Sunday, 3 June 2012

Rainy days - perfect for fixing stuff

Unlike Her Majesty, I had a choice today and that choice was to stay in out of the rain. I had a few things that I needed to do. First off I took a trip to the tackle shop to get some new braid for when the season opens. I had some braid on my reel which was only bought last year and I could have just reversed the spooling and had fresh line but decided to buy some Power Pro. I can't remember what make of braid I bought last time, but it become a little "fluffy" and I wasn't confident I could pull in the new tree stumps which would be sat waiting for me in my swim on June 16th.

My other main job was to have a look at sorting out my Abu Ambassadeur 5501 C3 reel. Bought second hand at a bargain price, a week or so into using it and I was having a spot of bother with it. The drag on it didn't seem to be working correctly. Catching small jacks wasn't a problem but anything up to around 6lb would see them ripping line off my reel and there was nothing I could do about it. So I Googled and Youtubed to find a solution. I easily found an instructional video to show me how to strip and clean my reel so set about taking it apart making sure to keep a good check on what goes where. The video explains all the details for my particular reel but if yours is slightly different then you'll just have to check Youtube for that model. Best advice I can give is to take your time and make sure you are organised and place things in order so you know where they go back afterwards.

New and worn pads
At first I couldn't spot anything wrong with the reel but then I'm not exactly an expert on them, this being my first multiplier reel. I had a play and tried to work out which bits did what, how the drag system worked and what happens inside when I tighten or loosen up outside. If you know about these reels and you already know about the braking system then you'll know where I should have been looking and eventually I found out what was wrong. The carbon disc pads had somehow managed to end up with grease on them. I gave them a good clean and got off all of the grease which should now leave me with pads that wouldn't slip, pads that would do their job again. But comparing my pads to those in the video I also spotted a further problem. It looked as though my pads were well worn. I figured that wasn't good to start with, so add to it some grease and no wonder I couldn't pull a fish in. 

Lubed up bits 'n' bobs
I turned to Google again and came up with an on-line retailer who sold the bits I required. I noticed you can also send your reel away to be serviced, obviously re greasing and replacing worn pads is what they would be doing. But by now, having stripped my reel and figured out which bits did what I knew I was on the right track to sorting it myself. So I went ahead and ordered some bits from who's service was absolutely fantastic, keeping me updated on my order progress and then getting the bits out to me the very next day. Don't you just love it when retailers work like this, something the big companies should think about. You could buy just the pads alone, or you could buy the full carbon matrix drag set up. I decided on the full set up, firstly because it was cheap as chips and secondly just in case any of the other parts were worn. I also added a bearing bush since I figured this could be a part prone to wear also. I gave everything a good old clean, getting old grease from parts that needed to be greased and cleaning dry parts which didn't want grease on them. I then greased up all the moving parts and cogs  making sure not to get any on my new pads and then set about putting it all back together again. Would you believe it, I only gone and done it. Well at least I think I have anyway. The slight scraping noise I heard before has now gone and when I tighten the drag up fully it doesn't cause the reel handle to feel stiff any more. I'd got no clue what I was doing or looking for before, but using guides on the internet and a steady approach I now understand all the bits in the reel and feel confident in taking care of, and sorting out any future problems.

All that's left now is to test the reel and see if I have actually fixed it, and there is where my plan comes to a halt. Looking out through the kitchen window nothing has changed, it's still absolutely chucking it down and there's no sign of it letting up. Opening the window, I throw a handful of fish sticks out in to my pond and watch. The fish don't seem to mind one bit about this weather. Maybe I should just brave it and get out for an hour!

No comments:

Post a Comment