Hi, in Reel Super Tuning Part 1, I primarily discussed the bearing upgrade portion of super tuning as well as the Carbontex drag upgrade. As promised, here is part 2. Once again, let me start off by saying that any servicing or upgrading that you do to your reel you do so at your own risk and I will not be held responsible for any damage caused so proceed at your own risk.
On a side note, one of the most important things you can do for superior performance is to make sure the internals of your reel are clean of debris and properly lubricated so I suggest, at the very least, you clean and lube your reel yearly. Of course if they get dropped in salt water or sand you will need to service them as soon as possible and if you fish as much as I do then at least a couple times a year. With that, lets proceed with cleaning, smoothing and polishing components for maximum performance.
Polishing internal contact points will allow your reel to achieve its maximum performance because the contacts will be smoother therefore less friction. The tools required are a Dremel rotary tool, of course a generic brand will work as well, some wet/dry sandpaper in 600 and 1500 grit, some round toothpicks, a pair of scissors, an exacto knife, some rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs with wooden sticks, Post-It note pad, I like the super sticky ones, and I like to use micro fiber cloths for cleaning up.
First off let’s polish the Cast Control Shims. Take an exacto knife and cut a centered slit in the end of a toothpick approximately ¼ inch long, basically splitting it in two. Then cut a piece of the 600 and 1500 grit sandpaper with the scissors about ¼ in wide and 2-3 inches long. Place the toothpick in the Dremel tool, slit side up of course, insert the piece of 600 grit sandpaper into the slit and wrap it around the toothpick in the direction that will allow the abrasive side to be exposed as the Dremel is turning. Remember, your not trying to remove weight or reform anything during any of these steps so be sure to sand lightly.
Clean the old oil off of the shims with rubbing alcohol, dry them and stick them to the back, sticky side, of a post-it pad. This will hold the shim in place while you sand and polish it. Turn on the rotary tool and lightly rub the sandpaper across the shims surface, if you apply to much pressure you will snap the toothpick. After lightly sanding with the 600 switch to the 1500 grit sandpaper and again lightly sand until the shim surface looks even. Remove and clean it with alcohol and Q-tips. Get a new sheet of the post-it note and place the side of the shim you just sanded down on its sticky surface. Repeat the process on the other side of the shim, when finished clean it with alcohol and Q-tips. Place the sanded shim on yet another Post-It note pad, cut a cotton swab in half and place it in the Dremel tool, rub a small amount of Brasso polish onto the cotton swab then polish across the shim till its smooth and shines.
Next lets service the Pinion gear. You may ask why service the pinion gear. When you cast, the pinion gear is basically an unsupported brass bushing as far as the spool shaft is concerned. It gets pulled away from its engagement point with the spool by the pinion yoke when you depress the cast button making surface to surface contact with the shaft. Smoothing this area will reduce friction to maximize casting distances.
Before you start sanding the inside of the pinion gear you will need something to allow you to hold it while sanding because it will get hot. You do NOT want to hold it with any tool because since its made or brass chances are that you will damage the gear and have to replace it. I got a pair of Aviator Nomex gloves that I use but a folder up paper towel or cloth will work as well. Using the same toothpick/sandpaper setup as above start out lightly sanding with the 600 grit then lightly sanding with the 1500 grit. Keep in mind that you are not trying to bore the pinion out, just smoothing it so don’t apply much pressure or sand for to long. Once its smooth clean with cotton swab and alcohol then polish it with a toothpick and Brasso just like you did with the shims.
Next you want to polish the Brake Plate Friction Ring. This is the ring of metal that the centrifugal brakes rub against to slow the spool at the end of the cast. Follow the same steps as before, lightly sand with 600 grit sandpaper then lightly sand with the 1500 grit, clean with alcohol followed by Brasso on Q-tip for final polishing. Note, if your reel has a chrome ring skip the 600 grit step and start with the 1500 grit.
Finally we come to the Spool Shaft. Have you ever noticed that if your having problems getting distance during a cast if you place a drop of oil on the spool shaft ends you can improve the distance? This is because you placed a liquid barrier between the pinion gear and the spool shaft. By polishing the ends you will be reducing friction
This is the part of the Super Tuning process that you may have difficulty doing at home. While it can be accomplished with a drill or even a Dremel tool it can be a huge pain. I spent under $100.00 and purchased a mini-drill press like jewelers use and it works great. Remember, replacement spools are expensive and can be damaged easily because they are made of soft metals. Make sure you use tape to wrap up the end of the shaft or the rim of the spool that you plan to insert into the grip of the tool you are using. Tighten down just enough to get a decent grip being careful not to over tightening because you will damage the spool. Be sure you lightly sand and polish the shaft ends and the area where the pinion gear rides ONLY! Like always, start sanding lightly with 600 grit, then 1500, clean with alcohol followed by polishing with Brasso.
I can promise you that if you take the time to perform the steps mentioned in part 1 and 2 of my Super Tuning articles you will be impressed with the results. If you deicide to pay a professional to tune your reel be sure to ask what is included with the service cost.
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Until Next Time, Good Luck and Tight Lines To Ya!