The Zebco 33 spincast reel my first and I have owned several. They really took a beating from me, as a kid, and pretty much worked flawlessly through the years. It is no wonder that they have sold over 40 million since the original release in 1953.
It came about because of watchmaker and inventor R.D. Hull in Roten, Texas. He got the idea when he saw a strand of packaging twine fall neatly from a spool. He had several failed designs but finally got ZBH to cut a deal on his reel in 1949.
In 1953, an improved spincast design was dubbed the Zebco 33 and was an immediate success. It did so well, that by 1956 ZBH renamed themselves Zebco.
The 1955-1956 reels are black anodized aluminum cover, chrome plated aluminum body reels with brass bevel gears and smooth as silk. They have a bait click, but no anti-reverse. The 1957 had the Feathertouch feature (metal spinner head uses a solid or wire feathering spring) added.
In 1958 they came out with chrome plated aluminum covers. The flaking of the chrome nearly bankrupted Zebco and in 1959 they introduced their stainless steel covers (like all fine had). There has been many features added through the years but they are pretty much the same.
Spincast reels (also known as closed faced reels) are easy to use great for beginners and children. They are very simple to cast, push the button, cast and let go of the button. The likelihood of getting your line twisted or tangles is far less than other reel types.
The spincast reels are the roughest on the actual line which they hold less of than other reel types. You’ll need to change the line more often and use lighter line. 10 lb. monofilament seems to be the recommendation for a Zebco 33. This is still a great reel for river, creek, bream, catfish or crappie fishing and are sold today.