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.


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.


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!



Penn 210 Fishing Reel

$5 estate sale find from today.  Cleaned up great!  Installed some new carbon drags and new steel drag washers and Boom, nice little trolling reel that came with a Shimano Titan Down Rigger Rod.  Should make some trolling fisherman very happy this salmon season!  4:1 gears.  Two spool ball bearings and Jigmaster sized drags.  Bronze gear with a Stainless Steel Pinion.  Plenty strong for a 20lb mono.

  • Precision, stainless-steel pinion gear.
  • Alloy main gear.
  • Sealed oil ports for quick, easy lubrication.
  • Side plates reinforced with metal rings.
  • Chrome plated brass exposed metal components for corrosion resistance.
  • Stainless steel ball bearings.
  • HT-100 multi-disc star drag system.
  • Loud, durable, easy-to-service clicker.
  • Stainless Steel spool

Chrome parts go into the vinegar jar and the rest into the Simply Green solution.  Place them into the Ultrasonic Cleaner for 10 minutes.

Rinse in hot water and let dry.  A little elbow grease and some marine grease, TSI-321 oil and you end up with this outcome.

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 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!

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.


Yellowtail Special

  • Pro Challenger Heat Treated Main Gear with Octagon Drag 113HX 4:1
  • Pro Challenger SS Gear Sleeve
  • Pro Challenger Eva Knob/ 6/0 knob
  • Motive Fab two position SS off set handle and SS star
  • Cortez Conversions Side Plates
  • Randy Pauly Tiburon T4N Frame and Spool

Running a little rough…

What seems to be the problem with the reel?  “Running a little rough.”  Now it could be many things and different things on different reels.  This one was fairly easy to determine.

Running a little rough

Sand and fishing reels are never good partners.  This was ultra fine sand like from a glacial river system.  Gear and pinion covered.  Drags destroyed, spool bearings were rough.

Bearings are not looking good

The good news was that they all cleaned up well even the outer gear sleeve bearing.  He must have stopped using it after the dunk. Lubed up and ready to roll.


Alaska salmon forecast predicts a 40% dip in catch this summer

Alaska salmon forecast predicts a 40% dip in catch this summer

Red salmon picked from a Kenai Salmon Co. setnet pile up in a skiff.
Alaska’s 2016 salmon harvest will be down by 40 percent of last year’s catch if the fish show up as predicted. But hints of good news can be found around the edges of that discouraging forecast.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is calling for a total catch of 161 million this summer; the 2015 harvest topped 268 million fish.

The shortfall stems from a big pink salmon fall off due largely to the species’ two-year cycle in which odd-numbered years see the biggest returns. The humpy forecast of 90 million represents a drop of 100 million fish from last summer.

Here’s the statewide catch breakdown for other salmon species:

Red salmon: Nearly 48 million, down by more than 7 million reds from last year;

Silver salmon: 4.4 million, up by a half-million fish;

Chum salmon: Nearly 19 million, up about 500,000 fish over last season;

Chinook salmon: 99,000 for all areas except Southeast, where the harvest will be determined according to Pacific Treaty agreements with Canada. Last year’s statewide chinook catch was 521,612 including Southeast, by far the biggest producer.

It all adds up to fewer salmon for global buyers — and some hopeful market signs for Alaska salmon prices.

A failure of both farmed and wild salmon fisheries in Japan has triggered a surge of demand for Alaska sockeye. October to December red salmon exports to Japan were up 320 percent over the previous year, reported the website, and sales are expected to remain higher as inventories clear out prior to the new fishing season.

Alaska could also benefit from the misfortunes of the world’s top farmed salmon producers, a scenario that is already pushing up salmon prices.

Farmed fish sales from Chile, the largest supplier to the U.S., may drop up to 20 percent this year due to a toxic algal bloom, and production is expected to be hurt well into 2017. According to Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, 38 salmon farms have been affected, with nearly 24 million fish killed.

London’s Financial Times reported that Chilean salmon prices have increased 25 percent to nearly $5 a pound since December.

Norway, the world’s largest farmed fish producer, is unlikely to fill the salmon shortfall, as that country is dealing with severe fish loss due to sea lice.

“We expect to see a global supply shock,” warned Kolbjørn Giskeødegård, director of seafood at Nordea Bank, a financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Halibut prices sky high

Dock prices for halibut started the season in the mid-$6 range at major ports, about 25 cents a pound higher than last year. The fishery opened March 19 and was particularly strong in Southeast Alaska.

“Fishing is fantastic,” said Dave Ohmer, manager at Trident Seafoods in Petersburg.

Halibut prices are usually broken into three weight categories.

• Up to 20 pounds: $6.45 a pound;

• 20-40 pounds: $6.65 a pound;

• More than 40 pounds: $6.85 a pound.

Halibut prices usually drop a bit after the first couple weeks of the fishery. But in recent years, the dock price has seldom dipped under $5 a pound.

Federal data show that 676,000 pounds of halibut crossed Alaska docks through March 25, slightly more than last year at the same time. Alaska’s share of the Pacific halibut catch this year is 21.45 million pounds, 200,000 pounds more than a year ago. The fishery runs through Nov. 7.

Researcher offers answers on shrinking halibut

It turns out that fishing is a prime cause of shrinking halibut across Alaska.

A Pacific halibut that weighed 120 pounds 30 years ago tips the scales at less than 45 pounds today even though it’s the same age. That’s especially true for fish in the biggest fishing holes – the central and western Gulf of Alaska.

“We found that fishing can explain between 30 and 100 percent of the observed declines in size at age,” said Jane Sullivan, a University of Alaska graduate student who’s investigating the impacts of fishing on halibut growth.

“We took all the information that we knew about the halibut population in the 1980s, when fish were big, and used a computer model to fish this population at different harvest levels to see how fishing affects size at age,” she explained. “Declines in size at age become greater with age because fishing effects compound with each year of fishing.”

Sullivan modeled several scenarios, including reducing the 32-inch minimum size of halibut caught in the fishery, and releasing halibut more than 60 inches long. Neither appeared to make any difference.

The research also found that bycatch of halibut in other fisheries is not a key factor.

“The majority of halibut caught as bycatch in these other fisheries are much smaller-sized halibut,” Sullivan said.

In terms of potential fishery changes to protect slow-growing halibut, the science points to an unpopular solution.

“The only management action that appears to make any difference is to reduce fishing effort or harvest. By reducing effort, you reduce the selective harvest of large halibut,” she said.

Laine Welch is a Kodiak-based commercial fishing columnist. Contact her at msfish [3].

Andrew Smith