Saltwater Spinning Reels??

ORCA Online Forum - Feel free to talk or ask about ALL kinds of old tackle here, with an emphasis on old reels!
Post Reply
User avatar
Ketikkama
Big ORCA Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:51 pm
Location: Clifton

Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Ketikkama »

I have fished in saltwater for as long as I have been fishing and I have been continually frustrated by spinning reels https://under-the-open-sky.com/best-spinning-reel/ and their ability to corrode and become unusable in virtually no time. I always rinse my reels in freshwater after each use and I've tried all sorts of other methods to try and prevent saltwater damage. I've tried soaking the reels in freshwater instead of merely rinsing them, rinsing with pressurized freshwater, gently rinsing, taking the reel handles apart and rinsing each component separately, reeling fast after rinsing to knock all the remaining water out of the reel, etc. Nothing has been successful. Virtually every light-tackle spinning reel I've used in saltwater has corroded and had to be replaced. I haven't had problems with the big ocean spinning reels for big game fish, but I mainly use conventional reels for most of that kind of fishing and use spinning reels for shallow nearshore fishing. Even the "saltwater specific" reels I've tried have also eventually failed. Does anyone have any pointers or tips that they've had for ensuring the longevity of spinning reels in saltwater?
Last edited by Ketikkama on Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
kyreels
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by kyreels »

I use the Penn SS series reels which appear to be replaced by the Z series now. I can't speak to the Z series, but my old metal SS series reels have lasted pretty well, although I only fish saltwater a few weeks a year. I see they also make graphite bodies, but I will stick with the heavier reels.

I would also be interested in how regular saltwater fisherman clean the lines after a long day fishing. I also suspect that just cleaning all the parts in freshwater and oiling the reel is not sufficient. Seems like there must be a good process for line cleaning. There are lots of tips in the cleaning and restoration topics, the search I used was search.php?keywords=saltwater+cleaning& ... mit=Search
Matt Wickham
Collector of Casting Weights, KY Reels and KY Tackle

User avatar
Midway Tommy D
Star Board Poster
Posts: 2517
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:23 pm
Location: Eastern NE

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Midway Tommy D »

Some models are more suited for salt water than others but all of the older makes are susceptible to salt infiltration and corrosion. The best advise I can give is to thoroughly disassemble and clean your reals regularly. That will depend on how often and long you use them in that environment.

A good unpainted & non-plastic parts soaking in lacquer thinner, acetone, or other strong solvent helps remove crud buildup. An ultra sonic machine helps speed up that process. Then a light burnishing finishes the cleaning process. Don't forget to thoroughly clean any ball bearings.

When you reassemble the reel give every thing, all parts, body, etc. a thin coating of synthetic marine grease. Penn or Yamaha blue. & Super Lube are good examples. Greasing everything will slow things down a little but speed has no real relevance in spinning reel operation. Line flows freely when the bail is open, and ease and speed during return isn't that important. Smooth function and longevity is very important. Add a little synthetic oil to things that you want to move more freely, like bearings, bushings, etc. If you want a reel that reduces salt infiltration look into Van Staals & similar models. They are sealed, but then you give up some access to moving parts.
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

Tom DeLong, NE
ORCA Member - 2022

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by m3040c »

Good freshwater cleaning after each trip. Using soap and water is better. I knew a fisherman that took his aluminum reels into the shower after each trip and washed them with soap and water as he showered. His stuff stayed very nice.

At the end of the season, its time to break the reel down for a deep cleaning and service. Do that and your old Penn Greenies will be with you forever.
mike cass,,, if you can't collect it, it must be food

TampaTarpon
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:24 pm
Location: Tampa FL
Contact:

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by TampaTarpon »

I gave up. I use Shimano Stradics for general SW inshore fishing. Rinse gently after each use and expect 3-ish years. After that, I consider them disposable.

Now, my Stella tarpon reels get an annual take down and cleaning. Still, rinse during season, but clean thoroughly before putting up. They are on year 5.

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by m3040c »

Well, I am, not really up on Japanese reels. I guess I am stuck in the past. Just got this reel. It was heavily used and not fishable.

I took it down, cleaned and painted it. Then assembled, it is ready to catch fish again. Being that it is a 750SS, I would put its age at 35 to 40 years old. It now runs like new.

I know, I changed the color. I like blue better than black. Some reels are just bullet proof and others you have to throw away.







mike cass,,, if you can't collect it, it must be food

Reeltyme

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Reeltyme »

m3040c wrote:Well, I am, not really up on Japanese reels. I guess I am stuck in the past. Just got this reel. It was heavily used and not fishable.

I took it down, cleaned and painted it. Then assembled, it is ready to catch fish again. Being that it is a 750SS, I would put its age at 35 to 40 years old. It now runs like new.
Couldn’t have said it better myself Mike! I have worked on hundreds of reels. Some you just throw away. Whenever someone asks me about a particular new reel, I tell them that it’s a great 5 year reel if you take care of it. If you want something to fish with and to last,,, buy a vintage reel, American made Penn. Clean and lube once a year. It will probably outlast you.

Dick Janak
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:10 am

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Dick Janak »

Rising the salt off the reel after each use is very good..But you should have the reel completely dis assembled each year and cleaned..You cannot get the salt out of the reel by rising..I have been in the rod and reel repair business for 45 years now and I have seen reels that the owners have thought by rising them was all that was needed..Take it from me, have them completely cleaned at least once a year...…….Dick

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by m3040c »

Yup, when you want a spinning reel that can take a lickin and keep on tickin, here's what you want. What is the best about these reels is their affordability. A Van Staal can empty your bank account, these are very attainable at low prices.

mike cass,,, if you can't collect it, it must be food

User avatar
Tightlines666
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 272
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 4:16 am

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Tightlines666 »

I use the old Penns, and these are the only spinning reels I accept from customers for service.
I do like the high speed Accurate for jigging though.

