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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

There seems to be a certain bious towards auto reels. Some people think they are all antiques and want to buy the new reels, some folks see them as too heavy, possibly too complicated to repair or clean. My only issue with them is that you have to keep winding them up. That being said, they certainly have their place and I suspect you could find a home for them as previously mentioned, with one of the Veteren's Fly Fihsning organizations, as well you should get a tax receipt.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

This may be of interest, I posted this (how too) on another board several years ago, and am copying it here today.

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"Last week I disassembled and cleaned up a bunch of auto's I had laying around. When taking apart these reels, I found that there is a fair chance that the winding spring may pop out, and unwind. As I was researching my own automatics, I had noticed that others also had this same problem, but I could not find any posts anywhere explaining how to get it all back together again.

While trying to get the spring back in there, I tried all sorts of wacky idea's (they all failed), After many unsuccessful attempts, I finally figured out how its supposed to be done.

Anyone who has taken apart one of these reels, has probably seen a discouraging image that looks something like this.

Click the image to open in full size.

It's really not all that hard to get it back together again, here is how its done.

Start out by pushing the spring back into the housing, starting at the outside perimeter of the housing. The first loop of the spring will be by far the most difficult one.

Click the image to open in full size.

Once you get the first "Spring" loop in, the rest of the springs packing is a cake walk, the hard part is already over. Continue pushing the spring in slowly around the outside perimeter, working your way towards the center.

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

After about 30 seconds of working your way around the springs perimeter, it all fits back into the housing fairly easily.

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Here are the reels that I cleaned up, I used this same method on all of them.

Click the image to open in full size.

I'm sorry I posted so many pictures, but I wanted to make the instructions as easy to follow as possible. Hopefully this post will help others, and save them a bit of frustration / time."
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The initial rebuild caused me more than its fair share of frustration, but with these steps it should be an easy process to follow for anyone who wishes to tackle the project. Just clean them up / re-lube, and they can work like new. I wouldn't say there now my favorite cup of tea, but if you got one laying around from your ancestors, it would be a true shame if you didn't get the chance to fish it at least once.
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Last edited by charged; 07-08-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

This is an old thread, but I thought I'd add my opinion. I started out using automatic reels as a kid and didn't use a manual reel until I'd been fly fishing about 10 years. Then for the next 35 years I only used the manual reels. I have a large collection of fine reels; Hardy, Marryat, Ross, etc. This past year however, I've gotten back to using automatics, along with fiberglass rods. It's been a great deal of fun and has recharged my enthusiasm for fly fishing. Here are a couple of pictures from this past summer.

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Old 12-17-2016, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

I have 1 that sits with my older fly reels. I used it a couple of times back a few decades ago on a spinning rod when I was a teen.
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Old 12-17-2016, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

I grew up with using automatic reels. I used them, my father and grandfather used them. My father and I switched when I got older, standard reels seem more reliable
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

I started with an auto. It was what my grandfather used and what he taught me on. I like them for fishing small waters like Boulder Creek or the rivers in RMNP. It brings back fond memories of my grandfather and I on the Rio Grande.

I still have that reel of his on his bamboo rod hanging on the wall behind me.

I do though prefer our modern day reels better. More reliable, and easier to maintain. But they don't take me back in time like an auto.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

I've got 2 auto reels, and have only played with them on grass, never fished them. Both appear to be in good working condition. As was stated in this thread, they're heavy, so for that reason I could see most folks not willing to use them.

Frankly, I've had some thoughts of filling one with mono & giving it a try on a 12' panfish rod.

If I could fish most every day I might try the auto, but since for now my days on the water are limited, I'll have to stick to what I know & know wouldn't give me any problems.

I'm not going to give up on the auto reels, but unless I hit the lottery, probably won't be any time soon before I fish with them.

If nothing else, they make good conversation pieces for anyone who's never seen one!
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

I do agree that they are somewhat heavy. But then again, I lift weights as a defense against old age. I haven't found auto reels to be a problem in that respect, even after fishing all day.

The previous generations were tougher than us it seems. Everything was heavier....bicycles, guns, fly rod outfits, even waders. A six weight fly rod was considered light. Have you ever picked up an antique steel fly rod?
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

Perhaps, it is a generational issue. I have no issue with "heavy" tackle. Much of what I own & use is fiberglass & older reels. A few ounces is not something to get concerned about IMO. If I get tired, I take a break!

Yes, I've handled some of those old reels, and they're quite heavy compared to today's reels. First fly reel I owned was an old Cortland, which has stamped steel side plates, steel pillars & only part of the spool was aluminum. Made for an 8 wt & heavy compared to similar size reels today.

Still, it seems to me that many today only want the lightest gear, even when it's a "heavy" weight rod or reel, so that may be a reason not many want to use the automatic reels.

I would bet the spring alone in an automatic weighs more than some reels.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: automatic fly reels

This may be one reason, though I grew up using them, I like them but they can be unruly and touchy. As a kid my dad had to pull flies out of fingers more than once.
This happened when the cover screw fell out. I was pretty funny and had to keep the pictures. I still haven't found a screw to replace it. The reel is around here somewhere with duct tape holding it together and yes thats on a Wright and McGill backpack rod. Still have that to.

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