Reel Repair by Alan Tani

Conventional and Bait Casting Reel Rebuild Tutorials and Questions => Penn Tutorials and Questions => Topic started by: Cor on June 23, 2022, 09:20:06 AM

Title: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Cor on June 23, 2022, 09:20:06 AM
I bought this reel Jan 2012 and have used it relatively little and have two of them.

Yesterday it caught 2 small Yellowtail, one large Bonita and pulled one medium size seal for 5 minutes >:(
I have recently started using it again and thought one bearing was noisy so opened the left side plate this morning.

Purely by accident I saw the frame was cracked, right through. See photos.
It is not impossible that it has been that way for some time, who knows.   Two weeks ago I caught a large fish, light line and rod so not too much pressure on the reel.

HOW WOULD YOU FIX IT?  I am no good at welding, if that is even an option.
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: jzman on June 23, 2022, 11:25:02 AM
Reel out of warranty.  Buy new frame.  Check mystic parts for Penn parts. $55 + tax & shipping.
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: MarkT on June 23, 2022, 02:29:13 PM
Buy a new frame.  I don't think even JB weld can fix that or that I'd trust it.
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: akfish on June 23, 2022, 02:33:59 PM
You need a new frame. The frame is a weak point on these reels. First, it is cast not machined so it is inherently pretty weak. Perhaps more importantly, it is very thin with little metal for the side plate screws to grab. I've seen several with stripped screw holes and a few with frames like yours.
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Gfish on June 23, 2022, 04:32:32 PM
Darn! Hope you get one sent to Cape Town, Cor.

Does anyone know if the Penn Torque frames are the same, cast, not machined, and relatively thin?

Edit; Ok, looked it up. Torque frames and side-plates are machined and anodized aluminum. 
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Wompus Cat on June 23, 2022, 06:14:06 PM
I would , with the crack expanded spray Brake Cleaner in there .
Let it DRY pref out in the sun a few hours .
With the crack expanded squirt some Gorilla Brand Super Glue in there and then hold it together 20 30 seconds .
If done right it will break somewhere else before it gives .
Not Seal Proof but should catch a few more Fishies .
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: akfish on June 23, 2022, 06:14:15 PM
Torques are machined; Fathoms are cast. That explains almost all of the price differential between the two series.
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: jurelometer on June 23, 2022, 06:42:54 PM
From what I can see, the break is where the "top half ring" of the frame joins right above the crossbar.  If so:

This section of the frame provides little structural support to the reel under load.  The frame base up through the crossbar is what resists the twisting load, and the left sideplate helps  distribute the load between the front and back crossbars, resisting collapse.  That thin little half ring on the top does next to nothing structurally, just providing a tiny amount of load distribution.

The half ring just protects the spool from scrapes and keeps line from getting inside the sideplate.   If the reel was dropped or rapped on the top, it would seem likely to break right where it did on a cast frame.  Cast aluminum tends to be a bit more brittle than bar stock.

It seems unlikely that the reel is so flexy that load would open the crack and cause the spool to scrape.  The biggest risk in my mind would be the whole half ring eventually braking off, exposing the spool edge.

You could fish it as is, epoxy up the crack, or use aluminum solder with mapp gas.

Soldering would wreck the paint all over the frame, as aluminum is very conductive with heat.  Aluminum solder is surprisingly tough.   I suck at welding, but have successfully soldered aluminum with those special aluminum solder rods.  But I think soldering might be overkill.

Personally,  I would go with epoxy, and maybe keep my eyes open for a cheap used donor reel, or maybe use this one for a parts donor for your other reel if the half ring ever breaks off completely.

Regarding using CA ("super") glues:   Lots of good properties, but the half life for adhesion when exposed to water is not very long  unless you get into  specific expensive two-part commercial products.  IMHO, using consumer grade CA glue around water should usually be considered a temporary repair.

-J
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Cor on June 23, 2022, 07:28:11 PM
Thanks for all the advice and it seem near unanimous.

I have my doubts if it will be a financial proposition to buy a new frame, it will be a lot more then $55 down here and these reels are not popular and not great in my experience either.  I do believe the Fathom 2 is a better reel?

@Wompus Cat
I have often fixed reels and other things with epoxy glue and today decided I'll give it a bash as well, as it has a fairly large area, with a corner and relatively thick section that can be filled with the glue.  Nothing gained and nothing lost if it does not work.  I decided against filling the crack  >:D as it may just distort the frame even if less then a 0.5mm.  This was all before I saw your comment.

See photo.

Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Cor on June 23, 2022, 07:39:27 PM
@jurelometer
Seems I followed your advice before seeing it. 8)

It is a strange thing because the reel does not feel broken, it does not flex at all and it would not surprise me if I have fished it like that for a while.

