Shimano 1500LC is a great salmon trolling reel. Direct drive with a line counter. No longer being made and parts are hard to come by but these old reels are valuable to the salmon angler in the Puget Sound. Two ball bearings and a simple drag. Not many parts on these reels. Bearings need constant attention or you can ruin a good old reel. This one came in with the head plate spool bearing corroded onto the spool shaft. It took several hours of heat and cold with penetrating oil to get it off. Luckily the pinion was not corroded too. As you can see from the head plate the corrosion is extensive on the plate, put the inside was relatively corrosion free. New bearing and new carbon fiber drags and she is back in the game!
This month is the anniversary month for supertunereels.com! 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 Alantani.com 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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
$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…
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.
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.
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!
I work on many different reels. However, none are more satisfying than bringing grandpa’s reels back to life. A gentlemen brought me three reels that had come from his grandfather’s home after he had passed. Penn 60, Penn Delmar 285 and a Pflueger Akron. As a child he recalled using them with his grandfather fishing for Bluefish near Philadelphia, PA. He wants them to troll for salmon and to bottom fish in the Puget Sound.
The reels are a little rough but nothing that can’t be fixed and even improved. After a bath in vinegar solution to remove the green corrosion and a dip in the ultrasonic cleaner I can better see what we have to work on. Spools are pretty rough but everything else is just fine. I had a better condition spool from another project that I will install and get some new upgraded drag washers and metals to bring the drag up to current. The rest will be stock. Steel gears and pinion are in perfect shape. I took some before pictures so that the customer can see the difference between now and how they both started. These reels will be just fine for the intended purpose and hold up to many more years of use. Grandpa is smiling!
After a good soak and some selective polishing the end results are great! Bring on the salmon!
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.