What is better for maintaining my reel, oil or grease?

Although grease will stay on the reel a lot longer it does have the disadvantage of 'gumming up' after time, making the reel harder to wind and can stop the drag pawl engaging. It also collects sand and becomes more of a grinding paste than lubricant.

After a days fishing a quick rinse in fresh water and the application of our Alvey Oil (or sewing machine oil) on moving parts such as the spindle, casting mechanism, handles and drag pawl and lever, will ensure your reel is ready for any action on the next fishing trip.

My drag reel ‘clicks’ as I turn the spool even though the fish alert is off.

The most common cause of this is the silent drag mechanism.

Remove the spindle screw and 'D' washer, then remove the spool from the back plate.

On the back plate you will see a bronze or brass drag pawl with a pin protruding.

Underneath the spool you will see a cam with a slot.

When assembling the spool to the back plate ensure that the pin on the drag pawl fits into the slot on the cam. This is best done with the drag in the 'OFF' position. Now engage the drag in the 'ON' position and wind forward. If assembled correctly the reel should now be silent. It may take a couple of goes to correctly assemble.

Now replace the 'D' washer and spindle screw.

I can not get enough drag tension on my lever drag reel.

You can increase or decrease the amount of drag tension available on this style of reel by rotating the handle plate.

To do this first remove the spindle screw from the front of the reel, and then remove the 'D' washer.

If you now undo the top handle plate lock nut whilst holding the handle plate, you will be able to remove the handle plate. Take note of the current position of your handle plate.

You will notice that the friction tube where the handle plate was located has 3 slots.

To increase the amount of tension you can apply through the drag advance the handle plate 1 slot in an clockwise position.

To reduce tension rotate 1 slot in an anti-clockwise position.

Replace the handle plate lock nut finger tight only to check your drag tension. If satisfied tighten but take care not to over tighten as you may damage the friction tube. Replace the 'D' washer and the spindle screw.

How do you locate the drag pawl springs?

How do I restore my wooden spool?

The vast majority of wooden spools were Cedar, some were Silky Oak, and very early models may have been Camphor Laurel. Boat reels were manufactured from Marine Ply. If the spool is a reddish colour, the spool is Queensland Red Cedar timber.

The original reels had a Rosewood stain applied to add colour, over a Mahogany grain filler which was applied to the bare timber. To restore the final finish any clear lacquer used for timber floors is suitable. These are usually a two pot mix to achieve a hard surface and are usually UV stabilized to withstand sunlight (Polyurethane is one example). Sand between coats with a very fine sand paper or use Scotchbrite pads to achieve a fine finish. To achieve the best finish, the reel should be rotated while being painted then left to dry thoroughly between coats. The more coats applied, the deeper the finish.

Can the chipped edge on my spool be fixed?

If your spool is a yellow DMC spool this can be patched with Plasti Bond compound or Araldite available from your local hardware.

Slightly over fill the chip and allow compound to set then sand back to shape with very fine sand paper (minimum 240 grit) or file.

Bakelite spools can be patched with Araldite using the same method and you may even glue a broken section back into the spool.

Later spools are injection moulded and any rough surface areas can usually be sanded back to be smooth or again use Araldite if required.