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.



Thank you!

This month is the anniversary month for! Over the past few years we have been fortunate to service and repair many many reels for fisherman in the Puget Sound but also for customers worldwide. From Seattle to Sidney Australia and Texas to Thailand, all our customers are valued and appreciated. Our site was visited by fisherman from over 100 different countries!  We value our strategic partnerships with Outdoor Emporium and Sportco and to our many parts vendors across the globe that really allow us to perform at a high level.  Lastly, to all the fine people of that provided me with the tools, knowledge and friendships that have been nothing but supportive and encouraging.  To all, with all sincerity “Thank you” and may all of us be fortunate to land the fish of a lifetime this coming year and keep those pictures coming!

Tight lines!

Andy Smith


Salmon season brings reel surprises

At about this time every year, many of us are in the full swing of either chasing salmon in the saltwater or chasing them in the local rivers.  Also at about this time I get a rush of fishermen that have used their gear and found a problem, used their gear and made a problem or those that are in the problem avoidance category.  Some when getting new line on their reels are told that their tool is in rough shape!  No matter what category you are in I will share some advice:

  1.  A rough sounding and feeling reel will seldom correct itself.  A drop of oil on the bearings will help with the noisy casting.  But if you feel roughness in the operation of the reel.  Take it out of the rotation and get it serviced immediately.
  2. A rough feeling reel will not get better the longer you put off servicing the reel.  In fact most get worse and more expensive to repair with the passing of time.
  3. If you dunk the reel in the water be sure to spray it down properly once you get home.  Let dry and store in a cool dry space.  If you are fishing one of the glacial rivers with a high degree of silt, take it out of operation and get it serviced soon.
  4. If you are going to service your one reel, get the schematic online, take it apart carefully and lay your parts in a line the way they came off the reel.  Work over a clean cloth.  Some parts are very small and are easy to miss while working on the reel.  Pay special attention to shims!
  5. If you find that after taking the reel apart, it is not operating properly and you want a professional to assemble, put all the parts into a zip lock bag.  I know that this sounds odd but I have to say it, ALL PARTS MATTER.  Make sure you have everything in the bag or it will require ordering parts.

I wish everyone good luck this year and tight lines!  Don’t let a sticky drag or anti reverse bearing cost you a fish of a lifetime!



More bearings, more maintenance!

Today’s marvels of modern engineering are producing reels that have up to 12 or more bearings!  Friction is radically reduced and smoothness is enhanced.  But man, you really need to stay on top of the maintenance to keep them optimized.  Some manufacture install Anti-rust bearings.  Don’t be lulled into thinking that they are maintenance free.  Got an Okuma spinning reel in the other day that had 9 bearings.  Two on the spool shaft, two on the line guide, two in the reel knob, pinion bearing etc… most of the bearings are exposed to the elements and need at least some oil once or twice a season.  All those bearings easily hide a failing bearing.  I thought the reel was in good shape and performing fine when I got it.  After cleaning and re-lube, wow much smoother and a huge difference.

bad bearings

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.



Nothing is better…

A gentlemen calls today and asks if I can service a reel meant for his son’s birthday.   A Penn 209 pretty dirty but serviceable.  His son’s birthday is Friday and wants to know if I can get his reel up and running before then.   Nothing is better in my opinion than introducing a new angler to the sport.  A Made in the USA Penn 209 is a good old trolling reel for the Puget Sound for salmon.   A good cleaning and some new drag washers and metals and off it goes for another lifetime of fishing!  Another angler is born!


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.

Hmmm Penn Oyster Reel?

Obviously this reel has a story.  But he got it to me before too much damage was caused from the saltwater and sand.  Surprisingly it functioned fine except for a the eccentric lever hanging up.

5 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner and I can see the actual reel again.

Looks like the only casualty is the Eccentric lever.  That part could have used some grease before installation.  The bushing disintegrated and the lever corroded.

Cleaned up well and works perfectly.  Simple designs pass the test of time.  This one is off to its owner to make more memories!

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!

Penn Senator 111 2/0 Fishing Reel

Next up is the Penn 111 2/0 fishing reel.  Single dog, steel gear and pinion, metal three piece spool, three stack drag, and low and slow gears 2.25:1.  Seems like it would make a great live bait reel.  Upgrades needed for this reel are as follows:

  1.  SS gear sleeve (98-60A)
  2. Carbon drags washers set (
  3. SS drag washers set
  4. SS spool (29M-60)
  5. SS power handle
  6. Power knob (

These little reels set up with an upgraded drag sleeve and good handle and knob can really crank at 2.25:1 ratio.  The Penn 2/0 and 3/0 are the same reel except the 3/0 is wider.  Like the 1/0 the 2/0 fits nicely in the palm of your hand.  Nothing fancy just good torque and a decent drag with upgrades.