Shane_O

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Everything posted by Shane_O

  1. So, one of my main surfcasting reels for the past 2-3 years has been a Penn Spinfisher V 7500 Long Casting model. It’s been accidentally dunked, banged up on the rocks, etc. It easily has over 500 fish on it, and has some sentimental value to me. So after last year when the bail wire broke and lack of maintenance finally caught up to it, I decided to rebuild it instead of throwing it out and replacing it. I have better reels that will be used more often, but didn’t see why I should just give up on this one since parts were relatively cheap and I could use it as a backup or a loaner. First tear down: The grease inside the main housing was badly fouled by wear products from the main gear, which was all scraped up and causing grindiness while reeling. Everything was fouled up (first photo). All bearings were good. Brass worm gear was ok since it was being worn smooth by the main gear. I cleaned everything out and re-oiled bearings, re-greased gears, and noted everything needing replacement. After re-assembly it was still grindy because of the main gear (I knew it would be but needed to order parts and re-assembling is a sure fire way not to lose anything). Note: Be VERY careful while removing/re-installing the bearing covers on either side of the reel, the heads on the tiny Phillips screws easily get stripped out. Use the proper micro screwdrivers and apply firm pressure to avoid stripping out the screw heads. Parts came in, time for rebuilding. Parts replaced: main gear (see note below), all 6 bearing housing screws, main housing seal (just in case), bail wire assembly, line roller bearing, attempted to replace the worm gear bushing but the new one seemed too tight and caused excess resistance after re-assembly and testing, so I re-installed the old one and it was fine. In hindsight, over-tightening other screws may have put pressure on the main shaft bearing causing the resistance. Problem Areas: The bearing on the main gear is pressed on from the factory so I had to very carefully drill it out and remove it for re-use. If you need to replace the main gear, order the bearing too so that you don’t have to do this. The replacement gear didn’t require the bearing to be pressed on. The Anti-Reverse switch relies on a tiny spring and a lever to rotate a plastic housing (which is pinched between a main shaft bearing retainer and the plastic housing for the anti reverse bearings). If it’s pinched too tightly from screwing on the metal cover that covers the top of the whole metal housing, it won’t be actuated all the way into the locked position when you want the anti reverse engaged. The little spring doesn’t have enough force to fully engage it if there’s too much friction which is a real pain in the ass. I ended up making a retainer pin out of through-wiring material to keep it permanently locked in the “on” position (shown in one of the photos). If you’re going to try to keep the anti-reverse switch functionality, be very careful not to damage or lose the tiny spring. That sucker goes flying if you pry it off the wrong way. I also DIY’d a thin gasket for the metal cover that seals up the main shaft bearing + anti-reverse assembly so that I could get a decent tourque on those screws without pinching the main shaft bearing or the anti-reverse assembly too much. The whole thing was a pain in the ass but it works great now. I didn’t take photos of everything but if you’re working on one of these reels and have questions, feel free to PM me. There are some aspects that aren’t made obvious by the schematics. if the reel didn’t have sentimental value, I don’t think I’d do this again. But it was a fun little weekend project.
  2. I usually pick up whatever’s around and throw it into my truck bed if I’m at a spot where I’m close to it. Otherwise if I find line or smaller items, I stuff it into my pockets. Haven’t brought a bag with me yet but it’s not a bad idea, one can easily be stuffed into a bag. People should stop being so disrespectful in the first place. Say something if you see something, call people out when they’re walking off the jetty without their trash.
  3. So, every once in a while I take a look through Ebay to see if there are any good deals on custom plugs. I recently found a bunch of hand made/painted plugs from “WjS Custom Plugs” made by a guy in Arkansas. They all look like high quality work but I’m hesitant to drop beachmaster/rm Smith money on something from a plug builder that I can find virtually no information or reviews on, especially when it looks like they’re only sold on eBay. I’ve got one in mind that I really want to try but again... that’s 35$ that could be spent on a tried and proven plug. Has anybody tried these out before or know any info on the builder? I sent him a message on eBay for details and will update when I receive a response.
  4. Encouraging and informing people on good catch and release practices is probably the best thing we can do as fishermen. The thousands of schoolies that get mishandled and have a higher mortality rate when “released” make more of a dent than any slot limit would. I try not to be pushy on the rocks with anybody but there’s nothing wrong with spreading some knowledge and giving some “sturdy” suggestions.
  5. I’ve got to put some peg board up in my office and do this.
  6. I was eyeballing that popper too haha. Is it tail weighted?
  7. Unfortunately my local shops are closed and I’m waiting on hooks to come in via the inter webs so that I can get the right weight distribution on these... Videos of plug action soon to come.
  8. The thought of hanging them up on the wall continues to corrupt my mind haha. But im not going down that collector’s path until I’m too old and arthritic to cast, which is hopefully decades to come from now. With that said, they’ll end up on the wall fished or unfished, if they swim well I’m fishing them and giving one or two away to a couple well seasoned friends so that we can get some photos of them hanging from the lips of some cows. I don’t catch many (any arguably) big fish, but I can put these in some wiser and more skilled hands. Battle scars are welcome. Besides, I’ve never seen a plug more beautiful than a good fish.
