Sunday, August 19, 2012

F. Steans & Coy LTD

Planning to take on a few lakes with the old man this summer. He still uses the first reel he ever bought back in the 1970's. Made by an E.J. Brown who used to work for Hardys in London. Apparently he was an engineer who was involved in making Perfects. I'm not sure if he was a kiwi or he emigrated to New Zealand, however he brought the secrets of the Perfect to New Zealand with him. I believe Hardys may have tried to take him to court over the matter. Anyhow he was able to make and sell many of the Perfect copies in a few colours, from metallic green and pink through to matt black, silver and a weird textured coated black. They were sold under the name F. Steans and Coy LTD - Chch NZ. I also have seen them with the name "Stream Fly" as well. The early models have no markings on them. Many years ago I was talking to a fishing friend who thinks there may have been 2 people making them, 1 in Christchurch and the other in Kaikoura.

By chance I was chatting to a guy in a second hand shop in Ch-Ch and he knew E.J. Brown. I was so surprised as this story had always interested me. Unfortunately Mr. Brown had passed away, but this guy had been given Mr. Browns reels and parts. After some discussion he agreed to let me buy (actually trade some goods) for one of his reels. I was delighted when I discovered it was a new model he had been working on and as far as I know not yet released.

 Front and rear The F. Stean & Coy Ltd.

Debatable - The F. Stean & Coy's a "Perfect " copy.

Centre back purchased from the dealer.

I had been using one of Mr. Browns reels for many seasons, but have now retired them for safe keeping. I am not a collector by any means and don't chase gear, but I was lucky to get these reels.


Lindsay said...

Great story. I also have collected a number of these reels, which are by far the best ever made in NZ. I am trying to find out a bit more about E J Edwards and wondered if you could put me in touch with the second hand dealer you met. I've managed to piece together a bit of his background, but there are a lot of gaps/assumptions/unconfirmed stories about him that I would like to resolve. Any help you could give would be very much appreciated.

Regards Lindsay

Hansy said...

Hi Lindsay
Thanks for dropping in. I remember seeing about 20 of these for sale in the old Shands Emporium on Armagh Street In Christchurch when I was a teenager. Mr. Warlich I think was the dealer there. He had many Steans through his store. That was where I saw the green version which I have never seen since. I used to have a coated one like the hardy Taupo, but gave it away to a friend. Now the other guy was quite a hard case dealer on Columbo street, down in Sydenham. He threw in the towel and opened his shop up giving everything away for free. I couldn't find the story, but it was covered by the Press because in the rush to get something for free, one lady broke her leg or arm or something. The Press should have the story. I'll do a bit more hunting around. At that time my brother was into collecting super 8mm films. We found some crazy old war footage in his shop and various other bits and pieces. He drove a hard bargin the old owner, but was quite a character.