C4 rotor swap.

Started by jgp12000, December 20, 2022, 02:34:49 PM

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I just got a 1971 C4 and the rotor was missing some paint.I found another rotor on ebay and followed that part of Tom's tutorial, which made it a breeze. I discovered a #8 spanner bit from my HF tamper proof bit set fits the bail nut perfectly. I added an aluminum spool from Les Shaw plus some Lucas reel oil,and super lube. This 51 year old reel is sooo Smooth! I always shied away from these reels because of the look. Boy was I missing out, hindsight is 20/20,back then I was a Zebco 33 fisherman, just 8 years old. I wish I knew to buy some up back then. I wonder how much they were in 71'?


Great stuff!

I'm glad someone else figured out the use of those tamper proof bits. I use another one for Shimano knob screws

OCD Reel Service & Repair
Gulf Breeze, FL


There's actually a tool for these that fits the rotor nut and that line roller screw.

How the drag function/washers on that one James?
Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!

Midway Tommy

Good for you, James! Greg is right about the Cardinal tool. One end is for the bail nut, it also has a hex for the rotor nut on the other end and the edge of the round hex end fits all of the exterior straight screw slots. It works and will do its designed function but is kind of a PIA if you do a lot of Cardinal reel repair. I made my own bail nut tool out of an old stubby Casablanca fan screwdriver by filing the slot and filing both width and thickness so there's no taper.

You got yourself one of probably the highest quality and most functional light spinning reels ever mass produced. If taken care of they should last forever. The fulcrum drag design on that style ABU Cardinal is pretty much unequaled.

The Cardinal 6 came out in 1965/66. It and the 7 listed for around $40-45 in the late '60s & early '70s. The 4 came out in '68/69 and was around $35 but could be found on sale sometimes for around $25. I got a couple for that in '73. The 3 sold for $35-40 but it didn't come out until 1974.

BTW, when I bought my first Cardinal, a 6, in 1970, it cost me $42.50. That was a half of my week paycheck back then.   :o
Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE

Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing


Greg the drag is as smooth as the rest of the reel, seems linear.I know that was alot of money back then but a $40 reel today would never last 50+ years.