Penn handle blanks



Shimano Tekota Reels – Preventative Maintenance

We are fortunate to see many of these reels through the shop.  Most are used for trolling for salmon in the Pacific Northwest in the saltwater.  The the 600 series seems to be the right line capacity for the fishing application.  Some are line counters some are not.  These are great reels for this application as they have strong smooth drags, level wind mechanisms that wear well and comfortable off set handles with big knobs.

As with any reel used on the saltwater, these too are prone to failure if not properly rinsed after every outing.  Two areas of concern that need special attention are often overlooked.  The first is where the handle connects to the drag sleeve.  This area corrodes easily and locks the handle onto the drag sleeve and prevents servicing the rest of the reel.  To prevent this I over apply heavy marine grease to ensure no intrusion.  The second area is directly under the drag star.  There isa ball bearing that guides the drag sleeve and is only protected by a thin plastic shield.  Most of the time, if the handle is corroded and the sleeve bearing is rusted out, than the anti reverse bearing is also shot.

All said and done, that adds around $30.00 to every service on these reels.  Of course, with a little pre-fishing service, much of that can be eliminated.  Pictured below is what I see the most.  Salt crystals and sand corrode the handle to the drag sleeve.  Torch and penetrating oil and a little patience works well to remove handle.  I have had some that took two days of repeated heating, freezing and penetrating oil to loosen.

After you get that mess off.  Clean the threads of the drag sleeve well with a wire brush and remove the drag star.  You will notice a hole in the top of the drag sleeve.  It serves this purpose.  Slide a small flat head screw driver down until it stops.  Hold it down firmly while unscrewing the drag star.  By doing so, you will prevent the tiny clicker pin and spring from launching into neverfinditagainland.

Lift the washers paying special attention to the order that they came off and remove the shield on top of the bearing.  Most of the time this bearing is just oiled.  I remove it and press marine grade grease into it and check that it is full before re-installing the bearing.

Replace the shield,  brass washers and spring washers in the same order.  Now insert the spring and pin back into the tiny hole on the side of the drag sleeve.  Screw the drag star on part way.  Insert the tiny screw driver again and press down firmly to hold the pin in place while you screw the drag start all the way down to the spring washers.  Remove screw driver.  Apply liberal amounts of grease under and on top of the drag star.  Place the handle washer on top.  Again grease well.  Grease both side of the handle and place on drag sleeve.  Put a big glob of grease on top of the drag sleeve and install handle nut.

You did it!  Just taking this little bit of precaution will prevent costly repairs later.

What do you use for lube?

The market place has many different lubes and oils that all claim to be the best.  I have used several over the years and here is my opinions.  First I think that it would be good to break this up into Greases and Oils.

Greases need to have the following characteristics:

  1.  Stay where you put it
  2. Provide protection from water intrusion
  3. Lubricate

Grease is used on gears, non spool bearings, drag washers, internal moving parts.  Each has a little different need.  It is generally accepted that drag washers should be greased and the preferred grease is a composite silicone grease from Cal Sheets, called Cal’s Drag grease.  Comes in two formulations based on the average temperature that your reel will be used in.   The packaging states that you can use it on all internal parts.  Personally I use it on just the drag washers as it is pretty heavy.   Seals out water and smooths the drag start up over the range.

All other internal parts and non spool bearings I have traditionally used Yamalube which is a marine grease that has all the anti corrosion and lubrication characteristics you need.  Recently, I have changed over to a super high grade anti corrosion grease from CorrosionX.  Here is a short list of greases that are on the market:

Hot Sauce, Reel Butter, Shimano Drag grease, Penn blue grease, Daiwa Reel Grease.

Oil differs from grease as its used in different areas.  The primary area oil is used is in bearings.  In star drag reels where casting is important and high speed bearings and bushings need light fast lubrication, a lighter low viscosity oil is helpful in getting the bearing to spin the fastest but will require reapplication sooner.  In trolling reels spool bearing oil can be thicker as there is no need to cast them.  I used yellow Rocket Fuel for years with good results.  I started using TSI-321 about two years ago and will not use anything else.  It is high speed and has good protective qualities.  In areas other than than spool bearings that call for oil I use another CorrosionX product call ReelX.  Here is a list of oils that are commonly used and sold by the manufactures:

Hot Sauce Oil, Shimano Oil, Daiwa Oil, Penn Oil, TG Rocket Fuel, Hedgehog Alchemy Oil, 3 & 1 oil, Remington Oil, Livre Oil, and many others.


Handles and Knobs

A friend and fellow angler here in the Pacific Northwest has introduced a new upgrade for Penn Jigmasters and 113H/349.  Some of you may have already seen some of his other awesome upgrades.  I wrote about Tank Tops and eccentric levers that come in a range of colors in a previous post. (Penn 113 Narrow) To start, the handle blanks will be black, silver or red, with green and blue coming shortly after.  The Eva knobs are also customizable by color and aluminum end caps too!  Lots of color options available.  The quality and craftsmanship of all the product I have seen from Tank Tops is top notch!  Comfortable cranking power!IMG_1244



The Tank Logs are made proudly in the good ol’ USA!  Look for them on sale at in February!


Shimano Tekota Weekend

Box of Tekota’s came in the mail today from Seattle.  500’s and 600’s.  Three of the four suffer from the same problem, corroded handle to the drag sleeve.  Grrrr.  Instead of tear down, clean, inspect, replace worn parts, assemble and return.  The job gets much more complicated.  Without removing the handle, you can’t get to the rest of the reels internal parts.  So now the dance, first step, penetrating oil, heat, freeze, repeat until freed from corrosions grip.

