Fixed-Spool Reels

This is the page for the fixed-spool reels I've owned, used and surprisingly often, passed on. A summary until I've sorted all this out...

I started out with an Intrepid Challenger in 1974, which served for many years but it vanished during the first degree (In 2009 I got a good one for the heck of it). The second was the Abu Cardinal 40, a stern-drag reel that came out around 1978 or so. In the interim were two cheap second hand reels, a Cardinal Bronco and a Diawa AG1650CT, both with one spool and these, loaded with 12lb mono, were my 1990s pike fishing reels. Neither was great, the Bronco was an affront to the Cardinal brand and both eventually got sold at Romsey for £1.50 each (I have a pragmatic view of what something is worth, i.e. it's only worth what people will pay and even £5 was too much for those reels, for two years running).

In 1990 I literally picked up a Ceratec ML2C - a small fixed spool, nice rear drag and ceramic line roller. This was residing in a patch of long grass on a swim at Jubilee Lake in Thatcham. Despite me placing a card on the lakes' notice board, no-one ever called for it. I used it for the rare occasions that require really light tackle.

In 2005 I moved onto a Shimano Sedona 3000 GTE. I painted over the over-shiny chrome with matt green enamel...and later the same year bought a Shimano Nexave 4000R ('01) and two extra spools (which, as of 2019, I still have and use) .

In 2008 I was converted to the Cardinal 44x, a wonderful reel. It had all the nostalgia of the Cardinal 40 but was just better. I enjoyed it so much I bought another and consequently have about eight spare spools. Because of that I got hold of couple of Cardinal 66's for Leviathan fishing…and a year later I found a pair of '66s (metal bale arms).

When, in 2012 I discovered Cardinal 66x's, with their cream-and-brown colour scheme and faster retrieve I was in reel Nirvana. Their line lay is not quite as good as the ‘66, so I load spools with a '66. Seldom without them now.

Centrepin reels are on a different pageBecause I wanted them to be..

This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blankCarpio CarpioI am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page)Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.Carpio CarpioWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders.This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blank

Fixed-Spool Reels  The Intrepid Challenger. A good design, let down by poor materials. My first reel for all that, and I rather liked it. I was given this for the birthday (I think) in Cyprus along with the Marco fishing rod. It was a good reel for its time, including a nice folding handle, double bale-arm springs and a separate line-roller on the bale-arm. It included a slipping clutch mechanism that was embedded into the spools themselves and was set using the decorative ‘nut’ that also kept the spool on. I didn’t even realise it had such until about two years later...

It didn’t get used in Cyprus, then heavy use in Anglesey wore a groove in the hard chrome plated line roller. Under the chrome was brass – once the line cut through the chrome, it cut the brass like it was cheese. As one of the bale-arm springs had also gone (I’d ‘fixed’ it by shortening the spring wire a half-turn and bending a new tag-end on it) I ordered new springs and rollers by post (the only way in the olden days) and fitted them.

I also obtained a second spool, as the received wisdom was that one used 12lb line for sea-fishing and 3lb for coarse. The spools are deep and held an almost impractical amount of 12lb line (best part of 200 yards). For my coarse fishing, such as it was, the spool capacity for 3lb line was gargantuan. With some care I wound thick 30lb mono (reclaimed from a beach-comb find with the salt soaked off), onto one of the spools, perfectly laid, until the spool would hold a little over 100 yards of 3lb Perlon. I then half-hitched off the 30lb, smeared it with epoxy-resin and when it had hardened, removed the tag-end of the nylon flush, with nail clippers, then smeared another coat of epoxy-resin over the lot ICI've always been annoyingly inventive. It's an engineer thing. 'On my deathbed, I will design a better deathbed.' .

The Intrepid Challenger reel The Intrepid Challenger reel The Intrepid Challenger reel The Intrepid Challenger reel

It’s so close to being far better, it’s almost annoying. I used it until around 1978, when the Cardinal 40 came along and although it’s not often used now, the clunk of the bale arm snapping over and the gentle ticking of the retrieve, are kind of embedded in the firmware.

