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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 18, 2021 07:33PM

So far I haven't had a problem with Shimano's aluminum gear either.

Not a fan of Pure fishing but I think Penn still has some good reels. I believe my Baja Special will last several decades. The only thing I can fault about it is looks. I'm also kinda impressed with my US built 525 Mag. Again it doesn't look like much on the outside. You have to tear down each to appreciate what you are getting. I would avoid any of their reels built overseas.

I'd still fish the older original Daiwa Black Gold (1981 model), and do own/fish Daiwa SS Tournament series. The new BG is my vote for best budget salt water spinning reel. My next budget salt water spinner pick is the Shimano Spheros SW. Just hate the parallel reel foot thing or I'd own a few (or the Saragossa).

I'm curious to give the Thunnus a try and I'll probably get a lexa or tranx before long.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 18, 2021 07:47PM

Kent, your experience trumps mine with the aluminum gears. I'd question if some anglers are using braid, screwed down drags, and using the reel as a winch. IMHO reel manufacturers do themselves a disservice quoting insane drag ratings. Anyone with knowledge knows you don't fish a 2500 reel with 15-20#' of drag. Heck I wouldn't fish one with more than 5, maybe 7 at the outside.

Last I knew Shimano was using an aluminum main gear in the Stella.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 18, 2021 08:11PM

There is another issue with newer stradics and other Shimano spinners... today if you rust up a line roller bearing, you have to now replace the line roller and the bearing. It is now one part. In my older stradics, I could slide the bearing out of the line roller and just replace the bearing, but not any more. Now you can have a perfectly good line roller with a bad bearing and have to replace both since now Shimano press fits the bearing into the line roller and it is no longer removable. Irritating pesky little annoyance to me.

And again I have to ask, when Shimano stops making this part what will owners of newer stradics do?

And I tend to agree that a lot of fishermen ask more from their small reels than the reels were designed to deliver. One of the first questions a brand would ask when we had to ask them if they would cover the reel under warranty was they wanted to know what pound test line was on the reel. We saw a lot of bent main shafts because of this too.

Another issue I saw on a regular basis is that a lot of fishermen simply do not service their reels. They will buy a new reel and keep using it until it grinds to a halt literally. And then they bring it in for servicing. And you would not believe how many of those saltwater guys standing at the counter are swearing up and down they rinsed the reel off after each use as if it were the right and correct thing to do. That one really gets old after awhile having to tell each and every one of them DO NOT rinse off your reels! But it never ends.

It was kind of funny in that I never had to go to the beach to see the beach. In central Florida rod and reel shop all I had to do was open up some of the crunchy reels and dump the beach out onto my bench. Sand, shells, and I even had the whole body a small crab on my bench one day and sometimes a small baitfish. And reels green from the corrosion, aluminum spools eaten up. And the customer is like "can you fix it back to like new?" After 20 years of use with not one servicing in all that time. Saw lots of calcuttas like this. It was rewarding to bring reels like that back to life only to go back out there and suffer the same fate all over again.

We've had reels shipped to us with red hot sauce dripping out of the box on delivery. Reels brought in that had been dunked in kerosene, and my favorite was brought to us by one of our professional bass guides here in central Florida who drank a little too much while out fishing one day and had way too good of a time and pulled out his pistol for some reason and some how shot one of his Shimano curado reels. He was lucky that we had a parts reel in the back with new frame and side plates and a new spool. I saved that one. Never had a shot up reel before that one.

The owner of our shop kept a big freezer/cooler at the shop because some of our saltwater customers often brought us fresh caught fish and we kept a grille at the shop and would grille it up for lunch sometimes. So that was a bonus sometimes. Some of our customers were pro golfers, pro football players, pro baseball players, pro bass fishermen, and even rock band musicians and state of Florida biologists who always had the best fishing info for sure. It was never boring fixing rods and reels with our colorful customers. Our customers had stories for every reel and every broke rod or guide. And we sure did get a lot of rods and reels dumped on us and left with us too. Another source for vintage gear... and sometimes new stuff but mostly older stuff. I think when this pandemic is over I'll go back to doing it again. Gonna miss all this free fishing time.



Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2021 09:01PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 18, 2021 09:18PM

I've already said I am a huge fan of older vintage stradics... but Shimano has been hiding a secret in plain sight for those who can see it... can you tell which one of these is the stradic and which one is not?





The reason I am showing both schematics of 2 shimano spinning reels is because they show a Shimano production secret not well known or known at all outside of rod and reel shops and reel techs. You'd have to be a reel tech to catch this.

Both of these schematics show shimano FH series reels. One is a stradic and the other is not. And yet when you look at the schematics you are basically looking at identical reels on the inside.

So if I went to an online sales website looking for the stradic shown above, I would be looking at on average about $100 per reel and up just because it says "stradic" on it. But if I go to the same sales website and look up the other reel virtually identical to the stradic, because it does not say "stradic" on the reel I can get the other reels for on average $30 or so on a good day.

Point is, I don't have to buy stradics to have stradic quality spinning reel from Shimano. So as an old Shimano reel tech, I can avoid the stradic prices and buy up the other reels no one else is competing for because almost no one knows that other reel is basically the same thing. Same parts on the inside. Same quality.

It is cheaper for Shimano and other brands to manufacture the same reel and simply paint it a different color and give it a different name and model number and then try and market it differently. The stradic line did very well. The other line, not so much.

I see this same thing in Bass Pro reels. Back in the day the top of the line made in South Korea Johnny Morris signature reels that were chrome plated and looked awesome commanded the highest prices. But I could buy that exact same reel from Bass Pro in a different color and with Rick Clunn's name on it. And to this day I can interchange and swap out most of the internal parts between these two lines. Gears and all. Go searching online for the Johnny Morris reels and pay top dollar. Go looking for the not so pretty Rick Clunn version and pay next to nothing. At one time I was getting them for like $20. I have fishing buddies around here still using them.

But you know it is a hard thing to try and tell a fisherman that my gold reel is as good and same quality as his white stradic reel. Or that my Rick Clunn reel is just as good as his Johnny Morris reel. Some of them will not believe it. Reel techs see this all the time.

And this is another reason why I buy mid line shimano reels. When I take apart a $500 top of the line shimano baitcast reel and lay the parts out side by side with a mid line curado priced at say $160 you do not see a whole lot of difference. And I have to ask myself what am I getting for the additional $350 and is it worth it?

To me it isn't. My curado i series reels have an aluminum frame and a free spinning spool. A $500 reel has an aluminum frame and a free spinning spool.

I can tweak my curado some as I prefer to use full ceramic bearings on my spools and I think and believe that I can cast just as far as a $500 reel. So why should I shell out a lot of extra dough for reels that are a lot nicer, maybe smoother, more refined, but really don't give me all that much more in performance. I am perfectly satisfied with mid line shimano. And my boss who is a tournament fishermen is pretty much on the same page with me on this as his choice of reels is one step above mine at the chronarch level, but even he is not going all the way to the top either.

And to be truthful, I can buy the line below a curdao, the Citica, and tweak those and bring them up to the best performance I can squeeze out of them and I can buy these 2 reels, the Citica and Curados all day long used for about $100 each on a good day. So I can have 5 curados to one top of the line reel. Back in the old days about the only difference between the Citica and Curados was one measly ball bearing and that was it.

Rich guys who can afford 10 $500 reels go for it! But for us little guys who have to make our few bucks go as far as we can it pays to get to know your reels and what you can do with them is my whole point here.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2021 09:35PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: chris c nash (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 18, 2021 10:42PM

Kent are you aware that the FI and FJ Stradics along with the Shimano Sustain FE and FG reels all have cold forged Aluminum drive gears ? I actually have the early 2000 Shimano Reels catalogs and they're indeed cold forged aluminum drive gears just like the new FL and slightly older FK Stradic's which only are offered up to the 5000 size instead of 8000 size that Shimano used to offer with their FI and FJ Stradic's and FE Sustains. I believe the FG Sustains and newer FI Sustains max out at the 5000 size.

