Dead Heads – those committed fans and followers of the legendary band Grateful Dead – may now fish with an Abel fly reel individually hand-painted with the band’s iconic Steal Your Face logo. The limited edition reels are available on 250 of the California tackle manufacturer’s Super Series or Classic Series model reels for a premium of $300 over standard black pricing. The American Fly Fishing Trade Association recently awarded the reel best of show for the gift item category at the annual International Fly Tackle Dealer Show.

The Grateful Dead graphic image is part of the tackle manufacturer’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration and is available immediately, according to Abel president Don R. Swanson.

“This has been a dream of ours for over 10 years to partner with the Grateful Dead, and offer our shared loyal fans a hand painted reel that symbolizes their passion for fly fishing and the music of the Grateful Dead. We can think of no better way to mark our 25th year than by offering a custom designed reel that celebrates the rich American heritage of both Abel Reels and the Grateful Dead,” said Jeff Patterson, Abel Director of Sales.

Avid angler and Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux said “fish will be rising up like birds” of the new Steal Your Face reels.

“Abel Reels are noted for their bullet-proof anodized finish, often completed with an image or representation of fish or fish paintings from wildlife artists.  It was a rainbow trout finish reel that prompted a Grateful Dead fan’s inquiry into the possibility of incorporating the musical group’s Steal Your Face logo onto a fishing reel.  Abel’s are the go-to reel for casual vacation anglers, serious big game fly-fishers and collectors. They are built to be passed on to the next generation,” said Swanson.

“We are thrilled to partner with Abel Reels on our first ever Grateful Dead fly reel,”  stated Sara Nemerov, SVP & Head of Global Consumer Products & Brand Licensing for Warner Music Group.

Grateful Dead reels are available through authorized dealers, or at For information regarding the availability of various sizes and model Grateful Dead reels, contact Abel at or telephone (805) 484-8789.

For more information on Grateful Dead Consumer Products & Brand Licensing contact Sara Nemerov at or Kate Reilly at

Image courtesy Abel

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