alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Komodo 463 - After two years of abuse
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
October 23, 2020, 07:19:48 PM *
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Author Topic: Komodo 463 - After two years of abuse  (Read 4754 times)
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jurelometer
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« on: March 22, 2020, 08:51:32 PM »

I picked up a Komodo KDS-463 about 2.5 years ago for tossing plugs and irons inshore in Baja.  Caught a bunch of dorado, snappers, grouper, yellowtail and smaller tuna with it.  Mostly casting, but some drop jigging of irons up to 4 oz.    This reel was fished hard out of a panga for about 60 days over two seasons.   I am a bit rough on my gear, but the local captains are even worse.  The reel had more than a few chips and blue streaks where the gunnel paint rubbed off.   Panga years are kind of like dog years when it comes to fishing tackle.

 When the reel first arrived as new,   I popped it open to confirm that the innards were relatively well lubed, and that the drag washers were greased as well.  I did not perform any pre-service.

Out of extreme laziness  In the interest of science,  I did not perform any maintenance on the reel for the whole two years other than occasionally oiling the spool bearings and the levelwind with the oil that came with the reel.    I did however soak the reel in freshwater for about 20 minutes, once a week when fishing it.


Over time, the level wind worm got pretty gummed up.  Casting distance was significantly shortened – it needed to be taken apart and cleaned (but wasn’t Smiley ).   The reel would not go from freespool into gear by turning the handle after day 50 or so, but the lever (thumb bar) could still be used to engage.

When I took the reel apart last week, I was pleasantly surprised.     I performed a full service, and the process matched  John Tuttle’s excellent tutorial for the Komodo 364 here https://alantani.com/index.php?topic=17311.0.   So I am going to refer to John’s tutorial for all the steps and provide a review of what I found.   The 463 Schematic can be found here: https://www.okumafishing.com/Templates/att/KDS-463-Parts-list.pdf?lng=enon

1.  Salt buildup was minimal on most of the reel.   The handle arm to gearshaft junction did have significant salt buildup, and probably would have started corroding if left much longer.

2.  Although the right sideplate has a drain,   there is a screw hole post that blocks the flow of some water to the drain.  There was some salt buildup here and the spring was caked in salt.  This is what was blocking the handle-driven engagement.  



After disassembling and cleaning with Corrosion-x, the handle-driven engagement started to work but was still a bit too hard to engage.    Slightly backing off the tension on the screws that hold the clutch cam  (key 23) in place took care of that.    The pocket that had previously collected the salt was filled with grease.



3.  The freespool lever screws  (key 52) were loose, and the metal lever underneath (key 54) was bent.   This is due to the freespool lever only being supported on one side.  Easy enough to bend back, but the lever should be better supported, especially considering the heavy spring load used in the Komodo to prevent the reel from going into gear during a cast.  Not a great design choice in my opinion, but not fatal.



4.  I was most worried about the one-way bearing.   It looked fine.   I tried to press it out to check for corrosion but  ended up popping out just the inner race and rollers.   After getting the outer race out, I slid the inner race back in place.  To my surprise, it worked fine.   I ordered a new part from Okuma ( there is no key or part number for the one-way bearing – but they are stocked. I think that Okuma includes the one-way bearing with a  replacement sideplate).    The bearing will press in/out without too much drama if you are comfortable with press fitting, but you need a good fit on whatever you are using to push out the bearing.  Not much of the outer race is exposed to the outside of the right sideplate.  I decided not to screw up any more and used a socket (as in socket wrench) with an OD a hair under 16 mm to push the bearing out and in.   I had to lay the sideplate on a soft wood block and use a bit of force with a hammer to tap out the old race.  Once the pocket was cleaned and greased, the bearing could be pushed in and out with just a bit of force.   A pretty good fit for a painted surface.

The one-way bearing is a standard size hex style (10x16x12).  There are lots of one-ways available in this size, but all the ones I found online have plastic springs instead of stainless, and have less rollers, so I suspect that the Okuma stock part has a higher torque rating.



Just for fun, I tried greasing the old one-way bearing, put it back in the reel and it slipped under very light load.  I removed the grease, and it started working again.    

