alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Penn Torque Spinning: Service Tutorial
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: Penn Torque Spinning: Service Tutorial  (Read 34916 times)
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johndtuttle
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« on: March 05, 2013, 08:23:31 PM »

Top of the Morning Gents  Grin

This is another in the Torque series of reels from Penn but this time The Torque 7 spinning reel. I have been a big advocate of Jigging and Popping for the last several years and was immediately intrigued by Alan Hawk's stellar review of the reel as spinning reels are central to Popping and a fun change of pace when Jigging. His incredibly detailed review and others can be found here:

Penn Torque - AlanHawk.com

Required reading for any serious angler who wants to understand his equipment.

Alan characterized his impression of the design philosophy in his review as "fewest parts for maximum function". Needless to say, as a Made in USA reel this also translates into a significant economy for buyers when the designer(s) emphasize simplicity and the reel can be commonly found under/around $600 (and the smaller sizes near $500). Now, this may sound like a fortune to some but in the world of Shimano Stellas and Daiwa Saltigas now approaching $1400 per reel this is an incredible bargain for a reel that is very much in their class in terms of drag capability, line capacity, quality of drive train and components.

Needless to say I have been hoping to take a look at one myself and fortunately a buddy sent me his that had been well used for nearly the last year that I could tear apart and service. It's a good way to get a look see for myself before purchase I have found. What I did find was by far and away the easiest to service "Super Spinner" and the true inheritor of the Spinfisher Lineage, nearly refined as far as it can go as the Torque is based off of this timeless design, the original "Super Spinner".

Some photos:











Some have been critical of the Torque's "retro" look but as part of the target market is East Coast Surf Fisherman that kinda pride themselves on a, shall we say, traditional look Smiley, it should fit right in. Needless to say we on the West Coast think every guy out at Montauk looks like he stepped out of an LL Bean catalog Cheesy. Regardless,  I think it looks great. Maybe I'm becoming more retro by the day (old)  Wink.

And it has a remarkably narrow body, which we shall see also has some unique features:





And the end of the post well talk some about casting and fishing the reel (and some very brief impressions) but I will cite Alan Hawk's review for certain appraisals of engineering and alloys used as may pertain as we go along.

Here is a link to the schematic: http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/content/purefishing/407-TRQS7

Anyways, being a spinner we can start with the Spool and the Drag Knob Assembly (52). The Top of the stack is very simple:



With a single Retaining Ring (51), Keyed Drag Washer (57) and Drag Washer (6A). A simple cleaning and application of drag grease is all that is required here.



The Drag Knob Assembly does not have it's parts on the schematic but if we remove the Drag Knob Seal (53S) and a retaining clip we can service the parts. The seal would normally protect these parts from water but if the Knob is left loose salt can get inside. A quick scrub with a tooth brush with a few drops of Corrosion-X on it cleaned it up quick:



Careful with the Drag Knob Clickers. They are loose in their slots and can drop on the floor and cause you grief hunting them and their springs down. Someday I need to get a dog that can locate parts by smell:



The bottom stack is the real meat of the drag and where the true braking power is. It comes apart easily with 3 Cover Screws (46):


Giving us the whole enchilada (from L to R) of the Drive Plate (117, Drag Cover, Drag Seal (47S), and Seal Cover (117A). Below that row (again, L to R) are the O-ring, Eared Drag Washers (6) and Keyed Drag Washer (7). The other Keyed Washer is under the drive plate in this image.



This is all very straight forward taking it down and cleaning things up and reapplying fresh drag grease.



Reassembly is very simple as well with one simple trick. The pitfall is the O-Ring as it wants to jump and slip around as it's track on the Drag Cover does not retain it until it is tightened down:





The Trick is to leave it off Smiley. What you do is reassemble everything without it and tighten down the cover screws. Then stretch the O-ring over the whole thing and slide it down to where you find it just barely won't fit into it's slot in the cover. Then slowly back off the screws *just enough* so that it sneaks under and seats, then tighten them back down and you will get a good seal.Smiley Other wise it squirts out no matter what you do and can be a tad frustrating Sad.

