Penn 535GS: Can it be bought in Australia?

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kenmare
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Penn 535GS: Can it be bought in Australia?

Post by kenmare » Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:10 pm

Hi fishos,

For longer than I can remember I've owned a Shimano Speedmaster Triton III. It's been a fishing reel from hell. Even with heavy motor engine oil in the bearings it's a bit of a mongrel to cast. And, from what I've discovered perusing the Web, many others have had a similar experience.

So it's time to find a replacement reel for high speed spinning for pelagics from the rocks and heavy beach fishing -- the Speedmaster will be retired to general boat duties.

On a value-for-money, no-frills basis, it seems hard to go past a Penn 535GS: 6 to 1 gear ratio, centrifugal cast control, good drag, rugged construction, nice size, assured supply of spare parts. Has anyone had experience with this reel?

There seems to be many happy, satisfied users overseas, in the UK and US, where it's nicely priced.

But I can't find the reel for sale locally. Can it be bought in Australia?

Or is it necessary to buy it from an overseas supplier (such as Veals) and have it sent to Australia?

Regards,

Bob

John Softly
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Post by John Softly » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:58 am

Bob
I have seen a couple of 525 Mags in retail stores in Brissy but never a 535GS. If you have to go the UK route you would probably be better to get a 535 Mag rather than a straight GS. I have 3 x 525 Mags - one slidey and 2 knobbies and they are great reels. The only criticism I have is that they are a pain to strip down due to the fact that the side plate screws are conventional ones rather than the thumbscrew type as on the Ambassadeurs. Once inside you need a pair of round nose pliers (round round nose pliers not flattend round nose pliers) to remove a brass piece in order to get at the left hand bearing. Superb drags though.
Cheers
John

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:12 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for your advice -- very much valued, as usual.

I'm still weighing-up whether to buy yet another reel: I've already got drawers full. Probably makes more sense to make better use of what I already have.

To your knowledge, are the Shimano Triton Speedmasters difficult to cast? I noticed after I'd applied heavy 40-70 grade motor oil to the bearings the reel was much more benign than when the bearings were dry. I've read that if you remove bearings and heat them, they take-up the oil better. How do you oil the bearings of your reels?

As Speedmasters don't have centrifugal or magnetic cast control, oil in the bearings and thumb pressure applied to the side of the spool are all you have to keep the cast under control. Might be that I've just become spoilt by the centrifugal cast control of my ABUs, and I've lost my "educated thumb".

So for heavy beach fishing, with 10 kg line at night, the ABU 7000 might be the best reel for the job. My 7000 has a level wind, and I've found the reel OK for beach fishing, although I've always worried about sand entering the level wind mechanism and causing wear, and possibly even malfunction .

In a previous post you mentioned that you'd removed the level wind from your 7000 (and replaced it with a support bar?) using an after-market kit? What are the advantages of doing this. Where do you buy the conversion kits, and how much do they cost?

Regards,

Bob

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Magging old reels (long)

Post by John Softly » Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:53 pm

Bob,
I have a Speedmaster II and a Penn Jigmaster which I modified to magnetic control and the modification worked well enough.
I did an article on the subject - way back - and you will have to make do with a cut and paste witout the pix.

