alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Fin Nor LT 100
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: Fin Nor LT 100  (Read 37411 times)
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johndtuttle
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« Reply #75 on: March 17, 2016, 09:17:44 PM »

Sounds like a good case for a non metal body. The most durable conventional reels I own are my TLD Star drags.


It very rarely is the body giving the trouble (other than the design of the LT 100 stem being too light) but when it comes to corrosion the  frames/rotors hold up remarkably well. Its the disconnect between reels that have modest levels of sealing and the guys using them that think they are submarines.

I would rather fish a free-spinning reel with few seals if it was uber easy to service. On the West Coast north of Pt. Conception the water is too dam cold and rough to wade very deep in the surf. Really, other than the guys in New England there is damn little use for a totally sealed reel in the USA. Super high quality internals don't need seals. Marine Brass and Stainless Steel only need grease.
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Rivverrat
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« Reply #76 on: June 26, 2016, 11:40:00 AM »

These are solid, good value reels.

Personally, I know there are a few finish issues on these, and maybe the handles could be a little stronger -- but overall, I have less issues with these at a little over $100 -- then I do with putting a $1300 Stella on the South end of a fishing stick.

Only thing to recommend would be a good, and complete fishing Pre-Service in strategic areas to give it more protection, performance, and longevity.

 

 

Fred
Fred, as usual....   Very well said !  
 I'm always learning. Always seeking more in this endeavor to feed what my x calls my sickness. I am far from being anything close to an expert
I have one of these reels. It's a friends who gave it to me some time ago to use & report back.
I'm not giving it back he's forgot I still have it. I'll bring it up when discussing payment after removing his crispy cracker of a dead Locust tree....Ha!

 Might be good for some of you who have disqualified this reel because of it's apparent short comings to take a moments pause.

I'm sure some of you have got a chuckle out of me coming here at the start & wanting a tiny reel that produced 20 lbs. of drag.
 With expectations it could be fished at that level a long time with out issue.

"YOU NEED A BIGGER REEL !" was the mantra coming from the schooled & wise ones.  
Probably another smirk & giggle as I complained out loud of my frustration with my 3 Fathom 25N's & their drag, as I went about attempting to improve them. In the end I did improve my 25N's. Not as much as I would have liked.
However through my endeavor with these reels I have learned & come to realize, accept what I have. That is 3 very durable reels, fully capable of fishing drag set for heavy 40 lb. line, with the ability to out cast most reels costing far more !  I'll take any reel that accomplishes this for it's line class any day of the week.

Which brings me to this reel the LT 100. When we break stuff with use, that should tell us something. In evaluating the break or failure I ask my self does this reel have enough merit to do something different &  warrant another try ?
I think this reel at its price most certainly does.  This reel fished at 15 - 20 lbs. of drag will give better long term service than many others that come with a price exceeding what is for some a full weeks pay or more.  
If I were fishing to save my life & was offered 2, well used reels to do it with, one being this reel & the other a Stella. I'd pick the LT100 every time....Jeff
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 12:43:46 PM by Rivverrat » Logged
spc7669
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« Reply #77 on: June 26, 2016, 12:10:15 PM »

I've been looking at these reels for a long time but have yet to pull the trigger. My current surf reel is a Shimano Baitrunner 8000D which doesn't like sand too much. Based on what I see here, I'm leaning Spinfisher.
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mandaragat
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« Reply #78 on: June 27, 2016, 01:05:17 AM »


 

 

 
If I were fishing to save my life & was offered 2, well used reels to do it with, one being this reel & the other a Stella. I'd pick the LT100 every time....Jeff

Take the Stella, it has Platinum Service. For $30, they will replace everything defective and you'll get back a mechanically perfect reel. Sell it for $500 and buy a boatload of well used LT100.
[/quote]
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johndtuttle
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« Reply #79 on: June 29, 2016, 08:58:50 AM »

From BD Outdoors fighting BFT and the Lethal 100:

"Now, about the reel.... DON'T EVER use a Fin-Nor Lethal 100 to fight a tuna. Don't even buy one. I never mistreated this reel or allowed it to slam against the rail, or dropped it on the deck, or anything else that might have compromised its strength. I went back and watched video of the fight to confirm my memory of it, and at no point did the reel touch the rail with any force. I was using approx. 23# of drag with 80# line and the rod was handling it, so I thought the outfit would be OK. The reel ended up breaking at the stem. The cast metal stem simply could not withstand that kind of pressure. I have since found reviews online describing similar failures, including pictures that look just like my broken reel. Apparently, this reel has issues with the stem breaking right where it contacts the body. "

Pretty sure the catastrophic failures of the frame of the Lethal 100 deserve a serious redesign. Until that happens I am going to steer people clear.
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Tightlines667
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« Reply #80 on: June 29, 2016, 11:58:31 AM »

Every reel has a weak point.  It sounds to me like that although the reel's internals can handle greater drag numbers then many similar priced/size spinning reels, the cast frame, and in particular.. the stem, can not handle the higher loads.  There have definately been many documented cases of these failures. 

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« Reply #81 on: June 29, 2016, 12:28:15 PM »

Fin-Nor is a good company -- and I would expect them to stand behind their products.

John T. --

To your knowledge -- has anyone contacted Fin-Nor about this issue?

If so, what was their response?

If not, I could contact them.

There are three fixes I could think of very quickly -- the first of which would be a redesigned body frame reinforced and composed of a tougher metallic alloy.