5.  As delivered, the drag star had to be nearly bottomed out before it would provide any significant drag.  I added a third spring washer (key 95)  and stacked the springs all cupped - ))) - much better. The drag ramps up faster, and there was plenty of space left when I got the drag up to about 12 pounds or so.

6. The power knob assembly is not included in the schematic, but it has the same part layout as the paddle style knob.   There are no ball bearings in the knob (yessss!!!).   The screw inside the knob assembly (key 101) is held with blue loctite, and is in a deep pocket, requiring a quality screwdriver to remove.

7.   Buttoned the reel back up- with some extra grease around the handle nut.  Rubbed off all the blue gunnel paint. The reel looks to be  in fine functional shape, albeit with more than a few battle scars.



Conclusions:  

  • I attribute the lack of corrosion damage despite the abuse to soaking the reel in freshwater (sorry Smiley ).   But soaking is not a substitute for maintenance.  I was just buying time.  It seems that spots where the salt water can collect and mix with grease are tough to de-salt without removing the old grease.   I cannot prove it, but I would be surprised if the reel would be in such good shape if I had only performed a light external freshwater rinse. Still, I don’t plan to push my luck, and will do at least a yearly full maintenance on this reel.

  • While the drive train held up very well (I couldn’t see any sign of wear),  the freespool/clutch engagement mechanism is not as robust.   It still works, but I suspect that it will be the part of the reel that goes first.   Too many nylon moving parts wearing against painted cast aluminum.

  • Non- disengaging levelwinds like the Komodo are supposed to be more robust, even if they do not cast as far as disengaging levelwinds.  But in order to cast reasonably well, the worm must be kept clean AND lubricated, which is a pain, as oil is a dirt magnet.  I am going to try straight Corrosion-x, instead of oil on the worm, and apply it frequently.

  • I am wondering if the Daiwa Lexa with the disengaging level wind and freespool clutch mechanism with metal parts is the smarter way to go in terms of design.   The Shimano Tranx and the Komodo have very similar designs, so if I were to try another saltwater levelwind,  it would probably be the Lexa.

  • I suspect that all of the low profile saltwater levelwinds will need more maintenance and will not last as long as a standard star drag casting reel.    Cor has some great posts on the Tranx that come to this conclusion.   I  really like fishing this type of reel for any type of lure work where you cannot keep a consistent tension packing the line on the reel, especially with braid.  If you are allergic to spinning reels like I am, this is the best choice for this style of fishing.   For now, the Komodo stays at the front of the rotation, even though I hate equipment that needs to be pampered.   Combined with a casting rod with a palming reel seat, it is just too much fun to give up on.


Oh,  and the folks at Okuma USA were friendly and helpful.   It took forever to get off hold, but as soon as I reached a human,  I was quickly routed to a very knowledgeable tech that set me up with the parts, and provided the tip on backing off the clutch cam screws to help fix the sticky freespool lever.

-J
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 09:00:37 PM by jurelometer » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 09:57:42 PM »

This is due to the freespool lever only being supported on one side.  Easy enough to bend back, but the lever should be better supported, especially considering the heavy spring load used in the Komodo to prevent the reel from going into gear during a cast.  Not a great design choice in my opinion, but not fatal.
A lot of Shimanos are like that too.  It has been the downfall of the original Calcuttas.  A new thumb bar only comes as part of a new frame.

Nice work-up.  Maintenance requirements are not given enough weight in the overall evaluation of a reel.  Maintenance is time and time is money.

-steve
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Cor
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2020, 10:55:24 PM »

Nice write up jurelometer!

It sounds like you fish a bit like I do, though I try to keep my equipment functioning smoothly and service reels somewhat more regularly without pampering,  particularly so with the Tranx’s.

I use Corrosion X on my level wind, clean and oil weekly, without dismantling and still need to replace the Line Guide Pawl twice per year and  Worm Shaft  once.   On top of that the end spacers and bushings also need constant shimming and occasional replacement.
I’ve also twice had breakages of the Line guide pawl cap.  
On my oldest Tranx the thumb bar started to jam, this is the result of flex in the bar and some wear on the side supports (plastic)   I removed the latter and the problem went away with them…lol      If you place your finger  nearest the supported side of the thumb bar, it flexes less and becomes much less of a problem.

