Saturday, February 14, 2015


Home in Port Charlotte

We are in the midst of a cold front in Southwest Florida this Valentines Day weekend. Our cold fronts don't always mean cold temperatures but this time it is.  We had a low this morning of 41 but by Monday we are forecast to touch the upper 30s.  Will still reach the 60s each day but I think I'll spend this weekend warming up with my Valentine. 

A great project to tackle on cold or rainy weekends is preventative maintenance on your fishing reels. I have a small variety of spinning reels and conventional reels; Penn Fierce 4000 & 5000, Diawa 5000, Off-Shore Angler Frigate 4000 (poor mans Penn Battle but I love it), Pflueger President (cheap but dependable), Penn Senators, and last year I bought a Wright & McGill Sabalos 3500 to go with my favorite rod, the W&M Blair Wiggins Inshore Slam rod (I own 2 of these, the other has the Pflueger on it).

My other rods are Penn, Daiwa, Cabellas and Star.  I love them all for different uses, depending on what I'm targeting but the look and feel of those Blair Wiggins get my blood going. Back to the reel story!

The Sabalos was great for a year (casts really far) but recently the spool seized onto the shaft. It still spun but it couldn't pull the spool to change line size.  I call Wright & McGill and easily reached a customer service representative.  I explained my problem and he offered a quick solution.  He surmised that saltwater corrosion have gotten onto the shaft and possibly could be beginning to rust on there.  I told him that I was really good about rinsing all of my gear with freshwater at the end of every fishing trip and was surprised to hear that corrosion could get on there to that extreme within one year.  He suggested I use a anti-corrosion lubricant spray and let it sit overnight and then try to work the spool loose.  I prefer the Boeing Boeshield T-9 marine lubricant because it is waterproof and very reliable.

It took a combination of the lubricant and my rubber mallet but I got the spool off.  Sure enough there was some nasty black corrosion rolling all around in there. Some piping hot water from the sink loosened up and remove most of it and then I used the Boeing spray and some 120 grit sandpaper to remove the rest.  I rolled the sandpaper into a small tube and thoroughly cleaned the interior of the spool. I could feel and see the crap coming out of there. 

After cleaning it, it wiped everything down and then put a spot of Rem Oil (Remington gun oil) on all of the screws and moving parts for long term protection. It's good to do this at least 3-4 times a year, depending on how much use and abuse your gear gets.  I took advantage of the rest of this morning to PM all of the remaining reels I own.  The Rem Oil also works well for wiping down your rods and lubricating your line guides. 

The W&M rep recommended the following process for rinsing my reels after each use:
1.  Loosen drag all the way
2.  Spray down generously with fresh water
3.  Tighten drag down all the way to squeeze out any remaining water
4.  Loosen drag again for storage

As much as we lay out for this gear, it's best to take the time to take good care of it. This way, it's more likely to last for many years, like it's designed to. 

The Sabalos reel body, after cleaning it

Rolling up the sandpaper into a tube enabled me to run it it through the center of the spool and remove the remaining corrosion. 

The Sabalos 3500 is ready to go back to work next weekend. 

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