Birdsnester

Question about Crack

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Now that I got your attention LoL 
 

I picked up the giant Crack reel recently and don’t know exactly what is is.  There does not seem to be a model number on the handle side.    It’s the big momma about 29 oz and it has a pancake handle,  oh and drilled holes in the spool.  All crack or Luxor that I have seen have model numbers on the handle side plate.  

8B5CAC5C-8F12-49B2-A779-B00493DD2FD5.jpeg

Edited by Birdsnester

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If by pancake handle you are referring to the straight screw-on non-collapsible handle, then your reel is vintage 1948 to 1952.  Both reels were made by Luxor Reel in France - the Crack had the "quick drag" and the Luxor (which I own - see first picture), had the progressive drag.  If your spool is only drilled on the face, then someone used a Luxor Spool on the Crack to achieve the progressive drag, probably for plugging the surf at Montauk pre-VS. The spools and drag knobs were interchangeable, but you needed to use the matching drag knob for the "quick-drag" function to lock the Crack spool properly. Note that the Crack quick-drag knob color matched the color of the reel body (dark olive), but the Luxor drag knob matched the black color of the spools (both spools were black).

 

It is my understanding that Luxor did not designate the reel design as a 300 until they started producing the smaller 200, which coincided with the developer and license holder of the Crack reel (P. Mauborgne) designing the collapsible handle that was used on both reels from 1953 on. I no longer remember the year in which it occurred, but the production of the Crack reels ceased when P. Mauborgne left over a license dispute with Luxor.  The production of the Luxor continued into the 1970's, as I recall.

 

Mauborgne's design of the quick drag was actually metal-on-metal.  The back of the spool had a raised lip around a composite washer, which contacted the face of the spool clicker "gear".  Notably, the clicker gear and pawl prevented the spool from being turned counterclockwise on both the Luxor and the Crack series.  Mauborgne also developed a tournament spool for the Crack, as the quick drag feature was very popular with competitive distance casters, as it protected their finger from line (drag) slippage on a power cast.  The design featured a thicker spool lip on the same total height spool, the effect of which was to cause the line to lay in a cone, thus reducing line drag as it came off the spool.

0809161730a.jpg

0808161923.jpg

Edited by FlatWing

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1 hour ago, FlatWing said:

If by pancake handle you are referring to the straight screw-on non-collapsible handle, then your reel is vintage 1948 to 1952.  Both reels were made by Luxor Reel in France - the Crack had the "quick drag" and the Luxor (which I own - see first picture), had the progressive drag.  If your spool is only drilled on the face, then someone used a Luxor Spool on the Crack to achieve the progressive drag, probably for plugging the surf at Montauk pre-VS. The spools and drag knobs were interchangeable, but you needed to use the matching drag knob for the "quick-drag" function to lock the Crack spool properly. Note that the Crack quick-drag knob color matched the color of the reel body (dark olive), but the Luxor drag knob matched the black color of the spools (both spools were black).

 

It is my understanding that Luxor did not designate the reel design as a 300 until they started producing the smaller 200, which coincided with the developer and license holder of the Crack reel (P. Mauborgne) designing the collapsible handle that was used on both reels from 1953 on. I no longer remember the year in which it occurred, but the production of the Crack reels ceased when P. Mauborgne left over a license dispute with Luxor.  The production of the Luxor continued into the 1970's, as I recall.

 

Mauborgne's design of the quick drag was actually metal-on-metal.  The back of the spool had a raised lip around a composite washer, which contacted the face of the spool clicker "gear".  Notably, the clicker gear and pawl prevented the spool from being turned counterclockwise on both the Luxor and the Crack series.  Mauborgne also developed a tournament spool for the Crack, as the quick drag feature was very popular with competitive distance casters, as it protected their finger from line (drag) slippage on a power cast.  The design featured a thicker spool lip on the same total height spool, the effect of which was to cause the line to lay in a cone, thus reducing line drag as it came off the spool.

0809161730a.jpg

0808161923.jpg

Wow that’s one heck of a response.  Thanks for all the detail.  I am quickly becoming a fan of Luxor reels.  This reel not so much.  Thanks its too heavy.  Below are pics of the handle and spool

3A44D8AC-5A9D-4ED8-878C-72DC83D8FBA5.png

Edited by Birdsnester

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That is definitely a Luxor Spool - is the drag progressive?.  It is possible that a later model gear was substituted so as to facilitate the us of the folding handle - I think both side plates had the same size opening, but I am not sure and really do not want to open mine to find out.  I am wondering if your crack is packed with grease like the ones I fish with are - this would significantly increase the weight as compared to the original greased-only assembly. My two remaining on-the-shelf VS's are original USA (serial number below 7000) and filled with Castrol Gear oil and Lubriplate synthetic grease.  The100 is significantly heavier than the China made 150 that I sold a while ago, which was only greased with the VS grease.

