Everything from building rods to maintaining reels. Also an area to share your vintage tackle stories and pictures.
Here was a little reel project I wanted to do to give those fishermen out there an idea on what you can do if you find or have a aftermarket handle which you like to place onto your older fishing reels. In this case, I had a 20 year old(????) Accurate 4/0 conversion kit power handle with what some would consider a T-Bar style - wooden knob laying around, and due to its lightweight, I wanted to see how it would work out on a DAIWA SEALINE 300H.
Now I realize the Daiwa Sealine reels, specifically the 50H and 300H were once very popular reels, with the Daiwa 50H in my opinion, being one of the iconic party/charter/private boat squidding and bait fishing reels ever produced for lines rated between 30-50 lb test. These reels along with the Newell 200 and 300 series reels were a noticeable evolution and upgrade from the original Penn Jigmaster 500 high speed fishing reels and still stand the test of time these days against some pretty expensive fishing reels.
Over the past decade though, these particular Daiwa reels have fallen out of favor in part to questionable drag washers originally installed by Daiwa, but as much, the reel feeling both "tippy" when cranked, and "bulky" when held for long periods of time during a fish trip.
Over the past few years though in the Bay, the crew and a number of regulars on the BROOKLYN VI, the last full time regularly sailing offshore bluefish boat out of the Bay, have continued to use both the 50H and 300H for every fish they target throughout the season from striped bass to sea bass and of course lately, codfish.
It is a true workhorse of a conventional reel, one that will hold up much better then all the much latter produced - high priced reel jewelery we see fishermen use these days. I do note, if one is pin hooking, this along with a Newell Reel, are the reels that will hold up to the heaviest abuse a fishermen can dish-out during a fishing season.
Lets take a look at the reel and thinking back to when the Daiwa Sealine line were brought onto the US fishing market sometime around the late seventies and early eighties, the internal right side parts are noticeably beefed up when compared to a Penn Jigmaster....but, you will also find out that when you pull apart a 50H or 300H, unlike the unitized bridge seen on a Newell Reel, parts will come out of these reels as soon as you remove the last bridge plate screw!
The primary focus here was to put the Accurate 4/0 power handle on this 300H.
Moving along we see that the bridge sleeve hole on the handle had to be opened up, and that is carefully done with a dremel tool and a small grinding bit. Turn the handle over to its backside, and work in that direction...the reason why? If the dremel bit slides out, you scratch the back of the handle, not the front which everyone will see.
As I noted, you should only do the middle bridge sleeve. I do know many fishermen, like and prefer the biggest cranking radius and use the furthest hole away from the handle know. Like the captain said on 21 Jump street, "don't do it!" I have seen more then my share of reel repairs where fishermen have used over sized handles and did some damage to the spindel connected to the bridge assembly (the handle will wobble on the bridge sleeve when you reel in). Yes it will loosen up, especially if you really gorilla the reel during the fishing season.
You want a snug fit....not a press fit. Too big a hole and you will have the handle prematurely wearing out the top portion of the bridge sleeve, eventually in fact as you turn the handle....not good. After SLOWLY grinding away using a dremel tool, my goal is to put the sleeve in, and then turn the handle over. I make sure the handle is flush to the topmost thread on the bridge sleeve. nice and neat, and this is not cutting a gemstone here either.
Once that is completed, I check, clean and start to reinstall all the internal parts. If you get confused, which you shouldn't, lay all your parts out in a row and start with the easiest parts to put together.
1- First all the main gear parts (washers, metal and fiber, belleville)
2- Yoke and Yoke slide and pinion gear (keep the 2 yoke springs separate)
3- Rest of the drag stack parts (collar, spring collar washers, star)
After cleaning up all the parts, and for me that may be polishing up the YOKE itself and making sure that it is not worn down (this part like in Penn Reels is a stamped brass part and wears out), place the upper bridge screws and 2 yoke springs back in.
Hold your fingers on the upper bridge screws and then install the yoke with the pinion and yoke slide.
Next is in installing the main gear and bridge plate components.
I like to point out, that unlike a number other conventional reels, particularly Newell Reels, there is not a drag stack "cupped" belleville washer on the main gear drag stack. Daiwa uses what they call "DRAG WASHER D", which is a thick-flat, small metal washer that sits on top of the main gear drag stack. It works.
But I did ask myself "why" and I did try playing around with using a belleville drag stack washer to increase drag pressure and Interestingly enough, I lucked into an even better drag stack arrangement to increase drag pressure (but I am going to keep that under wraps at this time).
Next is where many guys fumble, installing the main gear and bridge assembly.
Here you need an extra finger on the other hand to hold the bottom bridge screw where the part Daiwa indicates is the "anti reverse claw" sits (many including myself just call it the "dog").
Lock up all the bridge screws before placing the "anti reverse spring" on the nub on the bridge assembly first then on the "anti reverse claw", which now finishes your task in installing the parts within the right side plate.
At this stage, I have seen fishermen who work on reels pack the reels with grease, like they are packing a zerk fitting on a car. All you have to do is swipe a layer of your favorite lubricant on the metal parts at this time....a "film" is a thin layer of grease covering the bare metal parts.
At this point, depending on how you put your reel back together at this point, you can attach all the drag collar parts (washers, star and handle), then the remaining reel frame screws.
By the way, notice the original Daiwa lugs are not on top of both reel plates? The original 300H "light grey frame" reels came with these annoying lugs. They are easy to remove, but once removed, there is now a gap on both sides of the reel.
The fix is another little trick I came up with. Using the graphite Newell clicker "horseshoe":
I carefully cut each end around the end where the screw goes into the left side plate. Then carefully sand each side so its flush on the top of each plate....finally install with the top frame screw, holding it in place.
It brings us to the final question here....why...why go through all this trouble for a reel probably three decades old?
My best explanation is one I have mentioned time and again on this site. These particular reels produced from the time period of the late seventies to mid nineties, are all you need to catch the fish we target in this region, with the best part coming down to the money you save in using this serviceable tackle, you can redirect and use to going fishing on a for-hire or your own boat. Best of all, these reels are not only easy to repair, but also the parts are still relatively cheap to obtain if you look around.
So in wrapping this project up, you have your choice of using the 20 dollar Penn counterbalanced handle which I showed how to install in another thread (for those who prefer) or an old aftermarket power handle that you find at a tackle swap show or laying around your tackle bunker.
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