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Posts: 2,568
Reply with quote  #1 

Got a guy that has what is supposed to be the first Zebco reel mint in the box with a letter from zebco about this reel. Zero Hour from what I gather made this reel before the company name was changed to Zebco. Any information or value help is needed . Thanks


Posts: 109
Reply with quote  #2 


Founded at Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1949, Zebco is a major manufacturer of fishing equipment. It began with the invention of backlash-free fishing reel by a Rotan, Texas, watchmaker and itinerant inventor named Jasper R. Dell Hull, who was better known as R. D. Hull. After struggling to find a company to manufacture and to market his invention, Hull finally approached the Zero Hour Bomb Company of Tulsa for assistance. The Zero Hour Bomb Company, which had been in business since 1932 manufacturing electric time bombs used in fracturing oil-well formations, was experiencing the difficulties common to a single-product company in a shrinking market. They partnered with Hull and produced their first reel, called the Standard, in May 1949. Soon afterward, through regional marketing under the name Zebco the product became so popular that in January 1956 the company changed its name to Zebco and ceased to produce oil-field related materials. Through the introduction of a series of new models featuring high quality at reasonable prices the company continued to expand until 1961, when they merged with the Brunswick Corporation. Afterward, they acquired several smaller firms, expanded their national presence, and became involved in international marketing of their growing line of fishing equipment. Hull remained with the firm's production department, where he designed twenty-six reels and received thirty-five patents prior to his May 1977 retirement soon followed by his death in December of that same year. In 2001 the W. C. Bradley Company bought Zebco from Brunswick, but in the early years of the twenty-first century the headquarters of the nation's best-known fishing gear manufacturer remained in Tulsa, Oklahoma.




Zero Hour Bomb Company seems a rather unlikely

start for a business that today is one of the largest fishing

tackle companies in the world.

But it's true, it was electric time bombs for oil well drilling, not

fishing products being made by the Tulsa company in the late

1940's.That's when R.D. Hull,a West Texas watchmaker came

knocking on their door for a job. However, instead of a resume,

he carried a strange-looking contraption that was little more than a tin can with a hole in both ends.

He said it was a concept for a new fishing reel that "wouldn't backlash."

Hull explained that fishermen were tired of the backlash problems common to baitcast

reels of the time. His idea featured a fixed spool instead of a revolving one, a brainstorm

that came one day while watching a clerk pull string from a stationary spool to wrap a package

of meat. Company officials liked what they saw and agreed to make Hull's reel.

On a June day in 1945, 25 hand-made Zebco Standards rolled off the first day's production

line. R.D. Hull and this new reel called a Zebco, a name derived from Zero Hour Bomb Company,

were about to change forever the way that people fished. The rest, as they say, is history.





Posts: 2,568
Reply with quote  #3 

Wendy is the God of Information You know it's funny but 99 % of the time people just want to know what's it worth and if they just take the time to read a bit of history on there search they find the most intersting storys behind this love of collecting. Killer history story and thanks Wendy


Posts: 672
Reply with quote  #4 

WOW!  I think I'll consult Wendy before adding anything else to my page. Good job, "your Dalbergness!" 


Posts: 353
Reply with quote  #5 
Scott, also you need to check and make sure the spinnerhead under the front cover is red. Zebco made three different colors of spinnerheads in the standard reel. The first was red, the second was black and the third one was tan. The hardest color to find is the black one even though it was the second color made.
Also, look up under the box top and make sure there is a serial number stamped in the lid. The first red spinnerhead reels had a serial number in the boxtop. The other two colors had none. Some people put the wrong reel in the numbered box and thus, it is not a correct combo.
Make sure it has the registration card in it too. They are pretty tough to come by.
I would be very interested to see what the serial number is on that reel box. Please keep me posted.

If you have any more questions about zebco's, feel free to ask.


Posts: 427
Reply with quote  #6 
What can you tell me about an all black 600? I have one my grandfather gave me. Reel is flawless. Is it common? Thanks, Chris

Posts: 353
Reply with quote  #7 
Yes the black 600 is a very common reel. The model 66, 606 and 600 came out to be a price competitive reel in the market place. They were a cheaper version of the model 33.

The model 66 was produced from 1958 until 1964. Then the 606 came out in 1965. It ran in production until the end of 1969 and then came the 600 in 1970. It was in production until 1983.

The all black 600 with the silver bands was the first models. They made one with "model 600" embossed on the front cover and then made them with "model 600" stamped in the front cover.
Later years, the covers were plain with model 600 displayed on the body of the reel with decals.

Another interesting tid bit about Zebco reels is, they made the metal foot on the reels until 1980. After that time, they were plastic. That kind of helps getting the age of the reels a little more in perspective.

Hope this helps Chris......................Tommy

Posts: 427
Reply with quote  #8 

Thanks Tommy....I now know more about this reel. Thanks for the info!

Reply with quote  #9 
Black Spinner is First Year ,then Red then Beige,Tan, Pinkish from age.
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