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Reel Painting


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After picking up a couple of Daiwa Revros' on the cheap I decided to kill some time and repaint one DIY style.

Ideally I would want to do this with an airbrush and some quality 2 pack paint. Due to the cost of equipment and potential hazards I figured if I wanted to show others how to go about painting their reels it was probably a better idea to use touch up spraycans from Repco.


Here is how I received the reel mechanically sound but looking a bit tired in the paint department.

Here are some of the things you will need:


Starting with the paint don't buy those cheap $2 spray cans from Bunnings they suck and you are wasting your time if you use them.

The paint I bought was Holts brand touch up in the small cans which are ideal because they are decent quality and contain more than enough paint to do at least 2 bream size reels.

You will need the Primer, the colour you wish to use and if you want the finish to be nice and shiny the clear top coat. The clear isn't necessary if you want to keep a satin finish or your chosen paint is a gloss colour. A few top coats of clear (whether satin or gloss) will give you some added protection against scratching.

You will also need:

Wax and grease remover (ie the automotive painting variety NOT degreaser this is important)

600 grit wet and dry sandpaper (no don't use the normal stuff)

Fine steel wool

Clean white rags

Somebody you don't likes toothbrush.

Various screwdrivers etc for taking the reel apart.


And one of these if you totally f**k things up.


Start by disassembling the reel and putting away any part you don't want paint on. Ideally not in one big pile so you remember what went where.


Parts to be painted


Get your wax and grease remover and someone you don't likes toothbrush and clean all the grease and dirt from the outside and inside of the parts you want painted.

Grease will almost always get on places you don't want if you leave any around so make sure you clean it all off.


Cut up your sandpaper into manageable pieces put them into a jar and pour boiling water into it. This helps to soften up the sandpaper which makes sanding curves much easier.


Since you have boiled the kettle you can make a nice cup of tea for someone you don't like to apologize for ruining their toothbrush, alternatively you could use this as a ruse to poison them. (yes, I'm kidding. Or am I?)


Sand back all the pieces you are painting. There is no need to sand through the paint you just want to rough up the surface.


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To get into the tighter spots use some steel wool.


Now all the parts have been sanded pour some of the wax and grease remover onto a rag and clean everything thoroughly.


Mask up anything you don't want to get paint on (ie anything that wasn't painted to begin with.)


Spray on two or three light coats of primer following the instructions on the can. Getting spraying right is tricky and is hard to explain so it might be a good idea to practice on something else first.

Let the primer dry according to the instructions.


When the primer is dry check there are no runs or lumps, if there are sand them back lightly until they are gone then apply another light coat.


Apply 2/3 coats of colour depending on how well the paint covers, wait around 30 min between coats possibly longer if it is cold.

Then if you want apply 2/3 coats of clear again waiting between coats.


Wait until all the parts have completely dried (usually overnight is good enough although care must be taken for the first couple of weeks after painting as the paint will be quite soft) and re-assemble.I cleaned and re greased/oiled everything while I was at it.


Here is the result, not perfect or in my opinion the best choice of colour but in the end I'm happy with it. A cheap reel that now looks OK and works as new.

IMO the photos don't really do it justice


Edit: I originally posted this on another forum with a slightly different audience, please excuse my somewhat warped sense of humor.......

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Fantastic post, Meh. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Not only did I learn a whole lot but I laughed my face off doing it :Funny-Post:

Some great tips there. I'd never thought about repainting a reel even though I've had a couple over the years that could have been given the works. I've got a good quality airbrush too... maybe next time there's a candidate I could get busy.

Hmmmm a few stencils for some airbrushed flames??? :biggrin2:

Cheers, Slinky

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Good stuff Meh - Looks like you have turned that old Diawa into a nice pearly blue / white Stradic look a like (circa 2005). The Shimano diehards might argue thats a good change :074:

But I like your work - nicely done and a great post

Cheers Blood Knot

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  • 2 years later...

Start by disassembling the reel and putting away any part you don't want paint on. Ideally not in one big pile so you remember what went where.

Just want to add a good tip at this point. See if you can acquire an exploded diagram of your reel. The internet is a good source for recent reels. Or if your reel is an older one, perhaps the distributor/manufacturer can provide one.

Oh, and this just came to mind. Before painting the parts, pre-select what you are going to use to hold them while they are drying, and prepare the drying location. And avoid painting on windy days for obvious reasons.

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