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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dragged up a Hank Parker Abu Garcia rod & reel combo with my drop-shot rig this weekend. Looks like a Walmart $99 special -- reel is close to the Pro Max series w/flipping switch. (Haven't found exact schematics yet.)

Rig had been in the water for several weeks, I'd guess, but reel still seemed to work okay. So tore it all down on Sunday, ran the metal parts through an ultrasonic cleaner for several cycles, soaked all bearings in lighter fluid. THen dried it all out, greased and oiled, then reassembled. Reel is almost as good as new. Missing one magnet in the magnetic brake system, but reel casts a mile without backlashing. Bearings are smooth with no hint of rust. Drag washers had disintegrated and fused with the main brass gear, so had to work a bit to remove the residue. Had carbon fiber washers on hand that fit, so gave the reel a significant drag upgrade in the process. There was a slight nick in the spool -- which I may have caused trying to get the spool bearing pin out (i.e., without the right tool!). But polished it with my Dremel and spool is now completely smooth. The "flipping switch" doesn't work -- but didn't before, either. Will take a close look at that mechanism when I disassemble the reel again -- but I wouldn't use that feature, anyway.

Some shots of the process:

Before:

Wood Helmet Rope Personal protective equipment Wire
Food Wood Recipe Ingredient Cuisine
Wood Automotive tire Gas Terrestrial animal Circle


After:

Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Engineering Gas Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You know there's gotta be an interesting story about how this rig wound up at the bottom of the lake. the line was broken, so no lure on it. Was right by a stick-up -- perhaps it got caught on it as they were cruising by and pulled overboard? it wasn't backlashed when I pulled it out, otherwise might suspect it was thrown overboard in a fit of rage (!).
 

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I'm sure the donor is not going to admit a fish jerked it in. Too embarrassing. After it happened to me, Daddy said, "I've been fishing for 70 years and I ain't ever lost a rod to a fish." :rolleyes:
 

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Wow, what a restoration. I have a couple mid 50's reels that we found in my grandaddy's barn after passed that I have been wanting to restore. I might private message you down the road a bit with some questions after I tear into them.
On other thoughts, I did catch a brand new fleuger president model spinner with a treble while casting and threw it into the bottom of lake Norman. It was in about eighty foot of water across the lake from slanting bridge. If anyone wants to pick that up with a drop shot I can show you the general area to start looking. It seems I can't go a month without dropping a pair of pliers, filet knife or something else overboard. Now that I mention it there is a seat and pedestal at the bottom of high rock. I feel like I live in a bill dance blooper reel sometimes.

- James -
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Found some schematics that are a close match, so took the reel apart last night and discovered the original owner had omitted a couple of small washers. Also experimenting a bit -- previously the drag was not very impressive, i.e., hard to get much drag pressure until you really cranked down star drag -- it just didn't adjust smoothly and went from too light to overly tight without much linear smoothness. So I added a second carbon fiber drag washer and that, combined with the missing washers in the reel/drag mechanism, seems to have really improved the drag system. So drag resistance increases steadily as you slow crank down the star drag, and now you can really crank down the drag pressure with the drag still slipping smoothly when enough pressure is applied. Think I've increased the drag rating significantly over the stock drag (guessing it was ca. 10lb max or so), but it's possibly beyond the tolerances of other reel components. So probably won't tried to catch any big old drum with this reel, but it might be interesting to try and see how the reel would hold up!

Also figured out that the flippin' switch works just fine - I just didn't know how to use it!

While this is clearly an "economy" reel -- retail for a comparable is ca. $50 -- I'm very impressed with the quality of some of the key reel components that Abu Garcia used, esp. the ball bearings, including the AR gear.

FWIW // joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BTW -- rod didn't fare so well. It's a 7ft MH action with EVA type foam grips. Couple of the guides were bent and the inner ceramic rings were gone. But restoring the rod will be an interesting project for later, too.
 

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Most of the reels I have pulled up were severely corroded and full or mud. As long as its not broke, the rods can be cleaned up, usually with just a little worm damage to the handle.

I have only lost one rod to a fish yanking it from my hands. It was about a 2lber last month on the James river. I saw the fish hit my spinnerbait, made a sweeping hookset and the rod fell right out of my hands and I watched helplessly as it slid over the side of the boat. Luckily I got it back after about a 20 minute search and went right back to chunking that blade. I thought between the tidal currents and possibility of a fish being on it, it was a goner for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a quick follow-up on the reel (Hank Parker edition Abu Garcia): turns out the missing magnet on the magnetic brake system is important. I can indeed cast heavier lures (e.g., 1/2oz+) fine, but anything lighter is a problem -- backlashes easily. The handle nut had been cross-threaded on the main gear shaft, so it's a bit difficult to get the nut started properly to lock down the handle. In other words, almost everything that is wrong with this reel is a result of improperly tearing it down and reassembling it -- and ironically these problems had nothing to do with being at the [bottom of a] lake for a few weeks. Problems: a missing magnet from the magnetic brake system (inside reel), missing washers on the main gear (which also function as spacers), cross-threaded main gear shaft, etc. Only problems from water exposure were the drag washers, which were easily replaced.

Just FYI -- joel
 
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