209 Problems

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by Defender, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska
    I just received the Penn 209 reel that I bought off of Ebay. It was advertised as being in "EXCELLENT CONDITION." Well, it sure seems nice to me.

    This is an older reel. It is clean, with no corrosion or pitting. It looks very, very nice. The drag adjusts easily and seems to work quite well.

    The problems with it:

    1. It seems kind of stiff to turn the handle.

    2. The clicker doesn't click.

    I removed the side plate so I could take a look. Everything is clean and nice, and nothing seems to be missing or out of place. There is no crud in there.

    I would really appreciate help on this. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. dex

    dex Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    Oklahoma
    The stiff handle could be the left side cap is too tight back off it a little, as for the clicker check to see if the click tongue is not worn part no 35-155 if it is worn more likely you would have to replace the left side plate.
     

  3. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska
    the click tongue, and it seems a little worn (though I can't say I know what a fresh one looks like).

    I've put things back together, and when I engage the clicker it now clicks. It's fairly soft, but it clicks. When I disengage the clicker the reel makes a lot of noise, kind of a meshing of gears sound.

    Did I do something bad or wrong?
     
  4. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    Check under the clicker switch for sand/gunk/dirt etc... That can make the clicker switch not move fully or grind when you do move it. If the switch doesn't move fully, the clicker may not engage fully, and no click/soft click is the result. The 209 clickers can be replaced if you need to do so, they are held in by one little screw if I remember correctly.....

    The stiff reel action/noise could be the spool bushings being too tight. You should have only the slightest side to side movement when you move the spool back and forth in the reel. It should move, though, or you have it too tight.

    Another cause of stiff action/noise is the levelwind being dirty or out of adjustment, the worm gear could be gunked up or bent, the pawl on the level wind could be worn or broken, or the bushings on the levelwind could be too tight. You simply adjust these bushings by feel... The internal gearing can be dirty as well on the left side plate.

    If the level wind checks out, you should pull the right side plate, take the reel apart and clean and re-oil/grease the gearing, bushings, etc. DO NOT overgrease a Penn. They typically do not like this and the casting action can be severely limited by the drag from overgreasing.. Check for wear, sand, or dirty grease in the gears, and check the pinion gear (the little gear that moves to engage the spool) for damage. This can cause stiff wind and noise. (ask me how I know sometime...) I am always amazed at how much junk/old grease/overgreasing/dirt/sand I find in "excellent condition" reels from Ebay. The good news is I have had to replace a part or two over time, but these Penn reels can be put back into tip top shape with a little effort, and parts are fairly easy to get.

    Hopefully this solves your problem! let us know how it comes out or if you have other questions.
     
  5. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    I wish I could help ya but im not familiar with them
     
  6. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Bob, I would just remove the whole level wind off the reel. See if that eliminates the grind. Level wind mechanism's are biggest cause of my breakdowns with these.

    Got so tired of cleaning/replacing 209 level wind I removed all level wind mechanism's and just finger line on. Like them better now and no breakdowns since.

    Could be someone put a wrong part in (?)

    FYI never grease the clicker parts-makes it looser than it already is (just oil the clicker switch as already said).

    Anyother thought is could be some fine sand in the grease making that grind that requires compressed air to remove...(?).
     
  7. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Last night I took the 209 home to work on it. I took the left face plate off and cleaned everything up, although it was pretty well clean already. It's amazing how much yuck you can clean out of a "clean" reel.

    I removed, cleaned, and replaced the round spring that holds the click tongue in place. I cleaned under and around the click tongue and gave it a little oil. I cleaned and greased the gears, applying the grease with the point of a toothpick so I didn't use too much.

    I removed the worm gear and line guide, working them with my fingers. They seem to work fine. The worm gear is straight, and I gave it a little oil. I greased the ends of the spool. I greased or oiled the gears on the right side but did not remove the right face plate. I put everything back together and tried it out ---

    It was loud, and stiff. Darn.

    I played with the tension adjustment on the worm drive, and that didn't seem to accomplish much. Then I played around with the star drag ---

    And now I think I can see where the problem is. When I back waaay off on the star drag the noise quiets down and the handle turns more freely. As I tighten it back up it gets more and more noisy and harder to turn. It doesn't seem like I have a very long range in which to tighten and loosen the star drag.

    I may be getting to the problem, but I haven't solved it yet.

    Once again I am really impressed with the BOC. You all are jumping right in with great advice and encouragement, and I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!

    Thanks again for all the help, and please keep it coming.
     