I often get asked if I would recommend the Tranx for this type of spin fishing, and by and large my reply is that these reels have served me well, they are light strong and easy to fish, but they are not ideal as they require too much maintenance and expense to maintain.    This is mainly a level wind issue which  was expected when I bought them.

It is nice to hear that the Komodo has also survived exceptionally wel..…judging from your description.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 11:03:26 PM by Cor » Logged

Cornelis
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 07:35:04 AM »

Great thorough report. Cool
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steelfish
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 03:50:13 PM »

......... Panga years are kind of like dog years when it comes to fishing tackle.

-J

finally someone that really knows how is dealing with fishing gear on pangas, nice writte up amigo.
I have the komodo 364 1st gen and still going strong, not as many trips like yours but feels really solid.

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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 04:08:10 PM »

That is a great walk though!  Thanks! - John
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jurelometer
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 05:23:46 PM »

......... Panga years are kind of like dog years when it comes to fishing tackle.

-J

finally someone that really knows how is dealing with fishing gear on pangas, nice writte up amigo.
I have the komodo 364 1st gen and still going strong, not as many trips like yours but feels really solid.



I remember asking a captain to try out a new lure design for me with the Komodo outfit.   We were run and gunning for yellowtail, and he would toss the rod between himself and  the console when driving the boat.  I can still see the anchor chain slapping against the reel (yes, that is also where he sticks the anchor when he is in a hurry).   Ouch

The old school pangeros know what they are doing.   They don't carry a bunch of extra junk on the boat, keep everything minimal, and don't put up with gear that is not durable.  I like to fish with these guys.   If my Komodo could talk, it might not agree Smiley

I wonder if posting this has voided my wararanty...

-J
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steelfish
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 06:09:30 PM »


The old school pangeros know what they are doing.   ......  I like to fish with these guys.
I wonder if posting this has voided my wararanty...
-J


Old school pangeros rule !!

hint !! you might still have your warranty valid, I know an old school pangero that from time to time take the guys from phenix rods and seeker rods fishing out in Gonzaga bay on his modified panga, he say that not all guys from phenix rods like to fish on pangas but there is a small group at the factory that prefer fish on a panga with a good captain than fishing on a big boat with 20 guys, same with few guys from the R&D seeker factory, I think they perform a kind of "torture test" on their rods LOL
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jurelometer
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2020, 01:13:59 AM »

This is due to the freespool lever only being supported on one side.  Easy enough to bend back, but the lever should be better supported, especially considering the heavy spring load used in the Komodo to prevent the reel from going into gear during a cast.  Not a great design choice in my opinion, but not fatal.
A lot of Shimanos are like that too.  It has been the downfall of the original Calcuttas.  A new thumb bar only comes as part of a new frame.

I think Steve hit the nail on the head.  These saltwater low-profiles are essentially beefed up bass reels, not a fresh design.  I wish they had applied as much attention to the whole reel as they did the drive train.


I use Corrosion X on my level wind, clean and oil weekly, without dismantling and still need to replace the Line Guide Pawl twice per year and  Worm Shaft  once.   On top of that the end spacers and bushings also need constant shimming and occasional replacement.
I’ve also twice had breakages of the Line guide pawl cap. 


Yikes!  I wonder if that is what is going to happen to my Komodo once I start to catch up with your Tranx's in fishing hours.  The worm on Komodo looks fine.  I did not  look at the pawl parts closely, but everything feels smooth.  I fear that my future is going to look like your present....

I was thinking that a non disengaging levelwind like a Lexa  might be the ticket,  but I found the equation for vector load that would show how much lateral force is on the levelwind when it is on one side of the spool, and the line is at the other.  The number was really high.  I am going to try some tests with a scale before I post any math that might end up being way off.    But if I am using the right formula, it means that a disengaging levelwind is taking a pretty big pulsing angular load if the drag is set high.

Maybe  a better saltwater low profile design would treat levelwind parts as easy to replace consumables with bushing/bearings where appropriate, and not build sliding surfaces and shafts into a cast aluminum body.  I guess that most people don't fish enough hours nowadays to make it worthwhile to the manufacturers to build a durable reel.   It must drive the charter guys crazy.
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2020, 01:48:31 AM »

I didn't know that has a synchronous levelwind.  Why would they do that?  A disengaging levelwind will cast farther and requires a lot less maintenance.
-steve
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Cor
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2020, 02:28:11 AM »

I didn't know that has a synchronous levelwind.  Why would they do that?  A disengaging levelwind will cast farther and requires a lot less maintenance.
-steve
For some people casting is just not as important as for others so they have different priorities, like the fact that a non synchronized level winder takes much more stress because the line is often not aligned with the line guide.   I for one never understood that until someone on the site pointed it out to me.

