alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Langley Spinator 870 (thought it was close enough to a Zebco)
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Author Topic: Langley Spinator 870 (thought it was close enough to a Zebco)  (Read 3295 times)
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FlipFlopRepairShoppe
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2019, 07:24:21 PM »

The 870 in action.  I'm seriously considering converting her to manual bail.  She never snapped shut on me on the cast, but she was having trouble staying locked up once her bail tripped over.  I had to stop and untangle a snarl a couple of times because of that.

Also, a couple of goofy southern boys drinking Corona on the beach while pretending to fish.


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Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of wise men. Instead, seek what they sought. -Matsuo Basho
oc1
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2020, 07:25:24 AM »

I have sort of have a thing for Langley and picked up a beater Spinator 870.  Out of the package I had an immediate and intense flashback to Penn Spinfisher 700 or 704.  They are about the same size, color, weight, feel and sound.  Here is the Spinator 870 (middle) flanked by a Spinfisher 700 and a Luxor Crack 300 (the largest spinner I know of).



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« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 08:39:37 AM by oc1 » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2020, 08:22:56 AM »

The Luxor predates the Langley and Penn. Sal had an excellent thread on the Luxor Crack where he critiqued the construction, made some significant modifications and then Mike C. helped put the Luxor and Spinfisher into a historical perspective.  Sal also made some comparisons of the Luxor to the Spinfisher 700.

https://alantani.com/index.php?topic=23376.0

Langley introduced the Spinator in 1957.  The finish was changed from gloss to crackle paint in 1959.  So, My example is from '57 to '59.  The color was changed from green to black after Zebco purchased the fishing tackle division of Langly.  The purchase included the patents, reel manufacturing machinery and parts inventory.

Before the sale to Zebco, Langley switched back and forth between making aviation parts and fishing tackle (rods, reels and lures) depending on whether or not there was a war going on.  During WWII, they were making control panels for B26 bombers.  The plane control panels were painted the exact same green color as the Spinators so they had been using that color for over a decade when the Spinator was introduced.

Penn introduced the Spinfisher in 1961, four years after the Spinator.  The Spinfisher 700 in the photo above is somewhat later than '61 because the original Spinfisher had a green painted aluminum handle that was very similar to the Spinator handle.  There are several photos of the original Spinfisher handle in this thread:

https://alantani.com/index.php?topic=6740.30
 
Langley could have been taking a jab at Penn by naming the reel Spinator which rhymes with Senator.  When the Spinfisher came out, Penn was definitely taking a jab at Langley with it's very similar size, shape and color.

As FlipFlopRepair notes above the Spinator internals are robust with a large bronze main and steel pinion.  But, the Spinfisher has an internal bail trip mechanism while the Spinator has an eternal post that trips the bail closed.  The Spinator bail can be closed manually while the Spinfisher bail can not.  If you ask me, they both make a loud clunk when the bail trips.  They both go through a lot of rubber bumpers on the bail.

The Spinator cross-wind black is metal and has little rollers on each end that ride on tracks.  Very heavy duty set-up.

The Spinfisher rotor is fairly well balanced.  The Spinator rotor is not balanced at all .  In fact, opposite the bail line roller the rotor has an enlarged area in the casting that intentionally throws it off balance.  Langley calls this "self-centering" as the rotor always stops with the line roller upward so it easily picked up with your finger.








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« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 08:43:22 AM by oc1 » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2020, 08:38:16 AM »

This is all a long-winded way of saying that I think that the Spinfisher is a knock-off of the Spinator and they were equally good reels.  However, the Spinfisher went on to become a classic and, perhaps, historically important surf casting reel while the Spinator faded into oblivion.

Acknowledgements and sincere thanks to Alan Borracho and Colby Sorrells for their excellent book on Langley tackle.  
-steve
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 08:48:48 AM by oc1 » Logged
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