The Drive Plate gets a nice fresh coat of grease to seal and protect after it gets buttoned down:



Ok, all done with the spool.

This was a first edition that was the "pin" style so remove the Seal (39A) and tap the Locating Pin out (39B) to get to the Rotor Nut Cover (95A) and it's two Cover Screws (23).



Below that is a Spool Shaft Seal (95S) that gives us clear access to the Rotor Nut (38).





Ok, we'll set aside the rotor for now and this is what we see, the top of the Pinion Assembly sealed by the Rotor Seal (21S) with the Rotor Flange (28C) supporting the Friction Ring (28D) together which house the Trip Ramp (28F).





The Trip ramp has a Trip Switch (36B) that allows you to choose whether you want auto or manual bail trip. The Switch is retained in the Trip Ramp via the Spring (62) and Trip Retaining Ring (69C). I did not remove them and just put a drop of oil on them for grins.



It should be noted that you do not need to remove any of this at all to remove the Pinion or to enter the Gear Box Smiley. If you do, there is one pit fall and that is the Friction Ring Bushings (28B) in the sense that these are the sort of little doo-dad bit that you don't even know exist until they drop out or mysteriously appear on your work table. Essentially they protect the Friction Ring from the Screws (46T) that hold it in place. When replacing the assembly they fit into the Ring like so:





A minor pitfall but when they fall out you don't know how they go and spend 30 minutes wondering why they don't go under this or into that and why is the rotor making that horrible noise when you put them back the wrong way etc. Sad

Ok, we are back here again after removing the Rotor Seal (21S) and we see the sealed Pinion Ball Bearing (20) retained by a Retaining Ring (21). Inside the Pinion that little black nylon bit is the Pinion Bushing (19A, not removed).



And the entire assembly once removed we have the Pinon (19), the Clutch Bearing (98B), Pinion Bearing (20), Retaining Ring (21) and a small shim not shown on the schematic:



The Pinion deserves special mention as it is hardened (forged) Stainless Steel and then machined. Alan Hawk referred to it in his review as the "Immortal Pinion" as the toughest of any spinning reel in the world and one you will pass on to your descendents 50 years hence.



To get the whole shooting match out we should remove the Right Side Cover (45R) and get to a second Ball Bearing (55) that supports the other side of the Pinion with another small shim washer that is not shown on the schematic. It comes out with some gentle taps:



Giving us this image of reel innards Smiley:



The Clutch and Pinion Shaft gets light oil (Corrosion-X), we'll get a fresh coat of your favorite reel grease on the pinion gear and on the top of the stack to improve sealing.

With the right side off we see the very nice brass Crosswind Gear Asm (231) with it's Bushing and Screw (71). The main Gear rides on the large sealed Bearing (55A) in the Side Cover and laying next to that we have the Open Cover (232) and the Screws that hold it all together (46T). Not shown is the Housing Gasket (2R) that I had removed:



Here we have the Spool Shaft (39N) disappearing into the rear portion of the Housing (1) with the Crosswind Block (43) and the sealed Bearing (55A) that it rides on.



In this area there are two screws that I did not remove as it was unnecessary for this service that deserve attention and those are the Flat Head Screw (71) that holds on the Crosswind Gear and the Crosswind Shaft Retaining Screw (44) that attaches the Block to the Shaft. These use Blue Loctite from the factory and should have it replaced if they are removed for service. They are deep in the reel and are safe from corrosion (or if it ever makes it this far you have worse problems Smiley) but they cannot be routinely monitored for tightness and deserve the "fire and forget they will stay tight" assurance that Loctite gives you.

