I found this with a bunch of other old tools. This is the only one I can't figure out what it is. I wonder if it's a home made tool for some unique purpose. Or maybe it was just for made for fun out of random available parts. Or was this something mass produced in the 1800s? I'm curious. The two black bulb handles rotate and the metal piece on the bottom also rotates. Kind of looks like a door handle. Also looks like it could be a spool of some sort. Any ideas?
If I can think on this : while it looks like a military field operators wire spool for a communication link or possibly demolitions (not as likely). This is neither of those items.
The clip at the handle actually is the wire holder (or shall I say Fishing Line Holder). Hook the Line there and then you can spool it onto the reel and catch the fish with out losing your line. Yours is in rough shape ..used well..must have had lots of fish..
What you have is a Vintage Surf Fishing Reel .. here are several pictures and a link to ebay ..
Links - this link in time will fail so I am posting it for the op ..