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After reading the thread about "what reels to buy or not buy" I thought I might interject a tip to help save some levelwind reels. The levelwind feature is simply to keep the line on the reel straight, period. If you have ever reeled in a reel without a levelwind you notice that it takes very little pressure with your thumb to move the line from side to side evenly.

Here is where we go wrong! When pulling umbrellas there is obviously a lot of drag or especially when a big old rockfish is attached. The rod should be pointed in the direction of the fish and the rod used to pump the fish, the reel to reel in the line and the levelwind to easily move the line from side to side. I have seen hundreds of times where the rod is left in the rod holder and just reeled in. This is OK on the transom holders that go straight back but on the side 15 or 30 degree angled rod holders when this is reeled in while in the rod holder the levelwind is taking all of the pull of the umbrella or fish. Levelwinds break or fail under this stress and suddenly the reels are classified as junk.

Don't be lazy or let the crew get lazy on you. Put a belt on them or sit them in a chair and allow a reel to do its job the correct way.
 

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Good point Wayne... Ive seen it a million times...
 

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Guilty... when going solo and bringing in the last of a zillion rigs, I'll sometimes reel my boat rod umbrellas from the holder. The corner rods are safe from what you describe but I do it from the 15 degree rod too. Guess I've been lucky so far. These combos are too expensive to ruin by being lazy. Very good point.
How are your T20's holding up Capt Wayne?
 

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18- T 20L's holding up fine. Service every other year unless one is making noise. I have had 2 levelwind failures from reeling in fish or umbrellas with the rod in the holder.
 

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Why would you want to use a L/W reel to start with?
There OK for bottom fishing,,but I don't know anybody here that uses them for trolling......
 

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Why would you want to use a L/W reel to start with?
There OK for bottom fishing,,but I don't know anybody here that uses them for trolling......
Really???? Just about everyone I know that fishes the bay uses them. And if you use them, you dont have to worry about newbies losing fish, or binding your gear by now migrating the line onto the spool...
 

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When setting lines out you can have help by saying 15 bars which now you know your line is out about 150 ft.
 

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Just for the record this was not the case with my 345's (the subject of my thread, reels not to buy). I try to teach even inexperienced friends to let the rod do the work. The rod can't "do the work" when in the holder.
 

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Excellent point Wayne!

Alot of times reels are looked at as winches, which they are not...they are designed to be used in part with a rod using the proper technique..."pump and crank, pump and crank"...using the heavier weights and gear will take its toll on the smaller class reels...
 

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Great topic!

The breakdown of a levelwind begins when everyone I know goes home after fishing the Bay, and proceeds to hose down thier reels. This does nothing but break down the Lubricantes needed for your reel to function. After the countless wash downs and the grease is gone, they go back and drag 24- 30 oz' on a heavy action rod loaded with. braided line (KITE STRING ) on lockdown! At some point those little gears inside the reels quit working. Here is where the WD-40 comes in play. Lightly spray your reels with WD-40 after each use and loosen the drag when fishing, and the reel should do its job year in and year out.
 

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Great topic!

The breakdown of a levelwind begins when everyone I know goes home after fishing the Bay, and proceeds to hose down thier reels. This does nothing but break down the Lubricantes needed for your reel to function. After the countless wash downs and the grease is gone, they go back and drag 24- 30 oz' on a heavy action rod loaded with. braided line (KITE STRING ) on lockdown! At some point those little gears inside the reels quit working. Here is where the WD-40 comes in play. Lightly spray your reels with WD-40 after each use and loosen the drag when fishing, and the reel should do its job year in and year out.
I have been told not to forcibly spray the reel off after use,but to "shower" it with fresh water. It seems to keep the oils and greases intact,and by using WD 40,it will soak into the braid and go into the water.:eek2:
 

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Keeping the worm gear and pawl lubed is an oftern overlooked step in maintaining reels and causes premature failure of the levelwinds...

WD40 may be doing more harm then good though...it is a light lubricant that doesn provide much protection and doesn't last too long...It also ends up breaking down the important heavier lubes that will protect the reels moving parts.

Penn lube, 3in1, CorrosionX are better suited than wd40 for the worm gear in my opinion...this should be done after every trip or two...

Also, spraying down a reel with wd 40 is better thatn nothing t all but may be doing more harm tahn good...it may seep into the internal workings and break down the grease inside...Reel Magic, Salt-away, Penn reel cleaner and Corrosion X are better suited too...spray them on a rag and wipe it down after a light washing with soap and water.

If anyone is interested, I'll be giving a presentation on reel maintenance at our next MSSA Magothy River/Broadneck Chapter meeting in January...I believe Skip will be posting more info on this closer to the date.
 

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One easy maintance tip.Keep a tube of lube on the boat and lube the worm gear of the levelwind.It is often overlooked because you must turn the reel upside down in order to lube it.I often lube a handle or roller guide while fishing - only takes 10 seconds to do.
 

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Keeping the worm gear and pawl lubed is an oftern overlooked step in maintaining reels and causes premature failure of the levelwinds...

WD40 may be doing more harm then good though...it is a light lubricant that doesn provide much protection and doesn't last too long...It also ends up breaking down the important heavier lubes that will protect the reels moving parts.

Penn lube, 3in1, CorrosionX are better suited than wd40 for the worm gear in my opinion...this should be done after every trip or two...

Also, spraying down a reel with wd 40 is better thatn nothing t all but may be doing more harm tahn good...it may seep into the internal workings and break down the grease inside...Reel Magic, Salt-away, Penn reel cleaner and Corrosion X are better suited too...spray them on a rag and wipe it down after a light washing with soap and water.

If anyone is interested, I'll be giving a presentation on reel maintenance at our next MSSA Magothy River/Broadneck Chapter meeting in January...I believe Skip will be posting more info on this closer to the date.
Back in my skateboarding and roller hockey days I used wd-40 to "clean" my bearings. They would be fast as sh*t but this was only because the WD ate away the internal grease. The bearings wouldn't last long after this. WD might displace water well but should not be viewed as a lubricant.
 
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