fathom 40 - 2 different sized spindels problem

Started by roadrunner, April 20, 2022, 12:55:31 AM

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Hi Tony. got another mystery as i rebuild about 20 Fathoms, mostly Fthm 40 NLD2's .

I checked the 6 reels I have apart, all 40 NLD2, and all the spindles are the same length overall.
But one of the spindles is shaped differently, specifically at the end that goes into the left side plate. Photo attached.
towards the end with the pin is the largest diameter of the spindle but one has this part much closer to the end.

This causes the spindle to stick out the left side plate too much thus not allowing Preset knob to tighten up properly.
Plus the spool is loose in the frame as it moves to far towards the right side plate. This is due to the thicker spindle shaft "stopping"
the spool to far from the frame
I am wondering if there are older and newer versions of the Fathom 40 NLD2 but all the part companies only sell one sixe replacement spindle.

Your thoughts?



One of the reels is most likely a prototype or field test reel.  Once you replace one part, you get the trickle down effect and end up replacing a bunch of parts.  I would recommend putting that shaft back in the same reel and if any major parts need to be changed they may be better off retiring it to the shelf. 



Thanks Tony.  I just talked to Mike Lackey on the Vagabond and he reminded me there may be a prototype in the mix.  Many reels have all the basic Penn labeling scratched off so I have been going by the numbers on the inside of the main frame to try to figure out who is who. I thought all prototypes went back to the engineers at Penn and never got into normal "circulation" on the Vagabond.

I was mixing and matching parts from various reels as parts take time to get and I wanted to push out the Max # of working reels for the start of the season.  Had 6 Fathom 40 NLD2's busted down and was swapping.  Not sure of I can track down who is who now but I will keep trying.  Have one likely suspect making a little noise.

From the shaft shape, I am thinking the left side plate assembly must have a different shape/thickness to push the shaft more towards the right side plate since the shaft has a shorter distance to thicker lathed section.

But all in all, learning much from this about reels as I go.  Also getting help from Steve Carson who I have known for years from his Penn U trip on the Vagabond, talking to him at events, and now that he is in the SD area, he is in my fishing club ( SD Anglers).  Very lucky to have the ability to talk shop with him. 

Hope to meet you some time as the events pick up from the COVID years. 


Quote from: roadrunner on April 21, 2022, 06:26:54 PMHope to meet you some time as the events pick up from the COVID years.

I am usually in CA once per year, previously at the Fred Hall Long Beach now at the PCS show in Orange County.  Plus plenty on the East Coast if you ever make your way out here.



Tony and Alan [and me] at the PCS show in February!

Bill B

It may not be very productive,
but it's sure going to be interesting!


When I was your age Pluto was a planet!