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Topic: Reel magic with silks
Message: Posted by: Peter Evans (Oct 10, 2003 11:12PM)
Rice's Encyclopedia of Magic Volume 2 has a chapter that deals with the use of reels in silk magic.

With the variety of reels and ITRs on the market these days I was interested to know what everyone else uses for their close up performances. I have been thinking of John Kennedys Stealth Retractor / Hummingbird but am not sure whether it is approriate or strong enough so would appreciate some feedback on your experiences and recommendations. :worry:
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 26, 2004 01:33AM)

My first thought when I hear the words silk and reels together is Paul Diamond (Mr. Humble). I sat in his lecture at the Cavalcade of Magic in Eureka Springs about twenty-five years ago and watched him work them together. Last May I went to Florida and watched him do MC bits with a silk and a reel. It's still magic.

Ask him. He has the experience.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 26, 2004 02:26AM)

What you are looking for is a Finger Reel, the Stealth Retractor is something entirely different and not for the thing you mentioned.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Feb 26, 2004 09:13PM)
Bill's right (i.e.) the Kirkendall, P&L those are the only two I can think of. Honestly, you won't find one today of that quality, and I got that from a rather well known and respected magic dealer. He was honest when I inquired, as I'm very picky about stuff like that.

If you could find that Paul Diamond one, if it's not an exclusive, that's another one I just thought of, now that I've glanced at Bob's post above, hmmm (once again, assuming the Pete Biro "pondering" pose) I'm still researching.

Message: Posted by: chmara (Feb 28, 2004 03:06AM)
Check out El Duco's reel with brake. Also -- check the Kennedy Hummingbird.

And -- as Vito Lupo reminded me -- do not forget the good old straight pull without a reel.

I have also used the TUFC system for quiet a number of years of rehearsal -- and feel its 3D version might be a one-man way to do a Casper (John Calvert)

Also - check P&A silks for Peter's take on reels -- say hi to him for me as I have not been in touch with himn for about 9 months as I renovate my venue.
Message: Posted by: Magicol-1 (Mar 1, 2004 06:44AM)
Peter, wmhegbli is correct. The hummingbird reel is for stage work IMHO. If you need to fly a silk it's the way to go but for close up work a finger reel is it.

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Mar 6, 2004 08:13PM)
As I understand it, you have to make do with a P&L or Kirkendall, neither of which is easy to find today.

You can do Silk Thru Mic Stand without a reel, just by tying the thread from corner to corner, and using your hands...it's not as magical looking, but I've done it in a pinch. I agree, though, a reel IS a must for silk magicians.

Just thought of this...David Copperfield's Unexplained Forces show had the most elaborate silk-flying system I've ever seen...you cannot imagine the setup, and I doubt if I could describe it. Not something you'd want to try to duplicate, but it really inspired me. They flew out of the Barclay House, and all through the theater...I still have some of the "material" that was left over. We spent HOURS setting it all up. I was backstage when they "flew", but got to see it on the monitors...

Wish I could fly silks like that, LOL!

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Mar 6, 2004 09:29PM)
Copperfield's flying silks was taught to him by David Seebach who used it in his Halloween shows in Milwaukee. Neat Stuff.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Mar 17, 2004 09:54PM)
I've seen David Seebach do his flying silks.
It's a very good stage effect.
I didn't know he taught it to David Copperfield though.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Mar 18, 2004 07:33PM)
It was set up so that they went in stages...one, then the other...the team obviously had this down pat, but during "tech", I was impressed by the ingenuity...knowing the timing involved, the distance, where they turn, plus, these silks flew right out over the audiences heads! All through the theater...just a perfect ending to a "ghost" story...you COULD do this on a smaller scale, as I've built small models and tried it with Sulky, but I would not want to be guilty of contract breach, if ya know wuddamean!

Message: Posted by: stephenbanning (Apr 21, 2004 10:29PM)
Stevens magic has been selling two reels. The Swedish reel is fairly expensive. I haven't tried either myself. You might consider three things: 1) noise, 2) the ability to open the reel and fix the mechanism and 3) a lock for serpentine silk effect.

Paul Diamond demonstrates his reel moves on a video series that came out in the last year or two.


Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 1, 2004 02:58AM)
This is a new item at Stevens Magic. This is the reel for the Serpent Silk trick and Penatrating silk thru cane or mike stand.


This is a 1980 price, as this is what I paid for mine in 1980.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 3, 2004 09:52PM)
There was also one made by Jupiter Magic from Hungary. I think Abbott's was selling them.

I talked with a gentleman who worked with George Kirkendall making the reels. This is not the same man who was advertising for awhile. There is a possibility they will be available again. I am working on it.

Oddly enough, George Kirkendall graduated from high school with my father. His father (whose flying license was signed by Orville Wright) still lived less than a 1/2 mile from my folk's farm until his death. Really a small world.

