Gummed up fixed spool reels

A forum to show any of your restored or built traditional fishing reels.
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Argyll Trout Fisher
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:24 pm

Re: Gummed up fixed spool reels

Post by Argyll Trout Fisher »

Interesting post. Just finished degreasing a Mitchell 386 , that although in good condition was full of excess grease that had been dispersed from the central gear to the outer areas. The ratchet click mechanism was inaudible but functional after removal of the dirty grease around it.
More generally I am a tinkerer rather than a skilled reel servicer but am learning. There is so much helpful info available on forums and the internet. Like an earlier poster I learned to look after my scarce and precious tackle as a boy who funded his hobby from paper rounds. My tackle came largely from Winfield and horse trading with others but was guarded with my life. I was also guilty of ‘ misplaced love and care’ often putting dollops of Vaseline on the reel gears, without removing any previous grease. I believed that the insides of a reel should be liberally smothered in grease for ‘ protection’ and the idea of previously applied grease being impure or damaging to the mechanisms never crossed my young mind! These days like the majority of those who appreciate older or vintage tackle I take great pleasure in repurposing or restoring older reels and am somewhat aghast at the cheaply made non repairable tackle that seems to be common place especially with young and new anglers.
Duncan F. Mac

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Mr B
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:54 pm
Location: London south east.

Re: Gummed up fixed spool reels

Post by Mr B »

I enjoy tinkering around with old reels.
After I have stripped them down and cleaned all the old grease and grime off, I use WD40 and an old battery powered toothbrush, I re grease them with Penn blue reel grease using a small artist paint brush. ( I got a new medium size pot in a little fishing tackle shop in Whitby a couple of months ago for around £4.50)
I never go mad, a little goes a long way in my opinion. I service my old Penn sea reels the same way and some are around 40 or 50 years old and run as smoothly as they did when new.
As far as I know, and I’m not an engineer reel grease is a different quality than bog standard Car stuff.

Mr B
The close season is an important and interesting time for the Angler who set out to catch big fish. It is a timely opportunity for him to make new tackle or renovate old. There are no end of jobs to do, apart from those horrible things called Gardens!

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Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:09 am
Location: Wednesbury

Re: Gummed up fixed spool reels

Post by Willsmodger »

Nobby has a tutorial on how to fettle Mitchell reels for optimum performance on his excellent blog. Recommended.

I had two Mitchell reels that were stiff turning. Both had the same cause, a bit of line caught behind the rotor head.

They are amazing reels though. Clean out the centuries worth of gunk and give everything a bit of a clean and polish and they run like a Swiss watch.

All the best.

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Dave Burr
Wild Carp
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:03 pm
Location: Not far from the Wye

Re: Gummed up fixed spool reels

Post by Dave Burr »

As a lad, I knew nothing about mechanics or maintenance. One look at my bike would tell you that. But the reels of the 60's and 70's has a screw you could remove to oil the internal running bits of your Mitchell, Intrepid etc. I would do this when things got a bit gravelly but it didn't seem to make much difference. So, off came the side plate and a liberal dose of grease was applied, smooth running followed and, in a year to two, the plate came off again and most of the grease would be pushed to the sides and the reel was again running dry. By collecting the old grease with your finger and applying it back to the gears, the process was repeated.

My first car, a Ford Popular, needed greasing every couple of thousand miles, a grease gun was found in every garage at the time. We are buying reels from that era that have been ignored for a long time. There were no electric toothbrushes and WD40 was expensive to my family, specialised grease was unheard of and everybody made do. As Kev said, these are signs of misplaced love by enthusiastic anglers desperate to stop their reels from drowning out their conversation with the chap next to them.

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