All collectors strive to get the best items in their particular field. Fishing reel collectors are no different.
Several factors determine the value of collectable fishing reels, these include Age, Rarity, Condition, Quality and Collectability.
Game fishing reels were usually of better quality and were usually more expensive than other types of reels. They were purchased mostly by "Monied People", and were serviced regularly. Game reels tend to be found in better condition than most others because of these factors.
An example of a good collectable reel is Ted Bush's Single Action Marlin reel. This reel would be considered to be in poor condition. What makes it collectable is that it was his own reel which he used and modified over many years. Don't pass on an old reel because it may be in poor condition. It might be a "one off" like this.