The reason I brought up Alan Hawk is because he is who Shimano and Daiwa consult with about materials for their top of the line spinning reels. If the reels don't pass Alan Hawks extremely strict quality control evaluations the manufactures will make a design change that's how highly respected he is . There's nobody more educated than he is on this topic. Google his name and see for yourself.

Alan Tani has an international reel repair and maintenance website and there is nothing but praise for Shimano's cold forged gearing . I have a feeling you may have needed to replace Shimano's regular non cold forged gearing which are far less durable .


The below is what Alan Hawk said about the lower end Shimano Sedona main drive gear :

"Shimano's cold forged and surface coated aluminium alloy drive gear is a time tested premium feature that's at the heart of more expensive Shimanos all the way to the Stella . Here is my Sedona's gear after almost a hundred hours of actual fishing time still looking and feeling good with only very minor signs of wear. The extended service life of these gears is well known and it would take many years of use just to wear off the surface coating"

"Shimano has mastered the art of cold-forging light alloys into tough gears, which have now trickled down to many salt and freshwater reels further down the line all the way to entry level ones. Without that sort of manufacturing ingenuity we wouldn't have such magnificent spinners such as the Spheros SW, which at the time of this writing remains the reel I recommended more than any other for what you get for the price . After almost 110 hours of actual offshore fishing time the gear remains in pristine condition, very little wear, no chips, and full structural integrity"

My biggest gripe with Shimano is they do not keep parts for reels long enough. Reels typically have a 3 to 5 year lifespan in Shimano's eyes which is unacceptable . There's no way I'm buying an expensive top of the line reel when I know parts will be difficult if not impossible to get after 5 years . Shimano has never liked to keep inventory for older reels very long their business model has always been about keeping inventory fresh for the brand new stuff . Parts can be found for older stuff especially for reels that were really popular but Shimano is not known for keeping parts stock for long periods of time you can even see parts they have discontinued in the schematics of reel models currently available.

Anyway, it's clear we have had very different experiences with the Shimano reels and that's fine and to be expected . Despite the different experiences thanks for making the thread .

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: February 19, 2021 11:47PM

Kent Griffith,

That is an amazing read about Don Mook and others. I'd love to get my hand on a Mook blank you mentioned just to see what it feels like. I don't even need to own it. Are any of them UL powered or about 3 to 4 wt fly blanks? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 20, 2021 02:03PM

Mo, the rod is a baitcast rod. I sent you an email about it.

And Chris, I had to do some catching up to be able to reply to your comment. I'm getting ready to go fishing and can't fully comment until later, but for now though... I dug through all my spinning reels and found one FI stradic in there and took it apart and saw it does indeed have an aluminum drive gear in it. So either I have to revise my opinion about using reels with aluminum gears or sell it! And since it is so smooth still and the drive gear does not show any sign of wear I think I'll revise my opinion and keep it for now and keep fishing with it.

But you are right about another thing too, my "reel" experience by far is quite a bit different than Alan Hawk's... night and day different.

I'll get into the rest later... not sure if today is going to be a good day catching, but I'll give the fishing a go and see... we just had a cold front move through with a mild temperature drop, but is usually enough to shut the bass down. But who cares... a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work any day of the week.

----------------------------------------

ADDED: Portion of Alan Hawk bio :

"...I fished all kinds of gear, but my true passion is spinning reels. Love their versatility, resistance-free casting, range of retrieve speeds, and the fact that building a powerful spinning reel is a more complex and costly task than building an equally powerful conventional reel.

