alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Penn GT Series: A Look Inside The GLD 330 Model
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: Penn GT Series: A Look Inside The GLD 330 Model  (Read 305 times)
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Gfish
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« on: December 25, 2020, 02:15:29 PM »

Penn has 14 series of graphite model reels, from the Defiance to the Warfare. They include all the options that baitcast/conventionals might have.

The GT series, called the “Super LevelWind Series”, features the LW in a saltwater size conventional, with a stardrag or, on 2 models-a leverdrag option. They are made in the USA. There are the GT and GTi stardrag reels in this series and I couldn’t find any information on the difference between the two, what’s the “i” stand for?...The leverdrag versions are “GLD” models[a 320 & 330], with no T or i in the model name. The 330 GLD was produced from 2006 to 2010, the 320 size from 2003 to 2010. I bought mine NIB from a seller for $40 cheaper than they had the NIB 320 size advertised...? Supply and demand?  The non-leverdrag GT/GTi models ranged from the late 80’s to 2009.
 
The GT2 reels were a later series made in China. They had 2-models with line-counters and there were no leverdrag options. Parts in these reels were different. Web Sources; Mystic Penn Reel Parts, Bloody Decks, Strippers on Line and All Coast.

Awhile back, I wanted the best conventional for my son. He doesn’t like to focus on line management when cranking in, and I found-out the hard way, he is TOO BUSY to rinse saltwater off, even on MY reels. So, 1) graphite body 2) levelwind, and maybe introduce him to 3) leverdrag reels. Leverdrag reels give you a control advantage: freespool, to back in gear, as well as drag adjustment, all in one unit and one lever movement.  Another couple of cool things are; being able to program the drag range, and then the strike button, which gives you a drag pressure reference and keeps you from excitedly adding too much drag when hooked up with a hard running fish—-SSSNAPPP!!!

Allen did a series of tutorials; 3 on different sizes of the GT[GTi] series and one on the-no levelwind-GLD 20/30 single-speed reels which are called the “GraphLite Leverdrag”(notice the "Lite" part of the name). So, I won’t go into that much detail, because those tutorials cover almost everything.

If you dislike levelwinders, check out the tutorial on the "GraphLite"-GLD 20/30 single speed, in the “Penn Tutorials and Questions” section on the main page. Also, "hafnor" did a tutorial on the GLD 20ii(2-speed "Graphlite Leverdrag). These reels have a number of features that seem to me to be an improvement over the GT series. One of them was the double dogs that work on a spool shaft gear, instead of engaging the crank-shaft main gear. Two other notable things about the GLD (GraphLite-no levelwind-reels), is the spool capacity; the 30 is about double that of the Super Levelwind 330(mine). The box for the 330 says; 325 yds. of 30lb. Mono., Mystic Penn Parts says 600yds. 30lb. For the GLD 30. And, as stated above, they are available in 2-speed(ii) models.

As always, comments & corrections appreciated as I go along...

The Reel:



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« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 09:48:47 PM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2020, 03:21:37 PM »

Removed the drag program dial and cam parts, and found no E-clip on the spool shaft end. An E-clip would hold all the parts( the preset collar, the adjustment knob, the drag lever and the cam-follower(yellow thingie). If the adjustment knob come all the way unscrewed while fishing you could lose these parts.

Also, the drag lever is graphite and has the cam ramps formed onto the underside. Could this part wear-out prematurely? A metal insert there, might be better.

Note in the 2nd picture that there’s a rivet instead of a removable screw to hold the handle knob on, and it’s riveted on both ends. This makes cleaning, lubrication and changing more difficult. A nice hard rubber handle, slightly small for my hand, but overall I like it.


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« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 09:56:57 PM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2020, 03:57:38 PM »

Awww Mannn! A plastic-insert lock-nut on the accessible side of the worm gear shaft? A real cheap way to secure that. At least there’s a nylon lookin bushing. How many times can you adjust or reuse the lock-nut before it wears out?
 You may be able to see a little circle of white plastic stuck on top of the lock-nut, a shaving left by some in-a-hurry assembler after tightening down. Not good if it breaks off and ends up in the wrong place! Also, note the line guide post sticking through the frame on the left side of the picture. it also has shavings at the base, (graphite this time) if you can make ‘em out. Is the post at least glued in? Or, just forced in to a slightly smaller hole? It’s made in the USA, hmmmm...

Overall the levelwind system is big and heavy duty lookin, made of stainless steel, but you never know until it’s tested...I wound some braid on yesterday, with about 7lbs of drag pressure from the donner reel and there wasn’t any noticeable issues.

Picture 2)
You can see that the brass gear side of the worm shaft is not accessible, but the idler gear is. Probably the frame is being used as a bushing for that worm shaft.
Very nicely designed spring system for the click pawl. Pawl has an E-clip—-good, pawl itself looks to be made of graphite—-bad. They made some changes midway through the 4yr. production life of the 330. The pre-2008 reels had the old school Penn set-up for a click spring system: a metal spring, pawl and, “I think”, a metal click gear.






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« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 11:22:50 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2020, 04:30:22 PM »

Spool and axel assemblies:
Head-plate side: 4 Belleville washers, full screw-on drag washer cover, a spool/axel sleeve and drag washer not glued on——all good. Darn, I forgot to take a picture of the Pinion gear. Would the drag washer be better supported under pressure if the keyed parts were on the outside circumference of the spool/washer, instead of on the inside area?, or how about both o.d. & i.d.?

