Tomeland-the oil port covers are not missing from my reel as they were in fact never fitted!Tomeland wrote: ↑Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:50 amWatermole's reel might also be a first model. Mine is the same as his with the copper band under the levelwind and has the lump in the middle of the spool like yours Churchill. The only way to be sure is to remove one end plate and see if it has the bearings instead of the bronze bushing type.
Pity the oil port covers are missing from Watermole's reel too.
This one has been authentically proven to be one of the very first examples ever made, following cessation of the unsuccessful Silex Rex and was sold to me only on the peculiar condition that I would never re-sell it afterwards.
I have not used it for a couple of seasons now but it still casts as smooth as ever.
The coppery-looking metal line guide bearing sleeve is a high lead content, phosphorous bronze alloy which Hardy used extensively in many of their reels, including most of the centrepin Silexes, the Conquest and Altex models as it was very tolerant of dry running.
One from a few years ago...