"Over the years there have been overhead reels who’s only drawback was that they lacked any spool control except the use of different oil viscosity in their bushings/bearings. If these reels have an aluminium spool, or there is an aluminium spool available which will fit, and there is sufficient space to fit magnets in the left side plate, they are prime candidates for magnetic spool control adaptation. Penn Jigmasters are a case in point and are being adapted very successfully and cheaply by reel tinkerers in the States. In fact any overhead which has sufficient space between the interior surface of the left hand side plate and the side of the spool can be converted. Magnets can also be placed on the bridge inside the right hand side plate - all that is required is an aluminium spool and enough space to fit the magnets
Residing in the corner of my reel cupboard was a Penn Jigmaster 500 (see pic #1) which was a prime candidate for magnetic conversion. This reel, circa 1980, was impossible to tune without very high viscosity oil in the bushings and the line spooled to nowhere near it’s capacity. Even then an educated thumb was required at times. Basically a strong, large capacity reel with bushings - not ball races - one screw take apart - 4:1 ratio and able to accept the superb Penn HT 100 drag washers.
To do the conversion I needed four neodymium permanent rare earth magnets (6x2mm) and I managed to acquire these from a firm in Brisbane which specialises in magnets - Magnetics Australia. The cost of these are 41 cents each and the half dozen I got cost $2.46 plus $2 post and packaging. As this was the first time I had attempted such a conversion other items were improvised, as I went along, from gear I have in my workshop.
The very first thing which has to be done is to find how much space there is between the interior surface of the left hand side plate and the side of the spool. The spool is removed and a wad of Blue tack, plastercine, or kneadable art eraser is placed on the interior of the side plate (see pic #3), the spool replaced and the reel assembled.
The sequence is reversed and the wad of malleable material, which has now been compressed to the exact interior space, is removed and measured. In this instance it was 6 mm (see pic # 4). As I required the magnets to be about 1 mm, or slightly less from the side of the spool and the magnets were 2 mm thick - I required means of attaching them to the interior of the side plate which would result in an additional 3 mm packing. Search containers in the workshop!
What I found were small plastic screw covers for electrical power points which had an internal diameter of 2 mm and were 3 mm in depth. A further search found small steel nuts which would fit, tightly, inside the recess of the screw covers and would anchor the magnets in position. This was done and by using a punch I managed to insert the nuts to the bottom of the screw covers leaving a recess to stop the magnets from moving laterally - similar in principal to Abu’s magnet holder.
With the magnet in place I measured the overall height of the holder and magnet and it measured 5.5 mm - a little too high. A file removed 0.4 mm from the base of the plastic screw cover. I could have removed metal from the nuts but as the screw covers base was slightly convex it was best to remove material from this so that the base was flat.
Right - we now have four plastic holders with metal nuts holding the magnets - all are 5.1 mm in height. Remove the magnets and glue the plastic holders in position inside the left hand side plate (see pic #6).
To achieve the strongest magnetic pull the magnets need to be placed in their holders NSNS and the polarity of the magnets need to be ascertained.
A magnet, on edge, inserted in a small piece of polystyrene and suspended in water will align itself north/south (see pic #7) and a mark is put on the north side of the magnet. Place the magnets, in their holders - NSNS, replace the spool and side plate, make sure that the spool has slight lateral play and the bushings are lubricated with your preferred oil, strap the reel to a rod and test drive it over grass.
NSNS proved to be too much magnetic force and retarded distance. Change the magnets NNNN (or SSSS). Too little force and the thumb had to be used to control over runs. This reel works for me with the magnets aligned NNSN. Good distance (well, 100 metres anyway) and no thumb feathering. In other words; no hands casting. Should I need additional braking power all I have to do is take the spool out and turn the first magnet in the line to South.
On the cast the bushings make a noise like an over revving helicopter and it’s got me to wondering if the bushings could be replaced with ABEC bearings. It just happens that the items used to hold the magnets were at hand and are not necessarily the items you have to use. I could have glued metal washers or nuts directly on to the inside of the plate and as long as they brought the surface of the magnets to within 1 mm of the spool the system would work."

The main reason for removing the level wind is that the centre post restricts access and the thumb cannot get a firm grip when power casting. A well oiled level wind (Singer sewing machine oil) only knocks off about 5 metres so that is not really an issue. The larger 7000 reel is big enough that the thumb can get a grip even wth the level wind in situ and unless, like me, you prefer to guide the line back on the spool yourself there is little to be gained in removing the level wind on a 7000.
Rod Bolton, who is a regular contributor to this board, makes conversion bars for all Abu Ambassadeurs a well as making a fine mag conversion kit for palming Ambassadeurs. The way to go with 5000 and 6000size reels is to purchase a CT cage and then you can change fro CT to CS, and vice versa, at will.
Heating bearings to add new oil used to be standard practice but now-a-days bearings are cleaned with Zippo lighter fuel - left to dry out - placed on a paper towel and new oil added.
Cheers
John

LEIGH ROBINSON
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Post by LEIGH ROBINSON » Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:48 pm

Bob,i have the 535 mag its a great reel ,the only down side is line capasity is not great if you hook a speed meahine ,the speed master is a very common reel on the coast for HHS and most have no troulbe with casting them ,they just dont last more than 2 hard seasoins ,the handel get's a good knock in it thru wear in the sharft ,if i take a speed master for a spin session in most cases i take a back up reel as the dont like hard work,the reel's iam using now days are either the daiwa saltist 50h or if you want to go all the way the Avet LX 6 2 1 is by far the best ive used and both have been maged ,regards Leigh

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:50 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for your comments on oiling bearings. Although not sure I've the skill or inclination to "mag" my Speedmaster.