The Intrepid Challenger was first used on 15th July 1976 and has been used on at least 3 occasions, the last being the 13th July 2017.

This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blankThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hook...(and back to the top of the page)Thymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThis space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blank

Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 40. A step up from the 'Intrepid Challenger'. So that's good.

I acquired four spools and carried 3lb, 6lb, 8lb, 10lb lines for all occasions. It served me faithfully until about 2004 when the gears ground down to a slow crawl. My only real criticism is that the ratchet is loud and sounds hollow, due to the plastic body cover. Around 2016 or so, I thought I might try to renovate it, so stripped it down and removed the paint. I now have a pile of gunmetal-colour bits sans paint and will one-day re-assemble it into a gunmetal-grey reel...probably.

Here's the Cardinal 40, with its 'match' spool which I don't think I ever used. I did keep three others, 6lb, 8lb, 10lb line, all of which fit nicely on a '44x.

The Cardinal 40 The much travelled Cardinal 40, pike, carp, wrasse, flounders, gudgeon and everything else... The Cardinal 40 The much travelled Cardinal 40, pike, carp, wrasse, flounders, gudgeon and everything else...

Here's the manual which I kept around for some reason.

The Cardinal 40 manual The Cardinal 40 manual The Cardinal 40 manual The Cardinal 40 manual
The Cardinal 40 manual The Cardinal 40 manual The Cardinal 40 manual The Cardinal 40 manual

The Cardinal 40 was first used on 17th June 1977 and has been used on at least 60 occasions, the last being the 13th August 2004.

This space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blankThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hook...(and back to the top of the page)Thymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThymallus thymallusHard to find, easy to hook, hard to keep on the hookThis space deliberately blankThis space deliberately blank

Fixed-Spool Reels  Shimano Sedona 3000 GTE. A great example of a 'talk the talk' reel. Seemed good, wasn't as robust as one might think and it had so much high chrome on it I was forced to paint some of it matt green. The 'Fighting Drag' was useful. Sold on at Romsey I think...not missed.

Shimano Sedona 3000 GTEShimano Sedona 3000 GTE

The Shimano Sedona 3000 GTE was first used on 22nd August 2005 and was used on at least 12 occasions, the last being the 14th October 2007. It was then sold on.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Shimano Nexave 4000R. Excellent reel, simple, rugged, nice grey colour and NOT REALLY SHINY. At least it was once I took the metallic labels off. I retained the useful bits of the otherwise unadorned box.

The Nexave 4000R The parts The Nexave 4000R The diagram

The Nexave 4000R ('01) was first used on 13th May 2005 and has been used on at least 49 occasions, the last being the 21st September 2008.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 55. An iconic reel. Which I didn't like much, either the feel of it or the way it worked. Many folk do though, so quite easily Sold to the bloke at the back at Romsey Tackle Fair less than a year after I bought at in the same place.

The Cardinal 55 was used at least once on 10th May 2011 and was then sold on.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 44x. Like my old Cardinal 40, but better. So that's good.

The Cardinal 44x was first used on 5th January 2008 and has been used on at least 68 occasions, the last being the 28th April 2019.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 66, one brace of. The bigger brother of the Cardinal 44 and I was very pleased to nab a couple from the Bay of Fleas, plus one spare spool.

The Cardinal 66 was first used on 1st May 2008 and has been used on at least 58 occasions, the last being the 16th September 2013.

Other diary and fettling entries relevant to the Cardinal 66.

Fixed-Spool Reels 29th August 2011. Spools, three off. Spare spools are a must for the thinking anotherangler. I like to have about my person three line strengths at least and ideally, six. This is why I'm pleased to have nabbed three metal spools in their iconic red plastic cases.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 66x. I have used and delighted in my Cardinal '66's for some time and imagine my delight on finding out there's an 'x' version. Today I won one. (66x in brown/cream finish, excellent condition, mechanically perfect , foot stamped product of Sweden no. 770301). Now I want another one...