OK, what is truly unique (as far as I know) about the reel is that both Covers come off and the Left Side Cover (45L) comes as off as well and to be honest, I have never seen anything like it. It's naked!! Cheesy:



The beautiful Aluminum Bronze main Gear Assembly (Cool lubed up and ready to go back in. This gear and the stainless idle gear are the equal of any in a spinning reel:





All of that gets a cleaning of Old grease, re-greased with your favorite flavor and then gets buttoned back up:



A Note on that: All reels of this type that use a "locomotive" type oscillation require some thought when replacing the rt. Cover as it houses the Crosswind Gear which has a nub that has to be inserted into the Block. What I do is make sure the Block is all the way to the rear then try and line up the the nub on the Gear so that it goes into the block when you close the cover. It is possible to press the cover in and miss-align the nub but not know it. And as it is much easier to put the right Cover on last (due to the idle gear) you may not be able to see your error and your first test winds to see if everything is back properly can lead to binding and a "locking" of the reel. This can lead the Rt. Cover to be wedged on if the nub did not mesh with the Block. If this is done on some reels (Van Staal is notorious for this) the reel can be so locked up it has to go to the factory! Well, not to worry with the Torque. You can pull off the left Cover to help un-wedge and tap off the Rt Cover and retry. Ask me how I know this Cheesy.

Ok, now that we are done with the main body we can take a look at the bits on the rotor. The Line roller assembly comes apart very easily and is a laudably simple design with sealed bearings:



How simple is that?



The Assembly in order, 2 Ball Bearings (35A), the Line Roller (35), a Lock Washer (36A) and the Line Roller Screw (36).



When putting it back together I put grease on anything with threads. Some prefer Blue Loctite here but this one came with none and the Lock Washer was very robust. Regardless, if you go with grease you have to keep a small slotted screwdriver in your tackle box in case it loosens during a days fishing:



But as this is a real designed for full and regular submersion in sand filled water (Surf Fishing/Skishing in a wetsuit) everything else on the rotor that is articulating and exposed gets Corrosion-X. The image below has oil kinda gushing out Cheesy while I was taking the image, you don't need this much but be sure to take care of your Line Roller (35) probably the most neglected part of spinning reels and needs frequent attention:



The bail can be easily be completely removed via these retaining clips:



With the entire bail removed and the parts shown. Keep an eye peeled for the Bail Washers (25B) as they are the exact same color as the bail Roller Arm/Cam Arm (27A/C) and can get misplaced:



An image of the Bail Spring (32) assembly for your reference:



When you are replacing the parts the only fiddly bit is getting the end of the Pivot Arm (34C) back into a hole in the Bail Arm Assembly (34). Use a thin probe to hold it straight as the spring wants to twist it and prevent alignment.



The Roller Arm (27A) and Cam Arm (27C) screw straight on and off. Penn uses blue Loctite on these but they did have some salt accumulating and even a tiny bit of rust on the ends which are exposed. Penn probably thinks that this is "idiot proof" and keeps their beautiful reel together but we regularly maintain our reels and will grease them all and watch them for loosening. :



This is not just a logo treatment, it is the Balance Weight (27E) and essential for proper balance and function of the rotor.



A lot of Blue Loctite! Replace with grease but you will have to be vigilant. There is no free lunch Smiley.



The Bail Trip (28) for your reference:



Corrosion-X for the Arms:



Lastly we have the handle. We will well grease these threads.



A little oil here:



The actual Knob (15E) on the new versions looks just like this one on a Torque conventional with a Cap (15C) that pops off:



This older one my friend had the cap glued down for simplicity. I will not pry hard and mark up his handle at this time as it is working just fine. If you do, instead of the permanently attached type like this:



You will find another #15 Torx (46T) and a Washer (15W) that you can service. This may be an area where Blue Loctite is useful if the lock washer is not adequate to keep the handle tight. Tell me what you find out! Smiley

Ok, WE'RE DONE! Cheesy What an amazingly simple reel to service.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, phew this may be the last tutorial I do for a while but it sure was worth it. Got a chance to play with and cast a reel I've been curious about since it was introduced. As I literally had it for just a few days any prognostications of my own on how the reel will perform over time would be silly so like most in the spinning reel community I lean on Alan Hawk's expertise and assessment that are outside my own training and qualifications and urge you to go to his site and read his reviews.