Next neutralize the corrosion with 50/50 water and vinegar soaking for 15 minutes.  Rinse and dry.  Liberal application of CorrosionX and get on with the rest of the reel.  The one way bearing in these reels is always susceptible to saltwater intrusion.  Remove, flush and pack with good marine grease and install.  Depending on the age of the reel, some came with carbon fiber drags some do not.  All these reels required new Carbon fiber drag washers.  Grease them lightly with Cal’s drag grease and install.

Spool bearings need to be flushed and re-oiled with TSI-321.  Remove the race and soak submersed until cleaned thoroughly with lighter fluid then alcohol and let air dry on a paper towel.  I throw them in the ultrasonic cleaner in an open container with lighter fluid for the best results.  Never attempt this with a flammable fluid in a closed container.

Inspect the main gear and pinion for wear and corrosion.  The under side of the gear typically needs to be cleaned up and the corrosion knocked off.  I use a Dremel with a fine buffing wheel.  Brings the finish back to near mirror.  While I am there I run a cotton swab on another Dremel with some polishing compound on the inside of the pinion to clean it up.  Be sure to clean after with some alcohol .

Check the level wind gear and inspect the pawl for excessive wear.  Grease the rest of the  internal parts and under the rings and assemble.  Test free spool, test drag, check screw tightness and wipe down with a clean cloth to remove and excess grease and oil.  Next…

This series Shimano is very popular in the Pacific Northwest for salmon fishing in and around the Puget Sound.  I work on 50+ every year.  When properly maintained and with a little basic care they perform wonderfully with strong smooth drags and quiet operation.


Thank you!

To all our customers, family who support us and friends that encourage us, thank you!  2017 was truly a great year for us here at  We want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!  Good luck in 2018 finding that fish of a lifetime!


New Partnership

Effective today you will be able to drop your reels off and pick them up at Outdoor Emporium in Seattle, 7 days a week!   Invoicing and communication on estimates will be handled through


Outdoor Emporium is the largest independently owned and operated sporting goods store in Seattle with a huge selection of the finest reels, rods and tackle in the area.   We are thrilled with this opportunity to partner with such a fine organization and look forward to adding value to our mutual customers.

We service and repair reels from most of the major manufactures.  So if you have a couple of reels that are in need of professional attention please drop by Outdoor Emporium!

Outdoor Emporium

1701 4th Ave S

Seattle, WA  98134

(206) 624-6550

Since 1975 Sportco & Outdoor Emporium have offered customers the largest selection of outdoor related products at affordable everyday warehouse pricing. We feature over 60,000 different items in hunting, fishing, camping, athletics, hiking, clothing, footwear and security vaults.

Sportco & Outdoor Emporium are warehouse style sporting goods stores that are located in Fife and Seattle, Washington respectively. We have an optional yearly membership program that offers substantial saving throughout the year. We feature annual Outdoor Tent Sales in April and August and you can find us at the Western Washington Sportsman’s show. Our mission here at Sportco & Outdoor Emporium is to offer our customers the largest selection of outdoor related products possible at affordable everyday low warehouse pricing. Our goal is to have customers who are totally satisfied with the quality, price and availability of the products we carry.

Sportco & Outdoor Emporium are a division of Farwest Sports, Inc., a Washington State corporation established in 1965. Farwest Sports also owns and operates Sports Service, the largest wholesaler of outdoor related sporting goods in Washington State.


Shimano Chronarch 201E7

Low profile casting reel with high speed gears and 7 bearings.  Local reel that has been used hard and dunked in the local glacial streams more than once.


Outside looks dirty and silty if that is a word.  Worm gear is filled and every crevasse is filled.  Im not optimistic about the inside at this point.

Shimano Chronarch

Shimano Chronarch

As I expected.  This fine silt throughout the reel and a lack of lubrication.  I see no corrosion so at least it all comes apart well.

So out of the 7 bearings in this reel, four need to be replaced.  Both spool bearings, the pinion bearing and the drag sleeve bearing.  The anti-reverse bearing is in good shape and the two handle bearings will be operational.  Customer invested a couple of hundred dollars for this reel and now if need at least $45.00 worth of parts plus labor.  If you dunk your reel, be sure to run fresh water over it for awhile when you get home to help minimize the damage from the silt and water intrusion.  Now lets see how she cleans up after an ultrasonic bath.  I was surprised to see one carbon fiber drag washer and one composite washer.  I will be replacing the composite with carbon fiber, both greased.




What do kids learn from you?

What do the kids learn from you?

Do they learn to drop garbage everywhere because everyone else leaves garbage on the river?

Do they learn that any fish hooked is to be culled, regardless of the rules?

Do they learn the rules and regulations of the sport?

Do they learn to help others enjoy the sport or are they just there to fill a tag?

Do they learn how to properly bleed a fish and to preserve its quality or are they just letting it slowly die on a stringer?

Kids are observant and smart.  They will emulate the behaviors of the adults.  What are they learning from you?

Encourage kids to enjoy the outdoors and fishing outings!  Instill respect for the environment by bringing home more garbage than you brought.  Demonstrate respect for the fish and game laws by releasing foul hooked fish and properly record your catches.  Review the rules pamphlets together.  Show your willingness to promote good fishing habits by helping others in the field and on the river.  Practice good processing practices by dispatching fish properly and preserving their quality.   The more that kids are involved the more they will respect the responsibilities of being an outdoorsman.