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.



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!

Abu Garcia 5501 Super Tuned

ABU 5501

At first glance this appears to be a stock ABU Garcia 5501 C3.  However, looks can be deceiving.  We have all seen the  plain old car that has a 454 under the hood!  I start with a straight stock eBay Abu 5501.  Very capable little reel that is very popular.   At a list price at $125.00 new, I paid  $33.00 on eBay for this one.  Take this modestly priced bait caster and make it the undercover muscle car!  Parts list from Jerry at

  1. Dual bearing worm drive $21.00
  2. Dual bearing cog wheel $15.00
  3. Smooth drags Carbon tex $7.50
  4. Stainless Steel Drag Washers Ground Flat $7.50
  5. Ceramic Pawl $5.00
  6. Abec 5 Ceramic Hybrid Bearings $16.00
  7. TSI 321 bearing oil
  8. Cal’s Drag Grease
  9. Yamalube Marine Grease

Total Investment $97.50

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Reel, Worm Drive, Cog Wheel, Drags, Pawl, and Bearings… $97.50  That is a net savings of nearly $25.00 and the final product puts the reel in a class of $200.00 reels for half the price!

So now the fun!  I will take you through step by step the process I follow to tune these reels into smoother, faster, more reliable,  stronger fishing machines.

Initial notes on the reel:

  • Condition was average
  • No noted rust or corrosion on exterior
  • Needs oil
  • No noises or grinding
  • Schematic Printed
  • Upgrades ordered
  • No additional parts needed









Greasing Carbontex Drags

Upgrading your standard factory drag washers with Carbontex is a simple upgrade that delivers superior results.  The benefits are more drag pressure and smoother drag performance.   Old drags start with a jerk and get sticky throughout the whole range of pressure.  This can lead to lost fish and broken lines and dreams.

Carbontex drags from perform better at all drag pressures and as a bonus, when lightly coated with Cal’s drag grease, greatly decrease start up.  No more sticky drags, no more broken lines or pulled hooks.  Just as the name suggests, silky smooth drags at all settings.  So how much grease is needed?  The answer is always less than you think.  Make sure to coat both sides completely with just enough that you can see your finger print in the grease.  That’s all you need.  Putting on more just means you will have more to clean out of a reel at the next service and could lead to grease contaminating other oiled areas of the reel.


Abu Garcia 5000 Rehab

The owner’s story was one that I hear frequently.  “This was my very first reel I bought back in 19xx!”  Thank goodness that the old reels handle abuse a little better than the new reels. Once I got it broke down some observations.  Here is a 30+ year old reel that had never been serviced.  Luckily it was used in freshwater and only had light corrosion and mineral deposits.  No oil, and the grease was long past providing any protection.  Bushing vs bearings seems to have prolonged the life of this reel.  Had the reel been with bearings they would have been rusted to the spool shaft and side plates requiring replacement or heavy work.

Abu 5000Springs were tired but other than that everything cleaned up great!  One thing you don’t see in these  old reels wheel houses is lot’s of plastic parts.

Abu 5000 gearsThe frame screws and cover screws were locked but broke free with some Kroil.  Still a great reel that is ready for use or display!


Winning The War Against Fishing Reel Corrosion

Just spent the morning servicing the following reels:

  • Abu 6501 C3
  • Abu 3600 C
  • Abu 5000
  • Abut 5501 C3

All four had been sitting for sometime and had not been properly maintained.  The common thread between all of them was the lack of lubrication.  Worm gears dry, bearings rusted, frame screws locked and corroded, handles locked in place.  All of them had old grease that was more like hard putty than grease.  Mix in the calcium deposits, and green rust on the chrome parts, these things looked like hell.  Three of them would not even turn when moving the handles.  Which brings me to the point of this post.Abu 5000

Whether you fish in saltwater or freshwater regular lubrication is vital to the operation and longevity of your investment.  A couple of drops of oil would have kept these reels usable for much longer.  Lightly spraying water on the reels removing the gunk after the trip would have helped in keeping them operational and preventing corrosion.  So how exactly do we win the war on corrosion?  Using the right lubrication in the right places goes a long way toward winning over the hearts and minds of our enemy!  Yamalube is a marine grease that is waterproof and has additives that prevent corrosion on metal parts.  Alan Tani, of turned me on to this stuff and it is awesome!