My intent is to help the DiY guy (even if I can't avoid a few "ooos and ahhhhs..." along the way Smiley).

I will say, from a maintenance stand point that you have by far the simplest of the super spinners to work on as well as the one with the fewest parts (less to go wrong) and is clearly the best choice for a Doomsday Prepper lol. Not only is everything sealed away from saltwater, but if it does get in all the bearings have seals (not shields) to protect them. If you treated the reel like a normal person and avoided splashes and dunks it probably would live forever (other than the odd nylon washer bit here and there that will wear with use). Penn does rate the reel as designed for skishing (literally swimming with the reel in a wet suit and fishing with it under water) and has the level of sealing that should make it as dry as a Van Staal or ZeeBass.

The Free Spinning (ie smoothness) of the reel is better at least than a VS (but I have no experience with ZB), and for the non-skisher normal person Smiley it can be increased dramatically by removing the Rotor Seal (21S). I found this out by forgetting to put it on once during re-assembly and that one change brings it to Stella level of smoothness. This of course means the reel should not be submerged if you do this, but the exposure to spray and splashes will be no greater than 99% of the spinning reels in service out there and it will still be far better protected. If you try this, the cost will be eternal vigilance to protect your pinion bearing and clutch etc. but may be worth a try for some Boat guys or those from shore that tend to stay dryer and want max smoothness.

Alan Hawk has posed the question: "..is the Penn Torque the best of all Worlds?"... I ask the reader to consider that when they look at the simplicity of field maintaining this reel and ease of break down for routine maintenance in conjunction with the quality of the parts and ability of the reel to be fished literally in the surf or from a boat. Of course, your own on the water experience will guide you as to whether this reel is truly for you.

Lastly, if you are a hard core spinning enthusiast MAN UP and buy this reel and support Made in USA manufacturing. It really is a worthy reel and Penn deserves our support for making it here instead of selling out completely to China. They deserve our support when the reel can really get it done and I for one consider that an appropriate consideration in this economy and hope others will consider the same.

Best regards

« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 03:45:12 PM by johndtuttle » Logged
alantani
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 09:17:13 PM »

stickied!
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send me an email at alantani@yahoo.com for questions!
erikpowell
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 10:02:59 PM »

Mr Tuttle,
Noice !  Grin  ...  now I want one!

Looks way more Fiji-proof than a Stella !

One question: Is there a dog or rachet backup for that A/R bearing?  If there is I missed it.

Thanks for the great spread !

Erik
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johndtuttle
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 10:25:53 PM »

Mr Tuttle,
Noice !  Grin  ...  now I want one!

Looks way more Fiji-proof than a Stella !

One question: Is there a dog or rachet backup for that A/R bearing?  If there is I missed it.

Thanks for the great spread !

Erik


Well, it's a work in progress. Takes hours and hours to do these Smiley check back for edits/additions.

There is no back up Pawl of any kind. Alan Hawk's impression of this AR bearing is that it should be the equal of any other out there (Saltiga or Stella). But of course, any of them can fail. Take a small bottle of Corrosion-X to squirt the clutch with you and with the sealing it has it should deal with any sand or submersion and very rarely fail. The reel overall is designed to be cleared of sand by dunking it in the Ocean and not missing a beat. Try dunking a Stella in sandy wash sometime...

I'll get into it a bit more when I finish up in the end but this truly is the spinning reel for the Zombie Apocalypse Cheesy and the first spinning reel you would choose for being stranded on a desert isle.

