_"You've got a great example of a classic mass-produced casting reel. As the box says, it's a South Bend No. 550L Level Wind Anti-Back-Lash Reel, but there's more to this story. First of all, the massive South Bend Bait Co. never manufactured any fishing reels. All South Bend reels were outsourced, largely to the Wm. Shakespeare Co. of Kalamazoo, Mich., who made this reel. Second, it's a great reel that comes in the box with paperwork, which makes many people think they've struck it rich. The truth of the matter is that even in nice condition with all the bells and whistles, South Bend (and other companies like them) sold so many of these reels that they are readily available, and only worth around $20-$30 in the box, and half that without a box. The upside is that it makes these reels affordable even to beginning collectors, who can amass a great collection of reels in boxes for a modest price. The reel dates from the 1940s and if you oiled and cleaned it, could still be used today!"