change without notice