Incredibly simple, the toughest possible drive train and with tight tolerances to make it as rigid and tough as they come. Alan Hawk called it the "best of all worlds" and a reel for "50 years" of use you will pass to your grand kids. A Stella may be the smoothest Ferrari out there and I do love mine, but the Torque doesn't have over 200 parts to service to accomplish what a Stella can do and that deserves it's own place in the Hall of Fame.

best regards
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 08:39:44 AM by johndtuttle » Logged
paal
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 12:55:14 PM »

John,  I'm a bit disappointed ... You won't be making any more tutorials for a while!? You should, you know! Wink I really enjoyed this tutorial, thank you for sharing! One of my "most wanted" spinners, but the retrieve rate is a bit high for my liking, and the kind of jigging we do here in Norway. When Penn decides to make a PG version of the Torque, I will buy one for sure.


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johndtuttle
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 01:59:57 PM »

John,  I'm a bit disappointed ... You won't be making any more tutorials for a while!? You should, you know! Wink I really enjoyed this tutorial, thank you for sharing! One of my "most wanted" spinners, but the retrieve rate is a bit high for my liking, and the kind of jigging we do here in Norway. When Penn decides to make a PG version of the Torque, I will buy one for sure.


Thanks for that paal. If you haven't already you should try one of these. They are a ton of work! Gives you a great appreciation of what Alan and other's have done over the years. Smiley

I think the smaller sizes (5 and 7) are close to what a Saragosa offers (36-40" per crank) and that has been a reasonably popular jigging reel. This is definitely a "between" speed good for all around use. Some will want faster (popping) and others will want slower (jigging).

best
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Alto Mare
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 02:19:25 PM »

John, always a nice tutorial, thank you!
What is this about you not making any more tutorials. I know they're a lot of work, but don't give up on us now.
I appreciate all that you and hoping to see more in the future.
Sal
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Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 02:46:59 PM »

John, always a nice tutorial, thank you!
What is this about you not making any more tutorials. I know they're a lot of work, but don't give up on us now.
I appreciate all that you and hoping to see more in the future.
Sal


Thanks for that Sal!

Not giving up on them, just might have work intervene for a bit. You know how it is, these things suck up hours and hours and are really a labor of love.  Cheesy

Some serious pretty reel innards there, hope you enjoyed the look. Smiley
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Alto Mare
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 03:56:54 PM »

Yes, I do know what you mean John.
About that reel, yes, I do like everything about it. I do not have one yet, I'm holding out to see if the price will come down a bit, but it doesn't look like it will and I don't blame them. I will definitely have one though, some day.
All the best John!
Sal
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 04:13:23 PM »

Thanks for the tutorial John. I've looked at these since they came out. I cant justify one but I do want one. Maybe one day. Bob
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 04:51:29 PM »

stickied!

Thanks Alan. Smiley

It was pretty rough when you stickied it, without an "advanced mode" to preview the full posts (maybe I am missing how to do that here...?) I always end up editing quite a bit and adding more once I realize what I am truly missing.

best and thanks for giving us the inspiration to do these posts  Grin.
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 12:45:26 AM »

Thanks for that paal. If you haven't already you should try one of these. They are a ton of work! Gives you a great appreciation of what Alan and other's have done over the years. Smiley

I think the smaller sizes (5 and 7) are close to what a Saragosa offers (36-40" per crank) and that has been a reasonably popular jigging reel. This is definitely a "between" speed good for all around use. Some will want faster (popping) and others will want slower (jigging).

best
Yes, I guess I should. Looks like fun. Don't know if I will be doing anyone a favor, though... I should probably pick a less interesting reel Cheesy

I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into these tutorials/reviews. It really shows, you know. You are on my top 3 list of reel reviewers. Guess who the 2 other guys are Wink

I doubt that Penn will ever make a Power Gear version of the Torque.... 36 inches isn't too bad for me I guess, if the handle gives enough cranking power. Wish I could test one. But they are nowhere to be found in this region, Shimano dominates.... But I can use my 750ss in the mean time, while I wait for the new "Super Spinfisher" Smiley

Kind regards,
Paal

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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 02:37:42 AM »

Nice one John  Smiley
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