  8. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    have u tried adjusting the knob on the left side of the reel?
    not the star drag, but the knob that u use to adjust for weight for casting on the more modern reels. This is ur "slack" adjustment for ur spool. U should have 1/16" of play left and right in ur spool. I would try loosening this up and testing the reel. That might be the whole issue
     
  9. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska

    I'll try it when I get home, James. Thanks.
     
  10. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    You need to pull apart the main gear and drag assembly and see what's up... 4 screws hold the inside plate on the side of the reel. Take those screws out and remove the metal plate. On the handle shaft you will see the main gear. Inside the main gear is the drag "sandwich." From the bottom of the main gear out you should have a sandwich of washers that go fiber/brass(or other metal)/fiber/brass with ears/fiber/brass. On the outside brass washer you should have a smaller silver metal washer between the drag sleeve and the last brass washer. You should also have a fiber washer between the bottom/outside of the main gear and the metal anti-reverse gear on the bottom of the post. Typically the brass drag washers need a very light coat of grease on them to function properly. I put on just enough to feel it, but not see the grease on the washer. That could be your problem.

    Obviously missing parts, especially the fiber washer between the anti-reverse gear and the main gear could be the trouble. Does it make a difference if you have the reel in free spool or not? If so, that could also point to gear damage or simply big chunks of gunk in the mechanism. It really sounds like a drag issue if tightening the drag makes it grind.
    If you haven't already, get online and print out a schematic for this reel. It will make this a whole lot easier.

    Let us know what you find or if you have more questions!.
     
  11. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Last night I tried adjusting the knob on the left face plate that adjusts the pressure against the spool spindle. I could get the spool to lock up and unlock, but I couldn't cure the noise problem. These adjustments did seem to make it easier to turn the handle, though.

    As I was adjusting that pressure (tension?) knob and turning the handle I held my finger against the clicker button. Jackpot! When the turned the handle and the reel made noise the clicker button vibrated badly. When the reel made less noise the button vibrated much less.

    I took the left face plate off again and looked at the click tongue. Now I think that it's really worn and needs to be replaced. I am attaching a picture of the click tongue below.

    If the click tongue needs to be replaced, how do I remove and replace it?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska

    Thanks, Bill. I'll try this tonight!
     
  13. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    What happens when you turn the clicker completely off? Does that cure the noise? How about the grinding/stiffness? Is that affected by the clicker? I agree your clicker needs replacement. This is one part of a Penn reel I have never had to remove. I suspect the two screw together, but I don't know... See if you can find the part online, and when it arrives you should be able to tell how to install...

    I'm still puzzled that adjusting the drag makes the grind better or worse. I wouldn't think that would link to the clicker. Let us know when you find after you get it apart....
     
  14. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    I'd guess seller knew something was amiss they couldnt fix so dumped it on ebay. That would make me study the schematic looking for the unobvious wrong part, missing part or part in wrong order.

    If you have'nt already, print off that schematic and disassemble (use big towel so no parts get lost).

    Remove the level wind worm while diagnosing so thats eliminated.

    Good thing is you'll know the 209 inside out when ya solve this problem....
     
  15. dex

    dex Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    Oklahoma
    The click tongue needs to be replaced. It looks to be of the older type, to replace this type you would have to be very careful and not break the side plate, pinging lightly in the middle of the tongue, or you could just buy another plate, or you could call Penn themselves and they can tell you how to remove it. As for the grinding I am going to ask you to remove the spool and make sure it is not bent kind of sounds like the spool may be bent.
     
  16. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska
    I did some looking on the web for places that repair Penn reels. I called one of the places and spoke to a man named Chef Jim. Jim seems to be a fine gentleman who really knows Penn reels and who really loves catfishing. I described the click and noise problems to Jim. He told me what would be involved in replacing the click tongue on an older 209 like this. I quickly decided that I would rather have him do it. He said that he could also fix the drag problem and replace the drag washers, and for the whole thing charge me about $25.00.

    I sent the Ebay seller a note about the problems. I gave him a choice of sending me a check for $15.00 or I would just send him the reel back for a full refund. He promptly replied that he would send me the check immediately. I believe that this seller has been very responsible and courteous about a product that turned out to have a problem.

    What I plan on doing now is sending the reel off to Chef Jim to have him make it really nice again. I'm into the reel for $28 plus shipping. With the $25 that Jim will charge me I will spend more than I originally planned, but I will end up with a vintage Penn reel that should last for longer than my lifetime.

    THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT.
     
  17. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    Jim's a great guy with a very good site... He'll take care of you better than we can...
     
  18. dex

    dex Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Glad to hear things have turned out great.
     
  19. winstonp

    winstonp New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Wyoming
    Chef Jim is a great guy. I bought a reel from him, and called him and asked questions on another. He's always been very informative and helpful. You'll be very happy with your reel when it returns.