Tail/one piece frame side:
Click gear nice and solidly attached with 3-screws. Note the forked end of the axel, much like a Shimano TLD it’s kept from turning by the unit integrated into the middle of the tail-plate pictured in the post above. This looks stronger than what’s in the TLD.

Ball bearings:
Large and heavy-duty looking. I can’t really judge though, due to a lack of ball bearing experience. They do, however, say “AXIAL” on the side of all of “em. Maybe they are bearings designed to better take axial, as well as radial loads? That’ed be nice, especially for the pinion bearing, but how to find out this info.?


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« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 10:02:32 PM by Gfish » Logged

Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2020, 04:39:56 PM »

Funny that the lever drag never caught on here but I see tons of the 330 star drag level winds with many still going strong. They hold up very well even with the abuse folks put on them. The LD should do the same. Just make sure you son puts the odd drop of oil on the worm gear and he should be good for a while with little else.

Cheers:

Todd
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Todd
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2020, 05:06:27 PM »

The cranking assembly:

Picture 1)
Square (4-sided) gear shaft to handle attachment, gear stud cover, nice thick handle and brass nut and nice thick handle, all good. Overall, I’m gonna guess that water ingress is minimized on this reel. The tolerances are tight everywhere I can see, even at the spool flange to side-plate area. You’ed have to see it in person, to see how tight the side-plate fits against the frame.


2) Inside the head-plate. The gear is keyed to the crank shaft and screwed down, HAS DOUBLE DOGS!, with brass hold-down covers. There are E-clips on the inside holding the quadrant ring-button units( freespool and strike), all good.

3) a keyed to the gear shaft, brass AR cog, with stainless steel lookin dogs.

4) Same as 3), sans gear shaft, cog and bearing. A brass insert for the gear shaft. Good. Dog studs inserted into raised graphite sections of the plate, not so good for strength purposes, then again, “ whata ya gonna do?”,  it’s an all graphite head-plate.


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« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 06:49:48 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2020, 05:14:29 PM »

Outside of the head-plate with the quadrant buttons(1), and drive shaft parts(2). This reel has only 78 parts including the rod clamp. Simple is good?


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« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 11:33:00 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2020, 05:38:20 PM »

So, I got it “all” for the Kid on this one: Graphite for weight, cost and corrosion reduction. Levelwind to make it easier to use because he doesn’t like to pay attention to line management, especially when hooked-up. And a leverdrag, so he can see the benefits thereof.

I wonder though, will there be part costs and repairs for me to manage in the future? I’m probably gonna suggest that he have a back-up with him. He has a nice Long Beach 60 that Mike Pate (Wally15) sent me N/C when he found out I wanted one for my son. Good on ya Mike!

A graphite platform, it makes me wonder. Maybe time, UV light and saltwater can degrade it? One thing I haven’t found yet is the maximum drag pressure for this model. Here’s a couple of pictures of it, ready to be fished. My impression of it: A rather light in weight, but bulky in size reel. The spool seems small relative to the graphite body. Part of this is due to presence of a levelwind apparatus and part of it is probably due to the need for thick graphite body parts. Here it is, ready to fish. Whata ya think?

Yup. I’minna have to keep this one for at least a little while and do some testing, then give it to the kid.



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« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 06:55:47 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2020, 05:45:34 PM »

Funny that the lever drag never caught on here but I see tons of the 330 star drag level winds with many still going strong. They hold up very well even with the abuse folks put on them. The LD should do the same. Just make sure you son puts the odd drop of oil on the worm gear and he should be good for a while with little else.

Cheers:

Todd

Hey Todd! Good suggestion. Not a maintenance oriented young man by my standards. Too much like Mom, buy lots of cheap disposable stuff, toss it when it breaks. Hope yer havin a good as can be——-Christmas!
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2020, 03:28:57 AM »

Nice look under the hood G...I'll be interested to see how she performs for you. It sure cleaned up nice too! Cool
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2021, 01:45:58 PM »

those GT series of reels are workhorses, I bought one (used) a 320gti 1gen or at least still made in USA one, it served me really well for 3-4 years for local fishing until I started to travel more south to fish where you can find better grade fish and bigger of course, then I moved to a fathom40 LD2 to finally ended up with a mak15, but I never sold that 320gt reel I liked it a lot so I keep it for when taking my wife or my kids to fish, the reel its strong, light and have levelwind and its a proven killing machine, that 330gt should withstand some years even with no mainttenance from your boy.

sorry but I had to do it, still feel proud when my daughter caught this YT with the 320gt, I think is the biggest fish its been caught with that reel.


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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021, 05:21:58 PM »

I used to see quite a few 320LD and 330LD reels in the shop. They had several common issues: The early ones had an anti-reverse ratchet at the base of the gear sleeve made of pot metal which the steel dog made quick work of. No ratchet, no anti-reverse.  The pot metal was replaced with bronze in later models. The plastic right side plate had a couple issues. First, the "ramps" which served to increase pressure as the lever is pushed forward tended to smooth and decrease drag. Second, the thin "walls" around the cam tended to crack and break away which would make the reel unusable. Finally, a large fraction of the early models shipped with the drag cover not snug. It needs to be tight and when it loosened, the reel wouldn't work. I see very few of these reels any more...
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Bill B (Tarfu)
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2021, 07:21:16 PM »

Thank you for taking the time to do this.  I would like to see your impressions after it has seen a few seasons.  I have to admit I really like the GTi 320 series.   Bill
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