It indeed broke at the weakest spot, perhaps necessitated by the casting process.  It has two similar cut-outs in the frame, but this one is by observation the weakest.
These reels just do not look very durable to me.

I never liked that reel for shore fishing so used it mostly from a boat.  We fish in rough ocean conditions in small boats and tackle gets bashed around or as I always joke "sat on"
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Wompus Cat on June 23, 2022, 08:19:52 PM
Epoxies while very usefull on SOME applications and for adhesions of tile and the like however they work better when  the surfaces are rough so the epoxy will adhere while I have NEVER had an issue with water dissolving a Proper  bond I have made using the aforementioned Brand of Super Glue  but some of my repairs are only 10 or 15 years old and have not been tested long enough I guess so will  report back in another 10 or 15 years with results. :d

One of the things I glued together was a Bathroom Sink and that was in 1998 and it only gets wet when we used it every day .
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: MarkT on June 23, 2022, 08:26:18 PM
The Fathom 25n is a popular reel for throwing surface iron on a jig stick.
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: jurelometer on June 24, 2022, 01:42:24 AM
Quote from: Wompus Cat on June 23, 2022, 08:19:52 PMEpoxies while very usefull on SOME applications and for adhesions of tile and the like however they work better when  the surfaces are rough so the epoxy will adhere while I have NEVER had an issue with water dissolving a Proper  bond I have made using the aforementioned Brand of Super Glue  but some of my repairs are only 10 or 15 years old and have not been tested long enough I guess so will  report back in another 10 or 15 years with results. :d

One of the things I glued together was a Bathroom Sink and that was in 1998 and it only gets wet when we used it every day .

Went back and checked what data I could find.  To be fair, I was a bit too harsh on CAs glues for intermittent water contact. 

CA glues are all soluable in polar solvents.  Water is a pretty effective polar solvent.  I went back and looked and there are some one part industrial CAs that are not that bad- like retaining 65% of shear strength and still going south after 1000 hours of exposure.  Only 41 days if under water all the time, but just getting wet every now and then could last a lifetime,  especially if you are not a spring chicken :) The  CA in most of that sink crack might not even be getting exposed to water if the fit is tight.

Exactly how water resistant a particular CA will be depends on whether it is methyl or ethyl based, and and whatever magic additives are used.  Henkel (Loctite) has really good technical data sheets with all the info for the various industrial CA products, but not the consumer stuff.  But I suspect  that some consumer products are same/similar as industrial.  Gorilla provides no useful technical data whatsoever.
With such a small tight fit on this repair, agree that epoxy isn't so great either.  And that spot on the reel should not get wet and stay wet that often.  But iOTOH mpact strength on thinner CAs is not so good.  I don't know if I would want to take short odds on ether side of the epoxy vs. CA bet to be honest.
 
Quote from: Cor on June 23, 2022, 07:39:27 PM@jurelometer
Seems I followed your advice before seeing it. 8)

It is a strange thing because the reel does not feel broken, it does not flex at all and it would not surprise me if I have fished it like that for a while.

It indeed broke at the weakest spot, perhaps necessitated by the casting process.  It has two similar cut-outs in the frame, but this one is by observation the weakest.
These reels just do not look very durable to me.

I never liked that reel for shore fishing so used it mostly from a boat.  We fish in rough ocean conditions in small boats and tackle gets bashed around or as I always joke "sat on"


Great minds think alike  8)

Not sure if I was clear about the break. When I said cast, I meant cast metal, not broken by casting a lure. My guess is broken by impact on the top of the frame from being dropped on a rock, banged in a rocking boat or similar.  Not enough lure casting load on that spot.

-J
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Cor on June 24, 2022, 05:01:05 AM
I have never considered that casting could fracture a reel in that way.  Nearly certainly a violent encounter of sorts.

Over the years I have repaired or otherwise glued stuff with many different brands of supperglue and never seen it fail, even on lures.

Even recently stuck my fingers to a squid lure. ^-^

PS   My reference to "casting" in my previous post had nothing to do with chucking a device 80 mt in to the distance but the casting of metal the process to make the frame of the reel, like pouring molten metal.   So we were on the same track once again.    I misunderstood your "casting" in your last comment. ;D  ;D
Title: Re: FATHOM FTH25N
Post by: Wompus Cat on June 24, 2022, 12:12:58 PM
Well I don't have time to worry about whether the repairs I do are solar,polar,bipolar,radioactive,volacanic,cauterized, afro,homogenus,homogenized,FDA,SPCA,USDA,or union affiliated but as long as they works I am Happy. ;D
If what was stated above about water and super glue is True I know a lot of Aquarium people are in for a surprise one day in the not too distant future not to mention the Aquatic life contained within the Super Glued repaired tanks. :o