Mag a Conventional Star Drag Penn Reel



So you have built a Penn reel that is faster and stronger than the original.  With the speed comes backlashes.  One way to minimize casting backlashes other than educating your thumb and picking out bird nests is to mag your conventional reel to control spool speed.  In this piece we will be taming the custom Raven Penn 501 with two spool bearings.

The bearings have been oiled for performance.  We could always add grease to slow down the spool at the expense of distance.  Lets leave the spool bearings fast and use some magnets to control the speed of the spool.  The parts list for this upgrade are listed below.

Quick two part Marine epoxy

Marine Grease

Magnet from

Magnets from Lee Valley

First I take this magnet and Dremel the back of it to remove the plastic inserts so it will lay flat on the side plate.  Remove the clicker side of the reel and clean the inside plate with alcohol to a squeaky clean.  Mix your epoxy and apply to the area where you want the magnets located.  Secure the magnets to the plate.  Wait. Apply grease liberally and secure the side plate back to the reel frame.  Check to make sure the spool spins without any interference or rubbing on the magnets.  Take it out with the weight you plan to cast and practice.  If you find that the magnets are slowing the spool too much, take one of the magnets out and try again.

A second way to mag your star drag Penn is to remove non handle side plate as above.  Order some rare earth magnets 1/4″ round with caps.  Cut a slot in the caps with your Dremel tool straight across the cap.  You want to do this so that you can easily remove magnets if needed.  Epoxy the caps inside the side plate.  Place magnets in caps and attach side plate to frame.  Grease them liberals.  Make sure the spool does not rub.

This does not take the place of stopping the spool right before the bait/weight/lure hits the water.  It is only intended to control the spool speed near the end of the cast when the spool is spinning fastest and the lure is slowing.








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Just a fisherman who loves a great reel...

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