alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Need Help Identifying this Abu!
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
August 19, 2019, 07:02:11 PM *
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Author Topic: Need Help Identifying this Abu!  (Read 305 times)
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Sledge
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« on: July 12, 2019, 12:13:40 PM »

Ok, I know this is kind of a shot in the dark, as most of the subject matter on this board is targeted to salt.  But I figure one of you can maybe at least point me in the right direction.
I bought an Abu Ambassadeur for a good price the other day.  Got it cleaned and serviced...even had a set of CF drags that fit.  Problem is, the ident stickers are worn, and I have no idea what model it is!  I'd like to order some replacement stickers, as the overall shape and finish is quite nice...needs a new line guide guard/shield, too.
 It's maybe a 5500 size, black in color, 6.3:1 gearing.  It says "Ultra Cast" on what's still visible.  I understand this nomenclature was used twice by Abu, and of the two this is the earlier model.
The number on the reel foot is "02 02 05".  I understand on the later reels, post 1980, this translates to a build date of February 1992?  And a revision number of "5".  Don't know where I got '92 from...but I wrote it down...at any rate, it's not very helpful.
I've spent HOURS online searching every resource I know.  It's gotten me close, but I have yet to positively ID this reel!  Haven't even found a picture of one exactly like it!  If I had hair I'd be pulling it out!
The closest I've been able to get is by browsing schematics.  The Ambassadeur 5500c3, 99-09, is pretty close.  The internals are the same.  The paddle handle knobs are the same.  But they only came in silver, the gearing is something like 5.3:1, and the handle lock plate is different.  On that note, I'm not even sure the handle lock plate came from Abu, as I've yet to see another like it...but it's cracked, and needs replaced, too.
Alright, I'll try to include some clear pictures in case we have any Abu Gurus here.  But if not, I'd appreciate suggestions pointing me toward any resource or individual that might be able to help.  Thanks much!

Sledge


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Sledge
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 12:17:01 PM »

More pictures:


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Sledge
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:22:45 PM »

Tried posting a PDF of the schematic, but my phone goes nuts every time I do!  Trying one more time:

* 5500C3 9909.pdf (69.29 KB - downloaded 7 times.)
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festus
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 01:42:27 PM »

Royal Express in the same size as the 5000/5500.
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festus
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 01:49:38 PM »

This might be your schematic. http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/content/purefishing/Abu%20Garcia/Schematics/ROYALEXPRESSII%200202.pdf
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oc1
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 02:25:38 PM »

Don't know what you paid for it, but that high speed gear set is worth a bit by itself.  Probably C4?

The thing I don't like about that style is the handle sticks way out and there is a lot of wasted space under the hood.  It is as if they were trying to make the reel look and feel big in the hand.  The thing I don't like about all Ambassadeurs is the synchronized levelwind.  It's easy enough to remove but, again, that makes for more wasted space.

The thing I do like about that style is having a spool axel instead of a spool shaft.  That effectively lightens the spool, guarantees good alignment and brings the bearings in closer to the center of the reel so everything is more rigid.  Perhaps more importantly, having an axel negates the whole problem of the loose pinion gear riding on a shaft when casting.  Shimano and the others have gone through a lot of contortions to get the pinion gear out of the way and to stabilize it when casting.  Wonder why they never adopted the axel thing?  When appropriate, Shimano has copied other characteristics of ABUs for forty years.

-steve
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 09:21:33 PM by oc1 » Logged
Sledge
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2019, 09:08:10 AM »

Royal Express in the same size as the 5000/5500.


Festus, yes, I partly agree.  I thought this reel most closely matches the royal line...however, when looking at pictures of representative examples, I discovered the the Royals have "Royal Express" printed on the thumb bar.  And the handle nut retainer is different so far as I have seen.  I will include some pictures.
Now I'm not saying you are wrong, because the print in question could have long since been worn off.  And the palm plate definitely looks like a match!  But I want to be absolutely convinced before I buy replacement stickers.  Oh...and the worm guard/shield is made out of graphite!  It seems to be worn, because the line carriage has more than a reasonable amount of wobble and play.


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tincanary
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 09:26:14 AM »

It's a Royal Express.  Abu made many variants of that reel, some with different stickers on the side plates, some with a graphite reel foot, some were of the Ultra Cast design while some were not, some with a metal foot, some had a black plastic worm cover while others had chrome, some with IAR, some with an AR dog, etc.  The handle on yours isn't a factory handle, it looks to be aftermarket.  Royal and Royal Express reels have a black handle with round knobs and a black handle nut cover out of the box.  They're fine reels in general, just another variant in the sea of 4000 to 6000 sized Abus.  Royal Express reels have a thumb bar and the plain Royal (Royal 4500/5500 Royal I/II/III) has a push button spool release. 
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tincanary
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 09:34:09 AM »

The thing I don't like about all Ambassadeurs is the synchronized levelwind.  It's easy enough to remove but, again, that makes for more wasted space.


-steve


Have a look at the Black Max/Pro Max/Silver Max/Tournament Pro reels made in the early/mid 90s.  One piece aluminum frame, low reel foot, disengaging level wind, same drag stack as the 4000 to 6000 sized Abus.  You can get them in 1600/3600/5600/6600 sizes and 5.3:1 or 6.3:1 gear ratios.  They are Ultra Cast reels probably meant to compete with the Shimano Calcutta.  I own quite a few in various sizes and they can really throw it out there.  They were sold with a lifetime warranty and most parts are still readily available.  The reels that bear those names today are nothing like their predecessors, far inferior.  I use a Black Max 1600 for stream trout on a 7'6" light power moderate-fast rod, holds about 120yd of 8lb mono. 
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Sledge
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2019, 09:37:47 AM »

Steve, well...I don't mind saying I gave $20 for it at a local tackle shop.  Was pretty pleased with myself, although the operation was a little stiff at first.  And just like I thought, after a good cleaning it is very smooth!
I agree, the handle does stick out, and it feels bigger in the hand than needs to be.  But that's an Abu round reel, the way they've been for decades.  Yes, the design is somewhat "long in the tooth", but it is also hella stout, a favorite of Striper and Catfish anglers.  But it seems things are changing, and their designs are becoming more ergonomic...to keep up with the Japanese, I suppose.
I learned that this spool axle arrangement was given the original "Ultra Cast" name.  Unfortunately, the design showed a flaw, in that the spool itself had a long, unsupported section.  This allowed flexing under heavy drag, which then caused the spool to rub.  A redesign corrected the problem, and the 2nd gen Ultra Cast was born!

https://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/topic/139167-the-two-faces-of-abu-garcia-ultracast/
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Sledge
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2019, 09:49:26 AM »

...The handle on yours isn't a factory handle, it looks to be aftermarket.  Royal and Royal Express reels have a black handle with round knobs and a black handle nut cover out of the box... 

Thanks so much for your very informative replies!  Yes, that would explain why I'm having so much trouble identifying this handle!  The nut retainer and printing on the handle bar remind me very much of a Shimano design.. 
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Sledge
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2019, 09:56:49 AM »

Members on this board are the absolute best!!!
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tholmes
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2019, 09:29:44 AM »

I'm kind of late to the party, but I think Sledge's reel is a 5600 CI. The CI reels were made exclusively for a large retailer, maybe Cabela's.


Tom
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