But thanks for the tip about Zippo lighter fuel for cleaning bearings without the need to apply heat. I reckon I'll just keep the heavy motor oil up to them -- and try to "re-educate" my recalcitrant thumb.

Funny, didn't need cast controls on my overheads several decades ago, and managed quite well; probably mostly a matter of not letting the attention wander.

Thanks also for your advice about the ABU 7000. I've never felt the level wind a problem when beach fishing, other than for the possibility of sand entering the mechanism, of course. Following your comments, now I know why.

I've a 6500C CT Sports Rocket for beach work with 15 lb line, so I've probably all I need for heavier bait fishing the beach.

Have you been fishing much this year? Managed a nice bag of tailer a week or so ago (and returned many others), but they were only choppers. Bigger fish usually turn up in April and May. Hopefully the weather will be settled over the next couple of months -- there's plenty of fish around now.

Regards,

Bob

kenmare
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Post by kenmare » Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:06 pm

LEIGH ROBINSON wrote:Bob,i have the 535 mag its a great reel ,the only down side is line capasity is not great if you hook a speed meahine ,the speed master is a very common reel on the coast for HHS and most have no troulbe with casting them ,they just dont last more than 2 hard seasoins ,the handel get's a good knock in it thru wear in the sharft ,if i take a speed master for a spin session in most cases i take a back up reel as the dont like hard work,the reel's iam using now days are either the daiwa saltist 50h or if you want to go all the way the Avet LX 6 2 1 is by far the best ive used and both have been maged ,regards Leigh
Hi Leigh,

Thanks for your advice.

I think I'll stay with the Speedmaster. I've the smaller III model, so if other fishos can cast the larger IV models without drama, I reckon I should be able to manage OK. Particularly if I keep the bearings well oiled with 40-70m grade motor oil.

I don't use my Speedmaster enough to inflict much wear and tear. But I found the Shimano service guys excellent when I spoke to them by phone about my reel, so keeping the reel running shouldn't ever be a problem in any event.

Regards,

Bob

emaze
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Post by emaze » Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:59 pm

Hi John. Your comment about the Penn Jigmaster bearing sounding like a runaway helicopter brought back some memories.

One of my favorite reels, the old Pflueger Sea King, was showing plenty of back bearing wear and making the identical noise you describe.
I made up a 5mm. od bush which I pressed on the end of the spindle and bored / reamed the bearing to suit. Now a much better bearing, nice quiet running and no loss of casting distance.
The bearing size is what I liked about the old Surfmasters, 2/0 and 3/0

I have a Penn Jigmaster which has been an excellent surf spinning reel. Still with its box and spare spool, I cant recall what I paid for it but the list price on the box is $17.50 (American)
I guess all my reels are now over 40yrs. old, (about 10 of them) but all still fishing as well as ever

Tight lines to all. emaze
still doing what I was doing - and enjoying it

John Softly
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Post by John Softly » Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:13 am

Emaze,
Things have gone quiet here abouts. May liven up once the tailor start to run!
Whilst I still have many of the reels I used in the 60's and 70's they rarely get used these days mainly because of their slow gear ratio. All of my modern reels have ratios between 5 and 6 :1 and although they lack the torque of the slow ratio reels they retrieve terminal tackle for re-baiting faster and are better at keeping in touch with a hooked fish which is running towards the shore. New, faster, main gears and pinions are available for the older Abu Ambassadeurs and the odd Daiwa Millionare but not for the majority of good, solid, older workhorses. You can replace bushings with ball bearings and even magnatise (assuming that the spool is aluminium) old reels but the fact remains that, by today's standards, they will be painfully slow.
Have a good Easter.
Cheers
John

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