calcutta 250a

Started by alantani, February 09, 2009, 05:15:04 AM

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when i first started salmon fishing, i started with a penn 113h trolling 2.5 pound lead on a sinker release.  when i started fishing with jacky douglas on the "wacky jacky," we were mooching.  the ultimate mooching reel at that time was considered to be the shimano calcutta 250.  it was a great reel then, it is still a great reel now. 

here's a link to the schematic.

it's simple to open up this reel.  just back out the two right side plate bolts (key #1698). 

the reel breaks down easily into three pieces, the frame assembly, the spool and the right side plate assembly.

put a drop of lube in left spool bearing (key #194).  this bearing measures 3x10x4.  if it needs replacing, the bearing retainer (key #32) is easily removed. 

clean up the spool shaft a little.

let's put the spool assembly back into the frame and set it aside.

now for the right side plate assembly.

remove the handle nut plate screw (key #795) and handle nut plate (key #1692).

remove the handle nut (key #797).

remove the handle (key #1716) and friction washer (key #799).

remove the star drag (key #1573).

remove the star drag spacer (key #1289)

remove the drag spring washers (key # 15).

remove the two right side plate screws (key #191).

remove the right side plate assembly (key #1574).  note that the right side plate bolts (key # 1698) stay with the right side plate. 

the right side plate bearing (key #194) is rusted and will have to be replaced.

remove the cast control cap (key #1209) and cast control spacer (key #9).

this bearing also measures 3x10x4.

install the new bearing (key #194), cast control cap (key #1209) and spacer (key #9).

the "anti-reverse" roller clutch bearing (key #1207) works fine.  let's soak it with corrosion x and then clean it out with an old rag.  pull the rag through and then twist both clockwise and counter-clockwise. 

let's pull the main gear. 

we're going to upgrade with drag system to carbontex. 

here are all the parts, cleaned up and in line.  on top is the set plate assembly (key #1221).  the middle row shows (left to right) the roller clutch inner tube (key #1206), the key washer (key #1211), the drag washer C (key #1212), the drive gear (key #1213), and drag washer A (key #1214).  the lower row shows our new carbontex drag washers.

take a quick look and make sure the anti-reverse ratchet (key #1215) is properly oriented and seated.

slap a generous coat of cal's grease on carbontex drag washers.

install smaller carbontex drag washer.

install the drive gear (key #1213).

install the larger carbontex drag washer.

install the key washer (key #1211).

install the roller clutch inner tube (key #1206).

install the right side plate assembly (key #1574).

install the two right side plate screws (key #191).

install the two drag spring washers (key #15) in a "()" configuration.

install the star drag spacer (key #1289) gray side up.

install the star drag (key #1573) and turn it down until it clears the shoulders of the drive shaft (key #1299).

install the friction washer (key #799).

install the handle assembly (key #1716).

install the handle nut (key #797).

install the handle nut plate (key #1692).

install the handle nut plate screw (key #795).

add a small amount of grease to the screw holes in the frame.

lube the spool shaft and right spool bushing.

find the clutch plate (key #1233).  this is the "in gear" postion.

push the clutch plate down to the "free" position.

the clutch bar (key #1316) is now in the "free" position.

push it to the "in gear" position.

back off the cast control cap (key #1209) a couple of turns.

the right side plate assembly (key #1574) should now seat easily.

gently tighten down the pair right side plate bolts (key #1698) until the bolts seat, then give it another half turn so that it is snug.  tighten these down too much and the heads will snap right off.  been there.......

check the freespool.

lube the worm shaft (key #1714).  this would also be a good time to remove the pawl cap (key #1239) and lube the line guide pawl (key #42)

and done!

send me an email at for questions!


Quote from: ELIASVI lost a very large Salmon this weekend on my Calcutta 250 because I feel there was too much tension on the Levelwind when drag was pulling since it disengages. So basically there was a point in the fight that line was coming out all the way on the left of the reel and the levelwind was on the right.  So when a fish takes drag or line comes out the reel the levelwind is inactive.  Is it ok to take it out and fish it like that? Or will I have some problems if I do that? I have never done it before but wouldn't like to lose another large fish due to the levelwind on this reel.

to answer your question, yes, it is very simple. here is a live link to the schematic and the calcutta rebuild post.

first pop off the right side plate and set it aside. remove the spool. i believe that there are three screws on the inside that are holding the left side plate in place. back out those screws, remove the left side plate, remove the worm shaft retainer c-clip (key #133) and the pawl cap (key #1239). now the entire levelwind assembly can be removed. reinstall the right side plate, follow the rebuild post to reassemble the reel and you're done. however, .........

the calcutta 250 is, or perhaps i should say was, a very popular salmon reel in northern california. i say "was" because salmon fishing out of san francisco has collapsed. the line guide insert is ceramic and should provide very little resistance. at least here on the west coast, the biggest problem is the stock drag system. it can be fairly sticky.

changing the drag washers to greased carbontex will eliminate that problem. i'm betting that the drags in your reel are a little sticky. my guess would be that the sticky drags in your reel contributed to the loss of your fish more so than than any amount of abrasion against the ceramic line guide. do make sure, however, that there are no sharp edges along the insides of the ceramic.

to check your drags, i recommend the following. put the reel on the rod, run the line through the guides, tie the line off to a single weight or combination of weights that adds up to the amount drag that you want. now button down the star, reel down to the weight, lift until you have a 45 degree angle on the butt and a nice gentlemen's bend in the rod, then back off on the star until the weight drops smoothly, one foot every 5 seconds. you now have a dynamic drag setting that is smooth enough for salmon.

it you have a chance, please check your reel and let us know what you find. thanks! alan
send me an email at for questions!