Got a “Reel Junkyard” in your garage?

Nope, I didn’t mean to type “Real Junk Yard”, although that might describe my garage. I’ m talking about all those old and malfunctioning reels piled in a drawer or in a box you have not looked at in, say, maybe twenty years.

Instead of wrecked and old vehicles I, and probably you, have a box or more of casting and spinning reels, handles, spools, housings, cap covers, gears, etc.

I’m sure a lot of you bass fishermen have applied your reel expediency and figured out just what to do with those old reels, etc. Well, I had not really thought about my “Reel Junk Yard” until I recently unearthed a box full of them I had accumulated over my roughly forty-seven years of fishing and was stashed-away on a dark top shelf in my garage.

My own “Reel Junkyard”.

The light suddenly came on as I visually inventoried what I had on hand. With car junkyards, you go to find inexpensive hub caps, mirrors, fenders, seats, shocks, and anything else you need a matching replacement for. Just like the wrecked vehicles, my box of “wrecked” and old) reels could serve the same purpose. You’ll need to check the spools you have will fit another brand reel but if the brand is the same then you will most likely get a match.

Spinning reel spools can be loaded with various pound strengths of line or braid.


Spinning reel spools can be loaded with various pound strengths of line or braid. So instead of having to re-load a spool with a different line on the water you just slap in the extra spool with the line you need. The pros often talk about how many times a tournament day they re-spool the line they are fishing with to ensure a good fish, well any fish, is not lost because of a worn section or weakness in the line. If you fish rocks much you know how a line can get chewed-up fairly early in the fishing day.

I also noted one of my reels had a worn grip on the handle. Guess what! I found another old reel that had a perfectly good matching handle. This was a spinning reel handle but the same goes for baitcasting reels that may even fit from more brands.

Got a reel with worn gears but otherwise in good shape? That’s right, take those gears from another unusable old reel and slap the suckers in. Problem solved.

There are many variations and combinations you can think of for restoring an unusable reel to fishing ready including carrying a small box of old reel parts in your boat for “reel emergencies.”

Start digging.

– Ron McDonald

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