flatheadluke

Easy reel annual servicing

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

It is with bitter experience I pen this post on how I service my reels. I am neither dexterous or patient so fiddling around with tiny screws and springs is something I am INCAPABLE of. Believe me when I say INCAPABLE, yes I have tiny screwdrivers, wrenches etc and reasonable eyesight but I’m still scarred from two reels that had to be sent back to the factory to fix (which costs a large percentage of what a new reel costs).

The other gripe I have is paying stupidly over priced amounts for specialist ‘reel grease’ or ‘reel oil’ in small quantities oddly enough branded with the manufacturers name. so two years ago I made a decision to service using two substances: inox and penrite marine grease. Both are comparatively cheap and used for other purposes. The inox is used on the outside of the reel, around the reel shaft and under the spool. The grease is used in the drag housing and packed in either sides of the bearings by removing the reel handle shaft and casing and reel cap. IMPORTANTLY I absolutely cram in heaps of grease around the drag and bearings (so much so when they’re screwed back on excess will ooze out the sides).

The other thing I do is replace those crap felt washers with either a similar sized nylon washer or a custom made drag washer from a coffee cup lid.

im happy to tell you even a crappy $5  kids reel operates perfectly (even the drag is smooth now). My pfleugar salts, penn SSV’s and shimano sedona’s are all going strong. And they all get regularly sprayed/splashed at high speed with salt water in my open boat.

so in summary here are my following tips for reel maintenance (I’m no Alan tani but it works for me)

1.Inox and a good lithium based marine  grease is all you need.

2.over pack both the drag and bearings with grease.

3. Don’t mix INOX and grease. INOX is actually a degreaser.

4. Don’t try and disassemble and service fiddly things like drive shafts, bail arms etc, you’ll likely break them and/or lose parts. If you have to, send it back to factory for replacement or better still choose good reels that max out at $150 so you can just replace them after a few years.

5. Avoid buying reels that have anti reverse. NO ONE winds a reel backwards this is designed as a salt vector to limit reel lifespan or to break.

6.replace felt drag washers with plastic. Also some of the cheaper reels will have an unnecessary number of washers (eg my daughters kids reel). I think this is meant to make the drags really insensitive and also rough. If you can replace the felt washer with plastic and cut back the number of washers you might get a really nice drag (again load it up with marine grease).

open to any feedback/suggestions as I’m always learning. Cheers,

Luke

Edited by flatheadluke
Typo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well written and well said. I have lately be buying reels under the $100 price tag. In fact I bought three well under $100, they were on special. I don't care if they stuff up afer a year or so, I will buy some more. So far so good.

My dad used to say don't pay for name brands, look for the bargains.

Cheers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Rebel said:

Well written and well said. I have lately be buying reels under the $100 price tag. In fact I bought three well under $100, they were on special. I don't care if they stuff up afer a year or so, I will buy some more. So far so good.

My dad used to say don't pay for name brands, look for the bargains.

Cheers.

Nice Rebel. More money for things that actually make a difference, like quality braid, mono, hooks etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note, not all reels use grease in the drag, some are dry, never seen a reel with too many washers from new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, noelm said:

Just a note, not all reels use grease in the drag, some are dry, never seen a reel with too many washers from new.

Hi Noel, do you know which reels for example? Do they still use washers?  I’m curious to understand how a grease free drag system works, the only one I can think of is alvey (your hand on the reel).

logically thinking how a drag works, more washers means more points of failure doesn’t it? 

I’m basing my findings on two experiences, one a $300 daiwa 6000 sized daiwa reel and one a $5 Jarvis walker 2000 sized kids reel. The daiwa had 8 washers and kept catching, I cut it back to 6 then added a small washer on the shaft to keep the line level on the spool. I never had problems again. The Jarvis walker was really bad out of the box, one or two or three clicks on the drag would change the tension from almost free spool to almost locked up drag. It had 6 washers. I swapt the felt washers for nylon washers from Bunnings (perfect size and exactly twice the width) then cut back total number of washers to 4. Then I added loads of grease. Ultra smooth drag now, that has a good range of tension. It’s on my favourite squid rod.

i note that some of my better reels come with only two washers (one carbon and one stainless).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the old Penn Spinfishers use a dry drag, lots of Shakespear reels are dry, some have fibre washers, some have felt with a drop of oil, I have some Shimano spin reels that use a dry drag.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, noelm said:

All the old Penn Spinfishers use a dry drag, lots of Shakespear reels are dry, some have fibre washers, some have felt with a drop of oil, I have some Shimano spin reels that use a dry drag.