Almost two decades ago I coined the term "super-spinners" to describe a special breed of very capable reels built to high standards. While these will always take priority in testing & evaluating, I pay equal attention to all classes of spinning reels down to the entry level. I also continuously scan the non-mainstream world for obscure reels that might offer something interesting or be of a special value. In addition to Reviews, you'll find features such as the Top Picks & Blog. My aim is to keep improving this site and maintain its dynamism, always guided by your requests and suggestions which you are most welcome to send via the contact form.

Enjoy your stay, and tight lines!

Alan Hawk



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2021 11:41PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 20, 2021 03:07PM

Top one is a Symetre and bottom is a Stradic. Should have put a Saros in between.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 20, 2021 07:38PM

Russell Brunt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Top one is a Symetre and bottom is a Stradic.
> Should have put a Saros in between.

Now you've gone and thrown it out there! I was still trying to keep it a secret. Did ya notice I did not mention that other one? Now I'm going to possibly have more competition on e something or another when I go to buy one! Dag nab it! lol

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 20, 2021 08:17PM

chris c nash Wrote:

>
> The reason I brought up Alan Hawk is because he is
> who Shimano and Daiwa consult with about materials
> for their top of the line spinning reels. If the
> reels don't pass Alan Hawks extremely strict
> quality control evaluations the manufactures will
> make a design change that's how highly respected
> he is . There's nobody more educated than he is on
> this topic. Google his name and see for
> yourself.

I did exactly that. What I found is that he is just a fisherman who writes professional reviews. Paid professional reviews. That alone tends to make me consider his "reviews" are biased.

Something to consider is that Alan Hawk is not a reel repair technician. He is a fisherman who writes reviews. That's what his bio says.

So what is important to consider here is that Alan Hawk gets brand new reels for his reviews. Brand spanking new right out of the box new. And his reviews are based strictly on a new reel and its use up to about 100 hours of use is standard for his reviews.

This means that Alan Hawk's experience with reels is the polar opposite of my experience of reels. He gets them new, and I get them broken and beaten up after many years of use. So my opinion on reels does not come from a fisherman in the UK who reviews new reels out of the box. My opinion comes from years on the bench fixing reels to as close to new as is possible. Let me show you what I get and compare that to Alan Hawk's brand new review reels out of the box...

Saltwater and beach sand are not kind to these reels. Notice how badly the salt affects certain alloys more than others... And, curious how well you think aluminum is going to hold up with all that beach sand, shell pieces and other crunchy stuff floating around in there getting ground up into the gear teeth for no telling how long before this one made it into the shop... and this is just typical Florida- quite the difference from Alan Hawk's new reels out of the box...





Both of these reels, the curado above and Chronarch below were repaired and sent out in fully functional working condition...

Notice the metal alloy bubbles up or reacts like an alka seltzer to salt. Its designed that way! The customer probably rinsed this reel off pushing the water and salt deeper into the reel and onto this drive gear showing the corrosive reaction it has to salt. Also please take notice of all the beach sand inside of this reel and consider how that affects smooth gearing and how long smooth will last under these conditions.


I'd like to see Alan Hawk's reviews of the above reels after years in central Florida's warm to hot sub tropical saltwater fishing use.

I have to formulate my opinion on reels based on what comes across my bench, not what someone in the UK writes about them when new still in the box.


>
> Alan Tani has an international reel repair and
> maintenance website and there is nothing but
> praise for Shimano's cold forged gearing .

I am well aware of Alan Tani. He's a great reel tech no doubt. But I did a search on his website and found the following:

"that gear is from anodized aluminium in my reel so probably it show's wear easier than SS or some coated steel. Anyway the pattern is almost identical on every teeth but it doesn't have the shape of the wear on your stradic we discussed yesterday."

This discussion above is about the wear shown on Shimano's aluminum drive gears. It is noted on the Alan Tani website that the aluminum metal is recognized as showing wear "easier" than stainless steel or... point is, the softness of the aluminum is duly noted on the Alan Tani website. I could not find any quote from Alan Tani on the aluminum gears.



