Finished up putting an old Ocean City No. 35 back into working order. Friend gave it to me with what seemed a semi-frozen spool. Took it apart, cleaned, put back together and same thing. Sounded like something grinding.
Had same reel , I redid years ago. So pulled that out for comparison. Reel I had is a lefthander with no drag. Spring tension on spool prevents over-run.
Reel I just got is a righty with drag. Parts for both are the same. Except for added drag parts on one. Drag I believe is clicker type. Nob on side engages gear & clicking. So this time polish frame before reassembling (looks good now, I'll have to do other one). Still same grinding. Go in garage for feeler gauges. Spool cleared frame. Switched spools, no good.
Then reassembling both. Notice difference in height of spools compared to post. Spring problem, pull them out to recheck. Same height, wire guage (measured), and number or coils.
To shorten...... one spring is now half the size it was. With new flat & reel.works like a charm.
Hence the dilemma. Why ? Couldn't be a mfg thing. Reel was useless as it was. Thought heat maybe, but would think spring shorter. If it had been tempered while reel.was assembled.
Any speculation floating about ? I'm short on ideas.

...... pc