alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Mar de Cortez
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
February 24, 2020, 01:39:09 PM *
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jzumi
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« on: February 13, 2020, 05:38:42 PM »

We had an awesome time in Baja, returning to camp on the same beach and getting together with friends we met there 24 years ago.  Our kids are all grown so the grown-ups have gathered more semi-permanent possessions.  Most of the folks stay on this beach for 4 to 6 months every winter and leave everything in storage during the rest of the time.  So, more boats and lots more fishing gear.


Unfortunately, two things can loom out of nowhere at any time.  The wind can blow and can keep all the boats in, sometimes for days at a time.  Secondly, fishing reels in this part of the world can live a hard life.  They hardly get serviced.

When the wind blows, we get our chores done, we go for hikes, we visit neighbors, we play bocci.  

This time, I brought some of my basic tools so I offered free maintenance.  I'm not sure exactly why, but very few people took me up on it.  Perhaps the Baja way seeps deep into fishing gear:  if it ain't broke...

That indifference certainly showed up in the few reels that I did receive.

First up was a Penn 320Gti that the owner said had a "scratchy feeling."  Well, the pinion bearing was corroded so badly that it could not be removed from the bridge so I gave this reel its last rites. I did free up the spool bearings so Ken the owner said it felt smooth enough to fish with until it doesn't fish anymore...

Next was a nice Avet  2 speed that had a wonky feeling to the drag.  This reel actually was pretty clean inside but unfortunately the main bearing was toast.  I didn't have replacements so I returned it with a replacement recommendation.  I could not believe it but you can order things on Amazon and have them delivered in a couple days to the local marina office or the local auto mechanic shop and they'll call you to come pick up your package.

A Shimano Tyrnos 30 just had to be cleaned up and lubed.  It was in great shape but I wonder about all the plastic in this reel.  Ian's 330Gti was likewise in good shape.

Then I ran into a Sealine 300 and a 400.  Both of these reels had not been serviced for more than 35 years.  The crud that covered these reels inside and out was a real joy to remove.  I could have used a backhoe.  Amazingly, after clean up, they just needed bearing lubrication and drag greasing.  These reels are almost entirely metal and the bridge assembly is much easier to re-install than the Penn.  The dog and its spring are attached to the bridge before you turn it over.  Not a fan of the heavy white drag washers but hey, 35 years of catching fish is proof to leave things be.

I did ask the guys to give me reels that were working fine, but unfortunately for them, the wind stopped and reel service was closed.

My learnings:

1.  I'll always bring and use my own reels.
2.  You can find lack of reel maintenance anywhere in the world.  It keeps the reel manufacturers in business.  And probably costs a lost fish or two.
3.  Next time, I'll bring every one of my tools, spare parts, and supplies.


John.

My apologies for the lack of pics.



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« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 09:59:39 AM by jzumi » Logged
swill88
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 05:04:42 PM »

Nice report.  Thanks!

Steve

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