On this page, Thomas Redford, William Gordon, Alexander Munro, John Gellatly, John Lyell, David Henderson, Willam Henderson, John Henderson, George Henderson, David Duguid, George Gordon, Miss M'Gregor, William Roy, Alex Adams, William Milne, J & G Gordon, William M'Leod.


Thomas Willam Redford


pre 1820 – 1822          St. Nicolas Street


William Gordon


pre 1820 – 1824          Upper Kirkgate

1824 – 1827                28 Upper Kirkgate

1827 – 1832                30 St. Nicolas.


Gordon is a strange one - murdered his wife with a poker - more of this later!


Alexander Munro


pre 1821 – 1824          Kings Street

1824 – 1831                44 King Street.

1831 – 1834                51 Kings Street           

1834 – 1847                118 Kings Street




A very rare Munro reel - in the "Aberdeen style"


The first mention of Munro is in 1821 when he was described as a Tuner in Kings Street, the next mention in 1824 describes him as a fishing tackle maker with his business at 44 Kings Street and living at 27 Fredrick Street. Munro was also a well know golf club maker.


Alexander Munro died on the 15th of November 1847 the value of his estate was £747, which included his stock in trade as a fishing tackle maker of £100, it’s interesting to see that this valuation was conducted by “Messes Playfair and Brown Fishing Tackle Makers in Aberdeen”. Munro must have been a fairly astute businessman, his estate included £195 of shares of the Gas Light Company of Aberdeen, and also an intriguing £190 the “sum due to the deceased at the time of his death by the Reverend Archibald Anderson Minister of the parish of Crathie, Aberdeenshire”. It’s also interesting to note that a turning lathe valued at £20 was included in his estate. Ludovic Sandison (see further down the page) was employed by Munro from around 1841 and took over the business in 1847 when he died. 


Some of Munros larger customers included: The Duke of Marlborough, John Lyall, Gunmaker, Lord James Hay, Messrs Blaikie & Sons, Lord de Tabley & Hon Captain Arbuthnot. It’s also interesting to note that he had quite a few customers who were coach makers, so we can probably assume that he put the lathe to uses other than the manufacture of fishing rods. I’ve only managed to turn up one item of fishing tackle marked by Munro, items from this early period are very rare, it’s a reel in the traditional North East of Scotland style, quite similar to William Browns own Reel, you can see it in the photo above.


John Gellatly


pre 1824 – 1827          48 Broadstreet

1827 – 1828                12 Exchequer Row


John Lyell


1831 – 1835                126 Union Street

1835 – 1837                130 Union Street

1837 – 1841                123 Union Street                     

1841 – 1865                124 Union Street

1865 – 1879                128 Union Street


John Lyell was first listed in 1831 where he was described as “Registered grate and stove maker”, this changed in 1832 and the description changed to “Registered grate, stove and gun maker”

David Henderson


1846 – 1847                21 Loch Street

1847 – 1862                5 Castle Brae

1862 – 1870                39 Castle Street




An early David Henderson reel, named on the upper part of the foot, mounted on a drop ring David Henderson Rod


William Henderson


1847 – 1855                85 Kings Street

1855 – 1858                89 Kings Street

1858 – 1859                102 Kings Street


John Henderson


1851 – 1858                85 Spring Gardens

1858 – 1872                1 Millbank Terrace

1872 – 1874                39 Castle Street


In 1872 the business became known as John Henderson and son



George Henderson


1870 – 1871                39 Castle Street 


Ludovic Grant Sandison


1856 - 1884                118 Kings Street

Ludovic Sandison was a fishing tackle and golf club maker and is, perhaps, better known as a golf club maker in 1990 one of his clubs, a putter, was auctioned for $10,000.

Ludovic Sandison was born 16/08/1825 in Aberdeen, son of Lewis Sandison & Catherine Yule. The census of 1841 shows that by the age of 15 Ludovic was an apprentice with Alexander Munro, Aberdeen, Golf club and fishing tackle maker (see Munros details above).

In 1947 two significant events happened to Ludovic, he married Margaret Smith in 1847 and Alexander Munro died allowing Ludovic to take over the business. Ludovick & Margaret had 9 children, all born in Aberdeen, between 1848 and 1869.

As well as Fishing Tackle & Golf Club maker he was a prominent figure in the church and:-
"Held the post of leader of the old historical church of Greyfriars [in Aberdeen], which was taken down to make room for the University buildings. He
held this office for twenty-eight years (1856-1884), and practically died at his post, being but a short time ill. Besides Church work, he carried on numerous public classes, which did much to make music popular with the people. Indeed, " Sandison's Classes" were household words in Aberdeen about the "[eighteen]seventies." He was the kind of man whose personality and work commands respect, and we are not surprised to learn that the late Rev. John Curwen, of Tonic Sol-fa fame, held him in the highest esteem."