Some other larger synchronized level winding reels that mates have don't wear out so much, Daiwa Saltist 40 and Quantum Cabo come to mind.   I don't own these but both of them cast pretty well.





I use Corrosion X on my level wind, clean and oil weekly, without dismantling and still need to replace the Line Guide Pawl twice per year and  Worm Shaft  once.   On top of that the end spacers and bushings also need constant shimming and occasional replacement.
I’ve also twice had breakages of the Line guide pawl cap. 


Yikes!  I wonder if that is what is going to happen to my Komodo once I start to catch up with your Tranx's in fishing hours.  The worm on Komodo looks fine.  I did not  look at the pawl parts closely, but everything feels smooth.  I fear that my future is going to look like your present....
[/quote]

Not likely, I just do an extraordinary amount of fishing, or actually used to.   Last three years I managed only about half of what I used to, also our fish have become much less, in my opinion due to climate change.   I already notice I had to replace fewer parts.

I just made a photo of some worn Worm Shafts, look at the ends where they run in plastic bushes, makes me think I need more lubrication.




* IMG_20200327_115927.jpg (215.2 KB, 1200x679 - viewed 79 times.)
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Cornelis
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 01:30:59 PM »

I didn't know that has a synchronous levelwind.  Why would they do that?  A disengaging levelwind will cast farther and requires a lot less maintenance.
-steve

As you know, when a disengaging levelwind is in gear,  the line is not being pulled straight through the eye in the levelwind pawl to the spool, it is being pulled at varying angles.  If the drag is set high, the amount of force on the pawl can be substantial when fighting fish. This force is at an angle  (not lengthwise along the shaft) that is constantly changing as you wind, or as line is being taken out.  Sort of like grabbing the pawl with a pair of pliers and twisting it over and over.

I just noticed that the Tranx 400 has a disengaging levelwind!   So all the wear that Cornelius is experiencing  may be more evidence that the theoretical issue of load on the levelwind could manifest in actual use.   

My Komodo with a non-disengaging levelwind casts like a rocket for my purposes when the worm is kept clean.  I  enjoy a good long huck, but I am not  going for distance records.  What I mostly lose in performance  is the ability to cast lighter weights for distance.  Almost everything that I am casting is one ounce or more on 65 lb braid.   Trading off durabiity to be able to cast lighter lures farther is not worth it for me.    But I do have to keep the worm clean and oil the bearings.

To be fair,  Cor and myself are probably outliers in terms  of use (especially Cor!).   If somebody uses a saltwater low-profile  reel as their light rig for a few day trips a month in the spring/summer, and then maybe a long range trip or three per year, it could take many years to wear out these reels, and by then most are ready to move on to the next hot reel. 

BTW,  I am not specifically recommending the Komodo over the other choices.    I purchased the Komodo because the schematics and tutorials  made it look like a toss-up with the Lexa and Tranx, but it cost 1/3 less at the time.  I don't have any firsthand experience with the other reels.  I do admit to having some lust in my heart for the Lexa HD,  but that is probably just a grass-is-greener thing.

And when I don't need a levelwind in a reel this size,  my very old Newell 220 is  a better  reel.  Just missing  a cast control so that I can huck braid with impunity when the fish are boiling and I am a bit too amped up. 

-J
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redsetta
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2020, 06:54:18 PM »

Quote
Just missing  a cast control so that I can huck braid with impunity when the fish are boiling and I am a bit too amped up.
So true! Cheesy
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Gfish
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2020, 10:08:09 AM »

Great post! So I'mina change my casting technique. I usually have time to pull line while in free spool as the spoon or jig sinks when using the Revo Toro Beast(non-disengaging LW). Try to get the line commin off the spool even with the line guide before cranking it into gear. The spool is relatively narrow so the engineers probably figured-no need to make it disengaging.
3 years at about once/week on the beast, no wear issues yet...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 10:05:19 PM by Gfish » Logged

Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!
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