I like a good rant as much as the next guy. You had me on board, right up until the Bauer comment.
Bauer Fly Reels
There are companies that will still ship parts. A good case in point, Abel actually helped me get a $600.00+ reel from a defunct company back up and running with parts to one of their Super series reels.
See: Abel Automatics, Inc. :: Reel Accessories :: Spare parts - Super Series & Big Game Series
Some reels do come with simple schematics and some companies will ship parts. Although as we see more “ factory sealed drags “ come on line, I’m betting you’ll likely see fewer and fewer DIY service manuals available.
Based on some of the beat to pieces returns I’ve seen over the years, it’s not surprising that some companies don’t want customers to pry open the pantry, to get at the goodies.
As far as the used Lamson and oil, it depends on the model. An old LP with a gummed up clutch ( pretty common to the earlier models ) can sometimes be treated at home by soaking the clutch in degreaser solvent for about 10 minutes, then spun up a few times and re-soaked if necessary, until the mechanism spins and catches smoothly, then wiped clean and re-installed.
If the clutch doesn’t respond to that, it probably needs replacing and if memory serves,
Waterworks / Lamson don’t have those clutches anymore. I believe Bill Archuleta might be the source
for LP clutches now.
If DIY reel maintenance is important to us, maybe we should include that in our shopping spec's before we purchase.