Category Archives: Fishing Reel Repair

Examples of The Reel Tech’s fishing reel repair and service.

Happy Reel Tech Custom Fishing Rod Owner

Got a nice message and photo from a happy angler. The photo is of a DANDY winter steelhead caught on his Reel Tech Custom Spinning Rod.

Here are Matty’s words:
“Here is one pf my 2 that I caught today. The rod fishes great I just love it. We hooked 7 boated 6 and kept 6 great day on the water.”

Thank you for sharing the photo Matty. You made my day. I am very happy you love the rods. I wish you continued success and happiness my friend!!

Tight Lines and Screaming Drags to ALL!

Braided Line and Casting Reels

There is increasing popularity of the use of braided lines in all types of fishing. Braids can be fished effectively on spinning reels as well as casting reels, and I personally use braid on both.

You will need to consider the type of fishing you are going to do and what type of fish you are chasing when determining which casting reel to purchase for the use of braided lines.

The differences in the reels to consider are that of a disengaging or non-disengaging level wind (the part that your line goes through and that guides your line back and forth across the spool while retrieving).

Reels that have a disengaging level wind, such as most of the small low profile baitcasting reels, the level wind is driven only when you are turning the reel handle. “Reels that have a non-disengaging level wind, such as the Abu round reels, some Calcuttas, The Toro version of the Abu REVO, etc. the level wind is driven by the spools movement, whether the reel is in gear or in free spool.”

The Abu Round reels such as the 6500 C4 shown below have a non disengaging level wind. The level wind is driven by spool movement:

The Shimano Curado shown below has a disengaging level wind. The level wind is driven by turning the handle. The level wind is disengaged when in free spool or when just the spool is moving while a fish is taking line:

My recommendation to you all is that if you are chasing fish that will take long, hard runs, or repeated drag burning runs while you are fighting them, it is to your benefit and advantage to purchase a reel with a non-disengaging level wind (one that is driven by spool movement). This way, as the fish is peeling off line on a hard run under some drag pressure, the level wind is following/guiding the braided line off of the spool. I have repaired many reels that were broken because of using disengaging level winds for big hard running fish. Braid is a very tough, abrasive, no stretch, unforgiving line. The angles created by the line coming off of the reel through a stationary level wind can destroy the level wind system. On the other hand, fishing for bass or other fish that do not take drag burning runs, a disengaging level wind is fine and works wonderfully.

For spinning reels the above does not come into play. You can fish braided line on all good quality spinning reels without much concern.

Tight lines and screaming drags to all!!

ADVICE from the Reel Tech – Clutch bars

Hello all,

Just a tidbit of advice from The Reel Tech. Im sure you guys all have reels with a thumb bar disengagement systems such as Shimano Curados, Citicas, Calcuttas, Chronarchs, Pfleuger Presidents, Trions, Daiwa baitcast reels etc etc.

All of these systems have a bar, either metal or plastic, that extends from inside the reel and into the plastic or aluminum thumb bar that you actually press down to disengage the reel and put into free spool. Looking from behind the reel, the actual button you press is either closer/connected to the left side or right side of the reel depending whether it is a left or right hand retrieve.

A recommendation on my part to prolong the life of your clutch system on your reels and reduce wear to the parts, is to make sure when you depress the thumb bar, your thumb is as close to the side plate that the button is set. This results in more of a straight down push and disengagement. Pressing down on the outside edge of the thumb bar adds undo stress to the assembly. The top of the button actually pulls away from the area where it is connected when you are pressing down. This adds much added stress to the system and causes both the internal and external parts of the clutch system to wear out quicker.

The bar that extends out from inside the reel into the thumb bar actually can break or bend out of shape, and once this happens, you have issues with buttons that stick in the down position or have a hard time depressing. Most of the well worn Curados I service all need a slight tweaking and reshaping of the metal bar that goes into the thumb bar.

ALSO, it is a GREAT idea to every once in a while put a little lube (light grease, or a little oil) on the surface where the clutch bar slides up and down along the plastic shim or the side plate. Once this area becomes dry and gets dust/dirt/grime on it, it is like sandpaper and will wear out the shim and side of the clutch bar.

By heeding the recommendations above, you will increase the longevity of your clutch system and slow the wear down process of the parts

I hope my descriptions make sense…..if not, please feel free to ask any questions you may have

Tight Lines!!