  9. So, the 8.5” mullet pattern metal lip and 2 freebies came in today and Dave T’s words of wisdom are ringing in my ears. But I said I’d give an honest review so: These are some of the nicest looking plugs I’ve ever seen. They are extremely well built as far as fit & finish goes and the custom paintwork is top notch. Even the dressed hook is made like a quality fly with epoxy 3D eyes and pheasant feather accents. The freebies are are equally as impressive, a 5” slow sinking peanut glider with internal rattle (green lava/marble) and a 5” bunker/mullet pattern with realistic scaling and foil+painted accents. The latter is a metal lip which looks like it should dive a few feet on retrieve. All have holo flakes throughout the entire paint job. This guy’s a skilled artist but I need to see how they swim. I’m hoping to make a quick review video showing each plug’s action within the next few days but for now, check these out.
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  11. For anybody going tomorrow that’s interested in the SaltX, please ask about the warranty service center that’s supposed to get set up, it’d be much appreciated and I forgot to ask about it. That’s a big hanging point for me and a lot of other people (will there be replacement parts or factory return services available)?
  12. Also a good idea, makes me want to go on the hunt for holdovers tomorrow
  13. Are you fishing in current or in a breachway? It’s water speed that matters (a lot like a plane and airspeed), also the push and pull of waves will effect it in the same way. With any plug, you need to adjust your retrieve based on water speed relative to the plug to maintain whatever action you’re trying to achieve. If that’s not it ^^^ the advice above is solid. The only other thing I can think of would be the rod length/position effecting the angle it’s pulling the plug from. But I haven’t heard many people say that had a major effect.
  14. Also, I didn’t specifically ask but based on the knob on the right side of the reel, I’d have to conclude that you can switch to a lefty configuration.
  15. I forgot to mention that tester reels on the east coast haven’t had the chance to deal with big fish yet due to the timing when they were confident with sending testers out mostly coincided with winter. But they have been dunked, fished underwater, etc. To what extent is unclear. And they sent some down south for testing against tuna to get a read on the drag’s true performance. I don’t think they’re messing around with the SaltX. It seems like someone really pushed for this lovechild of a reel to be born and they want it to succeed. But like all things only time will tell. The one thing that I regret forgetting to ask about is the warranty crevice center that’s supposed to be set up. That’s huge for anybody thinking about buying a first gen. I’ll try to get some clarification
  16. So I went to the CT Outdoors Expo with little expectations but the hope that Tsunami would have some SaltX’s to check out along with a knowledgeable rep to talk to. It was worth the 12$ ticket to me to be able to get the chance to play around with the Tsunami Salt X prototypes and talk to the rep there. It really seems like a lot of thought is going into the R&D and they said that they won’t be releasing them until they’re perfect. Sure, sounds like something that any good sales rep might say, but he was actually pretty passionate about the subject and went into some detail. They have been tested while reeling under water to determine what tolerances/level of tightness will keep water out while trying to minimize the cranking resistance from the seals. Whether or not this test was done under load is unknown (didn’t get the chance to ask). The 4000 felt really tight (a lot of resistance) but the 6000 was much less so which was surprising since there wasn’t much of a difference in the length of the handle. It probably has to do with the gearing difference. Then again, one must also keep in mind that they were prototypes. The main take away for me was that these reels have been carefully designed in house by one of Penn’s old reel designers/maintenance engineers. Obviously it’s been done with some “inspiration” taken from other proven sealed designs, but they certainly are not basing their design off of chinese knockoffs, and they really are putting a lot of attention to detail into the R&D process, which is why they haven’t been released yet (that was a touchy subject when I brought it up, but I’m sure it’s because they’ve been asked it a million times already and are defending their stance). That was very long winded but I think they’re doing all of the right things and I’m anticipating their official release.
  17. Went there today and it was pretty much as expected. Tackle direct and some other larger retailers were there peddling their goods, nomad was there and had their stuff marked down 10% but still expensive stuff. It was still cool to have the option to look at and purchase their full range of lures in person (I picked myself up a deadly little 105 mm 1.3 oz riptide for when small bait is around). RB Plugworks had some cool looking stuff. There were some booths varying really high end nano rods, oti is there, S&S bucktails was there and had some good deals, tackle deals had an interesting mush mash of custom painted stuff. All in all it was ok but obviously nowhere near the Providence show coming up in March. I wouldn’t drive too far for it but if you want a way to spend an hour or two why not?. The highlight for me was getting the chance to play around with the Tsunami Salt X prototypes and talk to the rep there. It really seems like a lot of thought is going into the R&D and they said they won’t be releasing them until they’re perfect (hence the delay). They have been tested while reeling under water to determine what tolerances/level of tightness will keep water out while trying to minimize the cranking resistance from the seals. The 4000 felt really tight but the 6000 was much less so (and I’m curious as to why... the handle arms are almost the same length). I’m anticipating their official release.