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3 hours ago, FlatWing said:

That is definitely a Luxor Spool - is the drag progressive?.  It is possible that a later model gear was substituted so as to facilitate the us of the folding handle - I think both side plates had the same size opening, but I am not sure and really do not want to open mine to find out.  I am wondering if your crack is packed with grease like the ones I fish with are - this would significantly increase the weight as compared to the original greased-only assembly. My two remaining on-the-shelf VS's are original USA (serial number below 7000) and filled with Castrol Gear oil and Lubriplate synthetic grease.  The100 is significantly heavier than the China made 150 that I sold a while ago, which was only greased with the VS grease.

Hmm I did not think of grease as a weight issue. It turns super freely and I have not opened it but based on how free it turns I don’t think it’s packed.  The drag does increase progressively except at the very end when it kind of locks down.  The drag pressure seems much stronger than typical reel of this vintage. I would not be surprised if it was 40 pounds.  I’ll be opening it up this weekend and let you know what I find inside.  Thanks again!

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I believe you have a  CRACK 300--reel was so good VAN STAAL copied the design inside and out-it was the reel of choice for Montauk surfcasters for many years-then Van Staal took over-the knob on your reel looks to be a replaceable one-you can lighten the reel by doing what I call Van Staaling the reel --do the rotor cup like the VS-go bail-less--if you do you can eliminate the  bail works under the round aluminum plate on the bottom of the rotor cup-fill in the crescent shaped hole that exposes the main bearing--if you decide to do the work seek out a machinest they have the tools to do a nice job--I will post more--rreelman

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1 hour ago, rreelman said:

I believe you have a  CRACK 300--reel was so good VAN STAAL copied the design inside and out-it was the reel of choice for Montauk surfcasters for many years-then Van Staal took over-the knob on your reel looks to be a replaceable one-you can lighten the reel by doing what I call Van Staaling the reel --do the rotor cup like the VS-go bail-less--if you do you can eliminate the  bail works under the round aluminum plate on the bottom of the rotor cup-fill in the crescent shaped hole that exposes the main bearing--if you decide to do the work seek out a machinest they have the tools to do a nice job--I will post more--rreelman

I’ll tell you one thing, this reel is a tank.  Absolutely as solid as I have ever seen.  That giant knob will throw the bail every time.  So that is going to go.  Will make it bailess.  I am going to strip it down completely, machine slots like a Staal, powdered coat it, possibly machine holes in the gears if seems doable

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1 min ago, Birdsnester said:

I’ll tell you one thing, this reel is a tank.  Absolutely as solid as I have ever seen.  That giant knob will throw the bail every time.  So that is going to go.  Will make it bailess.  I am going to strip it down completely, machine slots like a Staal, powdered coat it, possibly machine holes in the gears if seems doable

The knurled brass knob on the side plate is there to tighten the handle so it won't turn (thereby closing bail) on a cast.. I removed that along with a lot of other unneeded stuff. The bearings are steel if original and should be changed to stainless which everyone usually did. The sideplate screws require a thin-bladed screwdriver and are brass, easily damaged and no longer easily replaced. Never saw a knob like that

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30 mins ago, SC said:

The knurled brass knob on the side plate is there to tighten the handle so it won't turn (thereby closing bail) on a cast.. I removed that along with a lot of other unneeded stuff. The bearings are steel if original and should be changed to stainless which everyone usually did. The sideplate screws require a thin-bladed screwdriver and are brass, easily damaged and no longer easily replaced. Never saw a knob like that

Ah good stuff thanks

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5 hours ago, Birdsnester said:

I’ll tell you one thing, this reel is a tank.  Absolutely as solid as I have ever seen.  That giant knob will throw the bail every time.  So that is going to go.  Will make it bailess.  I am going to strip it down completely, machine slots like a Staal, powdered coat it, possibly machine holes in the gears if seems doable

When you are all finished please post pictures.  Would love to see your handy work

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One of the hidden "pleasures" of this reel, you'll find, is that line can easily get tangled on the wings of the drag knob in the wind. The butter soft screws, already mentioned, are another weak spot. They break easily. Bill from The Surfcaster catalog used to offer broken screw removal as one of his services. He also had a huge store of spare parts, but he wouldn't ship them---you had to send the reel to him, and he'd replace the part.

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