alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial US Senator series AR
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
June 20, 2019, 11:14:54 AM *
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Tunanorth
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« on: May 17, 2019, 09:50:12 AM »

All,
Got this note from PENN's chief engineer regarding the AR system in the US Senator series reels.
Tony is out this week, but will be back next week, he may have additional info to chime in with.
Steve


There was an improvement made to the dog pin assembly to the bridge plate that should be incorporated into reels made 2017 and later.  The first step is to understand if we are still seeing failures on the newer reels.  So far, the few that I have personally seen or heard about with the AR problem have been reels with a date code of 2016 or earlier or the date code/reel was not provided for us to confirm the vintage.
Our quality lead in Philly has created and maintains a customer complaint log for Philly made product.  As you hear about complaints it would be great if you could relay the exact issue and date code if possible so we can have the issues recorded to help us better understand the scope of the failures.  I believe Tony already does this with repaired Philly-made reels.



 

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foakes
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 10:41:41 AM »

Hi Steve, Tony, Tom —

What is the improvement?

We have known for some time about both A/R pin failures, along with inherent shortcomings with the “floating dogs” design.

One of our professional and expert machinists, Tom Hryniuk, has designed a much improved system that sets the dogs flat on the bridge — with no floating dogs to stress the pins when pushed to limits.

This is a complete SS drop in assembly — that makes the Bajas and US Senators a bulletproof performer.  Includes bridge, sleeve, pins, dogs, and springs, etc. — all SS.

If you guys haven’t already talked to Tom — you should consider doing so.

The Baja & US Senators are one of the toughest performing reels and a solid value.  The only shortcoming was the flawed floating dog/spring design, IMO.

Tom mass produces these under his company name — Cortez Conversions.

Best,

Fred


* 94D1A978-06B4-40DB-9FBD-39CCC374F263.jpeg (255.66 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 33 times.)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 10:42:45 AM by foakes » Logged

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Tunanorth
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 11:08:05 AM »

Fred,
The engineers do see almost all aftermarket products out there, some of them are obviously very good. The issue has always been cost, and I know when this has been discussed before, adding anything price-wise to a reel that is already not strong at retail is not practical.
Will try to find out more detail on the "dog pin assembly to bridge plate" improvement, but it may have to wait for Tony to return.
Steve
 
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foakes
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 11:37:17 AM »

I figured that, Steve —

Thanks for the response and explanation.

My take:

As a reel mechanic for well over 40 years — for any and all types of reels...

My opinion is that there is no perfect reel — even the best of the best will have a couple of criticisms that could be improved upon.

The Penn Baja & US Senator have come the closest to being a “perfect reel”, IMO.

The only weak point was the A/R design.

With a retail price point of around $250, add $70 for the drop in — this reel can now be promoted and marketed as the reel we have all asked for: frame, gears, drag, crank, etc. — it is all there and complete.

Yes, it looks old school, and costs half as much as a gold reel — but it will perform well, and last a lifetime.

Can’t get much better advertising than that.

However, I do understand production volume numbers.  It just seems as if the best value conventional reel in the world — should have a place in the Penn lineup — and be built as perfect as possible.

Thanks for reaching out to our site.

Your company is the best!

Best,

Fred
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A young apprentice once asked a Master Carpenter — “what was the most expensive tool you ever purchased, old timer?”

The older man just replied matter of factly —

“The one that didn’t work”...
steelfish
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 07:57:55 AM »

Im keeping an eye on this cuz this is one of my favorites reels
Although I must say my two Baja Special reels already have tom' s upgrade assembly
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Bill B (Tarfu)
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 08:45:44 AM »

Darn, I just ordered a new bridge assembly from mystic due to the unavailability from CC.....will be watching to see what Penn does.  Bill
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Ron Jones
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 08:54:59 AM »

I really think the current situation works, assuming Penn's improvement actually does what they want. The reel is a great bargain at retail, and the majority of them won't ever be pushed hard enough for the issue to arise. For those that do push these reels o 9/10ths and beyond, Tom's bridge is a steal and gives you a world class reel.

Just like turning a brand new mid level coupe into a team racer, if you expect pro performance you are going to need to perform some modifications.

Ron Jones
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Ronald Jones
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Tunanorth
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 12:37:47 PM »

Note from engineering below
*I can't get the diagram to post, so I emailed it to Alan.



The change to the bridge assembly as shown below in 2016 was a running change so any parts that were already in stock at that point would have been used up instead of scrapped.  All these old parts should have been used up by 2017, but there is a small chance some of the old rev bridge assemblies made it to 2017.

The change that was made was to have the dog pin material extend thru the thickness of the bridge plate and rolled over on the other side instead of just being staked-see below.

 
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alantani
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 02:14:20 PM »

here you go!


* US Senator pic1.jpg (43.16 KB, 962x540 - viewed 41 times.)
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sabaman1
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 02:23:16 PM »

So is the new pin riveted on the bottom rather than pressed in?
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JIM
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2019, 03:01:03 PM »

It sure looks like it is.
Peened is the way to go, that pin isn’t going anywhere.

Sal
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steelfish
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2019, 03:13:27 PM »

The change that was made was to have the dog pin material extend thru the thickness of the bridge plate and rolled over on the other side instead of just being staked-see below.

Steve, that change on the pin sounds nice surely it would be more stronger than before, its also great Penn keep hearing the customers.

thats for sure will prevent this kind of problems, pics taken from an actual reel on my hands from a friend that use the Baja Special on his charter





but what about the "steel" dog's material, its lots softer than the steel used on the antiverse ratchet, the dogs tends to get chipped until lost contact





* IMAG4845 ss.jpg (200.43 KB, 1024x648 - viewed 26 times.)

* IMAG4852 ss.jpg (124.16 KB, 1024x593 - viewed 31 times.)
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Bill B (Tarfu)
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2019, 06:03:06 PM »

I received my new bridge from Mysticparts and can confirm the design change.  The post measures 3.8mm and the peened back measures 4.3mm, a .5mm difference.  Looks like a bigger peen than the design drawing shows.  A big improvement over the original design.  The weak link here now, as Sal has commented, will the dogs hold up.  I put new ones ( dogs) in 2017 and have not used the reel yet.  Will be using this reel in the coming months and will let you know how it holds up. Bill



* IMG_0812.JPG (1200.28 KB, 2592x1936 - viewed 32 times.)

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« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 06:30:58 PM by Bill B (Tarfu) » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2019, 08:42:25 AM »

This additional info regarding the dogs from Tony Dubeck:



Along with updating the bridge we also changed the ratchet from stainless to brass around the same time frame, a softer material for the dog to continually bang up against.
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Ron Jones
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2019, 12:17:25 PM »

With those improvements, it will be a nice reel for most users. I have caught yellowtail and yellowfin on 2 Bajas with Tom's bridge, what a world class reel. If I was taking this reel on a trip that was a large investment, I'd spring for Tom's bridge.
Ron Jones
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