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.



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.




Shimano Stradic CI4 4000F

$229.99 spinning reel from Shimano.  Used for two seasons in the saltwater and no service or maintenance.  What do you end up with?  All bearings toast, pinion corroded to the spool shaft.  Shims destroyed.  On the outside it still looks brand new.  On the inside, it is a total loss.  Take the $229.00 plus tax and flush it down the toilet, and start over.  These reels are wonderfully smooth with a good drag.  They are light weight and fairly durable.

Is investing 14% of the sales price annually into service and maintenance too much?  Let’s do the math…

Year Service Parts Tax Total





































So, by my old school math, if you do annual service and maintenance on your reel and get new drag washers every year at the end of 7 years you still have a perfectly good high quality reel that is fully functional.  Or, you can not do the service and maintenance and buy a new one every two years for approximately $251.90 every two years.  Let’s do the math:

Buy a new reel every two years over the same period of time and spend $1,007.60 or buy it once and do the service over the same period of time and invest a total of $520.30.  What would you buy if you had another $487.30 over the next 7 years?  I know I know more reels… I buy quality gear, put I try hard to only buy it once.

Shimano Chronarch 100SF


Since I spend time outlining the need for preventative care and maintenance on your reels and demonstrating the results, I thought I would write a happy story for a change of pace.  This is one of two Chronarch Super Free reels I got in the other day.  The gentlemen was an active bass fisherman in the southern US and took excellent care of his reels over the years. These reels are 10+ years old.  Aside from a little boat rash they function excellent.  Free spool is excellent but the drags were sticky.  We will set them up for Pacific Northwest freshwater salmon and steelhead fishing.

The owner wants to upgrade the handle and knobs.  He found a carbon fiber handle and some cork knobs.  We will install new carbon fiber drags and lube the reel appropriately.     Incredible free spool and a capable drag will make this a good steelhead and small salmon river reel.  You can cast lead and roe,  a float with a jig , or a spinner or spoon either way this will be a great casting reel.



Shimano C Word

Curado, Calcutta’s and Chronarch’s this weekend.  Turning out to be a Shimano weekend.  All reels are in pretty good condition considering their age and usage.


The Calcutta TE 400 is a great reel.  Anti reverse dog and one way bearing!  Large drag surfaces.  The old Curado is from 1998, and still a true joy to cast.  The Chronarch 100SF is a step up for strength and smoothness, but at the cost of added weight.  The Chronarch C+I4 is a nice blend of both.  Super light weight and strong.  These are all being used for casting 1/2 oz to 2 oz’s to salmon and steelhead in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest.  Bearings flushed and oiled, drags upgraded to Carbon Fiber, and lastly they all get the proper lubrication on all metal to metal parts.

Shimano Calais – Technology meets function

Got a beautiful reel into the shop the other day for service.  This is not your fathers Oldsmobile.  The Shimano Calais is a work of modern technology art in reel form.  Gone are the Abu block brakes, no magnets for spool control…Star wars force fields instead.


Multiple bearings and very tight tolerances makes this reel butter smooth.  After several seasons on the water chasing steelhead it needed new drags installed and re-lube.  High speed gears and large drag washers.

Casting into the wind all day?  No problem.  Multiple lure weights, no problem.  Stainless steel where it should be on the inside.


Fishing Reel Service and Repair

Whether you are preparing for salmon, steelhead, bass or saltwater trophies we are your one stop shop for fishing reel service and repair in the Pacific Northwest.  Located on Mercer Island, one block off off of I90 we are your local,  fast turn around solution to fishing reel repair, annual service and upgrades.  We specialize in service, repair, upgrades and custom reel building.  We are happy to take your call and walk you through the process and provide a realistic timeline for completion.  Expedited service is available if needed.  Don’t let poor performing equipment stand between you and a fish of a lifetime. Give us a call today!

Ultrasonic Cleaning Fishing Reels

Ultrasonic cleaning is a process that uses ultrasound (usually from 20–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solvent (sometimes ordinary tap water) to clean items. The ultrasound can be used with just water, but use of a solvent appropriate for the item to be cleaned and the type of soiling present enhances the effect. Cleaning normally lasts between three and six minutes, but can also exceed 20 minutes, depending on the object to be cleaned.[1]

Ultrasonic cleaners are used to clean many different types of objects, including jewelry, lenses and other optical parts, watches, dental and surgical instruments, tools, coins, fountain pens, golf clubs, fishing reels, window blinds, firearms, car fuel injectors, musical instruments, gramophone records, industrial parts and electronic equipment. They are used in many jewelry workshops, watchmakers‘ establishments, and electronic repair workshops. – Wiki

We use our ultrasonic cleaner filled with water.  In the water we place three jars.  Jar one is Simple Green for all plastic and painted parts.  Jar two is lacquer thinner for metal parts including bearings.  Jar three is vinegar/water for corroded parts.  After a quick cleaning 5-10 minutes all come out and are thoroughly rinsed in fresh water.  After drying the parts are in great shape and every nook and cranny is clean.  Salts, sands, all old grease and oil removed.  Now the parts are ready to be re-lubed and assembled.  No heat is ever used in the water as this could create an unsafe situation with the thinner.

The primary reason we invested in this tool was to reduce the overall time to clean reels. The added bonus is the quality of the work that it does in such a short period of time using the right agents.  Very little post bath cleaning is needed even in the tightest of spots.  One additional benefit that I came about on accident, I had a heavily corroded frame screw that would not come out even after all the tried and true methods.  5 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner loosened the screw and it came right out.  Hmmm where did I put those Newell frames and cross bars with the frozen screws….

Penn 980 Mag Tuned Reel

Recently got in a Penn 980 Mag reel.  I have to say that I am impressed with this reel.  Let’s take a quick look at what I found.  First some basic stats:

  • 4.25: 1 gear ratio
  • SS Gear and Pinion
  • Two SS Ball Bearings for the spool
  • One adjustable rare earth magnet for spool control

Second is the beefy spools.  Here is a comparison between a jigmaster spool and the 980 spool.  The Penn 980  is 1.6 mm thicker on the spindle.

Next is the gear.  Jigmaster 5:1 on the left, 980 on the right.  The 980 is beefy!


This reel is being used in Alaska jigging for halibut so we will throw in a new stainless steel drag sleeve from ProChallenger and SS dog from Keta’s Kustoms with Bryan Young’s Ultimate Upgrades 5+1 carbon drag kit.


Theses upgrades will add some top end to the drag range and smooth out the drag.  In addition I will install a Delrin washer under the main gear and on top of the drag stack.  Looks like a smooth 18lb of drag with some more room to go.


All in all, I would say this is an excellent reel with plenty of drag, steel where it matters and magnetic spool control for easy problem free casting.  Just might have to put a couple of these into the arsenal soon!