Roddy 910

Started by Paul Roberts, September 29, 2021, 03:39:02 PM

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Paul Roberts

Roddy 910

I wasn't going to write this one up, but it's got an interesting gear package. The Roddy 910 looks like a typical 60's-70's non-skirted, deep rotor cup, B-grade reel. This one's far from new, obviously having been well used. It came in neglected and I did my best to clean, burnish, and lube appropriately.

In action, it feels smooth. However, it has some B-grade clunking going on. So I checked the most likely places for slop: the handle, rotor, main shaft, and spool. The rotor was tight, with little movement. The main shaft had only a little axial motion, and almost no lateral movement despite the apparently cheap (possibly replacement?) ball bearing. The spool and the handle were where the issues were. There was excessive lateral play in the spool due to a poor fit to the shaft. Play in the handle felt like excessive movement between gear teeth. I could even feel a (minor) skip between teeth. Whether much of this looseness and noise is due to native tolerances or wear I do not know. Would need a new reel to tell.

Tear down was a bit more complicated in this reel. First off, the rotor nut was so tight, on top of a big external-star lock-washer, that I couldn't budge it with the tools I had (I'm working at a makeshift workspace lately) and was stumped. Went rummaging in the garage at the place I've been staying (wife's family) and found a breaker bar with a fixed socket, and it fit! What are the chances?! The nut walked right off. The little "main gear" appeared to be permanently fixed to the handle shaft via a pin driven between the gear and shaft, and I could not remove it. All I could do was flush the handle shaft with solvent (mineral spirits) and then flood it with oil. There is an oiling port too.

The schematic/parts list is poorly put together. It does not show parts in order of installation, nor does it show all the parts! The connector where the handle and main gear shaft connect (via a DAM Quick like pin that must be pounded out) is missing from the schematic. The main gear and its shaft, and the connector, were the very parts I could not remove. Unless I'm not seeing something, I can only assume that these parts are permanently installed. The little pin that holds the handle on, however, is solid steel, not rolled; Much appreciated there.

Internally, the reel is "all metal" and sports a worm-gear drive train. It appears that there was an attempt here at making a durable spinning reel up to the rigors of saltwater fishing. The most expensive part listed in the factory parts list is the pinion shaft. And by quite a bit. It's been cut from a solid chunk of stainless steel. The main shaft is steel. One of the drive gears sits on a robust steel post. I checked parts with a strong magnet; Steel being one of, if not the, only magnetic metals used in reels.

Also robust is the AR mechanism, and for good reason in a saltwater reel. The AR bar is steel and is further supported by a raised block integral with the reel body, protecting the bar from bending. The AR ratchet appears to be steel as well.

There is a single large ball bearing set under the rotor. It's a Nachi 629, possibly a cheap replacement as I'd read that at least some of these reels were found to contain a German bearing. I packed this Nachi with Yamalube.

The gear package is an interesting, if complicated, design. It's a combination of worm-gear and spur gears. The rotor is worm-gear driven, but unlike most worm gear drive trains, the input drive mechanism is a set of three gears: a surprisingly small "main gear" (attached to the handle), a larger "middle gear" -the one that that meshes with the worm gear. This "middle gear" is proportionally small in diameter against the worm (compared with a DAM drive) so one would assume the gear ratio would be very low. But this drive mechanism involves three gears (!) that apparently multiply output? The realized gear ratio comes in at 3.5:1.

Again, the pinion is steel, but all the gears (4 of them) are aluminum. I can only assume the aluminum is to counter the weight, and cost, of all that steel. The middle gear has a steel hub, however, that acts as a bearing mounted against the stout steel post it rides on. The small "drive gear" does double duty, also driving the oscillation mechanism via a set of aluminum spur gears. The oscillation block itself is of cast metal, the oscillation cog is bronze. There is also a bronze bar that secures the oscillation block on the side opposite the bronze cog creating what appears to be a pretty solid arrangement.

In all there are 5 gears in this reel. My past experience with Mitchell 300's has made me wary of reels with too many gears; Too many moving parts to wear, especially if they are of poor material quality. The steel parts may be the foundation of this Roddy 910, but all the aluminum gears have me flashing back to the (albeit later model) Mitchell 300's I'd toasted, far too quickly. Perhaps this accounts for the play I feel in this Roddy? In this case, there are two gear meshes, instead of one, between the handle and the rotor.

The body scrubbed up well with dish soap and a toothbrush. I suppose I can thank the "corrosion proof anodized finish" touted on a sticker on the rotor that a number of the Japanese reels sported. (I scraped the remnants of the worn sticker off and cleaned it up with Goo-Gone.) The badges were missing from the side-plate, which seems to be common with these reels. This Roddy is now... as good as it's going to get without replacement parts, and some creative tolerance abatement. As is, it's got more fishing time left in it.


thanks for posting this pics

I won a roddy 966R last year on a "guess the number " game that Bryan Young organized

I dont have plans to use it any time soon but I wanted to check it out how it looks inside, now I dont have that "urge" LOL
The Baja Guy

Paul Roberts

Hey, steelfish. I saw that thread! I think the 966 is a different animal. By the look of the body it's probably has a bevel gear train. Hope I haven't discouraged you. Nice to have a new one to look at. Mine was well used.


well, I can open it just to see how it looks inside without taking anything out  ;D ;D

I will do it and will post pics here just to compare but it will take a bit
The Baja Guy