I might add that Dazzling Magic just showed me their new run of striped silks they just had reprinted. They are very good 8 momme silk great for the flying bars trick.
Message: Posted by: jascx (Sep 3, 2004 02:25PM)
Hey guys, what trick or book etc. does someone need to buy to learn how to do the antimated silk in the bottle thing that David Copperfield did on TV? The silk kind of moves it's head around different directions, as though looking for a way out and finally flies out of the mouth of the bottle.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 3, 2004 11:06PM)
This isn't a rat's nest it is a multi level database! I found Paul Diamond's email address. (At my desk, that is real magic!)

It is: "paul diamond" <mrhumble@prodigy.net>

If anybody has any really good reels left it will be Paul or Bill at Haines House of Cards.

In a pinch, I have used the reel that goes on hospital ID cards. You get them in white only at nurse uniform shops. They are essentially bill snatchers with a pin on the back. However, the quality is much, much better. They are about $3.00 each! And they have been very quiet.


Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Jim Tighe (Sep 3, 2004 11:10PM)
L&L Publishing is offering all the Paul Diamond VHS videos for $10, including his "Reel Magic" vid.
Message: Posted by: jascx (Sep 4, 2004 05:45AM)
Excuse me, Bob. I failed to notice this thread was limited presumably to the prospective resolution of a three dollar problem. What I did notice was the heading, "Reel magic with silks" and some mention of David Copperfield. Now, since I don't know how the said trick works, I thought such things as "finger reels" and silks could be elements of that trick. Hence my post would be (by my admittedly uninformed assessment), at the worst case, a corollary to the topic under discussion. But you're saying, even so, this post should be somewhere other than here. So, what I'm wondering at this point is whether or not we can be specific rather than merely relegate my inquiry to somewhere other that the current thread of this multi level, non rat's nest database, while avoiding the temptation to respond with the obvious?
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Sep 4, 2004 08:23AM)
I believe Bob was referring to his desk (and if he is a good mentalist he was also referring to my desk) when he referred to "this isn't a rat's nest it is a multi level database." I don't know him personally but I have never seen any negativity in his responses.

As far as reels are concerned, the other guys would know a whole lot more than I do. About a month ago, I found out that Petrick and Mia have a new reel ($77) that is supposed to be very quiet and strong. It also comes with a couple of different clips to vanish silks, cards, coins, credit cards, etc. It is not up on their site yet but you can contact them about it.

I recently bought Paul Diamond's video "Symphonette in Silk" (L&L sale for $10 as mentioned by Jim) and it is basically an explanation of his silk routine. I do plan to get his "Reel Magic" video as well based on recommendations here. I would definitely recommend not getting a cheap reel if you plan to use it frequently. I think I paid $40 or $45 for mine from Tannen's and twice it broke on me. I am looking around for a replacement. But Bob is right, in a pinch use a cheaper one --- it works. And I do use a pull for a simple yet quick vanish. The feedback here has been helpful. Thanks to all!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 4, 2004 09:10AM)

I too thought this forum was about Reel Magic with Silks. Therefore, after searching through the rubble at my desk (a rat's nest) I found Paul Diamond's email address for those posting and searching for good reels and an expert on reel magic with silks. Paul Diamond is both. His skill with the objects greatly outdates David Copperfield, assuming you are referring to the stage magician rather than literature.

The three-dollar emergency fix is a reel available from nurse uniform suppliers. It is not the recommended gimmick for long-term use. Those of us with over forty years on the road have had a few emergencies in our magical lives. Some even seek solutions. (Incidentally, Kirkendall reels came in white. I have two. However, they were well over $3.00 each. Unfortunately, I have had them become the emergency before.)

We do appreciate your interest in off topic posts. If you do run across them, the preferred procedure to follow is to report them by PM to me or anyone else on staff here at The Magic Café and we will gladly evaluate the fit and make any moves Quality Control finds appropriate. The staff has years of experience resolving that problem. It is a daily task here on The Magic Café. Topics do evolve into other topics at times.

At this point in time I neither agree with your accusation that I said, “But you're saying, even so, this post should be somewhere other than here.” nor that the post is a switch to $3.00 problems. It looks like a true failure to communicate. Perhaps a second reading would help.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: jascx (Sep 4, 2004 03:15PM)
Fascinating. Even though your post immediately follows mine, it is entirely non responsive. I see I made several mistakes here, first the assumption that you responded to my post, second, that the response was intended as an insult (a product of the excessive time I spend in political newsgroups), third that it proposed a more narrow topic range than was reasonable. I apologize for all of those things Bob. Think I'll delete this and the prior post. And you know very well I wasn't referring to the literary work. :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 4, 2004 10:11PM)

No problem. I've learned that Oops! is very good English. (You know at times I even sign as "The Amazed Wiz" because no one is more amazed than I am the way somethings come out.)

Now some of us on here are nearly old enough to remember David Cooperfield as new literature. But you are right; we are also very proud of the younger model. He is a credit to the magic community. Magic is our common thread.

I'm sorry you felt insulted. The remark was certainly not aimed at you. My desk deserves it.