1-25-12 Seminar in Redding for the Fishers of Men Christian Sportsmen Club

The Reel Tech would like to thank Andrew Armstead and John Rabjohn for inviting me down to Redding, CA to do a seminar for their Fishers of Men Christian Sportsmen Club. My wife Jennifer and I cannot thank you enough for the friendly and kind hospitality. What a pleasure it was to speak in front of a great bunch of kind hearted fishing fanatics. Great questions were asked, and I really enjoyed the audience interaction throughout the presentation.
Again, a big thank you to the Fishers of Men Sportsmen Club, and to all of you who came to listen to me speak. It was my pleasure, and I look forward to doing it again!! I really enjoyed the time with you guys!

The Reel Tech-Honored

Hello all,

Just wanted to say that I am proud to have met the acquaintance of Christopher Heller, owner of, a site for river fishermen, by river fishermen. Chris’ passion for fishing is undeniable. Just recently, Chris advised me and made an announcement on his site that I would be officially endorsed and recommended as the preferred Fishing Reel and Fishing Rod technician for I am honored to be part of, and to be associated with Chris Heller and

The link to the announcement is:

I have added a link to to my Friends page. Please take some time and browse through Christopher’s site. Chris and his friends are REALLY talented fishermen and know how to harvest the chrome. Their great videos are both entertaining and very informative. The articles and stories section is full of top notch, very accurate, and extremely helpful information.

One thing I applaud Chris for is the fact that he keeps all river names and locations anonymous. Chris encourages site visitors to send in success photos or any fishing photos for that matter, without fear that where you are fishing will be revealed. Gaining true fishing knowledge is never about where, what river, or what spot, its about learning the techniques and tactics, and then applying them to wherever you live, and whatever river you fish. There is a lot of fantastic knowledge that can be obtained from the site, no matter what your skill level at fishing may be.

Thank you Chris Heller and !!

Tight lines and screaming drags!

Before and After-Shimano Calais

Before and after shots of a Shimano Calais that spent a couple of days on the bottom of the river. The lucky angler was fortunate to “re-catch” this fine expensive piece of equipment. Amazing how quickly dirt and debris finds its way into, under, and inside everything on the reel. Some Reel Tech TLC and she is good as new and ready to fish again!!


Underside of reel, handle and spool showing debris buildup.

Heavy debris under the main sideplate.

Debris found under the star drag and into the anti-reverse bearing housing.

Debris buildup inside frame of reel.

Showing major debris intrusion inside and under sideplate.

Many parts need to be removed to get inside an intricate Shimano Calais.


Under side of reel clean and debris free.

Reel pieces are clean and debris free

Clean insides,lubed and ready to go.

Inside of main sideplate. Nice and clean!

Ready to fish!

Tight lines and good fishing to all!

Older Shimano Stradic FE Series-Before and After

Part of a customers batch of reels that I was servicing included a pair of older Shimano Stradic 4000 FE series reels. They had never been serviced before and I though I would share some before and after photos of one of them. Internally they were working great with no issues after many years of service. A good cleaning and lubrication on the inside, a detail job on the outside, and these reels are ready to fish again. Aside from the scratches, these are now in fine working order!

The reels had a heavy buildup of grime, solidified bait residue, and dirt buildup. The dirt gets everywhere, even underneath the covers and under the rotor.

Aside from the scratches and other battle scars, the reel is now clean and working in top form.

Tight Lines and screaming drags to you!!

Resurface and Rebirth

I had a customer bring me two Abu Garcia reels for service and repair. One of which had a story behind it. While fishing in the Rogue River, he caught an Abu Garcia 6500 C-3 reel that was at the bottom of the river. He gave me both reels with this story and told me to see what, if anything, I could do with the one he brought up from the bottom of the river. I looked at the reel, did a few quick troubleshooting things to determine if the reel was a total loss or not. Other than the obvious “river rash” it had from bouncing along the river bottom, I told him I thought I could get this thing to fishable condition again. Some thorough cleaning, a couple of replaced bearings and drags, and she is ready to fish!!

Lots of river debris inside reel:

River debris buildup on main gear:

Dirt and river debris inside reel:

The inside of the spool was full of debris. The two spool bearings were siezed and needed replacing:

A nice clean reel:

The customer is very pleased that he will now have a backup reel to take with him, a gift from the Rogue River!

Tight Lines!!

Shimano Calcutta 400 Rebuilds

Had the pleasure of rebuilding a couple of older Shimano Calcutta for a customer. They belong to a guide here on the Rogue River who uses these for salmon fishing, so these reels have seen their fair share of hard use and abuse. A little TLC and some new parts, and they are good as new! They may show their age on the outside, but inside, they are 100% ready for battle!