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Old 11-03-2018, 04:20 AM
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Slazmo Slazmo is offline
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Casting old baitcasting reels - surprising results.

So as I've previously mentioned had acquired some old Shimano baitcaster reels of late - Ive got a soft spot for their design and use, and like to use them in the fresh a little more than spin reels for some reason?

And so the weather has been pretty horrendous this week and especially this weekend. Havent been able to even get out for a sneaky fish - even one down my local creek - so a few rebuilds and the Curado went back together and been sitting around twiddling thumbs watching YouTube and cinema sins - my curiosity got the better of me when the weather finally cleared in the arvo and the sun poked through the clouds.

Had me thinking of "how good would it cast on its original bearings and without anything else done to it other than a normal rebuild?" There are plenty of things you can do to a baitcast reel within regards to getting those extra meters, new shallow ported spool, boutique JDM ceramic bearings, polishing etc etc etc etc, but mine well just good grease and oils.

So the reel as standard, a service and nothing changed or added other than a new handle shaft bearing which doesn't impact casting distances...


Whatever the line was on the reel was the line of choice today. I stripped off the top lot which looked like was suffering from mildew stains.


Most if not all baitcasters I run aren't filled to the top lip of the spool, for one it aids casting and two I dont need anymore than 70m on a spool fishing skinny waterways - also backing helps. A completely full spool will have the line angle departing off the spool to the line guide at an angle which can be awkward and a extra friction point on a cast - so keeping spool line level in line with the line guides insert for me works extremely well - just shooting line 'straight' off the spool.


The rod that the reel came on - I'm not picky at this point in life so its staying. Its a pretty well built Penn Pinpoint Tournament 56BCM 6kg rated rod, which only needed a good scrub and a polish with Starbrite PTFE marine grade polish, which brought it up really nice, the finish was pretty dull to start off with. Unsure of its vintage however the guides are semi micro's towards the top x4 and 10 guides in total - some thought went into it when being built, it'll stay with the other Curado when going to be used...


The casting plug I made in a couple of minutes, just a piece of dowel cut and a upholstery pin holding some mono for a attachment point. This plug weighs 7 grams as is - weighed on digital scales. Best i could do for matching a lure and its weight approximately.

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Last edited by Slazmo; 11-03-2018 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:24 AM
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Slazmo Slazmo is offline
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So the reel and the plug for the testing. Was pretty doubtful on the length of casting due to the fall rate of the plug while the clutch was depressed. Some have mentioned the spool in these as being too heavy for lighter weight lures such as for bass or other natives.

The spool doesn't have a wonderfullylong lasting free spool either - just spins a dozen times and slows to a stop... looks can be deceiving though.

A surprising point to make was the original bearings which are still in this reel... they were simply de-shielded as they were pressed on and simply flushed and re-lubed run in and then most of the excess oil removed and reinstalled - you dont get that kind of longevity out of modern day materials; especially bearings.


The line, proper old school stuff all the yellow coating flakes off and rubs off all over your fingers, sticks to the guides, coats the line guide and gets all over the reels line guide area. But surprisingly it cast well and managed nicely while not under load. I'm not sure of the brand or the weight rating is, but its pretty supple and ties extremely well, no point changing what aint broke yet.


So getting to the casting, all centrifugal weights popped in the off position and the spool centered with half a hair of sideways play. A few casts in and some very light thumb feathering I was managing across the road onto the grass from just out the front of the house parallel to the garage so I'm going to say an easy 20 odd meters (being guessing and conservative).

After getting a bit more confident with casting I could get further and further and where the yellow arrows were where I was casting to, even managed well over that spiny bush tree thing in the picture. The biggest issue with the reel itself with casting, is that it sits quiet high on the rod like an old school Abu Ambassadeur - these reels predated the low seating style of current reels, the spool has a huge gap / clearance off the reel foot and the reel sits what looks unnaturally high from the rod - certainly not as ergonomic as say a Curado D, E, G, I or the latest K or any other brand casting reel.

2018-03-11 18.23.25.jpg

A nice little whirring noise on each cast was interesting, not sure what from but it was a neat sound - like DC without the annoyance and costly repairs if it does go pear shaped.

So the point of this post? Really to disprove the many misconceptions that old reels cant cast near or as well as their newer brethren - would've been nice to cast against say an E series for distance purposes (but couldn't be bothered to set up both reels exactly the same). I mean the reel was manufactured during a time where lures were still timber and quiet heavy, lines were still very crude mainly mono and rods like broom sticks and the owners no nonsense - most of these reels were used just to skull drag lures behind boats and make shorter casts from boat side with heavy divers.

Certainly going to enjoy using one of these reels alongside one of the newer more modern reels.
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Last edited by Slazmo; 12-03-2018 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:34 AM
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90sBlackjabiru 90sBlackjabiru is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: nr. Woodend - Victoria
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You are a pretty awful caster ......missed the road by miles😂😂😂
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