No matter how technological the fishing industry becomes, it’s nice to know it still holds a place for the timeless values of integrity and Old World craftsmanship. In the world of fly fishing, that place is occupied by legends like Billy Pate, Lefty Kreh and a Hungarian tool and die master with a passion for fly fishing and a gift for reel design: Tibor “Ted” Juracsik.
Tibor Juracsik was born in Budapest, Hungary where much of his youth was spent fishing on the Danube River. At 17 he became the youngest Hungarian ever to earn his Masterpapers in the tool and die trade. In the 1950’s, having joined the Hungarian Freedom Fighters in their unsuccessful revolt against Soviet rule, Tibor was forced to flee his native land. Eventually, he immigrated to the United States and established his own tool and die business in New York State in 1959, where in the waters off Long Island, he also resumed his interest in fishing. In 1970, Ted met Billy Pate on a trip to the Florida Keys. The two became fishing buddies and Pate shared with Ted the problems inherent in the saltwater reels of the time — corrosion, the uneven action of early drag systems, and simply being overmatched by the power and “reel smoking” runs of larger saltwater prey.
Back at his shop, Juracsik applied his tool and die making skills to these challenges. After testing several prototypes, the Billy Pate Fly Reel was introduced and instantly established new standards of quality, design, and durability for saltwater fly reels. The design has proven so sound, that nothing has changed since its inception. Suddenly, the nearly impossible task of landing world-class saltwater fish was not only possible, but pleasurable. Still revered by many as the toughest and most dependable on the market, Billy Pate Reels are manufactured exclusively by the Tibor Reel Corporation to this day.
In 2019, Tibor Reels earned 6 new world records according to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). This brings the Tibor’s World Record count to over 950 more than any other fly fishing reel in history. IGFA Hall of Fame fisherman, Lefty Kreh, describes Tibor Reels as “the finest saltwater reels I have ever used.” They are the prized possession of every fisherman who owns one. Each is capable of delivering a lifetime of virtually maintenance-free fishing enjoyment for which Tibor Reels are famous.