It’s time to win a classic hand-crafted salmon reel

Several years ago, I had the chance to tour Paul Hermann’s Castine workshop as he showed me how he hand-crafted beautiful fly reels that were coveted by anglers across the nation.

Paul Hermann poses with a reel in his Castine shop back in 2010. Hermann passed away a year ago, but his protege, William “Todd” Sands has carried on the craft of hand-making fine fly reels. His first reel is available for a lucky angler in a raffle being run by the Veazie Salmon Club. (BDN file photo)

For an un-handy guy like me, the experience was eye-opening; tiny parts were spread across one table, all of them machined and built by Hermann. Together, they’d make up the inner workings of a precise piece of machinery that was also a piece of art.

At the time, Hermann told me that he was finishing his last run of reels, and that he was working with a young local craftsman whom he hoped would continue to build reels the old-fashioned way.

Almost a year ago, in December of 2016, I heard that Hermann had passed away, and remembered that day. I also wondered if his protege had completed his training, and whether he would produce reels of his own.

Earlier this week, I found out the answer.

Gayland Hachey of the Veazie Salmon Club reached out with an announcement that will likely be of interest to local anglers: William “Todd” Sands of Newburgh — the man who learned the craft from Hermann — has offered his first salmon reel, numbered “001,” up for raffle. Proceeds will benefit the Veazie Salmon Club.

In his email, Hachey explained that Herman worked together with Sands for three years, and the reel that’s up for grabs was completed to Hermann’s satisfaction before his death.

Sands is an avid fisherman and a Master Maine Guide, fly tier and rod-builder.

If you’re interested in taking a shot at winning this once-in-a-lifetime treasure, get in touch with Gayland Hachey at Hachey’s Rod & Fly Shop, 1076 Main Street, Veazie, 04401. You can also send email to

Tickets cost $10, and only 400 tickets will be sold.

Good luck!


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.