  18. Went there today and it was pretty much as expected. Tackle direct and some other larger online retailers were there peddling their goods, nomad was there and had their stuff marked down 10% but still expensive stuff. It was still cool to have the option to look at and purchase their full range of lures in person (I picked myself up a deadly little 105 mm 1.3 oz riptide for when small bait is around). RB Plugworks had some cool looking stuff. There were some booths carying high end nano rods if that interests you and you can’t normally try one out in person at your local shop, oti is there, S&S bucktails was there and had some great deals, tackle deals (eBay and show dealer that actually puts some cool stuff together) had an interesting mish mash of custom painted stuff. All in all it was ok but obviously nowhere near the Providence show coming up in March. The highlight for me was getting the chance to play around with the Tsunami Salt X prototypes and talk to the rep there. It really seems like a lot of thought is going into the R&D and they said they won’t be releasing them until they’re perfect, which is the right move. They have been tested while reeling under water to determine what tolerances/level of tightness will keep water out while trying to minimize the cranking resistance from the seals. Whether or not this test was done under load is unknown. The 4000 felt really tight (a lot of resistance) but the 6000 was much less so which was surprising since there wasn’t much of a difference in the length of the handle. It probably has to do with the gearing difference. Then again, one must also keep in mind that they were prototypes. The main take away for me was that these reels have been carefully designed in house. Obviously it’s been done with some “inspiration” taken from other proven sealed designs, but they certainly are not based off of chinese knockoffs, and they really are putting a lot of attention to detail into the R&D process, which is why they haven’t been released yet (that was a touchy subject when I brought it up, but I’m sure it’s because they’ve been asked it a million times already and are defending their stance). That was very long winded but I think they’re doing all of the right things and I’m anticipating their official release.
  19. Sure new plastic plugs and soft plastics are great, but there are specific conditions that are ideal for every type of bait. With that said, nothing new has come along that provides the big profile, wake, vibration from the wobble, and adjustability as a well-made Danny, Donny, etc. all in one package. Don’t get me wrong, I love sp minnows as search baits but there are times where larger bait is scattered amongst smaller stuff and something with great action and a larger profile means the difference between catching 20-30” fish all night and the potential 20-30+# fish. Wood plugs will always have their place and application where they are the best option.
  20. So, I was bottom fishing with some guys on Sunday and noticed one guy squirting something on his sinker every drop. He said it was some sort of bunker based gel. Has anybody used similar products before on soft baits, buck tails, etc? Even as a gel, I’d imagine that it would only leave a scent trail for a few seconds of a retrieve. I’ve seen plenty of similar products but it seems pretty gimmicky, especially if you’re already fishing bait. The guy didn’t seem to be catching any better then anyone else. However that might not be a fair assessment since using fresh bait more frequently between drops seems to be the key to getting hits every time.
  21. I was originally looking for information but there was none available. I was curious so put in the effort that you’re talking about to get the details on the construction and build because eBay is flooded with total garbage that looks good in photos. After finding those details^^^ I know very well that this plug is well worth the price even if its action turns out to be garbage. Now I’m just curious. Even if these plugs don’t perform well, some well thought out feedback might help the plug builder make these into absolute killers. So I’m going to throw them through the rings and report back this season.
  22. Couldn’t agree more, which is why I’m going to give these a good try and provide honest feedback. I’ll do my best getting footage of the action for each plug when they come in. A perfect pattern doesn’t mean **** if it doesn’t swim.
  23. Gotchya, subtlety isn't my specialty haha. But I hope that his work performs well too. We'll see how it pans out.
  24. I'm going to see how it swims in a safe location as soon as I get it and then go from there. But I agree, that would be its time to shine.
  25. That's a good point Dave, If his work turns out to swim and catch as well as it looks I might be kicking myself in the arse a year or two from now. But if someone's putting in the work to make great new plugs that work well, it'd be a disservice to the plug builder and the angling community not to share it. This is also jumping the gun since I haven't seen the plugs close up in person yet... much less fished them. Like I said, most of this isn't worth squat until we've looked at the plugs in person and thoroughly fished them. I don't care how pretty a plug is, if it doesn't have an action or presentation that is applicable to the species we fish for or the conditions that we fish in, it's not worth buying for anglers doing the type of fishing that we do. I just took a chance and am seeing where it goes. Definitely worth the 35$. To be honest, the hard part will be putting an old faithful back in the plug bag and snapping one of these on when I know that there are fish to catch. I'll call it a research project haha, someone's got to do it if we're going to find new quality plug builders. If they don't work, at worst it'll be a nice decoration and I'll give the most thorough possible feedback to the builder so that he might be able to improve or adjust the design for the type of fishing we do here if he's interested in selling plugs to the East Coast market.