Yes, a lot of drags used to be dry. You didn’t want any oil or grease in there at all. I remember, we used to hone down the metal washers on very fine wet and dry paper resting on a sheet of glass until all the shine went off them. Dick Lewers used to write about it all the time. That was when drags weren’t perfect out of the box. Then the blue Shakespeare threadlines came out and they were pretty good (I loved my 2400). Drags out of the box have progressively improved over the years.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the "old" Internationals were a dry drag, just a big fibre washer on a dry disc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Noelm, were they a Cork washer back in the day. ?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, some reels had cork, I think the ABU game reel had a cork drag, I used to do lots of reel repairs and modifications, one of my specials was the old 499 Mitchel threadline, the drag was about as simple as it could get, but after a few years use they would "chatter" I used to machine the spool out, fit a Victa mower roller bearing that was the perfect size for the spool shaft, and it fixed the chatter forever, I got a 71KG Yellowfin on one jigging for Kingfish at "the humps" off Shellharbour, the drag worked perfectly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I think you meant was the International cork? No, they were kind of like a brake pad material, hard fibre kind of stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, flatheadluke said:

Hi Noel, do you know which reels for example? Do they still use washers?  I’m curious to understand how a grease free drag system works, the only one I can think of is alvey (your hand on the reel).

logically thinking how a drag works, more washers means more points of failure doesn’t it? 

I’m basing my findings on two experiences, one a $300 daiwa 6000 sized daiwa reel and one a $5 Jarvis walker 2000 sized kids reel. The daiwa had 8 washers and kept catching, I cut it back to 6 then added a small washer on the shaft to keep the line level on the spool. I never had problems again. The Jarvis walker was really bad out of the box, one or two or three clicks on the drag would change the tension from almost free spool to almost locked up drag. It had 6 washers. I swapt the felt washers for nylon washers from Bunnings (perfect size and exactly twice the width) then cut back total number of washers to 4. Then I added loads of grease. Ultra smooth drag now, that has a good range of tension. It’s on my favourite squid rod.

i note that some of my better reels come with only two washers (one carbon and one stainless).

I think the theory was, more washers, better heat dissipation, most common reels had a couple of washers that were "fixed" to the shaft by notches or flats, then felt/fibre/cork washers that the fixed washers slipped/slid over, the drag knob simply squashed them tighter together, no one cared if the reel had 2KG of drag or 20 modern marketing took over in that department, unless a reel had 40KG of drag, 20 bearings and some sort of thermo nuclear body, and triple coated paint, you just couldn't catch fish, funny how things changed, well, everything changed, except the fish, they don't know what you're using!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Neolm, also that’s a cracker of a Yellowfin Jigging.

I got a small one at about 15kg at the Peak back in the day on the old Penn Jigmaster. Went OK, It was no 71kg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any 'fin on a Jigmaster is a good effort

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For warranty, its best to stick to what the manufacturer recommends. If you tell them you did something they dont recommend, they will use that as an excuse to not honor the warranty. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an FYI guys, if you open a shimano reel, it will void the warranty.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, blindmullet said:

For warranty, its best to stick to what the manufacturer recommends. If you tell them you did something they dont recommend, they will use that as an excuse to not honor the warranty. 

 

1 minute ago, xerotao said:

Just an FYI guys, if you open a shimano reel, it will void the warranty.

One reason why I buy reels at a store. The warranty claims I’ve made with a receipt, the store has swapped it out no questions asked and they certainly didn’t inspect the bearings or drag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, xerotao said:

Just an FYI guys, if you open a shimano reel, it will void the warranty.

I would dispute the above with Shimano.

https://www.shimanofish.com.au/content/fish/oceania/au/en/homepage/warranty.html

'This warranty will be considered void if it is found that the reel or rod has been subjected to unauthorised alterations, abuse or damage as a result of failure to provide the recommended care and maintenance.'