> I have
> a feeling you may have needed to replace Shimano's
> regular non cold forged gearing which are far less
> durable .

No sir. The gears we have been replacing on reels aged 2 years or less are Hagane gears.


>
>
> The below is what Alan Hawk said about the lower
> end Shimano Sedona main drive gear :
>
> "Shimano's cold forged and surface coated
> aluminium alloy drive gear is a time tested
> premium feature that's at the heart of more
> expensive Shimanos all the way to the Stella .
> Here is my Sedona's gear after almost a hundred
> hours of actual fishing time still looking and
> feeling good with only very minor signs of wear.
> The extended service life of these gears is well
> known and it would take many years of use just to
> wear off the surface coating"
>
> "Shimano has mastered the art of cold-forging
> light alloys into tough gears, which have now
> trickled down to many salt and freshwater reels
> further down the line all the way to entry level
> ones. Without that sort of manufacturing ingenuity
> we wouldn't have such magnificent spinners such as
> the Spheros SW, which at the time of this writing
> remains the reel I recommended more than any other
> for what you get for the price . After almost 110
> hours of actual offshore fishing time the gear
> remains in pristine condition, very little wear,
> no chips, and full structural integrity"
>

Yep. A nice sales pitch coming from a fisherman who gets brand new reels right out of the box...

> The extended service life of these gears is well
> known and it would take many years of use just to
> wear off the surface coating"

If only my experiences with these reels crossing the bench on a daily basis could back that statement up. He says many years... but here in hot sub tropical Florida saltwater environment it is not like his sales pitch in the review of the new reel. And, when I worked at the shop every year we saw the engineers from Shimano and Daiwa just before ICAST and went over all the problems we encountered over and over... here is one



See what the repair ticket says? Clearly says "NOT SMOOTH" and there is tension when trying to reel this reel and the shop owner wrote on the ticket for the tech who got this reel to closely examine the plastic gears as well which is another down side to these reels... In the above photo of this NOT SMOOTH stradic, it is visible in this image to see shiny aluminum showing on at least one of the gear teeth of the main drive gear. Typical Florida results...



And here are some of those worn, damaged, replaced Shimano cold forged aluminum gears...









Point is, they do wear. And they also seem to be easy to damage as well. Florida puts a hurting on these reels. Like this next one all rusted up... complete with beach sand... and as I said before, I don't have to visit the beach, the beach comes to me inside of each reel that crosses the bench. I have to clean my bench after each reel because of all this sand in the reels. Aluminum gears don't stand a chance with this. New out of the box may be nice for Alan Hawk, but in my world I get the worst of it he never sees nor has to deal with.

Something else to consider how I formulate my opinions on reels... take a look at the newer stradic below and how much of it is rusted up in less than 2 years, and then go back to the older FG or FH stradic shown above with the same problem and look at how little of rust there is on the AR bearing as compared to this newer reel. I am not concerned with the rotor bearing rust, only the AR needle bearing rust to compare between new and 20 years old in the same environment. What I see is the newer reel rusts up much worse than the metal used on the older stradic.

I asked the Shimano engineers about this and they told me they use the same metal then and now. I can not dispute what they say, but I can formulate my own opinion based on what I see crossing the bench to conclude that my older stradics for some reason do not rust up as badly as newer reels do which tells me something is different in the metals used. But the photos are clear. I show a rusted up 20 to 25 year old stradic and a stradic less than 2 years old and which one looks worse? The new one. I have to replace its AR bearing while the AR bearing on the older stradic is serviceable to some degree. What I see is what I see. And some review from Alan Hawk can not change the point of view gained from reels flowing across a work bench is my whole point.