John

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by m3040c »


Post subject:
Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

I use the old Penns, and these are the only spinning reels I accept from customers for service.
I do like the high speed Accurate for jigging though.
Last year I took a bunch of Old Mitchell spinning reels to service for an old friend. Made in France 302's and 402's. They needed complete overhauls, even had some broken internals and I went nuts finding the brass conversion eccentrics (upgrade from the aluminum originals) to get them working right again. You are correct, should stick to Penn Greenies and SS models. the Mitchells worked out well but I like Penn better.
mike cass,,, if you can't collect it, it must be food

User avatar
Cuttyhunker
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:42 pm
Location: Buzzards Bay Mass/Crystal River Fla

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Cuttyhunker »

Gotta agree with Master Mike on the Penn's. This 700 isn't the first year but close, dad bought a few for the charter boat replacing the Quick's. I managed to sleaze this one out of the pack and it pretty much lived on my skiff as a kid without much love, but made me money, back then we were getting twenty five cents a pound fo the stripers. Only the spool isn't original and still use it as a daily driver. Part of the stand has vanished ,and the nut to spin the handle has seized, which suits me just fine since they always seem to unscrew themselves when I have a ---- off bonito at the other end of the string. Old girl still runs smooth even being butt ugly on the outside. I expect I'll get another 50 or 100 years out of this one.

User avatar
m3040c
Ultra Board Poster
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by m3040c »

Gotta agree with Master Mike on the Penn's. This 700 isn't the first year but close, dad bought a few for the charter boat replacing the Quick's. I managed to sleaze this one out of the pack and it pretty much lived on my skiff as a kid without much love, but made me money, back then we were getting twenty five cents a pound fo the stripers. Only the spool isn't original and still use it as a daily driver. Part of the stand has vanished ,and the nut to spin the handle has seized, which suits me just fine since they always seem to unscrew themselves when I have a ---- off bonito at the other end of the string. Old girl still runs smooth even being butt ugly on the outside. I expect I'll get another 50 or 100 years out of this
Yup, the 700 was pretty bulletproof. It was made in three different versions. With a little care can last generations. Don't know if the new reels with infinite anti-reverse and 50 ball bearings will last like the old time spinning reels will. They run really smooth but seem delicate to me, that is unless you buy a $800 model.
mike cass,,, if you can't collect it, it must be food

Rook
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:35 pm
Location: Hampton, GA

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Rook »

I like taking old corroded Mitchell's that people have given up on and bringing them back to life. This old 301 looked pretty bad but it cleaned up pretty nice after some cleaning, sand blasting and painting.



Image


Image


Image


Image


Image

User avatar
Cuttyhunker
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:42 pm
Location: Buzzards Bay Mass/Crystal River Fla

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Cuttyhunker »

This past Wednesday I had my pre Garcia 301 out on the Gulf flats and back country of west central Florida bringing in Ladyfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Spanish Mackerel. Flawless. A fresh minor clean and lube, a shot of ten pound braid, and the old girl is still as good as the day it left the factory, aside from 50 or 60 years of boat rash. A rinse down after the trip and it's ready to go again. Guess I'm like Mike, and Bob Seger, just like that old time stuff, time tested and reliable. I look at the new big bucks stuff in the tackle shops and It is certainly a little lighter and has that Madison Ave bling, maybe I'll buy some if I can ever I wear mine out. The price point mass market stuff is just an insult. I just tried to get on the Mitchell Reel Museum site a few minutes ago as I had forgotten the year when Garcia began to be engraved on the reels and all attempts came back as "site unreachable". Are they gone or did I just hit a middle of the night maintenance shutdown?

spadej1
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:06 pm

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by spadej1 »

Can’t go wrong with a vintage Mitchell. Even the 302’s that have all the paint corroded off and have deep pitting will still function for fishing. As for the Mitchell Museum site, it does seem to be down. It was up a few days ago, but I know that Wallace doesn’t have the money to fix the site’s technical issues. It usually comes back eventually so check in later.
-James-
New to reel collecting so bear with me please. I like reel deals!

Rook
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:35 pm
Location: Hampton, GA

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Rook »

m3040c wrote:

Post subject:
Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

I use the old Penns, and these are the only spinning reels I accept from customers for service.
I do like the high speed Accurate for jigging though.
Last year I took a bunch of Old Mitchell spinning reels to service for an old friend. Made in France 302's and 402's. They needed complete overhauls, even had some broken internals and I went nuts finding the brass conversion eccentrics (upgrade from the aluminum originals) to get them working right again. You are correct, should stick to Penn Greenies and SS models. the Mitchells worked out well but I like Penn better.
The 302s and 402s are my favorite big spinning reels. They do take some experimenting, trial and error when making repairs because parts from different year models won't work well in just any of them. I've got 3 302s and a 402 and after several attempts I finally got them all working like they should.


Image


Image

402
Image


I used a ceramic bearing when I rebuilt my 402 instead of the stock bearing. So far so good. It reels smooth and quiet but only time will tell how it holds up to salt water. I have a ball point pin holding one of the ceramic bearing up in the photo below.

Image

Rook
Frequent Board Poster
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:35 pm
Location: Hampton, GA

Re: Saltwater Spinning Reels??

Post by Rook »

spadej1 wrote: As for the Mitchell Museum site, it does seem to be down. It was up a few days ago, but I know that Wallace doesn’t have the money to fix the site’s technical issues. It usually comes back eventually so check in later.

For some reason you can still get on the Mitchell Museum site at this address but not the original address.
https://mitchellreels.ourboard.org/

Post Reply