When servicing a reel I put a light coat on the inside covers and all metal parts except the gears and drags.  This way,  when water and other contaminates enter the reel they are met with a worthy opponent!  Trying to remove a frame or handle screw that has been corroded is very frustrating and generally leads to stripped screws and snapped off heads.  Not to forget the joy of removal.  Some have to be heated with a torch then instantly put into the freezer to unlock the screw.  If that fails, Kroil penetrating oil left on overnight does the trick.  You can avoid this entirely by adding  some Yamalube to each screw hole before you replace the screw after service.  This little step prevents the screw from locking in place.

The last step in the war is the final wipe down with CorrosionX sprayed on a clean rag and wiped on the entire exterior  of the reel.  This helps with keeping water off the reel and provides protection.

Fishing Reel Tools

My tool box for working on fishing reels.  Wiha,  out of Germany makes some great screw drivers for all the sizes we use.  I use the 260 3.5 x 60 slotted for end plate screws, 261/PHO x 50 and x 60 for the same and the 260/1.5x 40 for those pesky retaining clips.  I use a pair of cheap needle nose pliers stubby for securing the pesky raining clips back into position.  Hedgehog Studio makes a great bearing check tool, Blue, Bearing removal and handle knob removal tool, Purple and the Red 10 mm and 10.2 mm wrench for handle nuts.  Last is the trusty nylon cleaning brush for cleaning grease and gunk from everything.  I am quite certain that this selection will grow as I start working on additional manufactures reels.  But this collection handles everything on ABU and Shimano!  Let’s see your tools!

Fishing Reel Parts Websites

I am publishing a list of websites that I have personally used with great satisfaction.  There are many that I have not tried, given I don’t stray far from a good thing when found.  Parts sites:

  1.  Southwestern Parts, Dallas Texas

Extensive parts lists for most of the most popular reels from the major manufactures, fast service and accurate. 

2.   Hedgehog-studios, Japan

Great selection of custom reel parts and upgrades for Shimano, ABU and Daiwa reels.  Also the best prices on Daiwa 555 drag grease that I have found.  I also use their wrenches, cap pullers, bearing tool and reel handle cap removal tool.  High quality tools made specifically for reel freaks.  The sell awesome selection of oils and greases.

3.   Smooth drags

Carbon drags for most common reels.  Excellent quality and service!  Selection of bearings both steel and ceramic.

4.   Boca Bearings

Boca Bearings

5.     Pro Challenger

6.     Scotts


8.     Motive Fabrication

9.     Cortez Conversions

10.    Berinson Tackle

11.     Vintage off shore tackle

12.     Mikes reel repair



Polishing Fishing Reel Gears and Pinion

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Rotary tool, polishing compound, rags, Q-tips, more rags, medium and soft bristle brushes for rotary tool, simple green for clean up, Main gear for the ABU 5501 and Pinion gear for same.  Clean all parts of grease and oil.  Dry well.  Secure hair bit in rotary tool medium.  Coat main gear with polishing compound, light coat is all that is needed.  Simichrome is great for this application.  Start in the inside of the main gear along the edges being careful to keep your tool moving at all times.  work tool back and forth until the compound turns black.  Move to the teeth of the gear and getting into each valley.  Turn over and polish the bottom of the gear.  Clean with soft cloth and a tooth brush for the teeth.  Simple green the whole thing.  Mount the soft bristle brush and repeat the whole process again.  You will know when it is enough when after the clean up you have a mirror finish.  Pinion gear needs a little help.  I mount mine in the end of a sharpened pencil to hold it.  Press it down and shape the pencil to hold it the best you can.  Medium and then soft bristle to a mirror shine.  Grease your drag plates and gears with a light coat of Cal’s and reinstall.  Smooth, no jerky drags and the gear engagement is sweet and butter smooth.

Want More Stopping Power From Your Fishing Reel?

Super tuning your bait casters drag system is easy and improves the performance considerably.  Carbon matrix drags from for your model reel.  Order up some lapped metal drag washers too.  Next you will want to polish the brass gears and drag washers with some Simichrome polish paste.  First clean it with simple green to remove all grease and oil residue.  Load a Q-tip in your Dremel tool and use a small amount of polish.  I have used a toothpick with a small amount of cotton ball wrapped around it for the same procedure.  Start slowly and keep the tool moving across the target.  The paste will turn black as it removes the oxidation and stains.  Pay particular attention to where the drag washers rest against the brass gears.  Clean with alcohol and a soft cloth.  You should see a mirror finish.  If not keep going!  Next  the metal drag washers.   Follow the same procedure but I use a cotton buffing wheel that came with the Dremel tool.  Once you are happy with the mirror effect reassemble your drag using a very small amount of drag grease to cover the carbon drags.  The end result will be a smooth drag with more stopping power!  Win Win!

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