Think about it for a second... 2 reels in same environment. One reel is older than 20 years old, and one reel is less than 2 years old. One AR bearing is rusted beyond use, while the other is virtually untouched in more than 20 years while the rotor bearing behind it is clearly rusted out. How can the older stradic show virtually no rust on the AR needle bearings after 20 plus years of use, while the brand new reel is beyond use? Something is clearly different in my opinion. And this is another reason why I avoid new reels and prefer to restore and use vintage Shimano reels because they are to me built better and hold up better in this hot Florida environment. It can not be any more clear to me.

Shimano can tell me the metals used are the same, but that rust on my bench tells me something is clearly different.

In the 20 plus year old stradic above, the rust is coming from the bearing under the AR meaning water and salt had to get past the AR first which survived for some reason because when we compare the rust pattern to the newer reel, the rust is now moved onto the sleeve inside the AR bearing showing the rust is now sourced from the needle bearings themselves inside the AR. And yet on the older stradic, the sleeve is virtually clean, and the needle bearings show minimal if any rust at all. And if salt and water got in there to rust out the bearing under that old AR, it could not have missed that old AR bearing too.

I personally believe without proof beyond this rust, but I personally believe the metal alloys between the older stradic and newer stradic are different in composition. The new younger engineers may believe the metals are the same(none of them worked for Shimano when the older stradic was made), but the rust is clearly telling me a different story.

I wonder if Alan Hawk's out of the box experience with new reels covers this? Don't think so. His opinion and mine differ because of different experiences with reels in different environments with different results.



Here is another look at the shredded drag washers from these new ci4 reels:




Notice we have to stock a large quantity of these soon to be shredded drag washers? Bags of 50 or more kept in stock for quicker turn around. My old FG and FH stradics are still going strong on the original drag washers which last forever as compared to the new and improved...
I asked the engineers from Shimano about this and they said this new design offers more drag stopping power with less surface area. My old stradics have nearly twice the drag washer surface area for friction. So I find it strangely odd that Shimano is offering more drag stopping power with less drag washer which can only mean more is being asked of less and something has to give and we can all see what.


>
> Anyway, it's clear we have had very different
> experiences with the Shimano reels and that's fine
> and to be expected . Despite the different
> experiences thanks for making the thread .

You are welcome. We are all here to share our knowledge and experiences with others so we can all learn from each other. That's what its all about.



Edited 15 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 11:57AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 20, 2021 09:49PM

"can you tell which one of these is the stradic and which one is not?"

Sorry Kent I tend to take things too literally.

I just got one of those Ci4 Stradics on closeout. I take it I need two 9911 and one 9908 drag washer. Anything else I should replace before it sees salt water?

How was the fishing?

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 20, 2021 10:14PM

Russell Brunt Wrote:

>
> I just got one of those Ci4 Stradics on closeout.
> I take it I need two 9911 and one 9908 drag
> washer. Anything else I should replace before it
> sees salt water?
>

If your reel is new you should not need any replacement drag washers yet. Just don't over crank the drag down too tightly which is largely behind this shredding problem since these washers deform under the pressure and skew sideways into the posts for the shredding. You could upgrade the drag washers to carbon fiber and avoid this problem.

As for saltwater... I believe in the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And so for my reels I like using corrosion X on my steel bearings and AR bearings especially. I use light air pressure to blow the corrosion X into and around inside the AR and make sure every needle bearing is lightly coated and gently blow out any excess. Don't want to see reels dripping with excess oil like they get brought to us with! And I say blow with gentle air pressure because too much air pressure can blow the AR bearings out and you can lose them.

So I would disassemble the reel, and do some saltwater corrosion prevention before taking it to saltwater environment. And coat the internal parts with a thin coat of corrosion x as well. Every little bit helps. My photos above shows how the oscillation slider block corrodes badly, so that is a good part to make sure is coated well to give it as much protection as possible.