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, savit said:

I would dispute the above with Shimano.

https://www.shimanofish.com.au/content/fish/oceania/au/en/homepage/warranty.html

'This warranty will be considered void if it is found that the reel or rod has been subjected to unauthorised alterations, abuse or damage as a result of failure to provide the recommended care and maintenance.'

 

Well if your reel is playing up then make a warranty claim. They wouldnt accept it is your reel has been playing up and you decide to open it and try to fix it. But cant then send it off for a warranty claim. 

Warranty is for manufacturing faults. No because my bearings arent smooth after i tried to service it myself or dropped it in water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understandable. i remembered when i was younger VCR's has a sticker inside (sometimes outside) where if you were to open it up, it would rip and that's how they could tell that you opened and tampered with it for the same reasons.

For the younger people, a VCR is a device you can use to play video tapes and/or record TV shows.

not sure what the go is these days on those things but yeah, same concept, they would lose your warranty if the sticker was found to be broken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Penn internationals shimano tld  spinfishers  lots of reels ran dry systems   i used to make leather washers soahed in auto transmission fluid in senators  sealines seascapes  triton speedmasters  and i still use them in different threadlines if not happy with standard setups

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, xerotao said:

Well if your reel is playing up then make a warranty claim. They wouldnt accept it is your reel has been playing up and you decide to open it and try to fix it. But cant then send it off for a warranty claim. 

Warranty is for manufacturing faults. No because my bearings arent smooth after i tried to service it myself or dropped it in water.

What I meant is that the fact that the reel has been opened earlier is not good enough to void the warranty. Shimano's recommended maintenance tips do require opening of baitcaster/trolling/overhead reels though not spin reels. 

Self-fixing of a broken reel is totally different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, savit said:

What I meant is that the fact that the reel has been opened earlier is not good enough to void the warranty. Shimano's recommended maintenance tips do require opening of baitcaster/trolling/overhead reels though not spin reels. 

Self-fixing of a broken reel is totally different story.

You are completely right. Iv never had a warranty claim but i do believe Shimanos 10yr warranty is pretty horrible marketing scheme to buy their product. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/27/2019 at 12:46 PM, xerotao said:

You are completely right. Iv never had a warranty claim but i do believe Shimanos 10yr warranty is pretty horrible marketing scheme to buy their product. 

Over the years i have had a number of reels go to shimano for warranty things and have sent many reels to them for service/repair. I have never had anything but great experiences with their service and customer service and it is extremely unlikely i will buy any other brand reel again (except Alvey but that's not the same). I have always been honest with them and never been refused warranty or even questioned over anything. I have TLDs and little aerocasts and that are 25 years old and stradics that are 15 years old that are still great. Sometimes i send them in for a service and sometimes i look up the schematic, write down the part numbers and then ring them up and they post them out, they often put them in the mail that afternoon.

The last time i got reel serviced there (March) i dropped them in at about lunchtime and they rang me at 11am the next day and told me they were ready for pickup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/25/2019 at 8:31 AM, flatheadluke said:

Hi Noel, do you know which reels for example? Do they still use washers?  I’m curious to understand how a grease free drag system works, the only one I can think of is alvey (your hand on the reel).

logically thinking how a drag works, more washers means more points of failure doesn’t it? 

I’m basing my findings on two experiences, one a $300 daiwa 6000 sized daiwa reel and one a $5 Jarvis walker 2000 sized kids reel. The daiwa had 8 washers and kept catching, I cut it back to 6 then added a small washer on the shaft to keep the line level on the spool. I never had problems again. The Jarvis walker was really bad out of the box, one or two or three clicks on the drag would change the tension from almost free spool to almost locked up drag. It had 6 washers. I swapt the felt washers for nylon washers from Bunnings (perfect size and exactly twice the width) then cut back total number of washers to 4. Then I added loads of grease. Ultra smooth drag now, that has a good range of tension. It’s on my favourite squid rod.

i note that some of my better reels come with only two washers (one carbon and one stainless).

I use fully synthetic diff oil in the gears of my eggbeaters and synthetic automatic transmission fluid in the drags washers seems to work great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      65,183
    • Total Posts
      523,112