The Cardinal 66x was first used on 10th March 2008 and has been used on at least 112 occasions, the last being the 14th September 2019.

Other diary and fettling entries relevant to the Cardinal 66x.

Fixed-Spool Reels 6th November 2011. Cardinal 66x. Now I have two. No. '780501' joins the tackle bag.

I changed the drag washers in both the '66x's for carbon-fibre ones, which has helped and re-profiled the lips of the spools. This was achieved by putting the spool on a spare spindle, putting the spindle in an electric screwdriver and then using a file to round the lip off, then used a flat jewellers file to 'draw' the bare metal to a smooth finishing and then used fine wire wool to polish it to a shine. This added 20% to casting range.

Fixed-Spool Reels 24th October 2018. Spools. I'd planned to fish, fixated on autumn leaves and gentle carping, but the waters that offer this are closed, reasonable precautions after a local KHV outbreak. I muse on 'the list', ponder Dairy Farm, then for no good reason decide, possibly a decision back-stopped by tomorrow's ground-works on The PondsPete's Ponds., to strip and clean my '66X's.Abu Cardinal 66X

It is my habit to place a label on the back of the spools inscribed with the line's b/s and installation date. None of the six (6lb/8lb/10lb/12lb/14lb/17lb) were newer than January 2016. Ah. The 12lb was dated 2014. Huh.

I strip miles of line, line, cut it into 3" pieces, then clean the spools with nail-varnish remover. I carefully hone a bradawl to an excessive sharpness and inscribe the lines' breaking strains on the back of the spools. I take the opportunity to re-polish the rims with fine wire wool, a job accomplished with the assistance of a spare Cardinal 66 spindle and an electric screwdriver.

The three lightest lines' spools have a braid 'arbour'. This is easier to come by than a genuine arbour, plus if I ever hook Leviathan on a 200 yard wide water, I'll be in good shape. The lay of the braid is so poor I strip them by hand then re-lay them (electric screwdriver again) to level them up. I refill all the spools using the same method and using a permanent black marker-pen, write the date on the back on the spools. There. Good for another 2 years.

Some remedial servicing; they are of course very fine reels, but I’ve noted some play in the bale-arms and the spool itself has play along the axis of the spindle, caused (inside the reel) by play in the arm from the driving gear to the spindle. I shimmed the drive arm at the drive-gear end with three 0.1mm × M4 washers and replace the circlip with a new one. I eye up the spindle clip for another day. This keeps the drive arm from skewing and reduces the play along the spindle’s axis by about half. I then shim the bale arm, 0.2mm × 12mm × M6 on the line-roller side and 0.1mm × 12mm × M6 on the other. This is so that the gap between the plastic and the spool casing isn’t ‘just the right size’ for line to get trapped behind. Everything cleaned and re-greased for good luck.

With the anti-reverse off the reels are now virtually silent. One final thing, which has bugged me for some time, is the excessive flash of the handles and the bale-arm screws. I carefully (after first removing them from the reel) rubbed them with fine emery until the flash was reduced to a gun-metal like finish, a little less gaudy.

Not bad for over 30 years old.

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Fixed-Spool Reels  The Cardinal 33. Yesterday at the Redditch Tackle Fair I bought a Cardinal 33 which I've been after for some time. I then nabbed an ally spare spool from Classic Vintage Fishing Tackle while I was there.

It's not unlike it's larger brothers. It's a fine little reel even if its use will be limited to those places where the fish are small and casting a long way is not required and possibly with shorter rods than the norm.

The Cardinal 33 was first used on 2nd September 2017 and has been used on at least 3 occasions, the last being the 9th June 2019.

A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box...(and back to the top of the page) A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box
03:59pm on 2019-10-17 JAA