Detail from an early Sandison gaff


David Duguid



1854 – 1860                2 Flourmill Brae

1860 – 1862                3 Flourmill Brae

1862 – 1903                5 Flourmill Brae

1903 – 1920                14 Carmelite Street


In 1885 the business became known as David Duguid and son, Duguid was famous as a rod maker and is quoted in various book of the period. The only tackle I have found marked with his name are rods (and quite often they have fabulous leather handles) and brass gaffs.




Above a selction of Duguid rods and gaffs, the bottom 3 have leather upper handles


George Gordon


1854 – 1858                31 George Street

1858 – 1863                19 George Street


 Robert Wilson

1864 – 1881    16 St. Nicolas Street




A scarce Wilson pocket gaff and an unused Wilson brass salmon winch



Miss M’Gregor


1865 – 1868                59 Queen Street

1868 – 1869                80 Queen Street

1869 – 1870                73 John Street

1870 – 1871                13 Loch Street

1871 – 1872                36 Union Street


William Roy


1866 – 1872                24 North Broadford

1872 – 1882                69 North Broadford


Alex Adams


1872 – 1873                47 Woolman Hill


William Milne


1873 – 1874                60 North Broadford

1874 – 1882                25 North Broadford

1882 – 1884                32 Back Wynd

1884 – 1895                19 Stirling Street

1895 – 1898                8 Back Wynd

1898 – 1902                3 Trinity Street

1902 – 1909                29 Carmelite Street

1909 – 1922                39 Bridge Street & 22 College Street


William Milne exhibited and won a diploma at the International Fisheries Exhibition in 1883 “Milne Wm. Practical Fly Dresser and Fishing Tackle Manufacturer, 32 Back Wynd, Union Street, Aberdeen (1) Sample of salmon flies used in general for salmon fishing. (2) Samples of Trout flies used for lake, river and brook fishing.”


Kelson paid a great tribute to Milne's fly tying skills in an article published in the Fishing Gazette on the 8th of March 1884 writing about the wing styles of salmon flies:


 “For all Scotch rivers make medium wings – Irish and Canadian, slight and the bodies fine; Norwegian, heavy, and the bodies well picked out – Usk, as much a possible, so long as the heads are not cruelly burdened. Wye moderate; North of England, single strips (similar to the beautifully-made Dee patterns of William Milne) are favoured; though I prefer mixed wings.”


A couple of quotes from “Forty Years of Trout & Salmon Fishing” by J. L. Dickie, the first is a young Dickie in conversation with ghillie James Stephen on the Glen Tana beat of the Dee:


“He met me, and after the usual greeting he asked for my rod to be put up. It was August, and I handed him my light 14ft. “Castle Connel” Greenheart, in two pieces, spliced by W Milne of Aberdeen. With an amused smile he said: Weel, sir, it would dae fine to tickle hens wi’ in a barn yard, but I doot it’s no’ strong enough tae hold the fish here unless I’m mistaken.””  - then, as you would expect, is a story of the capture of a fine fish leading to the comment - “I was wrong aboot the ‘roddie’; it can kill a fish, and you, sir, can handle it.”


The second quote is an older Dickie fishing with Lundy the gillie on the Balmoral water of the Dee.


“We reached the Newton [a pool]. Lundy took the rod from it’s case and here I must relate its history. I had bought it as a 10ft. Greenheart from Milne of Aberdeen over thirty five years ago. I had killed tons of trout on it, and on the Don about twenty years ago two salmon of fifteen pounds and eighteen pounds which has been kind enough to permit one to land them on sea trout files, and stout trout gut. About ten or twelve years ago I was going over my rods and found the rod do warped that I nearly discarded it.


However, I was loath to adopt this course at it was an old and tried friend, and I put it aside. I read one day in the paper - I forget which - that Foster of Ashbourne had a method of wire ribbing, which Aladdin like made old rods into new. It was now nearly as straight as it was originally, and of course much stronger.” 


J & G Gordon


1875 – 1879                12 St. Nicholas Street

1879 – 1880                4 St. Nicholas Lane

1880 – 1881                24 St. Nicholas Lane

1881 – 1882                12½ Correction Wynd

1882 – 1899                73 Netherkirkgate

1899 – 1900                18 Carmelite Street


William M’Leod


1876 – 1880                8 Guild Street


William McLeod – Gunmaker, 8 Guild Street, Aberdeen, died on the 15th of June 1880 leaving a widow, Mrs Jane Ann Duncan or McLeod. residing at 3 Victoria Place. Some highlights from his inventory include:




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All researched material and pictures Copyright Colin Innes 2008 - 2015
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