In the old days, DAM Quick had a replaceable foot and stem on their 270 Super Salt Water Series from the 60's.  But these old reels were never called upon to pull the drag numbers we are working with today.  In those days, we would use the rod strength and action to bring the fish to the rail -- and the reel was for primarily retrieving line.

No blame placed -- but too many anglers today read the bend in their rod -- leave it there -- and just reel away.  As most of us know, there are techniques that are useful to bringing in a large fish.  And it is becoming a lost skill to many.

Just my opinions.

Best,

Fred


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« Reply #82 on: June 29, 2016, 01:30:30 PM »

I surf fished mine this past May hoping to test it. Nothing took my bait.
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johndtuttle
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« Reply #83 on: June 29, 2016, 03:52:39 PM »

@Foakes:

To my knowledge Fred, Fin Nor has been good about replacements of broken stems and handles...and I can't say I have heard of anyone with repeat trouble.

However, Fin Nor has no online presence like a number of other companies so the community has not heard any official response as to the future.

I think a redesign is in order. If you look at the other Zebco reel in this thread offered by their other brand they have a significantly beefed up stem. I think that is the way to go forward given the powerful drag of this reel.
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Rivverrat
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« Reply #84 on: June 30, 2016, 08:53:53 AM »

I hope they do beef up this reel where needed. Until then I'm happy fishing this one at & mostly below 20 lbs. of drag. However after John's post & looking  into it more... I would have to be concerned if I ever dropped this reel on a hard surface vs dropping say any of my US113 on the driveway....Jeff
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Porthos
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« Reply #85 on: June 30, 2016, 01:29:25 PM »

...No blame placed -- but too many anglers today read the bend in their rod -- leave it there -- and just reel away.  As most of us know, there are techniques that are useful to bringing in a large fish.  And it is becoming a lost skill to many...

Techniques are key. Picked up on this back in 2014 with my first LT100. Yoyo-ing at Cedros and got a YT hooked up on a Sumo heavy; when I tried to crank it in like the conventional I had used on the previous YT, the handle didn't budge. Knew immediately that it was a different ball game and switched to the "lift slow/drop fast" that I had seen on YouTube of guys with spinners on big tuna and GT.



I didn't hesitate throwing poppers with them this year on the SOA 5-day though nothing hooked up. Never got to try the short drop/ quarter-crank Kil Song had described in one of his posts on BD. Was fully aware of and fully accepted the risk of frame failure if it hooked up a a larger BFT, but if I didn't try, I was never gonna know whether technique would have made a difference.
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PRSD
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« Reply #86 on: April 21, 2017, 02:25:43 AM »

Hi everyone.
Might be abit late to add to this discussion.
I just bought a lethel 100 last weekend and plan to beach fish for mulloway, rays and the odd shark that comes along.
I'm planning to load it up with 50lb braid, so will be interested how it goes. The stem is a issue by the looks of it but i doubt i will be going the full drag setting from the sand.  That will be the job of the overheads. So if the session works out next weekend ill let you know how it went, good or bad.
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Porthos
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« Reply #87 on: April 21, 2017, 08:52:10 AM »

...I just bought a lethel 100 last weekend and plan to beach fish for mulloway, rays and the odd shark that comes along.
I'm planning to load it up with 50lb braid, so will be interested how it goes. The stem is a issue by the looks of it but i doubt i will be going the full drag setting from the sand...

You should have no issues with the LT100 as a 50lb reel. I yoyo-ed my first LT100 as a 50lb reel (50lb braid main/50lb mono top shot @ 15lbs drag) at Cedros on the 2014 and 2015 SOA charters and landed YT with no issues.

My second LT100 was also on the 2015 trip, and the head of the handle securing bolt's snapped (http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=14562.0) on a YT; I was fishing it as a 100lb setup (100lb braid main/100lb mono topshot @ 22lbs drag). There's a new handle on that second LT100, and I plan on pushing it just as hard on the 2017 SOA trip. Might even push the drag up to 30lbs, but it will go NOWHERE near the 45lbs+ factory rating or the 50lbs+ that Alan Hawk pushed his LT100 to.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 08:54:16 AM by Porthos » Logged
Gfish
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« Reply #88 on: April 21, 2017, 02:16:15 PM »

So, if Fin Nor does address the stem and handle issues, that magic $100 price point would probably disappear. That smear campaign theory could have merit considering A.Hawk's positive review, and the fact of it's price point, probably making it a superior market performer. A.H. himself is always pointing out shady to evil practices by various factions trying to get more market share. But if I hadda bet on it, I'd say the stem n' handle are weak points.
Good info. here. Gonna haveta keep my drag at <30lbs. and hope I got the needed line capacity. Mabey get more, by decreasing from 65lb to 50lb spectra.

As I age I seem to worry less about "losing the fish of a lifetime" for whatever reasons, including mechanical failure. Weight-wise I lucked into landing one many years ago already, anyway. But, there've been others I can't forget, and its been so much more than their size. You know those days, when EVERYTHING comes together including the bite.
One thing on the L-100 others have mentioned that I don't like is the line-lay. I'm sure (in comparison to those slow oscillating surf casters), it inhibits casting distance.
Gfish
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 02:17:58 PM by Gfish » Logged

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MarkT
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« Reply #89 on: April 21, 2017, 03:14:06 PM »

While I've heard of stems snapping I don't think anyone mentioned what kind of drag they were using when it broke.
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