Business Profile

Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Title and Firm: William S. "Bill" Brown is the owner of Taku Reel Repair, a new Juneau business providing repairs on Penn, Shimano, Daiwa, Abu Garcia and other fishing reels for charter boat operators and sport fishermen and women.

Services: Brown, 50, has been collecting vintage fishing tackle for 30 years, and works on contemporary and vintage reels. He repaired and serviced reels for friends for several years before he decided to turn his avocation into a vocation. "Recently, Penn and other manufacturers stopped selling parts to end users, and with no parts dealer in town, the only way to acquire parts was to set up business," Brown said.

"Many reels that come in need only to be cleaned and lubed, but quite a few need new drag washers or other repairs. I keep all of the commonly needed parts on hand so turnaround rarely takes more than three days. I take special pleasure in restoring old reels into serviceable condition using my sources of vintage parts."

Quotable: "If you take care of your tackle it will last forever. I still use a reel my father gave me in 1956."

Background: "My father was in the military, so I have fished in Florida and California and Kansas and all over."

Brown taught economics full time for 23 years while authoring a number of economics texts. He moved to Juneau in 1991 and taught at the University of Alaska Southeast until 2000.

Notable: Brown goes fishing "as often as I possibly can. In the summer, three times a week." In the winter, he fishes someplace warm. Last fall, for example, he caught and released a 700-pound black marlin off Cabo San Lucas. Earlier in 2000 he fished in Mongolia for taimen, the largest salmon in the world; his biggest catch there measured 58 inches. In the spring of 2002, he plans a trip to Egypt for Nile perch, a fish that grows to 500 pounds.

Family: "One full-time and two part-time cats."

Employees: "Just me."

Contact: Taku Reel Repair can be reached by phone at 789-2448 or e-mail at

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