Another issue I like to cover is steel screw threads where they are screwed into a different metal. Like in some aluminum spools, and body screws etc, or the pawl screw in the slider block. I like to put grease on the threads with a dental pick down inside before the screw goes in because once saltwater starts the galvanic corrosion, these screws can lock up and not want to unscrew down the road. So a little thread coating can help to prevent this problem. I see this problem all the time in Florida when dissimilar metals come into contact with our hot climate and saltwater environment really speeds up the processes big time.


> How was the fishing?

Thanks for asking it was great! I was killin' them today! Landed 12 bass and missed just as many. I see the small males preparing the beds. I did not see any females moving into spawn yet. So I concentrated on shallow weedless fishing, and sweeping a lot of water around the drop off with a swimbait and tore them up! A beautiful day on the water in central Florida!

Today I was using a sort of rare reel- a vintage Shimano Symetre Aero 4000RB- the big brother to this smaller 1000 I found a photo of online. These reels use a drag mech shimano developed and patented back in the 1980's called the fighting star drag which was originally designed for baitcast reels, but has since been dropped from all of their baitcast reels and is now only available on certain spinning reels. I have made use of Shimano's fighting star drag mech since day one for about 35 years now. I love using it, and it is very effective for how I fish for bass. In this case, vintage beats new to me! I caught the bass shown above with it, and was able to precisely dial up or down the drag in an instant while not losing my original drag setting. When the bass ran for the deep, I could back it off and let him take drag and as I turned him to the boat I could dial up the drag to bring him in. That bass did not stand a shimano chance! How's that for an Alan Hawk quality sales pitch! And my reel is 25 years old now since it was taken out of the box!





Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 09:54AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 21, 2021 10:19AM

It pays to get to know some of the old timers in custom rod building. They get too old to carry it on and wind up passing down their "stuff" to younger generations which for rod builders in 2021 can be a goldmine! So across the country are small treasure caches of vintage rod blanks just waiting to be discovered!







Kind of cool to still be able to find and buy St. Croix blanks and Richard "Dick" Kantner blanks- the original double helix blanks that died with him according to a post from this very forum:

[www.rodbuilding.org]

Re: Dick Kantner
Posted by: Tom McNamara (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: July 06, 2015 10:27PM

Very sorry to hear this. I’ve worked with Dick at Graphite USA developing some blanks in the 1990’s. In looking for his obituary online, I came across a YouTube video of him telling about his work for the CIA in the 1960’s. I did not realize how far back his graphite engineering went. Dick played a major role in early “stealth technology” in the 1960’s by developing radar absorbing leading edge of the wings and turbine spike for the A-12 and SR-71 as well as stealth paint [youtu.be]

Years later he applied his knowledge to the sporting goods industry with his company Composite Development Corporation which lead to rod blanks and Graphite USA company with their duel helical designs. Those original GUSA blanks made by Dick and his sons’ were very powerful and he built nice fly rods for Powell, however I would say his business acronym was not as good as his engineering knowledge. So he sold GUSA to Roy Hasting, Roy moved it to AZ and renamed it to United Composite’s to avoid paying Dick royalties on the GUSA name. Roy got into legal trouble and the business was mothballed then sold out of receivership to Gary in Australia who moved in back to CA – but the equipment was very neglected and all the moving took its toll. Gary ran it for a while, then sold it to Randy Penny (formally with Seeker) who is running it today as United Composites. Such is the life of a blank company!

Dick’s knowledge of graphite and specially of duel helix rod blank construction has been lost to time I’m afraid – I’m sure his original designs were passed along with the equipment, but the deep understanding was not. RIP old friend."

I have at least 2 of Dick Kantner's original double helix rods and I think I'll dig through some of the blanks and see if I can find some more- and check out old St. Croix blanks while I am at it. I think made in USA vintage rods is where it is at! To this day I build my entire rod collection around made in USA vintage- with the exception of some cheap Chinese junk rods I use for abusive fishing I would never subject my prized rare rods to.

I think maybe next week I will dig into this cache of vintage rods. Hopefully some around here will see value in them as well.