I really was just trying to stick to the title of the forum: "Reel Magic with Silks". The Magic Café is a very functional vehicle for magicians helping magicians. Somethings simply work!

As to your question about the Flying Silks trick used by David Copperfield, perhaps this will get you the information you seek.

Mr. David Seebach
Wonders of Magic
N61 W16020 Hawthorne Dr.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Phone: 262.252.3333
FAX: 262.252.8633
E-mail: david@davidseebach.com

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
The Amazed Wiz
Message: Posted by: jascx (Sep 5, 2004 12:09AM)
Bob, thank you. You know, I've come to recognize by inference in most cases, that many of you guys are true giants in the field of magic. That your experiences are vast, long lived and that collectively you and your personal aquaintances include the guys who wrote the original books so to speak. Being new to this interest, I can seldom recognize any of you by name. And I imagine that my respect for many of you usually falls far short of the level that you truly merit.

My knowledege is limited to those names who showed a trick on national television. I know that those people are rarely if ever the original source of the elements of their performance. But the only means I have to define a certain trick is to describe it, and maybe name the person I saw perform it.

Thank you for the info.

Message: Posted by: John Macmillan (Nov 10, 2004 10:37PM)
Anyone used the brass reels made in India? If so what do you think?
Message: Posted by: andrew martin (Nov 11, 2004 03:55AM)
Does anyone who can fix a reel?
I have a P&L that is broken.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 11, 2004 11:11AM)

I have tried the brass reels from India. Personally, I think the best advice is to just say "No".

There are plenty of good reels available. Don't embarrass yourself with mechanical problems. (We manage to find enough other ways! Just watch me.)


Try Haines House of Cards or Paul Diamond. A real P&L reel is worth repairing. Both also sell good reels.

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Nov 11, 2004 11:26AM)
On 2004-02-26 02:33, Bob Sanders wrote:
My first thought when I hear the words silk and reels together is Paul Diamond (Mr. Humble).
Last May I went to Florida and watched him do MC bits with a silk and a reel. It's still magic.
[/quote]Paul Diamond 's still around kicking and performing?

Love that guy!

I meet him once at a convention in Vienna and he even made me buying his reel, also I already had plenty..
He even invited me to visit him when ever I was near ar Fort Lauderdale, as he'd seen me doing a silly (not very well done)rope routine well, so he said.
Nice guy.. :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 11, 2004 11:36AM)

Yep! Mr. Humble rides more than he walks. But I watched him perform May 2003. If he has a silk and a reel, the microphone stand will be in the act!

Fortunately he has a good boss, Andy. She keeps him straight, as Mr. Humble can be kept.

He sends emails. I'll PM you his address.

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Nov 11, 2004 11:58AM)
On 2004-11-11 12:36, Bob Sanders wrote:
He sends emails. I'll PM you his address.

Magic By Sander

[/quote]Thanx..I'll send him a short hello to see if he remembers when he was 16 years younger :) ..Vienna 1988..
Message: Posted by: andrew martin (Nov 12, 2004 03:19AM)
Thanks Bob!
Message: Posted by: imagique (Jan 14, 2005 07:47AM)
If you can get ahold of one, the Vernet Candle Pull makes a great, quiet reel. Plastic case. I never had it break over a 15 year period. If you run across one, check it out. I used it for silk through mic stand until I came up with a gimmickless version (not Shigeo's, totally different).

Message: Posted by: wilcom629 (Nov 14, 2014 09:52PM)
Can anyone help me make the corners
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Nov 16, 2014 04:50PM)
An alternative to using a reel for "The Self Untying Silk" is to do what Anverdi did for some of his silk penetration effects--run the th---d from the corner of the silk to your table. I like this better than a reel because except for the silk, the hand is totally empty. Of course, the best way to attach the th---d to the corner of the silk is to use a n**dl*. (Anverdi didn't do the serpent silk with his setup, possibly because he felt it might be too easy for a lay person to figure it out since, as Sherlock Holmes would say, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.")

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 16, 2014 06:49PM)
Hey Sonny! A n***l* is the OLD WAY to attach the th***d to the s**k.

I have a much better way! I've been doing it many years, and I honestly can't remember if I thought it up, or, if someone showed me. I'll PM you. Perhaps you'll know if it has been "around"!

I'm putting it in the book, along with tips on how to twirl the silk, gracefully, how to "position" the knot for masimum effect, and the timing for the untying.

The Serp.is such a beautiful effect! I hate to see it spoiled,by poor timing, and handling.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 17, 2018 12:33AM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2004, Bob Sanders wrote:

Try Haines House of Cards or Paul Diamond. A real P&L reel is worth repairing. Both also sell good reels.

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander [/quote]

What brand reels are you referring to that are good?
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Sep 17, 2018 05:55PM)
The Tango reel is good.....just needs a little time to break in like all reels.......
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Nov 4, 2018 11:20AM)
The "better Way" that Dick describes in his post above was detailed first, as far as I can determine, in the instructions supplied with Kirkindall Reels. And yes, it's a KEEPER!