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 01:38PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: chris c nash (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 21, 2021 05:18PM

Kent , c'mon now lol. You can't compare reels that have been subjected to that level of saltwater intrusion without any maintenance whatsoever and say these reels have a gear issue . Look at those samples you provided . Any reel at any price will be just as bad if subjected to that level of saltwater inside without being completely dismantled asap and thoroughly cleaned and re greased .

Now your experiences make perfect sense to me . As I said before ALL Shimano main gears going back 20 + years including the older Stradics have aluminum gearing . Hagane is 100% cold forged aluminum gearing , it's just a marketing term like Shimao's new Micro gear II . It's not a different material .

Since you aren't impressed with the brilliant Alan Hawk did you ask on Alan Tani's world renowned international reel repair site how many complaints about Shimano's Aluminum gearing there has been over the last few decades ? Virtually zero . Every reel manufacturer has reels that slip through quality control that may not function optimally due to bad alignment , a misplaced shim etc.. but with Shimano it's exceedingly rare .


Kent , it's OK for people to have very different experiences . I love to read about other peoples experiences and your comments are very much appreciated .

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: chris c nash (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 21, 2021 05:22PM

Kent , can you tell me who schooled Stephen Pratt of CTS on the Helix construction techniques your post above talks about his name eludes me . I believe it was someone from United Composites .



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2021 05:25PM by chris c nash.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Robert Ford (---)
Date: February 23, 2021 02:53PM

I went ahead and threw out all my reels,because evidently they suck!! Just kidding.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 23, 2021 06:25PM

Chris, I have no idea but an educated guess would be Marty and Sue Johanson. They built rod blanks in NZ and worked with Kantner in the early 80's.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 25, 2021 10:25AM

I have no idea either... just glad to have the rods and have access to more of them before they are gone for good.

I dug deep in the old reel box today to pull out a vintage reel to use today for some bass fishing. This one is an old Daiwa 160X equivalent in size to today's 4000's.

This old Daiwa only has about 5 moving parts very similar in design to the old Penn black and gold SS reels that are so reliable. Correction... try about 3 or 4 moving parts inside.

This reel is also just as well built and just as reliable and is now probably closer to 40 years old. As a guess I'd say definitely older than 30 years. Honestly, this reel is so well built it can easily outlive me and will be passed down to my boys, and they will get a lifetime of use out of it as well if they take care of it.



The annoying issue with reels this old is they predate AR bearings, and so the AR in this reel is an old spring loaded clicker which can drive ya nuts to listen to all day long fishing. So either I gotta turn up the music or do something to the reel. So I modified it slightly by adding a rubber cushion or bumper to the clicker #42 in schematic above which has silenced it by over 95% and is now livable. I re-shimmed the spool, slapped some braid on it and will hopefully catch a few on it this afternoon on an 81 out of 100 day in sunny central Florida. And I will still turn up the music anyway! Nothing like bass fishing to some a** kicking Southern rock!

Bass in the lily pads don't stand a chance on this old vintage clunker! But at least it is now smooth and quiet as it can be... and I'm gonna pair it up with an awesome custom Kistler MH fast action 7'3" rod.





Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2021 10:53AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Kent Griffith (172.58.155.---)
Date: February 26, 2021 11:08AM

That old Daiwa worked flawlessly yesterday. The only issue I had with it was I had forgotten how slow the retrieve speed was. Probably around 3 or 4 at best. But it is a winch for sure.

I pulled out some more vintage reels for rotating back into service... one these reels was featured in a book about Shimano reels... Gotta rebuild that old Chronarch for a neighbor first as it has not been touched nor serviced in years- decades actually and it still works fine. Does not get any more vintage than this...





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2021 11:15AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: New Versus Vintage
Posted by: Robert Ford (---)
Date: February 26, 2021 07:17PM

I used to fish steelhead with an old Bantam 201 SG,it worked great until I sold it.

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